In Coverage of Cain's Candidacy, AP's Haines Has Strange Definitions of 'Controversy' and 'Storm'

Yesterday, Tim Graham at NewsBusters did an excellent job of addressing a key aspect of a report submitted by Associated Press reporter Errin Haines, who is African-American, of the presidential campaign of Herman Cain, who is also African-American. Haines questioned "voters' ability to look past his skin color and perceive him as a serious candidate."

Herman Cain attended the We The People Convention in Columbus, Ohio this past weekend. He arrived late Friday afternoon, and was greeted by several hundred attendees who were still there after the day's breakout presentations had ended (total attendance was reportedly "about 1,000", according to Joe Hallett at the Columbus Dispatch; I heard a number of 1,100 from a person affiliated with the event). For Errin Haines's benefit, I can attest that every one there looked past the man's skin color and perceives him to be a serious candidate. Cain also was the featured speaker at the event's concluding dinner on Saturday night.

There are three other aspects of Haines's report which I found quite offensive, and I will air them after the jump.

First is her take on a supposedly "controversial" Cain comment:

His campaign has also been marked by controversy, including his comment that he would not want a Muslim bent on killing Americans in his administration.

Yeah, she really wrote that.

Dang, Errin. You would think that Cain should should be seeking out dozens upon dozens of Muslims "bent on killing Americans" for his administration, and that there's something wrong with him if he isn't. I'm almost afraid to ask Ms. Haines what's not controversial. Maybe seeking out Christians who aren't bent on killing Americans?

Then there's this:

Just this week, Cain accused comedian Jon Stewart of disliking him because he is an "American black conservative."

Well gee, Errin, Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters noted on June 23, in commenting on a video posted by NB's Geoffrey Dickens on June 10, that "he (Stewart) impersonated Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain using an Amos and Andy voice." Ms. Haines, before you consider Cain's response "controversial," you need to name a black liberal politician equivalently mocked by John Stewart. You didn't, and until you do, Herman Cain is right, and you're characterizing the wrong thing as "controversial." Stewart is the one who created controversy. Cain merely offered a plausible explanation for the fundamental belief underlying Stewart's "comedy."

Finally, here's how Haines described the speech announcing Cain's official announcement of his presidential candidacy:

Cain has been on a remarkable trajectory since entering the race more than a month ago, when a crowd of 15,000 stormed a downtown Atlanta park to cheer him on at his campaign announcement.

Yeah, she really wrote that too.

"Stormed"? (In context, "storm" means "to attack or assault.") This is absolutely pathetic. Did those who attended Cain's announcement kick others out of the park? Did they knock down the fences to get in? Did they leave a lot of trash behind? Ms. Haines seems to be betraying a desperation to come up with something, anything, which might make the Tea Party movement and Tea Party-supported candidates appear violent -- apparently up to and including making things up -- or perhaps to build up a mythology about Cain's presidential announcement that got its first false description the very day it occurred.

You see, the original AP report covering Cain's announcement described the crowd as "raucous." Given that word's definition ("1. harsh, strident, grating; 2. rowdy; disorderly"), even that was an unfair stretch. Watch the announcement video, AP and Errin. Who the heck do you guys think you're kidding?

It must really annoy a lot of folks in the establishment press that Herman Cain's candidacy is already serious, and intensely so. Expect the misrepresentations, exaggerations, and outright falsehoods to continue -- perhaps for the next 9-1/2 years.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.