ABC's Roberts Again Assumes Clarence Thomas Guilty of Harassment

On Wednesday’s "Good Morning America," co-host Robin Roberts, for the second day in a row, intimated that Clarence Thomas was guilty of sexually harassing Anita Hill. Interviewing Anucha Brown-Sanders about her successful harassment lawsuit against New York Knicks coach Isiah Thomas, Roberts gratuitously segued, "Yesterday, sitting where you are right now, Anita Hill, who was here to talk about what happened 16 years ago when she was brought before the Judiciary Committee, with Clarence Thomas being a nominee for the Supreme Court..." Roberts then asked Browne-Sanders, "Do you think your decision in your court case can have a similar impact?"

Implicit in this question is the idea that Hill’s claims against the now-Supreme Court justice are true. Would Roberts use Clinton-accuser Paula Jones as a similar comparison to a modern case? On Tuesday’s GMA, the ABC host employed the same tactic in the interview with Anita Hill. Roberts sympathetically questioned, "Is it better now in the workplace for women?" Again, this leaves the assumption that for things to be "better," Thomas must have been guilty of making them worse for Hill.

A partial transcript of Robert’s interview with Anucha Brown Sanders, which aired at 7:18am on October 3, follows:

Robin Roberts: "Yesterday, sitting where you are right now, Anita Hill, who was here to talk about what happened 16 years ago when she was brought before the Judiciary Committee, with Clarence Thomas being a nominee for the Supreme Court and I asked her about what those 16 years, what they have meant and what they have meant for other people. Take a listen."

Anita Hill: "I've heard from so many people who say those hearings taught me. They allowed me to come forward, they allowed me to reconcile with what happened in my life. And so with hindsight, I can't think that I should have done anything differently."

Roberts: "Do you think your decision in your court case can have a similar impact?"

Anucha Browne Sanders (Won $11.6 million in Sexual harassment case): "I hope it does. I hope it has an impact, particularly for the people that are left there at Madison Square Garden. And for employers across industry to take heed and to pay attention and take responsibility for the workplace and I really believe that it's leadership and an environment is guided by leadership. And I think when leadership decides that this is acceptable, then it's acceptable throughout, and when leadership decides it's unacceptable and we're not going to put up. They begin to– They're the ones who set the standard."

Roberts: "Anucha, thank you very much. Certainly appreciate your time this morning. All the best for you. And Anucha Brown Sanders says she's going to go back to being a mom to her three kids and back to her job as senior associate athletic director for marketing at the University of Buffalo. And she was quick to point out, Diane, they were the only ones who would hire her."

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org