W A S H I N G T O N, June 27 -- Renouncing ties to the political right that made him a best-selling writer, David Brock now says he smeared Anita Hill with lies to salvage the reputation of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Brock, who just three years ago acknowledged writing a misleading 1993 article about President Clinton's sex life that ultimately led to impeachment, has acknowledged going even further to trash Hill.
After her allegations of sexual harassment nearly sank Thomas' nomination to the high court in 1991, Brock set about to write a book "to rehabilitate Thomas and clear his name for the history books."
In his latest book, Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative, the born-again moderate Brock realizes, "I was a witting cog in the Republican sleaze machine."
Brock claims congressional aides, top officials from the first Bush White House, and even Justice Thomas himself — after winning confirmation to the Supreme Court — provided dirt for the smear campaign.
A Supreme Court official said Justice Thomas would have no comment.
Excerpts of the book appearing in the August issue of Talk magazine reveal Brock "consciously reported a lie" when he debunked allegations Thomas was a pornography aficionado.
Porn became an issue in his confirmation hearings when Hill claimed Thomas had made graphic comments about sex videos to her. At the time, Thomas denied the claim and was narrowly confirmed.
But Strange Justice, a book by two Wall Street Journal reporters published after he rose to the bench, buttressed Hill's charges. Jill Abramson and Jane Mayer wrote that Thomas often rented explicit movies that matched Hill's allegations.
Though he knew better from some of Thomas' "closest friends," Brock wrote a review that savaged Strange Justice as a "left-wing hit job."
"There was no evidence whatsoever, I concluded in the [American Spectator] review, that Thomas ever rented even one pornographic video, let alone was a habitual consumer of pornography," Brock writes.