Clarence Thomas Bashes Media, WaPo Reports -- and Omits
The top of Saturday’s Washington Post front page reads "Justice Thomas Lashes Out in Memoir: Book Attacks Liberals and the Media, Breaks Near-Silence on Anita Hill." The story by Robert Barnes, Michael Fletcher, and Kevin Merida begins by describing an "angry and vivid forthcoming memoir, scathingly condemning the media," Democrats and a "mob" of liberal activists. But the reader would be frustrated if he wanted details on the condemnation of the media: it’s never described.
Instead, inside on A7, there are snippets on racism in the Catholic Church, on Anita Hill, on his father, his mother, abortion, and "affirmative action," but no snippet on the media. Did someone edit out the media stuff after the headline and opening were written? We were hoping for some attack snippets on his NPR tormentor, Nina Totenberg.
The story is a fairly straightforward summary, but it grows a little snippy about the idea that Thomas is cashing in. The reporters write on the front page that the justice "received a reported $1.5 million." The word "advance" on sales might have been a bit more accurate, and sounded a little less like someone backed a dump-truck full of cash into his driveway. (A nitpicking Thomas advocate wouldn’t forget that Anita Hill struck a $2 million book deal with Doubleday shortly after she accused Thomas of sexual harassment in an effort to derail his confirmation -- and after she denied to the Senators that she would cash in on her new fame.)
Inside, the reporters also mention the book is eagerly awaited, especially among conservatives, who are promoting it. "The Heritage Foundation, the Federalist Society, and the National Center for Policy Analysis are sponsoring a six-city book tour, in which patrons will pay $30 to attend events in Thomas’s honor." I highly doubt that people always paid less to see Sandra Day O’Connor at events surrounding her books.
PS: Barnes is the WashPost's current Supreme Court reporter. Fletcher and Merida, two black Post reporters, have written their own Clarence Thomas bio.