Preliminary Investigation: Spying on your enemy, a footnote

In the October 24, 2011 New Yorker, I found a paragraph in an article by Ken Auletta, about New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson, that adds emphasis to my previous reasoning about investigating your enemy:

In [Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson’s] book, “Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas,” they conclude that Thomas had not been truthful [during his Senate hearing]. They wrote, “If Thomas did lie, as the preponderance of evidence suggests, then his performance, and that of the Senate in confirming him, raises fundamental questions about the political process that placed him on the court.” Thomas asserted that [Anita] Hill was “the only person who has been on my staff who has ever made these sorts of allegations about me.” But Mayer and Abramson interviewed three women who detailed similar instances of sexual harassment. [My emphasis]

Two things to note here. First, the plot point often stated on Law & Order and C.S.I. — if he’s done it now, he’s done it before — is a truism. Keep it in mind: if you’re going to sue someone, you are probably not alone in having being offended.

Second, Anita Hill goes on our emblematic hero list of women who are whistleblowers (which is basically what a plaintiff is). The “hero” part is obvious; how Hill was treated for speaking out is emblematic of the way women plaintiffs are treated.

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