Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November 1, 2011, 12:10 PM

Herman Cain and the ‘Liberal Media’

I’ve always been impressed, well alarmed really, at how quickly the right wing jumps on an issue almost in unison. This week, it was the news that Herman Cain, one of the contenders for the Republican presidential nomination, wassued on claims of sexual harassment when he was running the National Restaurant Association.
I barely had time to read the articles, and try to figure out whether there was any solid information about what exactly happened, when folks like Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh had long made up their minds. They were already denouncing what they imagined to be an organized attack by the “liberal media.” I didn’t see any signs of a left-wing conspiracy, vast or otherwise, but it’s true I missed the morning conference call with Barbra Streisand (apologies to Rachel Maddow, who used to tell that joke on her Air American radio program).
....The lawsuits are a legitimate news story. And Mr. Cain’s responses have been extremely puzzling. First, he refused to comment. Then he flatly denied that he had ever sexually harassed anyone, and claimed he was unaware of financial settlements between the National Restaurant Association and any accusers. (Remember that he was CEO of the association at the time, and that Mr. Cain  has based much of his campaign on being a take-charge kind of businessman). Then he suddenly remembered one of the settlements in some detail.