Sex Scandals

By Tom Blumer | January 16, 2012 | 11:58 AM EST

In the annals of fawning coverage of scandal-plagued Democrats, Michael Biesecker's Saturday morning report on John Edwards's illness and its effect on his upcoming trail on campaign finance violations surely must be among the worst.

Biesecker missed at least a half-dozen natural opportunities to tag Edwards as a Democrat, finally doing so in cryptic fashion in his 15th of 17 paragraphs. He didn't identify Edwards as the 2004 vice-presidential candidate until that same paragraph, and in doing so named who was at the top of the GOP ticket (George W. Bush) without naming who was at the top of the Dems' (John Kerry). The AP reporter threw obsequious virtual kisses at a man who betrayed his terminally ill wife while omitting two clearly relevant recent reports, one from an outlet which has scooped the look-the-other-way establishment press time after time in this sad, four-year saga. Here are several paragraphs from Biescecker's blather (some of the many clear opportunities to tag Edwards as a Dem and examples of over-the-top fawning are bolded):

By Matthew Balan | January 3, 2012 | 4:41 PM EST

CBS's Bob Schieffer led his interview of Herman Cain on Tuesday's Early Show by asking, "Why did you accept the invitation?" Cain must have been wondering that himself by the end of the segment, as Schieffer and Norah O'Donnell conducted a hostile interrogation of the entrepreneur, pressing him about his qualifications to be secretary of defense, and even asked about the state of his marriage.

The Face the Nation host, filling in as CBS transitions to its new morning show lineup, noted how someone at his network "had the idea...why don't we ask Herman Cain to come on?...Well, of all things he said, yes." Schieffer then turned to the former GOP presidential candidate and asked his "why accept the invitation" question, adding, "Do you have something you want to tell us this morning? Are you going to endorse a candidate? What brings you to television this morning?"

By Tim Graham | December 12, 2011 | 12:17 PM EST

On the popular radio show A Prairie Home Companion this weekend, NPR star Garrison Keillor sang a different version of "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town." It had a slightly different melody, and mocked Newt Gingrich, without naming him. Keillor sang: "Don’t think a sense of style conceals your escapades / Don’t vote to impeach Bill Clinton while shacking up with Congressional aides." Gingrich was cheating on his second wife (with his eventual third wife) at that time in 1998.

Keillor also sang that Santa is watching for who is "beating up on" gays or minorities. There's nothing wrong with opposing physical violence or mean-spirited bullying -- but with NPR, you'd have to suspect Keillor is implying a broader argument about conservative arguments against gay marriage or "affirmative action." Keillor sang:

By Mark Finkelstein | December 2, 2011 | 10:46 PM EST

Sad to see Ed Schultz suffer such sudden memory loss on live national TV.  On his MSNBC show this evening, discussing Herman Cain's handling of the various allegations against him, Schultz: found it odd that Cain's wife had come to his defense; said he'd never "seen anything like this in American politics;" and claimed that by criticizing his accusers, Cain had hit "a new low in American politics."

Do any of the following sound an echo with Ed?:

By Ken Shepherd | December 2, 2011 | 5:42 PM EST

Suggest that infrequent churchgoer Barack Obama may not really be a sincere from-the-heart Christian and MSNBC's anchors will be chief among the media pack to denounce you for questioning the president's religious faith.

But when it comes to Herman Cain, MSNBC's Martin Bashir is comfortable not merely charging the presidential contender as a hypocrite but suggesting he's headed to Hell (MP3 audio here; video follows page break).

By Matthew Balan | December 2, 2011 | 4:29 PM EST

CBS's Jan Crawford played up Newt Gingrich's "baggage" on Friday's Early Show, underlining how the Republican presidential candidate is "going to be hit hard for his ties to corporate interests, the ethics allegations...even his personal relationships- his adulterous affairs." Crawford also spotlighted the claim that only Herman Cain's "die-hard supporters...think that he can stay in this race."

The correspondent first reported on the allegation that Cain had a 13-year affair with Ginger White and how the candidate recently admitted to helping White financially. Crawford shifted to Gingrich by stating that "in a crowded field, that could help candidates like Newt Gingrich, who continues to surge ahead." She then used her "baggage" term, and highlighted a "scathing new ad" from GOP competitor Ron Paul, which targeted Newt.

By Tim Graham | December 2, 2011 | 7:18 AM EST

Michelle Malkin scoffed first on her blog: Twitter picked the "Top Tweets of 2011" and ABC News got the "exclusive" right to broadcast the list...and both ridiculously skipped in that top-ten list the biggest Twitter political scandal of the year (and Twitter's five-year existence): now-former Congressman Anthony Weiner's crotch shots. Their criteria was allegedly the level of “impact, resonance, and relevance,” and "the big stories that first broke on Twitter — not by news agencies — but by people looking to share a photo, a thought, or a moment in time with people they may never meet."

Instead, Twitter (and their ABC promoters) insisted it was more notable that a guy joke-tweeted for a Morton's porterhouse at the airport and Morton's decided to show up with a steak for the publicity. Or that bored NBA star Kevin Durant showed up at a flag-football game with old Oklahoma buddies through Twitter. It doesn't pass the laugh test. (By contrast, on December 31, 2010, Sawyer's newscast did mock Sarah Palin using "refudiate" on Twitter in their year in review.)

By NB Staff | December 1, 2011 | 6:00 PM EST

"The media loves the idea of being able to push someone out of the race by saying they're dead," not because they want to show off they are political prognosticating geniuses but simply because they want to push them out of the race, NewsBusters senior editor Tim Graham noted on today's Your World program on Fox News.

"I think you can really hear this with Cain" as we're now into "day three" of the media pushing Cain to drop out of the 2012 race, Graham told anchor Neil Cavuto.

By Ann Coulter | December 1, 2011 | 10:40 AM EST

With the mainstream media giddily reporting on an alleged affair involving Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, how long can it be before they break the news that their 2004 vice presidential candidate conceived a "love child" with his mistress, Rielle Hunter?

The left is trying to destroy Cain with a miasma of hazy accusations leveled by three troubled women. Considered individually, the accusations are utterly unbelievable. They are even less credible taken together. This is how liberals destroy a man, out of nothing.

By Clay Waters | November 11, 2011 | 2:17 PM EST

Will the media take advantage of sexual harassment allegations to perform even more stringent levels of Cain scrutiny of every word and action from his campaign? New York Times reporter Susan Saulny hinted so in Friday’s “Even Cain’s Old Jokes Face Extra Scrutiny Now.”

Previously, Saulny had quoted leftist Cain-haters Cornel West and Harry Belafonte in an October 19 story fretting over Cain’s playful treatment of black stereotypes on the campaign trail, even quoting a professor who accused Cain of employing “a certain kind of minstrelsy to play to white audiences.”

By Kyle Drennen | November 10, 2011 | 4:15 PM EST

On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams followed a report on the child sex abuse scandal at Penn State University by drawing this comparison: "A lot of people watching this scandal unfold at Penn State, watching the human damage pile up, watching an institution get badly soiled, can't help but think of the scandal that rocked the Catholic Church in America. There are a lot of parallels."  

In the full report that followed, correspondent Anne Thompson gratuitously used the opportunity to slam the Church: "Almost ten years ago, the Boston Globe broke the story of priests abusing minors and the cover-up by Church officials, shattering the Archdiocese and the faith of many American Catholics. One of its reporters sees parallels in the Penn State case....Critics say these are institutions of power, secrecy, mythology, dominated by men who circled the wagons in a crisis."

By Ann Coulter | November 10, 2011 | 12:39 PM EST

Herman Cain has spent his life living and working all over the country -- Indiana, Georgia, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, Washington, D.C. -- but never in Chicago.

So it's curious that all the sexual harassment allegations against Cain emanate from Chicago: home of the Daley machine and Obama consigliere David Axelrod.

Suspicions had already fallen on Sheila O'Grady, who is close with David Axelrod and went straight from being former Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley's chief of staff to president of the Illinois Restaurant Association (IRA), as being the person who dug up Herman Cain's personnel records from the National Restaurant Association (NRA).