Tuesday, November 01, 2011

The Harassment of Cain

Not quite sure how deep this Herman Cain sexual harassment thing goes but at least on the surface it appears to be about an inch thick. The two women in question aren't talking--we assume at least--since they signed confidentiality agreements.

Nevertheless it's not good for Herman because it throws him off message and hatches a kind of "corporate groper" image that doesn't sit well with women. Since he has no past political record from which to cherry-pick, his business career is the Achilles Heel, so that's where they are attacking.

Whodunit? Feel free to choose your leaker targets from either side. Both have motive. Who gains in the short term? Any GOP challenger aside from Romney. Who gains in the long term? Obama. Which side would be more likely to have the Politico (or someone in the know) drop the name(s) of the leakers at some critical later date? Any Republican leaker. A leak from Axelrod would be guarded like the gold in Ft. Knox, that is, until the book came out late in Obama's second term.

Meanwhile, the question once again arises about whether the story should have been published at all without voices from the mouths of the horses. Let's get in the wayback machine and take a look at what Pigeon O' Brien, the leaker of the John Edwards affair, told the Huffington Post (who for some reason disappeared the story):
Oddly, within hours of my call to the Enquirer, the bigger coverup -- the one that a grand jury in North Carolina has now been investigating for more than a year -- began. With pregnant Rielle in North Carolina, Edwards denied and decried the largely true article, which did contain exaggerations (and an "accidental" use of materials I'd provided to verify our identities), as "tabloid trash and lies." Soon followed the tales we hear now, of private jets, cash transactions, fevered calls to media to shut down the rumors, and a phalanx of people working on whitewashing the issue. The mistress story had just broken. The coverup story was just beginning.

Surprisingly, the evasion worked. As did Elizabeth Edwards's passionate, private appeals to the media that "the Enquirer writes about planes on the moon." The media wavered as Rielle was hidden. In July 2008, a memo went to the LA Times bloggers asking that they not cover the "rumors or salacious speculations."
According to her the big paper she talked to already knew but wouldn't go to press without her revealing herself. No so in this case. And there are many more examples of selective scandal and MSM subjectivity of late: the Marco Rubio family narrative investigation compared to the pass given to Obama's nativity story; the largely negative coverage of the Tea Party compared to largely positive coverage of OWS; the suppressing of the Edwards scandal compared to the Times inventing one about McCain in the same political cycle.

Cain may be guilty as sin and someone who doesn't need to be in the race--it's the media's job to bring us those facts. But one thing we do know: the same media entrusted to bring us the facts are clearly invested in doing so in only one direction, and therefore cannot be trusted.

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