In Wisconsin, Joyce is identified with two main causes: welfare and school vouchers. In both, he skillfully portrayed himself as a compassionate reformer battling an entrenched government bureaucracy. In both, he advocated policies noteworthy for their lack of public accountability. In both, he always made sure that the movement had the appearance of a grassroots, multiracial campaign.
Nationally, Joyce was far more likely to take the gloves off and fund projects with openly racist or sexist overtones. Take, as an example, two events recently in the news.
The first involves journalist David Brock’s admission this summer that he consciously led a right-wing smear campaign against Anita Hill after she accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. Brock’s campaign against Hill helped rationalize Thomas’ confirmation to the Court, which in turn lent legitimacy to the Court’s rightward lurch.
In his attack on Hill, Brock wrote among other things that Hill was “a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty.” It was a slander that stuck.
In the recent issue of Talk magazine, however, Brock now says he lied about Hill, calling himself part of a “highly profitable right-wing Big Lie Machine.”
Guess who was a Big-Time Funder of that Big Lie Machine: Michael Joyce.