Caine mutiny: Will new disclosure sink his ship?


Politico reported this afternoon that Sharon Bialek, a woman who worked at a foundation connected to the National Restaurant Association in 1996 and 1997, told reporters at a press conference in New York that Herman Cain had inappropriately touched her when she asked him for help looking for a job. Bialek said Cain told her, “You want a job, don’t you?” when she resisted his advance. The Cain campaign immediately put out a statement denying the allegation.

Politico asked ARENA participants: Are Bialek’s charges credible? How badly does it hurt the Cain campaign to have a name, face, and specific allegations attached to questions about sexual harassment?

BENJAMIN: Are the charges credible? I have to ask, “Is attorney Gloria Allred credible? Her client, Ms. Bialek has just emerged from the shadows and recesses of Herman Cain’s past. At this point, his comparison to Justice Clarence Thomas is fitting.

It’s unimaginable to me that a black man raised in the segregated South and educated at Morehouse College would make passes at white women.  The accusation, as described, seems more than mere sexual harassment but rises to sexual assault.

This accusation has racial undertones. Undertones that will jar white Republicans far more than Gov. Perry’s Niggerhead Rock problem. Lynching may well be a real hazard. Perry’s rock may be useful yet.

Eighty years ago, the Scottsboro Boys were falsely accused. Unlike those young men, Cain will be fortunate to escape with only a derailed presidential candidacy.

Sadly, the GOP candidates proposed assaults on American workers and the national economy will be ignored as the media pursues salacious accusations. Their proposed rollbacks of healthcare, financial and environmental regulations are dangerous to American prosperity.

The real question should be, “Is the media credible in its pursuit of sexual harassment allegations again Herman Cain?” “And how will that affect coverage of real issues?”

About SquarePegDem

A former state legislator turned NY Post editorial board member, thought-leader, public affairs consultant and commentator, columnist and blogger. Michael has appeared on Al Jazeera America Tonight, NY1/Inside City Hall, FoxNews.com LIVE, YNN/Capital Tonight, The Brian Lehrer Show, The Fred Dicker Show, The Capitol Press Room, and The Daily Show. His op-eds have appeared in the NY Post, City and State, The Legislative Gazette, Bronx Times, The Troy Record, Buffalo News, and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. To schedule speaking engagements, email MBenjamin9@optimum.net.
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2 Responses to Caine mutiny: Will new disclosure sink his ship?

  1. marcjan says:

    >>Michael–

    Very well done, as I would have expected.

    The press conference was unsettling. It appeared to be carefully scripted. It had to feel of a “reality” show. Bialek clearly had a makeover.

    The statements were loaded with sound bites which conveniently played to questions about Cain’s character still hanging around about this saga from the last several weeks. Their effect will keep the narrative alive at least for the next several news cycles while viewers and readers sort this mess out.

    As we noted in our comment, the story already has drawn over 13,000 comments on Huff Post, the leading online journal of politics in the nation. We’ll have to wait to see if the saga knocks Cain down in the polls.

    The visual clearly plays on race. Whether her race will be a factor in the minds of viewers and readers remains to be seen.

    Of course, President Bill Clinton overcame Jennifer Flowers, who BTW has a remarkable resemblance to Bialek. Cane may be able to overcome Bialek.

    It’s a bit much to believe a story like hers at face value. A black son of the south, who is CEO of a major trade association and lobbying group, married with children, a Republican and a conservative, accosts and then assaults a young white female, in an expensive hotel room, in the 1990’s-that may be a TV script, but that’s not reality.

    Here’s the reference to our post.

    “Huff Post coverage of Cain Accuser No. 4′s news conference nets over
    13,000 comments,”

    MARCJAN’S BLOG
    A WP Blog On Politics: http://marcjan.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/huff-post-coverage-of-cain-accuser-no-4s-news-conference-nets-nearly-13000-comments/

    Visit and leave a comment.

    Like

    • Kennedy, my wife, also said that Bialek resembled Gennifer Flowers. I was amused to see MSNBC feature black journalists commenting on the accusations against Cain. Had it been white journalists making similar accusations, it would have been perceived differently. So, Toure and his colleague obliged MSNBC by being the ones to do the hatchet job on Cain. All i could do was manage a smile and a head shake.

      Like

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