David Brock made his name (and big money) by trashing Anita Hill as "a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty." But it was Brock's reporting that was nutty and slutty, he confesses in the riveting memoir Blinded by the Right
. He absolves Hill; claims he helped Clarence Thomas threaten another witness into backing down; portrays a ghastly right-wing Clinton-bashing conspiracy of hypocrites, zillionaires, and maniacs; and accuses himself of being "a witting cog in the Republican sleaze machine." Now Brock is sliming his former fellows--everyone from the lawyer who argued the Bush v. Gore
case to gonzo pundits Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham ("the only person I knew who didn't appear to own a book or regularly read a newspaper") to Matt Drudge and Tom Wolfe. Brock excoriates the gay hypocrites of the right wing, including himself, and tells how he cleverly spun his own outing. (He calls himself "the only openly gay conservative in the country," evidently forgetting about the far more open and famous Andrew Sullivan.)
If Brock says he was a liar for much of his life, how do we know he's not lying now? Blinded by the Right is less addicted to anonymous and third-hand sources than the madcap character assassinations that made him famous, and it is infinitely more plausible. But that doesn't make it necessarily true. (Anita Hill's lawyer has acidly observed that Brock confessed his Hill-related lies after seven years, when the statute of limitations prevents suing for slander.) Dumped by the right after he wrote a non-hatchet-job book on Hillary Clinton, Brock profits by running to the arms of the center and left. But that doesn't make this book untrue. All I can tell you is you'll have to read it and decide for yourself. And I'll bet you'll admit this mea-culpa memoir has the revolting, irresistible fascination of a bad car wreck. --Tim Appelo
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From Library Journal
When Brock (The Real Anita Hill; The Seduction of Hillary Rodham) was a freshman at the University of California at Berkeley in 1981, his political idol was Bobby Kennedy. Four years later, he was a committed conservative who idolized Oliver North and Robert Bork. In this book, Brock chronicles the political round trip back to his more liberal roots. Along the way, he earned the adoration of the extreme right, even after he acknowledged that he was gay, because he worked feverishly as a writer for conservative publications such as the Washington Times and American Spectator, promoting and validating conservative causes. An American Spectator article in early 1994 broke the "Troopergate" scandal and laid the groundwork for the Paula Jones suits against President Clinton, but Brock says he was troubled by the relentless investigations of the Clintons and came to regret his part in them. Eventually, the shallowness of his relationship with the conservatives forced him to make a final break in 1997. Although readers may doubt the sincerity of Brock's latest conversion, the book offers a revealing inside look at the conservative media and provides a careful chronicling of the investigations of the Clintons. Recommended for media studies and political science collections and for larger public libraries. Jill Ortner, SUNY at Buffalo Libs.
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