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HBO Does Hit Job on Clarence Thomas

Image: HBO Does Hit Job on Clarence Thomas
Kerry Washington and Wendell Pierce, who portray Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas, at L.A. premiere of "Confirmation" (AP) 

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Monday, 11 Apr 2016 10:52 AM Current | Bio | Archive

HBO is about to debut a movie titled “Confirmation,” which looks to be an all-out effort to revise the historical record of the 1991 confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Kerry Washington, the lead actress on the hit television show “Scandal,” plays the role of Anita Hill, Wendell Pierce of HBO’s “The Wire” portrays Justice Thomas, and Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Hudson, Erika Christensen, Jeffrey Wright, Bill Irwin, and Eric Stonestreet appear in supporting roles.

The film ostensibly tells the story of the confirmation hearings that took place two-plus decades ago, during which Hill accused then-Supreme Court nominee Thomas of sexual harassment.

Hill hurled a charge that Justice Thomas had engaged in inappropriate behavior during the period of time that she had worked for him at the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission.

Her claim resulted in a major media phenomenon during which a record number of readers and viewers became engaged in what are typically dull Senate hearings.

Hill was not found to be credible by most of the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee or the public at large for that matter.

However, the left has consistently sought ways to elevate Hill, denigrate Justice Thomas, and systematically alter the historical record.

According to California Senator Barbara Boxer, the outrage over Thomas’s confirmation is what created the motivation for the following year to be deemed the “Year of the Woman,” a period in which four women were elected to the U.S. Senate, including California’s Dianne Feinstein and Boxer.

“If it wasn’t for Anita Hill, I would not have won my Senate race,” Boxer told Variety, “We got elected by this woman’s courage.”

Those who have long wished to characterize Hill’s deceit as “courageous” have had to enlist the help of professional storytellers to accomplish the goal of revised history.

To this end, HBO now appears to be more than happy to oblige, which is nothing new for the premium cable network.

“Confirmation” is yet another offering from HBO Films, which has pushed a political agenda through its entertainment fare.

In 2012 the premium cable network aired “Game Change,” a distorted hit piece that gave the impression it was telling the backstory behind senator and then-presidential nominee John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate for the 2008 presidential election.

The source material for the movie was the book by Bloomberg Politics’ John Heilemann and Mark Halperin.

Both Palin and McCain had severely criticized HBO for glaring inaccuracies found in “Game Change.”

In 2008 HBO debuted “Recount,” a film that purported to document the unprecedented contested election that took place in 2000 between George W. Bush and Al Gore.

Why does HBO green light controversial political fare over and over again?

The simple answer is that these kinds of films win awards and bring prestige to a network.

“Game Change” collected a pile of awards, including four Emmys, a Critics’ Choice Award, and three Golden Globes.

“Recount” snagged three Emmys, a Golden Globe, and awards from both the directors’ and writers’ guilds.

Former Senators Al Simpson and Jack Danforth, as well as a former lawyer on Justice Thomas’s team, Mark Paoletta, have gone public with criticisms of “Confirmation.”

Reportedly, Simpson called the script that he had reviewed a “seriously distorted” version of Thomas’s confirmation hearings.

In a statement, Danforth said that, in his view, the script “was full of errors and distortions” when it came to himself.

“Based on the script I reviewed, it’s a dishonest film,” Paoletta said in a statement provided to Politico.

“It’s a propaganda piece for Anita Hill and for Hillary Clinton’s run for the White House. It’s unfair to Clarence Thomas, Jack Danforth and, most surprisingly, to Joe Biden,” Paoletta added.

The timing of the release is suspect as well. HBO will premiere the movie on April 16, 2016, likely timed to affect the political climate of the upcoming general election.

Not only does the film take the opportunity to attack a conservative Supreme Court justice, the movie raises the subject of sexual harassment, which is a topic that plays into the hands of the Democratic Party and one of its favorite memes; that being the so-called GOP “War on Women.”

James Hirsen, J.D., M.A., in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. Visit Newsmax TV Hollywood. Read more reports from James Hirsen — Click Here Now.


 

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Those who have long wished to characterize Anita Hill’s deceit as courageous have had to enlist the help of professional storytellers to accomplish the goal of revised history. HBO now appears to be happy to oblige, which is nothing new for the premium cable network.
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