Watching Morning Joe, CNN and MSNBC last night it has become clear what the MSM strategy is on Herman Cain.
The Story on Herman Cain that politico has released has been short on specifics.
Basically we have an accusation that Herman Cain did something: Politico won’t say what it is. by two people Politico won’t say who they are That 10 years ago a the restaurant settled rather than fight in court For an amount that Politico won’t divulge.
And from this the media story has changed not from what Herman Cain did or did not do, but how he has answered the questions the media has asked him concerning the settlement, which in fairness has not been answered artfully.
Mind you there is one answer that has not been ambiguous:
Press Question: Have you ever sexually harassed anyone?
Herman Cain: No!
Note he didn’t predicate that answer on how you define the word “Is”.
But that answer doesn’t meet the purpose of the MSM, so instead the question is going to be how is Herman Cain answering every other question.
The plan seems to be to play Scooter Libby. Try to get an inconsistent answer and make that inconsistency, rather than the accusations, the story.
Joe Scarborough has not been shy of directly calling him a Liar. I don’t recall him ever using this word with Bill Clinton or Barack Obama or Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi.
Mika used the word “Victims” this morning. Victims of what?
I think Glenn Reynolds question is spot on:
Would Jonathan Martin, Maggie Haberman, Anna Palmer and Kenneth Vogel have put their names on a similar piece, with no named sources, aimed at Barack Obama? Would Politico have run it? I think we know the answer.
If nothing else it’s a great excuse for the MSM to continue to ignore actual sexual assaults at the Occupy Protests.
Update: The final irony, Morning Joe uses a promo with Bill Clinton on a daily basis.
Update 2: In case it was unclear my advice to the Herman Cain campaign is unchanged…Tell the Truth.
Update 3: Scott Irwin at The American Thinker neatly sums up conservative outrage on this story:
It is obvious that Herman Cain would be an existential threat to the Democrat party if elected President. He is also an existential threat to the Ivy League, crony capitalist Republican power structure. His 9-9-9 plan is an existential threat to the tax code and all of its power-sucking dependents of both parties.
I personally believe that candidates like Herman Cain need to be thoroughly vetted and made to answer for issues in their past that may jeopardize their ability to clearly serve as President without the potential for blackmail or other pressure that would affect their decisions as President.
Herman Cain will sink or swim in the coming days and prove worthy of the office or not.
The current occupant was never vetted and unfortunately proved unworthy of the office after attaining the office. The media was vetted by many of us in the American public and found unworthy. Their ratings and subscriptions show the results of that vetting.
The one thing to watch is when inuendo and character assasination like that used on Bork and Thomas in the guise of vetting is used to destroy a candidate before he can gain traction.
That’s the bottom line, Obama was never vetted by the same media that pronounces Cain guilty of offenses that nobody is willing to reveal.
Oh and don’t give me the” We’ve never said he did anything, words like “victim” and “clear his name” mean things.
Update 4: Ladd Ehlinger weighs in, bluntly:
Even so, the behavior of the Cain campaign regarding the matter has been strange. Given that the campaign knew about the possible story coming from Politico for “weeks,” it strikes the ear as odd that Cain must refer reporters to lawyers and others for details. The smart thing would have been to get in front of the story before it was ever posted on Politico, especially if one were completely guiltless.
It betrays either completely amateur campaigning skills, or hubris, or perhaps a subconscious desire to fail in his quest for the White House.
Another thing that bothers me. Unless you are beset by Alzheimer’s, I find it very difficult to believe that Cain could forget an incidence of false accusation. I don’t care how many employees you have, if two of them rise up and point a finger at you, and basically call you a mouth-breathing jerk, and you then have to pay them off… how do you “forget” a thing like that? It strikes me as a lie, and if there’s one thing I don’t like, it’s being lied to. Failure to present the truth – no matter how damaging to one’s own glory – is supposed to be the purview of collectivists, not conservatives. Remember?
That more than anything else is the biggest danger for the Cain Campaign.
Update 5: A couple of Gems from Robert Stacy McCain’s Spectator column titled: sources say
Politico said it had been pursuing the story for “several weeks.” Cain’s spokesman, J.D. Gordon, said other news organizations had previously inquired about the harassment allegations and declined to pursue the story. And while Politico said it had a “half-dozen sources” for its article, those sources did not seem to include the two women who reportedly made the accusations
I wonder why all those other organizations decided to pass on the story? What were the journalistic standards they used, or perhaps did Politico use journo-listic standards instead?
You know Stacy’s info deserves its own post.