Sex Scandals

By Kyle Drennen | November 4, 2011 | 11:51 AM EDT

In an interview with Michele Bachmann on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer's first four questions pushed Bachmann to comment on the Herman Cain controversy: "As the only woman in this race, I just would like your perspective on all this....Do you think you are hearing the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth from Herman Cain?"

Bachmann repeatedly told Lauer: "I don't have any comment on this particular issue." However, Lauer persisted: "Is a subject like sexual harassment, and if there – especially if there is more than one instance of it, even back in the '90s, is it a game-ender if it's proven to be true?"

By Kyle Drennen | November 3, 2011 | 9:54 AM EDT

Updated [11:22 ET]: More analysis and full transcript added.

At the top of Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry reported on Herman Cain's campaign blaming Rick Perry for dredging up sexual harassment allegations against the Republican front-runner and then wondered: "Will this intra-party fight hurt the Republican Party's chance of taking back the White House?" [Audio available here]

Later, in an interview with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus Curry touted the back and forth among the GOP primary candidates as a "serious feud" and asked: "Do you think this scandal has affected your party's ability to unseat Barack Obama?" [View video after the jump]

By Clay Waters | November 2, 2011 | 2:27 PM EDT

Well, Maureen Dowd’s Wednesday New York Times column on anonymous accusations of sexual harassment against Herman Cain, “Cain Not Able,” certainly shows she has no fear of causing racial offense, at least when writing about conservative political figures: “Even Barack Obama couldn’t be lucky enough to waltz past two wacky black conservatives, first Alan Keyes and then Cain.”

By Matthew Balan | November 2, 2011 | 12:42 PM EDT

On Wednesday's Early Show, CBS's Betty Nguyen incorrectly reported that Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain had been accused of "sexual assault" by two women. Nguyen later accurately reported that the women actually leveled sexual harassment allegations against Cain [video below the jump; audio clip available here].

The fill-in news anchor used the erroneous term during a 14-second news brief 37 minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour: "One of two women who accuse Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain of sexual assault wants to speak out. The woman's lawyer say she wants to be released from a confidentiality agreement, so that she can publically respond to Cain's recent claims regarding the case."

By Kyle Drennen | November 2, 2011 | 10:15 AM EDT

Appearing on Wednesday's NBC Today, MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews urged Herman Cain to admit to sexually harassing women and even predicted what the Republican front-runner might say: "I think even if it's really bad he has to put the context to it. He has to say, 'It was an extraordinary night, I had too many drinks, I normally don't act like that, this is not me.'" [Audio available here; view video after the jump]

By Scott Whitlock | November 1, 2011 | 11:49 AM EDT

Since the Herman Cain sexual harassment story broke late Sunday night, the broadcast networks have covered it extensively: full stories on Monday's morning news shows (ABC's Good Morning America led off their broadcast); full stories on Monday's evening news shows (the CBS Evening News made it their top item) and ABC's Nightline; and the top story on all three Tuesday morning shows.

Cain's accusers are still anonymous. Three women publicly accused Bill Clinton of far more serious instances of sexual harassment in the 1990s, but the networks all but ignored them. The coverage that did exist was often skeptical, insulting and hostile, an astonishing double standard.

By Noel Sheppard | October 23, 2011 | 5:32 PM EDT

CNN's Howard Kurtz on Sunday mocked the hiring of sex scandal plagued former governor Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) by Fox News.

Hypocritically, the "Reliable Sources" host neglected to mention his own network's prior relationship with the prostitute loving former governor Eliot Spitzer (D-N.Y.) (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Scott Whitlock | October 12, 2011 | 4:54 PM EDT

According to MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell, Clarence Thomas' accuser, Anita Hill, is a "living legacy." The cable anchor on Wednesday fawned over the woman who, 20 years ago, charged the now-Supreme Court justice with sexual harassment. At no point did she offer a tough question or challenge the honesty of Hill.

Instead, Mitchell treated the Brandeis professor as a larger than life figure, wondering, "How is it to live with this, this history? You are now part of history. You have been for 20 years."

By Scott Whitlock | October 10, 2011 | 11:44 AM EDT

ABC's Robin Roberts tossed softballs to Anita Hill on Monday, wondering what the "legacy" will be for the "quiet" law professor who accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment 20 years ago. The Good Morning America co-host only once challenged Hill about skepticism of her charges.

Although co-host George Stephanopoulos teased the segment by calling the 1991 Supreme Court nomination hearings "controversial," Roberts' questions didn't indicate that at all. She prompted, "Take us back. What were your emotions?...Are you still angry?" Later, Roberts fawned, "I know there's still many books to be written, but [what's] your legacy?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Matt Hadro | September 14, 2011 | 6:08 PM EDT

For analysis of the special election in New York's 9th Congressional District, CNN hosted Hilary Rosen – a former Democratic strategist and former interim head of the Human Rights Campaign, a leading LGBT civil rights organization.

The network simply listed Rosen as a "CNN political contributor," failing to disclose her past as a Democratic strategist. Not surprisingly, Rosen downplayed the shock of a Republican victory in former Congressman Anthony Weiner's district, which had been Democratic since the 1920s, remarking that "there's too much made of it."

By Matt Hadro | September 13, 2011 | 6:43 PM EDT

CNN's legal contributor, and former legal analyst, Sunny Hostin stated Tuesday that the sex abuse cases involving the Catholic clergy could be considered war crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

"I mean this is a war crimes tribunal and that is not to say that perhaps these crimes don't qualify as war crimes because we know that sex crimes and sexual violence do qualify," she maintained. However, she added that most cases seen by the ICC stem from genocide or violence in war-torn countries.

Hostin's statement came during CNN's coverage of the efforts of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) to have the pope prosecuted by the ICC for "crimes against humanity."

By Michelle Malkin | July 27, 2011 | 10:06 AM EDT

Wu-hoo! Welcome to another freaky ethics fiasco brought to you by the D.C. den of dysfunctional Democrats. This one comes clothed in a Tigger costume, wrapped in blinders and bathed in the fetid Beltway odor of eau de Pass le Buck.

Liberal David Wu is a seven-term Democratic congressman from Oregon who announced Tuesday that he'll resign amid a festering sex scandal involving the teenage daughter of a longtime campaign donor. He won't, however, be vacating public office until "the resolution of the debt-ceiling crisis." Translation: Call off the U-Haul trucks. Wu's staying awhile.