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."
The network evening newscasts on Tuesday and the morning shows on Wednesday continued to hype the Herman Cain "firestorm," creating 12 more stories in less than 24 hours. Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos led the show on Wednesday by trumpeting, " Republican front-runner Herman Cain changes his story again as one of his accusers now says she wants to go public on charges of sexual harassment."
On NBC's Today, Chuck Todd hyperbolically announced, "Struggling to move beyond the firestorm that is engulfing his candidacy, Herman Cain again denied he sexually harassed anyone." On that same program, guest Chris Matthews recklessly speculated that the Republican harassed women while drunk.
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]
Ed Schultz used to be conservative, then jumped ship more than a decade ago and became a left winger. Yet based on his conversation Monday with attorney and radio host Mike Papantonio, Schultz's conversion appears far from complete.
The two were talking on Schultz's radio show about allegations of sexual harassment leveled against GOP candidate Herman Cain in the 1990s while he was head of the National Restaurant Association. (audio clips after page break)
The liberal media are clearly in a full-scale panic over the possibility that a black conservative could either win the Republican presidential nomination or become the eventual victor's running mate.
On MSNBC's The Last Word Monday, left-wing author Touré went on a racially charged attack on Herman Cain referring to him as a black "minstrelsy" entertainer (video follows with transcript and commentary):
New York Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal, better known as James Taranto’s punching bag at Opinion Journal, has a new blog at nytimes.com, “The Loyal Opposition.” On Tuesday Rosenthal posted the provocatively titled “Herman Cain and the ‘Liberal Media,’” where he broadcasts his alarm at how “quickly the right wing jumps on an issue almost in unison,” blames Republicans for injecting racial fears into modern-day politics with Willie Horton, and even claiming the phrase "community organizer" is racist when applied to Obama.
Editor's Note: In direct contrast to how ABC, CBS and NBC newsrooms all but ignored the sexual assault allegations against Bill Clinton from multiple women including Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and Juanita Broaddrick, the same networks are now salivating over an alleged act of harassment by Herman Cain from anonymous sources. NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell made the following statement about this media double standard earlier today:
ABC, CBS and NBC pounced on the opportunity to slam GOP hopeful Herman Cain - even with unnamed accusers and sources. It is indefensible how the networks were quick to defend Bill Clinton by not reporting public accusations of rape, inappropriate physical contact, and explicit behavior – and are quick to attack Herman Cain on the basis of unspecified allegations by anonymous sources.
"Restaurant group nixed backing Cain," reads a teaser headline on Politico's website today, hinting to casual readers that a National Restaurant Association (NRA) endorsement of their former chief Herman Cain was a done deal until Politico dug up an old out-of-court sexual harassment settlement.
The story was also plastered on the front page of the November 1 print edition, headlined "Restaurant Group Tamps Down Cain Talk."
But in the November 1 story itself, Politico staffers Anna Palmer and Kenneth Vogel noted that a teleconference on endorsing Cain was done in October prior to Politico breaking its scoop about the out-of-court sexual harassment settlement (emphasis mine below). Left unmentioned in the story is that the NRA is co-hosting with other trade groups a series of town hall forums where members can phone in questions to presidential candidates:
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.
All three network morning shows on Tuesday led with Herman Cain's response to allegations of sexual harassment in the 1990s and even speculated the scandal could end his candidacy, with NBC Today co-host Ann Curry proclaiming: "Damage control. Herman Cain changes his story....Will the controversy and his reaction to it derail his presidential campaign?"
On ABC's Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos announced: "24-hour flip-flop. Republican front-runner Herman Cain now admits he's been accused of sexual harassment and settlements were paid. His bizarre series of conflicting interviews.... what will it mean for his campaign?"
For the second day in a row, the lone so-called conservative anchor on MSNBC supported Politico's hit piece on Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain.
After saying Cain "made a fool of himself" with his inconsistent response to the allegations Monday, Scarborough said that if there were another viable conservative candidate in the race, "Rush Limbaugh would be making fun of Herman Cain today" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Despite allegations of sexual harassment during his time at the National Restaurant Association, conservatives are still rallying around GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain, likening attacks against Cain to attacks against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991.
Cain has labeled the charges as a baseless witch hunt, denying sexually harassing anyone. Some are even suggesting that since Cain has become such a target of the left and the media, the attacks could actually bolster Cain's support among conservatives. Do you think the "high-tech lynching" of Cain draws parallels to the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill hearings? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
"This is the biggest single Twitter controversy of the campaign. 48,000 mentions!"
That was Mike Allen doing his best "look--a squirrel!" dodge on today's Morning Joe. Pressed by Joe Scarborough as to whether Politico had any more details beyond its story's vague allegation that Herman Cain had made gestures "that were not overtly sexual but that made women uncomfortable," Allen's telling first instinct was to point to the story's popularity on a social networking site. Video after the jump.
The shills at MSNBC spent Monday giving their full support for Politico's hit piece on Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain.
Ed Schultz did his part by beginning his program with what he called a "blockbuster story" and then immediately attacked Cain's defenders starting with conservative author Ann Coulter (video follows with transcript and commentary):
You would think that with all the scrutiny Politico is getting as a result of its hit piece on Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, the employees might want to hide their love for Barack Obama for the time being.
Not White House correspondent Glenn Thrush who actually tweeted to his followers Monday evening about the President's "superhuman" blood pressure:
Be kind to Bob Shrum. Perhaps the 68-year old is suffering from the not-so-early-onset of some dread memory-loss syndrome.
How else to explain his suggestion on Al Sharpton's MSNBC show this evening that the National Restaurant Association's settlement for a relatively modest sum, in today's litigious world, proves that Herman Cain must have done something wrong? Does the failed presidential campaign consultant's support of Bill Clinton, despite his much larger, $850,000 settlement with Paula Jones while "adamantly denying" her claims, fire any synapses in Shrum's cerebrum? Video after the jump.
For those who don't know, ProPublica (bold is mine) "is an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. Our work focuses exclusively on truly important stories, stories with 'moral force.' We do this by producing journalism that shines a light on exploitation of the weak by the strong and on the failures of those with power to vindicate the trust placed in them." It has received predominant funding from the Sandler Foundation (yeah, those Sandlers; Herbert Sandler is Chairman). Other contributors include George Soros's Open Society Foundations. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (yeah, him) is also on ProPublica's board.
Translation: They lean left. Nevertheless, the organization's Stephen Engelberg (HT Instapundit) questions whether the Politico had enough information on sexual harassment allegations against Herman Cain to publish a story (bolds are mine):
Common decency dictates you shouldn't congratulate someone for possibly ruining the career and marriage of a fellow human being.
Such morality eluded MSNBC's Chris Matthews and the Washington Post's Nia-Malika Henderson Monday when they actually congratulated - on national television, no less! - Politico's Jonathan Martin for Sunday's hit piece on Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Sadly, Herman Cain’s predictions have come true. In May he stated that he was "ready for the same high-tech lynching that [Clarence Thomas] went through -- for the good of this country." That's what Politico is doing with its unsubstantiated and thoroughly hypocritical hit piece against him. Anyone in the press that gives this story oxygen is equally hypocritical.
In the eyes of the liberal media, Herman Cain is just another uppity black American who has had the audacity to leave the liberal plantation. So they must destroy him, just as they tried destroying Clarence Thomas.
All three morning shows on Monday hyped a "bombshell blast" against Herman Cain, playing up a story in Politico charging the Republican presidential candidate with sexual harassment back in the 1990s. ABC's Good Morning America led with the allegations.
Co-host George Stephanopoulos, whose former boss, Bill Clinton, repeatedly faced sexual harassment claims, touted, "And this morning, bombshell blast. Major allegations against front-runner Herman Cain. Two former female colleagues accuse him of sexual harassment."
On NBC's Meet the Press: Press Pass, Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings explained Republican support of Herman Cain to host David Gregory this way: "...they've been accused as being racist and I think when they can vote for a Herman Cain....they feel like, 'Well, you know, I support this guy...it shows that I'm not racist, and I'm supporting him.'"
Gregory added: "'Here's a black conservative who's – who's hammering the President the way we are, so there's no racism here.'" He then wondered: "You feel like he offers absolution in that way, to Tea Party Republicans?" Cummings replied: "I think that's at least a part of it."
Herman Cain has been taking heat for his response to questions about Politico's story on alleged sexual harassment. But today on Morning Joe, it was Politico's own Jonathan Martin, lead author of the story, who was being evasive about the details of the allegations against Cain.
Incredibly, when Willie Geist asked him to describe specifically what Politico is accusing Cain of having done, Martin hemmed, hawed then ultimately said "we're just not going to get into the details of exactly what happened with these women," beyond the sketchy generalities in the Politico story. Video after the jump.
Politico stunned the presidential campaign Sunday night with a hit piece on Herman Cain alleging with unnamed sources that two women accused the Republican candidate of "inappropriate behavior" decades ago.
Appearing on Fox News's Geraldo At Large moments after the story broke, conservative author Ann Coulter said, "It's outrageous the way liberals treat a black conservative. This is another high-tech lynching" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CBS’s Bob Schieffer unintentionally played the foil to Herman Cain on Sunday’s Face the Nation as Schieffer expressed his politically-correct displeasure with Cain’s “downright bizarre” Web video which briefly shows Cain’s chief of staff smoking, was flummoxed by Cain’s sense of humor (“You also said at one point that you might want to back that fence up with a moat and fill it with alligators. Was that a joke too?”) and was baffled by Cain’s accurate claim Planned Parenthood was spurred by the eugenics movement’s desire to reduce the black population.
On the ad, Schieffer decried how “it sends a signal that it’s cool to smoke” before he scolded Cain: “Well, let me just tell you, it’s not funny to me....I don't think it serves the country well, and this is an editorial opinion here, to be showing someone smoking a cigarette.” (video below)
Brian Maloney at the Radio Equalizer identified the dirty mind Politico writer Glenn Thrush brought to talk radio (although if it's liberal talk radio, it's probably not safe for young audiences anyway). On the October 27 edition of the Bill Press show, Press and Thrush were discussing the very buzzworthy Herman Cain ad that concludes with Cain chief of staff Mark Block blowing cigarette smoke at the end.
Many media people wondered if this would send a bad pro-smoking message to America's youth. To Thrush, that seemed like a celebratory smoke after sex:
CNN put Republican candidate Herman Cain in the spotlight on Friday for his apparent lack of knowledge, accusing him of "dodging" tough questions. Cain had multiple times answered tough foreign policy questions by saying he would need to consider "all of the facts" before making an well thought-out decision.
"One of the things that I've always prided myself on is making an informed decision based upon knowing all of the facts," Cain stated during the May 5 Republican presidential debate. [Video clip below the break. Click here for audio.]
On Thursday's NBC Today, White House correspondent Kristen Welker only managed to give 23 seconds to the State Department buying up $70,000 worth of President Obama's various books. However, on October 21, investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff offered a full report about Herman Cain's presidential campaign buying copies of the businessman's new book.
Isikoff portrayed the large purchase of Cain's book as a scandal and even a potential violation of campaign finance laws: "That means profits for Cain himself and could run afoul of campaign laws, say watchdog groups." In contrast, Welker described the Obama book buying in a single sentence, followed by a sound bite of White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: "The White House didn't have anything to do with this..."
Thursday was Bash Republicans Day on Good Morning America. Reporter Jon Karl highlighted past Mitt Romney statements to spin the candidate as a flip flopper. In a follow up segment, Democrat James Carville appeared to dismiss Herman Cain as a "national distraction" and urge Rick Perry to drop out of the race.
Stephanopoulos, a former Democratic operative and longtime friend of Carville, offered his colleague free rein. Carville excoriated an ad featuring Cain's campaign manager smoking. He berated, "I saw him smoking a cigarette. If that guy wasn't drunk, I haven't taken a drink in my life. He was as high as he could be." (It should be pointed out that, just ten days ago, Pew Research found that Barack Obama was getting far worse coverage than any of his Republican rivals.) [MP3 audio here. Video can be downloaded here.]
MSNBC's Martin Bashir on Wednesday wondered if Herman Cain, who worked for the Department of the Navy during Vietnam, is a "chicken hawk" because he criticized the President's pull out of Iraq.
Talking to professor Michael Eric Dyson, Bashir complained, "And on the issue of Iran, does Cain remind you at all of Dick Cheney and that long roster of chicken hawks who've rabidly pushed for U.S. military action there?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]