Ethics Dunces: 53% of the American Public

If only Herman Cain could have been tried by the same standards of fairness as the Salem Witch Trials...

I am as sick of the Herman Cain sexual harassment issue as you are, I swear. But still..

A new Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted over the weekend among 1057 respondents revealed that 53 percent now believe that allegations of sexual harassment against Cain are true. This, despite the fact that none of the 53% know what it is he is supposed to have done that constitutes sexual harassment, and, I am quite confident, almost none of them sufficiently understand what the definition of sexual harassment is. But they are still sure he did it, whatever it is, to at least one of these women, whoever they are.

I cannot image imagine a more unfair, irresponsible and indefensible opinion. Two women who have not revealed their identities and who have not had their allegations tested, examined or confronted, and whose accusations have no descriptions or facts connected to them whatsoever, have convinced 53% of the public of a political candidate’s wrongdoing despite his denials, and despite the fact that they know of no instance where he has engaged in conduct that could fall under the category of sexual harassment. It is one thing to pronounce someone guilty of a specific act of misconduct in the absence of evidence and without the accused having a chance to challenge it. That is wrong. But to pronounce an individual guilty of  an unknown act that has only been characterized but not described, in the absence of evidence and a named accuser?

The judges in the Salem Witch trials were more reasonable and just.

Congratulations to the news media for a successful smear campaign.

16 thoughts on “Ethics Dunces: 53% of the American Public

  1. I don’t understand why this is the story on Mr. Cain. To me, he seems like a decent man. The press did this a few months ago with Mr. Weiner. Mr Breibart exploited it as much as possible. I understand the seriousness of the situation both the supposed perpetrators and the victims face. I don’t know if Mr. Cain did any thing wrong. That is something for him to deal with personally. I am really sick of these kind of stories. Mr. Clinton did something wrong awhile before he was elected president. But the Miss Lewinsky deal was tiring as well as I saw it as a sexual affair that was exposed and to say she is without blame is ridiculous. If she was old enough to work at the White House and had the credentials to have the position she had while working there then she was responsible for herself. Why didn’t she have allegations of sexual harassment towards the president? Linda Tripp broke her confidence with Miss Lewinsky about the relationship. Then the press and the independant councel jumped on it. Then it was tried in the press, with the public, and in the house. I was just sick of it. Nothing was getting done that needed to be done and this affair had little to do with the welfare and security of the nation. If people see it that way, then there are several other leaders that should have been impeached as well. Same thing with Mr. Weiner. The Clarance Thomas ordeal was just as maddening. Just sensationalism! I, however, believe that all these guys should have resigned, because they had lost my trust in their ability to work ethically. If I had a position like that I would expect to be judged the same way, so I would always make sure not to put myself in that sort of compromising situation.

    My problem with Mr. Cain is his foreign policy with China. Not knowing that China has nuclear capabilities is terrifying. I respect most of the candidates whether they are republican or democrat. Mainly because they are all under the microscope with job performance, their morals, their ethics and their leadership abilities. It makes me sick about how the pundits, the press and the ignorant public that embellish untrue stories or opinions without any facts. Sexual harrassment is tricky, but without the facts it is a non-story with me. So as Mr. Cain says “End of story!”

    • I don’t understand the Weiner comparison, and it is unfair to Cain. There were no questions about Weiner’s inappropriate conduct at all…he did it. (By the way, if the women involved had worked for him, it would have constituted blatant sexual harassment. As it was, he just behaved disgracefully for a Congressman, while he was a Congressman. Unstated accusations from 12 years ago against Cain are not remotely similar.

    • Your take on Clinton-Lewinsky is just dead wrong. 1) She was an intern who worked for him 2) He was President of the United States 3) He was the most powerful person on earth. 4) He is 100% accountable, not a star-struck 20 year-old. But the issue is that he lied under oath twice, which was enough to get him kicked out of the Arkansas bar, and engineered a cover-up using staff and appointees. Sexual harassment in the workplace—and actual sex—is NOT private conduct, it is professional misconduct.

      • Mr. Clinton lied to the public when he said “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” He lied throughout the whole ordeal. Both to the public and under oath. But if Mrs. Tripp had not said anything publicly, would we have gone through this while he was president? I understand the power thing and he possibly misused it. But I won’t disrespect Monica by saying she was dumb and young. If that is the case why is she working at the White House? She must have come across mature, smart, and credible to be in that position. She wasn’t a child. She wasn’t coerced until she was questioned by the counsel and press. Why couldn’t we claim that other president’s mistresses were also star struck? Jack, I am listening. I am only asking to try to understand.

        • Oh PLEASE! She was an intern at the White House because someone thought she was hot, and her father pulled some strings

          . Linda Tripp is not the villain here, nor is Monica. He is responsible, ultimately, for upholding the stature of his office and the White House, not some 20 year old intern. The man signed a law making what HE DID sexual harassment, and was praised by NOW for it.

          You’re just going through the list of Clinton’s rationalizations. He lied under oath twice, and to a grand jury; he induced government employees to lie for him, he wasted government funds covering up, he disgraced his office. What other Presidents did or didn’t do cannot make his conduct any better than it was.

  2. I was about to say the same thing, Jack. It wasn’t just that Weiner flaunted himself on the internet, but lied to the whole country about it on television until the evidence forced him to tell the truth. Clinton had gotten away with worse, of course, but Weiner lacked his “talents” and stature… something his arrogance blinded him to.

    Cain’s story is different. This is not only something that was alleged to have happened 15 years ago, but merely involves his saying things that made some women supposedly “uncomfortable”. How can any high-powered and successful executive- working in the modern co-ed business environment- NOT make some employees uncomfortable from time to time? Cain is vulnerable to this as are all male leaders in this situation.

    I’d suggest that, if ever Mr. Cain is faced with his accusers, their own character will quickly lay the matter to rest, just as it did when Clarence Thomas took on- after much media and political hyperbole- Anita Hill and Al Sharpton. This all smells to high heaven of cheap and dirty politics. Or, as Clinton (ironically!) called it, the politics of personal destruction. But this is what cheap and dirty politicians resort to when they cannot match a rival with issues.

    • Well, to be fair, it’s also possible that what he said that made them uncomfortable was along the lines of, “Hey, mama, why don’t you unbutton that blazer so we can see more of that bodacious bod!!” The point is that in the absence of anything but “sexual harassment”, we can’t possibly know one way or the other.

  3. The only reason we knew Mr. Weiner did it, was because someone other than the recipient saw the tweet. This person could have just laughed and shrugged it off, instead reported it to the press. The intented recipient wasn’t revealed (a young woman who followed his tweets) until journalist started investigating the story. I doubt officials would have started a ethics investigation without the press sensationalizing the idea. If the picture wasn’t seen by anyone but the recipient, would their have been anything? I agree with you that if it was sent to one of his staff, it is a no-brainer. If the person reported it. My comparison of the “Wienergate” situation was dealing with the fact we have absolutely no idea what, if anything really happened with Mr. Cain. The only reason why it showed up was because some one brought it to the media’s attention. It is a non-issue as it happened long ago and there aren’t any facts in the situation. I don’t think it is fair that Mr. Cain’s name was smeared by the the press whatsoever. No facts= no story. Mr. Weiners was a story because there were facts, but only brought to light because of someone giving the idea to the press. I can see what you are saying about the difference of situation, but my comparison only had to do with the media sensationalizing the stories and not reporting stories with more political substance.

      • Jack, I know these guys lied. I am not rationalizing what these guys did. They were absolutely wrong in both the harrassment and the lying. But if Tripp woundn’t have known about this, would have it become the story it was with the press and the counsel? I am not defending these guys, they don;’t deserve it. I am questioning the press and the counsel. I think the women involved were exploited by the press and counsel into coming forward with money. I have seen similar things with people just getting a slap on their hand. The popularity of these people makes allegations, whether true or not, tried in the public. And that is not fair if not all the facts are presented.

        • Michael Michael…Tripp exposed the fact that the President of the United States 1) engaged in likely perjury and 2) was engaging in at very least, 3rd party sexual harassment conduct and a violation of Government ethics laws. She was beyond reproach (except that she broke Maryland wiretapping laws.) He was violating his oath of office.

          • Ok, I think I understand. I don’t like that women get exploited for coming out, if there is facts. I also get sick of the press pushing on something that is not there or will eventually come out. It just takes away from more important news that gets put aside and then people forget about the other news that happened at that time. I hate it when the news is so involved in one story and we don’t get the facts of other important stories at that time.

  4. Cain Offers Ethics Reminder to Reporters in Pushback Over Sex Harassment Allegations

    Attempting to turn reports of sexual harassment allegations back on the media, the campaign for Republican presidential contender Herman Cain is targeting journalists by passing out a code of ethics offering guidelines on how to report stories.

    On Sunday, Cain campaign spokesman J.D. Gordon emailed passages from the Society of Professional Journalist Code of Ethics that highlighted limiting the use of anonymous sources and evaluating their truthfulness and motives before allowing their use.

    The code also offered a few reminders like removing arrogance from reporting, showing good taste, being accountable, not pandering to lurid curiosity, treating subjects of stories as reporters would like to be treated and exposing unethical behavior by fellow reporters.

      • I tend to agree, Jack. “No controlling legal authority”, as Al Gore put it once. If it’s not heeded and not enforced, then it becomes empty words on paper. At least, that seems to be the working format these days in many professions… notably in public communications.

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