As the current crop of idiots in Washington D.C. are preparing to possibly block the confirmation process for a Supreme Court Justice to replaced the recently deceased Justice Antonin Scalia, HBO is debuting a movie about all the hoopla surrounding the confirmation of Justice Clarence Thomas.
It’s one of those things that people will be talking about around the water cooler on Monday and I thought y’all might like to talk about it. There has been a lot of bitching and complaining from some of the politicians involved about the accuracy (or lack there of) of the film.
Rolling Stone has a good interview with Anita Hill that you can read in its entirety here. I excerpted a few of the questions below.
How does the finished film compare with your memories of the hearings?
I will say that [Confirmation] is not just about my memories. One of the things that occurred in 1991, when people were watching it: This was almost like political reality TV being played out in front of people, on their television sets and on radio. What we didn’t know at the time were some of the things that were going on behind the scenes. I knew what was happening with my team and how hard we were working, but we didn’t know — I certainly didn’t know — what was going on on behalf of Clarence Thomas behind the scenes, and that’s one of the things that the film truly does bring that I don’t think most people know. That’s a fresh part of the story.
Former Sens. John Danforth (Clarence Thomas’ former boss and patron in the Senate) and Alan Simpson (who sat on the Senate Judiciary Committee) are among the politicians who have threatened to sue HBO over what they characterize as the film’s inaccuracies. What’s your reaction to that?
Well, there are things that I think I had to come to grips with: That this is an adaptation, it’s not a documentary. It’s not a documentary. There were, for example, composite characters, the sort of thing that, as a lawyer and a professor and as someone who was involved, kind of bothered me. Language that was used or things that were portrayed weren’t exactly the way that people were behaving in that moment.
I don’t really know what they’re taking issue with — that’s not my concern — but my sense is that if either of them [Danforth or Simpson] were doing the film, it would be different. But the same is true of me. If I were doing the film, there would be a different focus. But I think we have to be clear that much of the information that is conveyed in that film — which might be controversial — is very well-documented from a whole variety of sources. So, I’m not quite sure what it is they are taking issue with, but the documentation was there.
You’ve said in the past that Joe Biden did “a disservice to me, a disservice more importantly, to the public”? And since the film came out there have been reports that the vice president (or intermediaries for him) lobbied to make changes to the film’s portrayal of Biden. Did his portrayal in the film ring true to you?
In terms of my interaction with him? Yes, the portrayal does ring true. It was really kind of eerie, I think, how Greg Kinnear was able to bring him to life. When you see his character portrayed on the screen, it really does give you a feeling that you’re listening to Joe Biden, the senator — Joe Biden at the time. I can only say in terms of my interaction, and the interactions with people from my team, that the portrayal is accurate.
The few reviews I’ve read so far have not been particularly excited about this movie so I’m not recommending it. I am going to tune in just to follow the herd and will probably fall asleep before it is over.
It that happens I’ll need to wake up and read the comments to find out what y’all thing.
Confirmation premieres tonight at 8 pm (NPT) on HBO and stars Kerry Washington and Wendell Pierce in the two primary roles with a whole host of other folks you’ll know.