Ed Schultz used to be conservative, then jumped ship more than a decade ago and became a left winger. Yet based on his conversation Monday with attorney and radio host Mike Papantonio, Schultz's conversion appears far from complete.
The two were talking on Schultz's radio show about allegations of sexual harassment leveled against GOP candidate Herman Cain in the 1990s while he was head of the National Restaurant Association. (audio clips after page break)
Cain vehemently denies the allegations and his accusers remain conveniently anonymous, shielded from public scrutiny by their alleged victimhood.
But according to Papantonio, a lawyer who claims to have handled numerous lawsuits involving sexual harassment, Cain is guilty as charged, end of conversation, next case please.
Here's Papantonio declaring this with all the certitude of the truly clueless (audio) --
So look, it's 100 percent true, you can bet on that, it's serious and it's repetitive. Those are all things that you can count on and I gotta promise you, he's going from GOP hero to this disgusting, this disgusting old sex freak at lightning speed and the more he goes on and talks about it, the worse, the angrier women get.
Papantonio vented along the same lines for several minutes longer, prompting Schultz to rein in the man's hanging-judge impulses (audio) --
SCHULTZ: What do you think's going to happen next?
PAPANTONIO: Well, I think he's running the risk of having nullified this agreement where these women were paid off not to talk about what a creep he was and now the question becomes, don't, he's denied it! This guy's come out and flat-out denied it! And all of a sudden the first time this turns towards one of these women, this problem's going to continue to escalate ...
SCHULTZ: OK, but let's just play this out here. There is a chance that he's innocent. I mean, there is a chance that the National Restaurant Association may have made a legal determination and say, let's just pay 'em, you know, Herman's a big guy, he's doing great things for us, it's better just to, you know, to pay off and have these employees leave and put it under the table and be done with it.
PAPANTONIO: You don't do that, Ed, it doesn't happen. It doesn't happen unless there's ...
SCHULTZ: Well, I would imagine that ...
PAPANTONIO: ... unless there are prior problems. Now if you've got somebody ...
SCHULTZ: ... But if there's not prior problems, and wouldn't the National Restaurant Association be insured against stuff like this?
PAPANTONIO: Well, no, it depends on the policy, if it's an intentional act, you could, unless they had a policy for that, yeah, there's a specific policy. But Ed, listen, it doesn't, they don't just say we're going to pay this thing off unless there's other things out there that have happened and so, that's just the beginning. Politico's all over this. Look, look, do we know where it's going to go? I can't be sure. But I can tell you this. I've seen this same dynamic before and any time you've got a character with this kind of profile, the only positive thing Cain has at this moment is that he's not Mitt Romney, that's it.
All of which provides a useful demonstration of how Mike Papantonio is the last lawyer in the world you'd want to call if falsely accused of sexual harassment, regardless of your party affiliation.
(h/t, Brian Maloney at The Radio Equalizer)