4. PBS regular Julianne Malveaux hopes Clarence Thomas dies young of heart disease (1994).
On the PBS all-female talk show To The Contrary on November 4, 1994, host Bonnie Erbe began by promoting the anti-Clarence Thomas book Strange Justice by liberal reporters Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson. She touted “new allegations corroborating Anita Hill’s charges of sexual harassment against now-Justice Clarence Thomas.” Erbe wondered out loud if public opinion would finally tilt toward Hill instead of Thomas.
In the show’s introduction, left-wing panelist Julianne Malveaux, a USA Today columnist and Pacifica Radio host, professed not to care: “I’m more concerned about his reptilian positions against affirmative action and working people.”
But once the show began, Malveaux’s loathing of Thomas grew uglier. “You know, I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease.” When conservative Betsy Hart protested, Malveaux wouldn’t back down. “Well, that’s how I feel. He is an absolutely reprehensible person.”
Erbe, the supposed moderator, didn’t cry foul to preserve the alleged PBS ideal of civility. She simply wanted to move on to discuss how it was somehow “corroborating” Hill that the owner of a video store named Graffiti had claimed to some liberal reporters that Thomas rented porn videotapes (although he had no records to prove it). Erbe didn’t mention that even NPR’s Nina Totenberg had steered clear of this shaky evidence.
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