Appearing Monday on ABC’s Good Morning America to promote her new book about gender violence, Antia Hill spoke with co-host Robin Roberts, about Hill’s testimony accusing Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment thirty years ago and Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony against Justice Brett Kavanaugh as if their accusations were accepted as uncontroversial and factual. Unsurprisingly, Roberts didn’t press Hill on her contradictory, partisan record, either.
Roberts lavished praise on the liberal activist as a feminist hero, without putting any “allegedly” around her claims against Clarence Thomas:
It has been 30 years since Anita Hill testified before a Senate Judiciary Committee about being sexually harassed by then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. Facing a panel of 14 men, Hill told her story, gripping the nation[.]
Like the media often do with liberal activists, Roberts downplayed the highly political nature of Hill’s work. “And you did not set out for this to be your life's work, but then 30 years ago, when you look back at testifying in front of congress about Clarence Thomas, how did that impact your life?” she asked, as Hill responded, “I had no intention of becoming a crusader.” But she is more than happy to give the media what it wants when it comes to bashing Republican Supreme Court nominees.
That’s where Roberts went. Declaring that “Anita Hill took a stand and educated a nation after accusing then-supreme court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment in 1991,” the journalist brought up Biden apologizing before the 2020 election for not giving her enough support allegedly during that hearing.
“In 2019, Biden calling Hill to share his, quote, regret for what she endured. What did that apology mean to you?” she sympathetically asked.
But Roberts didn’t ask Hill why she endorsed Biden after he had been accused of sexual assault. Or her support for President Clinton, also accused of rape, before that. The softball interview continued as Roberts asked for Hill to comment on Brett Kavanaugh accuser, Christine Blasey Ford.
“Christine Blasey Ford, you heard her testimony all those years after yours, what was going through your mind,” she questioned.
Hill lamented how the outcome and “process” wasn’t “better”, (because, presumably both men became justices on the court). Roberts and Hill conveniently ignored how the FBI investigation into Hill’s claims were inconclusive:
I wanted it to be better for her. I wanted the outcome to be better. I wanted the process to be better. The process wasn't much better, wasn't fully investigated, but my -- my thought was really, this is going to change your life forever, but she did a really brave thing coming forward, and I think we all benefited from her testimony.
After that partisan exchange, Roberts moved on to talk about Hill’s work with the “Me Too” movement. At the conclusion of their talk, the GMA hosts discussed how much they enjoyed Hill.
T.J. Holmes boasted that Hill “issued a forceful challenge to everybody out there pretty much” while Roberts touted the “enlightening” book that “everyone should read.”
Everyone should read a book that calls a sitting Supreme Court Justice a “sexual menace”?
Read the transcript below:
Good Morning America
ROBIN ROBERTS: Now our "GMA" cover story. It has been 30 years since Anita Hill testified before a senate judiciary committee about being sexually harassed by then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. Facing a panel of 14 men, Hill told her story, gripping the nation, and in her new book, "Believing: Our thirty-year journey to end gender violence", Hill reveals how that day changed her life and sparked a national conversation.
‘Thank you for Believing,’ and thank you for this book. I read it cover to cover. It's something that men and women should read to have a better understanding. Gender violence, explain why you term it like that.
ANITA HILL: I started out with sexual harassment and I thought that was the issue I would deal with, but I started hearing from people who would tell me about intimate partner violence, and then there were people who wrote me and spoke about their experience with sexual assault and rape, and what I started to understand was there was this connection, and that you couldn't really separate them. What was at the heart of it was the same problem, and so in order to really capture this huge problem that we have, I chose a term gender violence.
ROBERTS: And you did not set out for this to be your life's work, but then 30 years ago, when you look back at testifying in front of congress about Clarence Thomas, how did that impact your life?
HILL: Well, it changed just about every aspect of my life.
HILL: When I was asked by a representative of this committee to record my experience, I felt that I had to tell the truth. I could not keep silent.
HILL: I had no intention of becoming a crusader. I wanted to go back to my job teaching, but I knew that wasn't going to happen. So I had a conversation with AndreW Young who talked to me about how hard it is to take on a cause that is not one of your own choosing, and it was that kind of empathy and encouragement that really led me to just find my own path, and just charting a new course for my life.
ROBERTS: Anita Hill took a stand and educated a nation after accusing then-supreme court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment in 1991. Thomas denied Hill's allegations. Also in the room, President Joe Biden, then serving as chairman of the all-male senate judicial committee. In 2019, Biden calling Hill to share his, quote, regret for what she endured.
ROBERTS: What did that apology mean to you?
HILL: Well, the apology was a long time coming. It took almost 30 years. I'm not sure that he quite understood how much harm the Senate hearings and his control -- lack of control of those hearings did to all of us. I think unfortunately the personal apology was enough. What I really wanted was somebody who was going to commit to doing something about this massive problem of gender violence that we have in this country that's hurting everyone.
ROBERTS: Christine Blasey Ford, you heard her testimony all those years after yours, what was going through your mind?
HILL: I wanted it to be better for her. I wanted the outcome to be better. I wanted the process to be better. The process wasn't much better, wasn't fully investigated, but my -- my thought was really, this is going to change your life forever, but she did a really brave thing coming forward, and I think we all benefited from her testimony.
ROBERTS: Hill also applauding efforts like the me too movement founded by Tarana Burke in 2006 and helping propel forward the conversation about gender violence. Now stressing the need for action and accountability for systemic change. As lawmakers, as employers, as the public, how do we change the narrative?
HILL: Well, we can first of all not change the narrative culturally, but stop telling people and children that what’s happening to them is not so bad because that keeps people from coming forward. You know, people ask me if my advice to everyone to come forward who has a complaint and I say, I still am not at the point that I advise everyone to come forward. I don't. I say, because we still have processes that are not necessarily meant to solve the problem of sexual harassment or rape or sexual assault. We've got to change the processes if we, in fact, want people to feel confident and trust that they are going to be treated fairly when they go into them.
ROBERTS: And my final question, "Believing." So what is it that you're "Believing" for the future when it comes to this all-important issue?
HILL: I'm believing that change is possible.- I'm believing that we deserve better. We deserve better systems. We deserve better attention. We deserve leadership that will call out and acknowledge this problem for the public crisis that it is. I'm talking about the president as well as the president and CEO of every company and university. Make that commitment to use your resources, to stop this problem, and I believe that we can do it.
TJ HOLMES: She -- yes. She went through what she went through, and you can just tell her demeanor. She's very soft spoken, very calm, very measured.
ROBERTS: As she was many years ago.
HOLMES: She issued a forceful challenge to everybody out there pretty much.
ROBERTS: I hope people read the book, men and women alike. It was enlightening and she's got studies and surveys and people who reached out to her, but there was a phrase in the book that really stuck with me. She said, ‘we can't fix what we refuse to acknowledge. We can't fix what we refuse to acknowledge.’ It's one thing to have knowledge about something. It's another thing to actually acknowledge it and that's where the misstep is happening.
HOLMES: Again, You said you read that thing cover to cover and couldn't stop.
ROBERTS: Because it's just -- how many times have [people said] it's not that bad? Y'all have young girls, daughters.
HOLMES: I think about it all the time.
ROBERTS: "Believing: Our thirty-year journey to end gender violence" is available tomorrow.