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HBO hit with liberal bias charge over Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas film

University of Oklahoma law professor Anita Hill receives councel from Charles Ogeltree while testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Friday, Oct. 11, 1991. (AP Photo/Greg Gibson)

HBO is under fire again for anti-Republican bias, this time for a docu-drama on the politically charged 1991 confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and sexual harassment charges leveled against him by former co-worker Anita Hill.

"Confirmation" is set for release in April, but critics are lining up to assail it and the network that has a long record of bashing Republicans and whose executives and stars have donated to Democrats.

The latest attack came Friday when Mark Paoletta, a former George H.W. Bush era White House lawyer who worked on Thomas' confirmation, said "Confirmation" is timed to help presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton and her "war on women" assault on the GOP.

In a statement to Secrets, he also noted that some involved in the film are donors to the Democratic Party and it stars Kerry Washington as Anita Hill, an actress who as appeared at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

"HBO claims this is a fair and historical portrayal, but here are the facts," said Paoletta.

"HBO has put together a film written and produced by donors to the Democratic party, and an actress who has appeared at the Democratic National Convention. The movie has erased the vast amount of evidence that cast doubt on Professor's Hill's claims, and deleted characters who don't fit their narrative. It is being released in an election season in an effort to further Hillary Clinton's false narrative of the Republican 'war against women.' In short, 'Confirmation' is as accurate a portrayal of history as 'Game of Thrones'," he added.

In a well-researched Politico article this week, two other key figures in the episode, former Sens. John Danforth and Al Simpson, also blasted the accuracy of the film and even threatened legal action.

HBO told the website that there is no political agenda in the film.

The film trailer, however, leaves the impression that Thomas was lying and Hill was telling truth. In it, Kerry Washington's Hill says, "they don't care, they only want to win."

The timing is explosive due to the presidential election and now the fight over President Obama's plan to name a replacement for the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Thomas, one of four in the now-evenly split court, is considered the new leader of the conservative wing on the bench.

The website Slashfilm.com, which posted the trailer, noted the timeliness of the film, writing, "Despite its 1990s setting, Confirmation feels incredibly timely in 2016. For starters, it's not too far removed from the 'true crime' trend as seen in shows like American Crime Story: The People Vs. O.J. Simpson. It also dovetails nicely with the current public conversations about gender, race, and the intersection of both. And although Confirmation was in the works long before Scalia's death this past weekend, it's now poised to arrive just as the nation turns its attention to the highest court in the land, and begins to look closer than ever at the process by which justices are appointed."

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.