On the Friday news roundup on the PBS NewsHour, pseudoconservative analyst David Brooks of The New York Times kept up his disparaging of Herman Cain, predicting "he will be deflated very seriously within a week or two." He attacked Cain for "behaving badly" and having "gone for the home run" in denying all sexual harassment claims. Mr. Brooks didn't consider it at all possible that Cain could be truthful in denying all claims.
On both NPR and PBS Friday, Brooks lamented that Jeb Bush isn't in the race and would be the frontrunner pleasing both conservatives and moderates if he had chosen to make a run. He clearly has no respect for Herman Cain:
JIM LEHRER: What about -- how is Herman Cain and his problem being -- how is Herman Cain dealing with his problem, which is sexual harassment?
DAVID BROOKS: Yes. Well, he's, I think, behaving badly.
First of all, what I think of the -- he's gone for the home run. They're all lying. And then his lawyer said watch out for the next people, which was brutal and rude. So far, his polling is up there. I think this is an illusion. I think his polling will be down quite quickly.
Right now, there's a reaction from his core supporters against the media. That is, they don't want to -- they don't want to give anything to their ideological -- perceived ideological opponents in the media. But this is registering.
And I think when you see the rise of Newt Gingrich, which is happening right now, that's Cain beginning to deflate. And I think he will be deflated very seriously within a week or two.
Then Lehrer turned to Shields, who mocked the idea of liberal bias as if "we meet in secret meetings." Who needs a meeting when everyone agrees?
LEHRER: How do you explain the Gingrich thing? Do you agree that that -- it's part of that? It's...
MARK SHIELDS: Well, I think there is a constituency in the Republican Party primary -- David would be more familiar with this than I am -- but that really is -- you could call them the anti-mainstream media constituency. I mean, that really is a route. Sarah Palin rode that horse, the "lamestream media," she called it, but the sense that there are people out there who believe there is a conspiracy, that we meet in secret meetings and come up: This is the agenda and this is what the take is going to be.