Columnist Cal Thomas is never a paragon of accuracy — fudging facts to support his partisan political views is a regular feature of his work — but his Omarosa column begins with two paragraphs of pure invention (accompanied by a bit of subliminal bigotry) in support of a truly specious comparison.

Anita Hill was in no way an example of a woman coming forward to “accuse a conservative of inappropriate behavior” — in fact, Professor Hill did not come forward at all. She was subpoenaed to testify at the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings after she was privately interviewed by the FBI and some of her answers were leaked. Being sworn to uphold the law, she could no more decline the summons from the Senate than she could the FBI interview, but she was an unwilling witness. Nor was she attempting to interfere with Clarence Thomas’ “policy objectives,” since Supreme Court justices aren’t even supposed to have policy objectives (although this particular justice, as it turned out, certainly did).

Furthermore, to compare her to Manigault Newman is little short of despicable. Hill was, and remains, a distinguished legal scholar and professor, now at Brandeis University. She has always acted with dignity, honor and integrity. She is a product of academia, not reality television and self-promotion.

In fact, the only true similarities between the two are gender and race, and Thomas bends himself double not mentioning the latter. Yet how strange that in seeking a comparison to Omarosa, Thomas reaches back 27 long years, back past all the many intervening political scandals involving female accusers, to the last and most highly publicized one involving — surprise — a black woman.

Or perhaps it isn’t strange at all. Is it, Mr. Thomas?

Mike Gaynes

Brookings

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