Jill Abramson on The Case for Impeaching Clarence Thomas

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On this episode of ZUCKER, host Andrew Zucker is joined by Jill Abramson, the former executive editor of The New York Times. She discusses her article in New York Magazine, “The Case for Impeaching Clarence Thomas.”

On Moira Smith, one of Justice Thomas’s accusers:

Moira Smith went on Facebook right after the notorious “Trump Access Hollywood” tape was made public. She was much disgusted by what she heard on that tape, and she posted on Facebook about three incidents of sexual harassment and assault that had happened to her. And one of them had involved Justice Thomas when he groped her rear end right before a dinner party in Washington. And she included that among these three examples. And her point was not to attack Clarence Thomas, but her point was if this has happened to me—a kind of affluent, white woman—three times, imagine the lives of most women.

On how Anita Hill’s case informed the story:

It just seemed to me that come January when I had some time to do some investigative reporting that in some ways the Anita Hill [and] Clarence Thomas case was patient zero in sort of the annals of sexual harassment. And I thought, “You know, here is this new piece of evidence. Jill, go back, you know this case cold, go back and see if there are other things that have come out.”

On reporting the story:

My idols were Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, and if you’ve ever seen the movie All The President’s Men, you see them going and knocking on people's doors and trying to get them to talk—you know the old fashioned way to do investigative reporting—and that's what I did.


Andrew Zucker is a member of the News department and the ZUCKER. Listen to News every Sunday at 12:30 on WHRB, or on iTunes via our biweekly podcast.