elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

David Brock (born November 2, 1962)

David Brock (born November 2, 1962) first entered the public discourse as a staunch advocate for far-right conservatism. Following the 1991 Senate hearings to confirm Clarence Thomas’ nomination to the US Supreme Court, Brock wrote a sharply critical article about Thomas’ accuser Anita Hill famously referring to her as “a bit nutty and a bit slutty.” In the January 1994 issue of The American Spectator, Brock wrote about Bill Clinton’s time as governor of Arkansas, spurring the “Troopergate” scandal. The case became entangled in Kenneth Starr’s investigation of the Whitewater scandal that eventually led to the president’s impeachment.

Three years later, Brock surprised his conservative base by publishing a sympathetic biography of Hillary Clinton. In July 1997 Brock published a confessional piece in Esquire magazine titled “I Was a Conservative Hit Man,” in which he recanted much of what he had said about Anita Hill and Bill Clinton, as well as criticizing his own reporting methods.

In Blinded by the Right, Brock claimed that he had reached a turning point—he had thoroughly examined charges against the Clintons, could not find any evidence of wrongdoing, and did not want to make any more misleading claims. Brock claimed that his former friends in right-wing politics shunned him because he didn’t attack the Clintons with sufficient savagery. He also argued that his “friends” had not really been friends at all, abandoning him when he came out of the closet.

His 2004 book The Republican Noise Machines details a conspiracy to raise the profile of conservative opinions in the press through false accusations of liberal media bias, dishonest and highly partisan columnists, partisan news organizations and academic studies, and other methods.

“At Berkeley, I had no cause to associate conservatism with prejudice against gays. In the early ’80s gay issues weren’t polarizing our campus. With some hesitation, during my freshman year, I went on uneasy dates and had hurried sexual encounters with other guys in neighboring dorms. By the end of the year I considered myself gay and had surprisingly little trouble accepting that reality.”

After college, Brock moved to Washington, D.C., where he took a job at the conservative Washington Times and enthusiastically became a writer in the service of conservative causes. He also became a regular at gay clubs, where he encountered many of the people he saw more publicly in conservative organizations and publications. “Gay Republicans were everywhere, even in the city’s bars,” he wrote, and he became one of them. “Had I come out of college as an openly gay man ten years later, I doubt I would have fallen in with the by-then transparently antigay GOP.”

Brock announced in 2010 that he was forming a super-PAC, American Bridge, to help elect liberal Democrats, starting with the 2012 election cycle. In describing Brock's intentions for the super-PAC, The New York Times referred to Brock as a "prominent Democratic political operative" (mirrored by The Washington Post's characterization of him as a "former journalist-turned-political operative") and New York Magazine referred to Brock's "hyperpartisanship."

On February 27, 2012, it was revealed Brock had paid his domestic partner $850,000 "after being threatened with damaging information involving the organization’s donors and the IRS – a deal that Brock later characterized as a blackmail payment".

Source: Stern, Keith (2009-09-01). Queers in History: The Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Historical Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals (Kindle Locations 2703-2726). Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition.

Further Readings:

Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative by David Brock
Paperback: 378 pages
Publisher: Three Rivers Press (February 25, 2003)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1400047285
ISBN-13: 978-1400047284
Amazon: Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative

In a powerful and deeply personal memoir in the tradition of Arthur Koestler’s The God That Failed, David Brock, the original right-wing scandal reporter, chronicles his rise to the pinnacle of the conservative movement and his painful break with it.

David Brock pilloried Anita Hill in a bestseller. His reporting in The American Spectator as part of the infamous “Arkansas Project” triggered the course of events that led to the historic impeachment trial of President Clinton. Brock was at the center of the right-wing dirty tricks operation of the Gingrich era–and a true believer–until he could no longer deny that the political force he was advancing was built on little more than lies, hate, and hypocrisy.

In Blinded By the Right, Brock, who came out of the closet at the height of his conservative renown, tells his riveting story from the beginning, giving us the first insider’s view of what Hillary Rodham Clinton called “the vast right-wing conspiracy.” Whether dealing with the right-wing press, the richly endowed think tanks, Republican political operatives, or the Paula Jones case, Brock names names from Clarence Thomas on down, uncovers hidden links, and demonstrates how the Republican Right’s zeal for power created the poisonous political climate that culminated in George W. Bush’s election.

Now in paperback and with a new afterword by the author, Blinded By the Right is a classic political memoir of our times.

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Tags: essayist: david brock, gay classics, persistent voices, queers in history

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