OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former Fox News anchor Chris Wallace has made his bed when it comes to how conservatives feel about him and he is not doing himself any favors to get them back on his side.
On his new HBO Max / CNN show “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace” this week he interviewed Professor Anita Hill about her accusations of sexual harassment against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Wallace accused the Supreme Court Justice of playing “the race card” and said he “played it hard.”
“Right. Okay. Well, Clarence Thomas responded, and I think it’s fair to say that he played the race card, and he played it hard. Again, take a look,” the host said before playing a clip of Justice Thomas speaking at the hearings.
“This is a circus, so national disgrace. And from my standpoint, as a black American, as far as I’m concerned, it is a high tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves,” the Justice said in the clip.
“But what struck in addition to that, what struck millions of people who were riveted to the television, and I can’t overstate what a big cultural event this was, was the way you were treated by the 14 white men, Republicans and Democrats,” Wallace said.
“Who were the Senate Judiciary Committee? Let’s take a look at some of that,” he said before playing another clip of senators speaking during the hearings.
You testified this morning in response to Senator Biden that the most embarrassing question involved this not too bad. Women’s large breasts. That’s a word we use all the time. All we’ve heard for 103 days is about a most remarkable man. It seems to me it didn’t really intend to kill him. But you might have…are you a scorned woman, do you have a martyr complex?
— Tommy moderna-vaX-Topher (@tommyxtopher) December 4, 2022
“When you watch Thomas, and then you watch those senators, what are your thoughts?” the host said.
“Well there are two things with Thomas, it was the idea that he could play the race card as the victim against a black woman who will, you know, came from the same history whose family had been threatened with lynching,” Hill said.
“Real lynching, not high tech lynching whatever that was supposed to mean, and that he could be successful.
“That in a sense, he was attempting to alienate me from black people that sort of take overweigh any kind of, you know, respect or any kind of sympathy that black people would have for me,” she said.
“And that’s really difficult because we know now that there was a whole history of sexual violation of African American women that didn’t get in, in the discussion at all.
“That wasn’t part of the discussion.
“I don’t think the Senate committee could have heard that. They understood what happened to black man, and the reality and brutality of lynching,” the professor said.
“But I don’t think they had a clue about the experiences of black women.
“And that, to me, says that the 14 men who were there should not have been leading a discussion.
“They should not they didn’t have any idea of what they were even talking about,” she said.
She also complained in the interview about the way she was treated by President Joe Biden who was a senator during the hearings.
“There’s another part to this story. And that is that the chairman of the committee was a fellow named Joe Biden. And he waited almost 30 years, until 2019, when he was just about to run for President, when he decided to call you and to apologize. And let’s take a look at how he explained his phone call with you,” the host said before playing a clip of Biden speaking.
“I am sorry, she was treated the way she was treated. I wish we could have figured out a better way to get this thing done. But I think what she wants you to say is I’m sorry for the way I treated you not for the way you were treated. I think that might be a little closer. If you go back and look what I said and didn’t say, I don’t think I treated her badly,” Biden said during the hearings.
“Do you think his apology was sincere? Or do you think he was just checking a box? Because I’m gonna be running for president?” the host said.
“You know, I don’t know whether it was sincere or not, I can’t really get (crosstalk the nature of the apology itself was inadequate. I mean, he said, I’m sorry, the bad things happened to you. Well, instead of owning it,” Hill said.
“When he talked to you on the phone, well said that,” Wallace said.
“He basically said what he said in that right at that moment,” Hill said.
“He didn’t say it, I apologize for what I did?” the host said.
“Yeah, he began to own his role in terms of what happened to me, he moved a little bit further to it closer to it. But at that moment, after hearing this, I’m sorry for what happened to you over and over again. I moved on. And by the time we got to I apologize for my role. I wish I had done better. That’s fine. But at that point, I wanted somebody to say this was when he was on the verge of announcing his president’s presidential candidacy. Let’s say I wanted somebody who was going to say, look, I realize the harm that wasn’t done tell all of America that as you say that this was this culture. For a moment that people were confused and didn’t understand what the problem was, why it mattered, in this hearing. And, and he didn’t rise to the occasion of understanding the depth of the harm that that hearing cause. That is where I was, by the time we got to the telephone conversation, I wanted more from the leader of the free world. because I thought if you become the leader of the free world, you’re gonna have all kinds of power to redress concerns that that have been lingering, and they have been lingering,” she said.