Bozell Column: Herman’s High-Tech Lynching


No one who followed politics twenty years ago will forget the night when Clarence Thomas sent an electric charge through a Senate hearing room. As liberal Democrats pushed the unproven sexual harassment charges of Anita Hill in an attempt to destroy Thomas’s chance to serve on the Supreme Court, Thomas called them out for conducting a national disgrace. “This is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves.”

This line packed a wallop because Hill’s charges were about as proven as the old charges of perverted indecency against white women that were concocted by racists. Whether her claims were true was utterly irrelevant to liberals. All that mattered is that Thomas be ruined, and that black conservatives be denied a role model so prominent and so accomplished.

Twenty years later, it sounds like an echo. Once again, the liberal media have provided an unproven charge (of unknown severity) of sexual harassment, filed by two anonymous women who allegedly settled complaints with the National Restaurant Association in 1999. The newspaper Politico offered an incredibly vague story that somehow required four reporters to compile.

This is how vague the claims were, and which Politico rushed to publish. They allege there were “conversations allegedly filled with innuendo or personal questions of a sexually suggestive nature,” and also “descriptions of physical gestures that were not overtly sexual” but made women uncomfortable. What does all this mean? At least in Hill’s case she was making wacky but specific charges about Long Dong Silver. But who cares? All that matters is that Cain’s presidential campaign is ruined just as it reached its height. Black conservatives must be denied a role model this prominent and successful.

Within two days, NBC’s Ann Curry was leading off the “Today” show with this thermonuclear question about Cain: “Will the controversy and his reaction to it derail his presidential campaign?”

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