“The People versus O.J. Simpson” might’ve garnered more mainstream attention, but Clarence Thomas’ 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearings are an underrated political and cultural event of the ‘90s. Aside from the obvious stakes (a lifetime Supreme Court seat) and controversial issues raised (allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace), it also served as a defining moment for an emerging generation of liberals and conservatives. It was that hearing (along with talk radio) that helped guide a young liberal kid named Andrew Breitbart onto a course that would culminate in his becoming one of the most important conservative voices in the new media.
It’s not surprising, then, that HBO would release a new dramatization titled, Confirmation , 25 years after the hearings (airing Saturday night). Controversy abounds, as usual (see HBO’s Game Change
— or any political biopic). Republicans are often the sole victims of political productions, but — according to insiders who have seen the film or early script versions — this one could also tarnish the legacy of at least one prominent Democrat, Vice President Joseph R. Biden.