Well, what do you know. Almost two months after the Monica Lewinsky story erupted, the issue of feminist hypocrisy has bloomed into full flower. In one amazing weekend, Gloria Steinem proclaimed Kathleen Willey wasn't sexually harassed if the President took No for an answer after a introductory groping, and Anita Hill claimed that even if what Willey said was true, it wasn't sexual harassment since it didn't result in employment discrimination.
What a fraud. What a charade. And let's face it, what fun it is to demonstrate liberal media hypocrisy!
We take you back to 1991, when Saint Anita first emerged, trying to remain as anonymous as Joe Klein. As you consider Hill's current loosey-goosey stand on defendant Clinton, try to suppress giggles while remembering the ornately embarrassing tribute of Time's Nancy Gibbs:
"And then there was Anita Hill, the poised daughter of so many generations of black women who have been burned carrying torches into the battle for principle. The cause of civil rights and social justice has so often fallen to them to defend. Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth were slaves by birth, freedom fighters by temperament. Rosa Parks was a tired seamstress who shoved history forward by refusing to give up her seat on the bus...The latest to claim her place in line is Anita Hill, a private, professional woman unwilling to relinquish her dignity without a fight."
Michael Duffy, now Time's Washington Bureau Chief, exploited Hill's charges as a handy bludgeon against the GOP's image: "Ever since the Clarence Thomas hearings last fall, the Republican Party has been struggling to overcome the perception that its regard for women is only a notch or two higher than that of the Navy Tailhook Association."
But when the club is passed into enemy hands, my, how Time's approach changes. With its first Paula Jones cover ever, Time's March 23 cover announced: "The Paula Jones case shows how confused the law is." Inside, the headline read: "Sexual harassment can mean firing victims who don't give in or merely telling a dirty joke. Clinton's fate rests on laws that tie even lawyers into knots." Iconoclast Camille Paglia, unused by Time in 1991, was called on for an essay titled
"A Call for Lustiness: Just Say No to the Sex Police." Wrote Paglia: "The Anita Hill case, far from expanding women's rights, was a disaster for civil liberties...the fanatic overprotection of women is fast making us an infantile nation." Hardly the stuff of Time at the beginning of the Anita Hill years. The next week, Time announced: "whether or not the former White House volunteer was telling the truth about her encounter with Bill Clinton, it seems that she has not been above baroque acts of deception," including allegations she lied to a boyfriend about being pregnant with his twins.
Even Newsweek, which broke the story of Willey's charges against alleged harasser Bill Clinton, now sees fit to raise the issue of her credibility. Not so in 1991: Newsweek portrayed Hill as a "quiet and intensely private...straight arrow" and that law-school colleagues "say it is inconceivable that the never-married professor would fabricate the allegations against Thomas." The credibility attacks were reserved for the likes of Sen. Alan Simpson who was compared to both Joseph McCarthy and Joseph Stalin by that paragon of objectivity, Eleanor Clift.
Another hilarious double standard emerged in the carping that Ed Bradley's "60 Minutes" interview with Kathleen Willey was too sympathetic. Let's step in the time machine again. On February 2, 1992, Bradley interviewed Anita Hill. By then, several articles had poked severe holes in her credibility. Bradley did get on the record Hill declaring she was a Democrat. But some of the questions were embarrassing suck-ups: "I'm told you have a picture of Eleanor Roosevelt on your office wall, with a quote from her that says: `You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do things you think you cannot.' Is that...you do have that?" In conclusion, Bradley stole a question from Barbara Walters: "When someone looks at you and sees Anita Hill, what do you want that to mean?"
And so, it's not merely the feminists who stand exposed for the Machiavellian frauds that we called them in 1991. (It wasn't about harassment. It was about ruining Clarence Thomas.) Standing exposed next to them are their tools in the liberal media, fervently carrying the banner for whatever version of the truth the liberals favor on the day in question. No wonder they have such an affinity for the deconstructionist politics of Bill Clinton.