Pros: Brock's revelations "feel" authentic, none of his comments have been refuted by the scorned.
Cons: You won't like Brock better than before, but will likely respect him
It's difficult to "like" a writer who openly confesses in his work to being a formerly biased, careless, thoughtless and reckless "right-wing hit man."
And it would be easy to be skeptical of David Brock's "Come to Jesus" revelations when he realized he'd been used by powerful right-wing Washington conservatives, and accepted by most of them only until he "came out" of the closet.
But the more you read his tell-all book, "Blinded by the Right," the more you are compelled to respect and believe Brock's first-hand, up close accounts of the lies of some of the nation's best-known conservatives. His metamorphosis certainly "feels" real and genuine, mostly because he openly admits his own personal flaws, his fears, his motives, his misguided desires for acceptance and misplaced loyalties to those he thought were his "friends."
As a former insider, Brock must have known from experience that the right-wing conservatives he wrote about would launch a full-scale character attack against him. Perhaps that is one of the reasons that his facts on this work appear to be in immaculate order.
Ted Olson. Clarence Thomas. Newt Gingrich. They're all there, their methods and lies exposed in minute detail. In summary: Justice Thomas indeed was a frequent customer at a XXX movie rental store in Washington -- but Brock doesn't just makes the assertion, he names the store: "Graffitti." Records were kept, Thomas eventually admits (years after the fact) to his frequent and long term patronage.
Brock also tells how he personally called Ted Olson -- a friend and attorney (now solicitor general under Bush) for what he hoped would be non-biased, ethical advice.
Brock was writing an article about possible Clinton involvement in Vince Foster's demise for the highly conservative American Spectator magazine. His story was supposed to assert that Foster's death was NOT a "suicide," but even strongly insinuate that Bill and Hillary Clinton may have knowledge to the contrary.
During an attack of conscience and ethics (something new for Brock), he knew that Foster's death likely was a suicide and wanted to write his article in an honest manner. He called Olson, hoping to be told to take "the high road" in the article.
Much to Brock's shock, Olson basically told him: "I think Foster's death was a suicide, but run the story as if it wasn't to keep that idea out there until we have something real to hang on the Clintons."
Out of the Closet and Into the Frying Pan
As a young man growing up in Texas, and later as a student at Berkely (where his morph into a "conservative" began), Brock knew he was gay. He concealed this fact from his parents to the best of his ability, but enjoyed some strong romantic and mostly monogamous relationships with several lovers.
But after his move to Washington and being embraced by prominent conservatives, Brock's sex life was furtive and infrequent as he lived a mostly celibate life -- not daring to reveal his true emotions to his new friends. When those friends eventually understood that Brock was gay, they offered ersatz support while recommending he be discreet.
Brock was effectively forced out of the closet when Frank Rich, a liberal-leaning New York Times columnist planned to write about it. Rich called Brock first to ask him to comment, and Brock decided -- against the warnings of his conservative friends and confidants -- to bite the bullet and tell Rich the truth. After the column was written, Brock believed Rich was fair and honest, and he felt relieved. Slowly but surely, his friends like Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham either made him their personal poster boy of conservative tolerance, or distanced themselves from him.
Brock's Biggest Shame and Regret: Anita Hill
Possibly the major contribution to Brock's success -- and certainly his biggest shame -- was the book he wrote as a self-confessed suckup job to Clarence Thomas.
Right-wing conservatives nationwide embraced and lauded Brock for his predatory book "The Real Anita Hill." Brock fully discloses all of his self-serving reasons for savaging the reputation of woman he had never met and certainly never interviewed.
He shamefully recalls how, in his zeal to exact "revenge" for the long and tortuous Senate confirmation hearings of Clarence Thomas' USSC appointment, he ignored all evidence and documentation that showed Anita Hill's allegations against Thomas while she was working for him were, in fact, true and highly credible.
Brock said that the more Hill testified before the Senate, the more believable she became, citing facts, times, dates, names of porn movies Thomas repeatedly described to her during working hours (which the Graffiti Store later confirmed he rented during these times).
But the truth didn't matter to Brock in his toadie eagerness to please friends and die-hard supporters of Thomas. Perhaps the most shameful confession of all, Brock said, is that he made absolutely no effort to interview Anita Hill herself, or any of her friends or associates who would have said positive things about her.
Brock also admitted that after years of torture and guilt about his McCarthyesque journalistic hack job of Miss Hill, he finally worked up the courage to call her and apologize. She wasn't home when he left the message, and he said that she did return his call -- but then he was even too afraid to call again, fearing the worst.
As of publication of "Blinded by the Right," they still had not made contact, so Brock poured his remorse out in a detailed chapter outlining all of his sins against her.
Disturbing, Yes -- But Some REAL Dishy Entertainment!
Serious as Brock is in much of this book (and often appears on television, there's a real "Joan Rivers" side to his sense of humor -- he makes fun of himself as easily as he does those he dishes the dirt about.
He tells of one crazy night at a gay bar in Washington where he and Laura Ingraham sniffed up what they thought was high-grade cocaine. It was cat tranquilizer! Both of them got violently sick, and Ingraham crawled on her hands and knees through a jam-packed dance floor of gyrating men to reach him -- in the men's room where he passed out.
And he also tells about how Ingraham and Ann Coulter fixed him up on a "blind date" with another gay journalist, Matt Drudge. Brock said he wanted to keep the friendship with Drudge platonic, but that Drudge showed up in his little red compact car with a dozen roses for Brock!
They went to another gay club where Brock saw someone he found attractive and interesting, but Drudge stepped on the guy's feet and told him to back off. Brock said Drudge was "a scary date."
If you wish to know more, you'll have to read the book yourself. But you won't regret it. You'll feel disgusted, disturbed, entertained and informed -- what more could you ask for?