by Scoobie Davis
Exclusive Talk with David Brock on the Journalistic Ethics of the Right
I got a chance to ask an important question to author and former right-wing hit man David Brock about the journalistic ethics of his former employers. In his best-selling book, Blinded By The Right, Brock pointed out how when he was employed at the American Spectator and the Washington Times, he knew nothing about fact-checking (this is of little surprise with anyone familiar with either publication). However, I was curious about how Brock’s editors at the American Spectator dealt with the accusation made in 1994 that Brock had used blackmail to get a witness to recant her account about Clarence Thomas’s behavior (a charge that Brock now admits was correct). Here’s a transcript of the question (Brock was a guest on the Michael Medved radio show):
Medved: Let’s go to Scoobie in Los Angeles. You’re on the Michael Medved Show.
Scoobie: Good afternoon, David. I love your book. I think it just shows a lot of integrity. I wanted to ask—I’m curious about the journalistic standards of the American Spectator editors. Back in 1994, I was heartened when I read Frank Rich’s New York Times column in which he reported the allegations that you blackmailed Kaye Savage in order to recant her witnessing of [Clarence] Thomas’s pornography habit. Now when he wrote that article, did the editors confront you with this and try to determine the veracity of this or not?
Brock: That’s a great question. No. Absolutely not. No one raised it at all, actually. Yeah, I mean the fact that Frank Rich called it exactly correctly. He reported what I did and no one at the Spectator was troubled by it at all as far as I know.