Wednesday, May 15, 2002
Keep an eye out tomorrow for a story in the East Bay Express. Matt Drudge is reporting that the paper will come out with a story on repentant liberal David Brock's book "Blinded by the Right."
According to Drudge, the article exposes several demonstrably provable factual inaccuracies in Brock's book. Though many of the people slammed by Brock in his book have said Brock's recounting of their conversations are false, those situations are of the he said/he said variety.
One of the best places to accept Brock's challenge is at the university where he became a conservative. As Brock tells the story, his life changed profoundly during his sophomore year when he covered a February 15, 1983 campus speech by United Nations ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick for the Daily Californian, a school newspaper.
Protesters repeatedly heckled Kirkpatrick, a supporter of President Reagan's anticommunist foreign policy in Central America, and she walked off the stage in frustration. The protest spurred a national debate over campus free speech.
"The scene shook me deeply," Brock recalled in Blinded by the Right. "Was the harassment of an unpopular speaker the legacy of the Berkeley-campus Free Speech Movement, when students demanded the right to canvass for any and all political causes on the campus's Sproul Plaza? Wasn't free speech a liberal value? How, I wondered, could this thought police call itself liberal? As I raced back to the threadbare offices of the Daily Cal, where we tapped out stories on half-sheets of paper hunched over manual typewriters, my adrenaline was pumping. I knew I had the day's lead story."
In fact, Brock did not have any story in the next day's Daily Cal. The byline atop the Kirkpatrick story belonged to Chris Norton, a freelancer who expressed disbelief when told that Brock claims to have written that day's main story. "He didn't write the story," Norton said. "I wrote the story."
I don't think many conservatives have believed anything Brock has said for at least 3 or 4 years. Maybe this will give liberals reason to disbelieve everything he says. Brock has become the living symbol of the old politician joke: "How can you tell when a politician is lying? His lips are moving."