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Blinded by the Right

Blinded by the Right

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Encyclopedia
Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative (ISBN 1-4000-4728-5) is a 2002 book written by former conservative
Conservatism
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism...

 journalist
Journalist
A journalist collects and distributes news and other information. A journalist's work is referred to as journalism.A reporter is a type of journalist who researchs, writes, and reports on information to be presented in mass media, including print media , electronic media , and digital media A...

 David Brock
David Brock
David Brock is an American journalist and author, the founder of the media watchdog group, Media Matters for America, and a Democratic political operative...

 detailing his departure from the conservative movement. It is also the story of his coming out
Coming out
Coming out is a figure of speech for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people's disclosure of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity....

 as a gay
Gay
Gay is a word that refers to a homosexual person, especially a homosexual male. For homosexual women the specific term is "lesbian"....

 man. In the book, he states that he visited gay bar
Gay bar
A gay bar is a drinking establishment that caters to an exclusively or predominantly gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender clientele; the term gay is used as a broadly inclusive concept for LGBT and queer communities...

s with Matt Drudge
Matt Drudge
Matthew Nathan Drudge is the American creator and editor of the Drudge Report, a news aggregation website. Drudge is self-described as being conservative and populist. Drudge has also authored a book and hosted a radio show and a television show.-Early years:Matthew Drudge was raised in Takoma...

 and other conservatives. The subtitle alludes to Barry Goldwater
Barry Goldwater
Barry Morris Goldwater was a five-term United States Senator from Arizona and the Republican Party's nominee for President in the 1964 election. An articulate and charismatic figure during the first half of the 1960s, he was known as "Mr...

's The Conscience of a Conservative, which helped define the modern conservative movement in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

.

Summary


Brock recalls his days at the University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley , is a teaching and research university established in 1868 and located in Berkeley, California, USA...

 and how he was turned off by hecklers at a speech by then United States ambassador to the United Nations, Jeane Kirkpatrick
Jeane Kirkpatrick
Jeane Jordan Kirkpatrick was an American ambassador and an ardent anticommunist. After serving as Ronald Reagan's foreign policy adviser in his 1980 campaign and later in his Cabinet, the longtime Democrat-turned-Republican was nominated as the U.S...

. Brock's main attraction to conservatism
Conservatism
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism...

 was his disdain for communism
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

.

After college, Brock moved with his then-partner (called "Andrew" to conceal his identity) to Washington, D.C. In D.C., Brock worked for The Washington Times
The Washington Times
The Washington Times is a daily broadsheet newspaper published in Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. It was founded in 1982 by Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon, and until 2010 was owned by News World Communications, an international media conglomerate associated with the...

and The American Spectator
The American Spectator
The American Spectator is a conservative U.S. monthly magazine covering news and politics, edited by R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. and published by the non-profit American Spectator Foundation. From its founding in 1967 until the late 1980s, the small-circulation magazine featured the writings of authors...

. Brock claims while he was working for those publications he thought he was doing honest journalism, but later stated that he had never corroborated his facts.

While working for The American Spectator, he wrote an article on Anita Hill
Anita Hill
Anita Faye Hill is an American attorney and academic—presently a professor of social policy, law and women's studies at Brandeis University's Heller School for Social Policy and Management. She became a national figure in 1991 when she alleged that U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had...

, which he later expanded into The Real Anita Hill
The Real Anita Hill
The Real Anita Hill is a controversial 1993 book written by David Brock that claims to reveal the "true motives" of Anita Hill, who had accused Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his 1991 confirmation hearings....

, a book that made him popular in the conservative movement. Brock would later say that many of the details he used were false.

After Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 was elected, Brock was assigned to write a story, later dubbed Troopergate, about four Arkansas state troopers who held a grudge against Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

. He claims that the troopers made up stories about affairs that could never be corroborated. Brock was given assurances that the troopers would not get paid for telling their stories. He later discovered he was deceived and that the troopers had been paid by Richard Mellon Scaife
Richard Mellon Scaife
Richard Mellon Scaife is an American newspaper publisher and billionaire. Scaife owns and publishes the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. With $1.2 billion, Scaife, a principal heir to the Mellon banking, oil, and aluminum fortune, is No...

, who bankrolled The American Spectator and the Arkansas Project
Arkansas Project
The Arkansas Project was a series of investigations that were initiated with the intent of damaging and ending the presidency of Bill Clinton...

, a secret project to discredit Clinton.

Following the Troopergate story, Brock wrote a book about Hillary Clinton, The Seduction of Hillary Rodham. Unlike the Anita Hill book, Brock decided not to put anything in the book that he could not corroborate. The book was not as critical of Hillary Clinton as it was promised to be. Brock claims that conservatives planned on the book being so damning as to influence the outcome of the 1996 presidential election.

The Seduction of Hillary Rodham was the beginning of Brock's falling out with the conservative movement. The issue that forced him to leave the conservative movement was the movement's intolerance towards homosexuality
Homosexuality
Homosexuality is romantic or sexual attraction or behavior between members of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality refers to "an enduring pattern of or disposition to experience sexual, affectional, or romantic attractions" primarily or exclusively to people of the same...

. Brock had reluctantly come out of the closet prior to writing the Hillary Clinton book, and believes this contributed to his being shunned by many in the movement.

Reviews


James Kehl wrote on DemocraticUnderground.com:
Christopher Hitchens
Christopher Hitchens
Christopher Eric Hitchens is an Anglo-American author and journalist whose books, essays, and journalistic career span more than four decades. He has been a columnist and literary critic at The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, Slate, World Affairs, The Nation, Free Inquiry, and became a media fellow at the...

 wrote on TheNation.com:

Media Appearance

  • CNN Crossfire April 26, 2002
  • BBC documentary. (VIDEO) The Power of Nightmares
    The Power of Nightmares
    The Power of Nightmares, subtitled The Rise of the Politics of Fear, is a BBC documentary film series, written and produced by Adam Curtis. Its three one-hour parts consist mostly of a montage of archive footage with Curtis's narration...

     -section starts at 3 mins 33 secs in and ends at 6 mins and 23 secs

Positive Reviews

  • A review by James M. Kehl at Democratic Underground
    Democratic Underground
    Democratic Underground, also known as DU, is an online community for U.S. Democrats and progressives. Its membership is restricted by policy to those who are generally supportive of progressive ideals and support Democratic candidates for political office. DU was established on January 20, 2001,...


Negative Reviews