In 2007 when she was running for president, Hillary Rodham Clinton told a fundraising event in Carson City, Nev., "I sure don't want Democrats, or the supporters of Democrats, to be engaging in the politics of personal destruction. I think we should stay focused on what we're going to do for America."
Clinton's husband, the former president, used the phrase at the time of his impeachment proceedings for lying under oath about a sexual dalliance in the White House.
The politics of personal destruction is nothing new. It has been around from the beginning of the country when worse things were said about presidents and presidential candidates than have been alleged against Herman Cain.
CNN's Piers Morgan on Monday did the first interview with Herman Cain's accuser, but failed to ask Sharon Bialek - who was in the company of her liberal activist attorney Gloria Allred - any questions about her two bankruptcies, the paternity lawsuit her former husband filed against her shortly after their child was born, or exactly why she was terminated by the National Restaurant Association a month before the alleged actions by Cain took place.
Maybe Morgan missed this report by ABC's Chicago affiliate Monday (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
On Saturday, NewsBusters reported that CNN in the six days after Politico's hit piece on Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain was published did more stories on that subject than it did on Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's connections to domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, convicted real estate developer Tony Rezko, and America-hating Rev. Jeremiah Wright combined.
On Fox News Monday, Bill O'Reilly agreed with our analysis saying, "This is disturbing," as did guest Bernie Goldberg who explained, "The reason is fairly obvious and fairly simple. They like Barack Obama and his politics and they don't like Herman Cain and his politics" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters reported Monday, the broadcast network news outlets of ABC, CBS and NBC ran a total of 84 stories on the sexual harassment allegations against Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain in the week following Politico publishing its hit piece.
That is more coverage than they gave to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's connections to domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, convicted real estate developer Tony Rezko, or America-hating Rev. Jeremiah Wright throughout the entire campaign.
As of Monday, the so-called news network MSNBC has already run more stories about Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain's alleged sexual harassment than it did Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's ties to domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, convicted real estate developer Tony Rezko, and America-hating Rev. Jeremiah Wright combined.
On Monday's Early Show, CBS's Jan Crawford spotlighted conservative criticism of the broad media coverage of the Herman Cain sexual harassment charges. Crawford stated that Cain's "testy exchange" with reporters "could help...because a lot of conservatives...think there's this huge liberal bias against conservatives. You know, the media didn't cover Bill Clinton...like they're doing Herman Cain."
The correspondent noted the right-leaning argument in response to a statement from anchor Erica Hill about a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll that had Cain just barely behind Mitt Romney at the front of the GOP presidential pack: "It would seem these allegations didn't have much of an impact in the latest polling." Just prior to this, the morning show played a sound bite of Cain refusing to answer a reporter's question on the controversy at a weekend press conference.
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..."
Appearing on Monday's NBC Today, Newt Gingrich took co-host Ann Curry to task for grilling him on allegations against Herman Cain: "...when the news media goes and finds an anonymous report about an anonymous incident...and you decide that matters more than every other issue in the campaign, that may put your judgment in doubt, as you, being the institutional news media." [Audio available here]
Curry began the segment by wondering: "...to have a Republican nominee for president, with unanswered questions about sexual harassment, what would it do to your party's chances of defeating Barack Obama?" Gingrich shot back: "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?" [View video after the jump]
A former White House aide that accused Bill Clinton of sexually assaulting her back in 1993 says she's infuriated by the media firestorm caused by anonymous harassment allegations leveled at Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain.
Speaking with radio's Steve Malzberg Friday, Kathleen Willey said, "Why are we even entertaining, you know, any of this from a person with no name and no face and a spokesperson who isn’t really clear on anything either" (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
The left often accuses the right of dog-whistle politics, but likening actual conservatives to actual dogs? Two Kossacks went there this past week. That plus the ongoing Herman Cain sexual-harassment tale and the new statue of Ronald Reagan at National Airport are among the grist for this edition of DKWIR.
As usual, each headline is preceded by the blogger's name or pseudonym.
CNN's Howard Kurtz considers himself to be a media analyst, yet on Sunday's Reliable Sources, he spent 22 minutes discussing Politico's hit piece on Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain without once mentioning how the press handled Bill Clinton's actual sex scandals.
There have been a lot of ridiculous comments made in the past week since Politico published its hit piece on Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, but one of the most absurd yet came from Newsweek's Eleanor Clift this weekend.
Appearing on PBS's McLaughlin Group, Clift actually said, "This is the press doing what the press should be doing, and they should have done due diligence on this candidate earlier on...He got a free ride for a good long while." (video follows with transcript and commentary):
While Bob Schieffer spent a goodly amount of time on Sunday's Face the Nation discussing the allegations made against Herman Cain this week as well as Rick Perry's strange speech in New Hampshire, Liz Cheney was the voice of reason asking why he was wasting so much time on these irrelevant issues.
"With all due respect, you know, the American people are out there afraid. They're afraid that the economy is going off a cliff...I think that that's what we ought to be talking about" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On the PBS NewsHour Friday, there was the typical agreement between "conservative" David Brooks and liberal Mark Shields on the sour state of the economy, and that despite that, Brooks said President Obama's "hanging in there reasonably well," and Shields agreed he's "defied gravity."
Brooks slammed Herman Cain's response to the incredibly vague Politico story: that he "didn't do kindergarten-level preparation for this story is just incredibly damning." Shields agreed, adding a slam on conservatives hating candidates with any experience: "Herman Cain's candidacy is a reflection, if not a direct product, of the feverish anti-government flavor, fervor of Republicans, because they really have so little regard, Republican primary voters, for government."
Appearing as a guest on Saturday's Today show on NBC, MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe - formerly of Newsweek - labeled Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain's supporters as "ultraconservative" as he admitted to the media's unpopularity not only with the general population, but with conservatives in particular.
After co-host Lester Holt noted that Cain's poll numbers have held steady despite accusations of sexual harassment, Wolffe explained:
On Friday night's All Things Considered, the Week in Politics segment could have been titled "Another Horrible Week for Republicans." Helping out enthusiastically was New York Times columnist David Brooks, who is billed as the conservative half of the political analyst team with ultraliberal Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne. But the two end up agreeing so much you can't tell which one is the liberal.
When anchor Robert Siegel asked if this week marked the "beginning of the end of the Cain phenomenon," Brooks sneered that Cain was a "TV show that lasted a little while," and Dionne naturally agreed. Then Brooks turned to Romney and insisted he drops the emotional temperature of the room to chilling lows -- and of course, Dionne agreed.
Alan Colmes on Saturday blamed Herman Cain for the media firestorm that occurred after Politico released its now infamous hit piece on the Republican presidential candidate.
As the panel on Fox News Watch discussed a Media Research Center study concerning the coverage of this incident versus how the press handled three sex scandals involving former President Clinton, Colmes actually said, "The reason the numbers are so different is because Herman Cain unlike Bill Clinton was out front on all of the media outlets talking about this" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
If you needed any more evidence of the political leaning of CNN, consider that much like Politico, it has in the last six days done at least 94 reports on the sexual harassment allegations involving Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain.
Substantially more shocking, according to LexisNexis, the supposedly most trusted name in news only did 77 total stories on Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's ties to domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, convicted real estate developer Tony Rezko, and America-hating Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
PBS's Mark Shields on Friday took some childish swipes at Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.
During an Inside Washington discussion about who might be next to challenge Mitt Romney for the GOP presidential nomination, Shields said, "Don't count out the chubby fellow from Georgia, Newt, the rehabilitated Newt Gingrich, carrying along a bogus IQ and some other baggage" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Since publishing its unsourced hit piece on Herman Cain last Sunday evening, Politico has now run more stories about this so-called scandal than it did throughout the entire 2008 presidential campaign about Barack Obama's connections to domestic terrorist Bill Ayers or convicted real estate developer Tony Rezko.
Michelle Fields of the Daily Caller attended the book party for Chris Matthews and his new book on JFK the "Elusive Hero" to draw out media reaction to the vague Herman Cain harassment allegations. Both MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee dumped their disdain on Cain. Bradlee even suggested Cain deserved it all: "I think he’s got it coming to him, doesn’t he?"
Scarborough rejected the idea that Cain's race is a factor in media attempts to derail his presidential campaign. "I don’t think it has anything to do with race. I think it has to do with the fact that the man is not just a very good presidential candidate." Scarborough even suggested a white candidate couldn't "get away with" what Cain is now apparently getting away with.
On Friday’s edition of the Diane Rehm show on many NPR stations, a conservative-leaning caller, identified as “Frank from St. Louis” lit into “you guys in the mainstream press” for ignoring and/or delaying sex scandals about liberal Democrats, but leaping on the Herman Cain allegations, no matter how fuzzy.
What “Frank” got in return from the three journalists on the “Friday News Roundup” panel was denial, denial, and denial. They said there was “no evidence” of a double standard. Obviously, someone needs to look at the MRC’s 63-to-7 numbers on Cain vs. three of Clinton’s sex scandals.
How vile is Mike Papantonio? For the second time in three days the trial lawyer-cum-radio host has actually made Ed Schultz look relatively reasonable.
Interviewed by Schultz on his MSNBC show this evening, Papantonio claimed that the Koch brothers had "purchased" Herman Cain in order to be able to "kill more people" with toxins. Video after the jump.
When it comes to sex, the media apply different standards to Republicans and Democrats.
Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton allegedly trolled for women, using state troopers as his procurers. As president, Clinton engaged in oral sex with Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office. He lied about it under oath and was impeached, though later acquitted by the U.S. Senate. Other sexual accusations tainted Clinton, including one that he raped one Juanita Broaddrick. That "everybody lies about sex" and "it was just sex" and didn't affect his public responsibilities, were just two of the exculpatory statements from Clinton's Democratic defenders. James Carville slimed Paula Jones, one of Clinton's accusers, by saying you never know what you'll find "when you drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park."
The unrelenting network coverage of the Herman Cain sexual harassment story continued on Thursday and Friday with an additional 13 stories. That brings the total number of reports to a staggering 63 stories in just four and a half days.
Good Morning America offered up three stories on Friday, including a Brian Ross report tinged with anonymous allegations and rumor-mongering. Ross speculated, "Former employees tell ABC News, Cain was a regular on Washington's after-work bar scene, often with young women who worked with him at the restaurant association." Ross hinted, "Some say it was just Cain being personable and gregarious."
Did MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell ignore President Obama's previous calls for civility? The late-night host, in a five-minute Thursday night tirade, called for violence by specifically telling Occupy D.C. protesters to bring a "firestorm" to the National Restaurant Association (NRA) headquarters nearby, as well as to the NRA's corporate sponsors which include Starbucks and 7-11.
O'Donnell insisted that the organization release presidential candidate Herman Cain's accuser from her confidentiality agreement and let her bring the allegations against Cain to the public. If by Friday they still refused to do so, "then a firestorm should be visited upon the 1200 17th Street Northwest and the members of the National Restaurant Association," ranted O'Donnell.[Video available shortly. Click here for audio.]
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?"
"With Herman Cain, let's remember here, Sean, we have nobody on the record, we have no specific allegation of anything that's happened," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell noted on last night's Hannity, contrasting the "avalanche" of Cain coverage with the minimal coverage the networks gave to Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, and Juanita Broaddrick's allegations of sexual harassment and, in the latter case, rape. [video of "Media Mash" follows the page break; MP3 audio available here]
It's truly delicious when the outfit which calls itself the Essential Global News Network essentially admits that a certain economic theory which begins with a "K" has become such an undesirable word -- almost an epithet -- that it avoids its mention.
That was the case with a pathetic critique of GOP candidates' economic plans written up by the wire service's Charles Babington on Sunday. When I saw its headline ("Studies challenge wisdom of GOP candidates' plans"), I blew past the story because I expected the same-old, same-old. Then an emailer with a journalistic background informed me that it was even worse than usual. He's so right that I can't possibly pick it apart without writing a book; so I'll just concentrate on the paragraph containing the theory with no name and the one which immediately follows it: