Defensive Networks Devote 84 Stories to Herman Cain Scandal, Hit Him for 'Lashing Out'
From Friday night through Monday morning, the big three networks devoted an additional 21 stories to the Herman Cain sexual harassment story, bringing the networks' grand total to 84 in one week.
Even as they continued to pile on, these same networks defensively chided Cain for daring to criticize their coverage. On Sunday's Good Morning America, David Kerley hit Cain for "lashing out" at journalists. On Sunday's Today, David Gregory indignantly suggested Cain has "created this alternate universe" where he says to supporters, "You see...this is what the media does..."
On Saturday's Today, journalist Richard Wolffe complained, "He's got this ultra-conservative base, who actually hate the media even more than the general population, and we don't have a particularly good standing with the rest of the population either."
On Friday's World News, Diane Sawyer hyperbolically began coverage by teasing, "From the shadows. One of Herman Cain's accusers speaks out, sends a rocket, saying the truth is not what he describes."
Now, keep in mind, this accuser hasn't stepped forward to name herself and only issued a statement via a lawyer.
On Monday's Today, Newt Gingrich slammed journalists for their handling of the scandal: "What does it mean to the elite news media that nobody in the country ever walks up to us and raises questions you all raise?"
Co-host Ann Curry sputtered, "But are you saying that questions about the character of a presidential candidate don't matter?" (As if journalists were deeply concerned with character when it related to Democrat Bill Clinton.)
On Monday's Early Show, Jan Crawford highlighted media bias and the Cain story. Speaking of the Republican's "testy exchange," she explained that the scandal "could help...because a lot of conservatives...think there's this huge liberal bias against conservatives."
Crawford added, "You know, the media didn't cover Bill Clinton...like they're doing Herman Cain."
In total, 21 stories aired from Friday's evening newscasts through Monday's morning shows. This includes the programs Nightly News, Evening News, World News, Nightline, Today, Good Morning America, Early Show and Sunday Morning. Three of the evening newscasts (Saturday's World News and Evening News and Sunday's Evening News) were preempted by football.
In comparison, by this time into the Juanita Broaddrick scandal (where Bill Clinton was accused of rape), there was a mere four stories, just three for Kathleen Willey, who accused the President of groping her and just one a week into Paula Jones' February 1994 charges.