Cain’s Mistress: Don’t Blame The Media This Time

One of the side-effects of the news media’s routinely displayed lack of fairness and integrity is that its motives can be challenged even when it does its job properly. The media itself is completely at fault for creating this opportunity for spin artists to confuse the public with blame-shifting arguments, but the blame-shifters are shameless and despicable.  Thus we have to listen to a conservative talk radio barrage of accusations that Ginger White, the woman who has surfaced with the tale of a 13-year long affair with Herman Cain, was “dug up” by “them” in a coordinated effort to “get” a rising black conservative. This morning, such claims were proliferating all over the AM dial.

Politico opened the door for this, of course, with its unsourced, anonymous, still detail-free account of sexual harassment complaints of an undefined nature filed against Cain and settled over a decade ago. The stories never should have run without names and facts, and the subsequent appearance of other Cain accusers can’t change that. Publishing such a story, in violation of basic journalistic ethics principles, was unfair, and did look like a media hit job, though when the media is involved, Hanlon’s Razor (“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”) applies. As William Jacobson wrote over the weekend,“After hundreds of articles at Politico, what do we know about the specific accusations against Herman Cain which gave rise to Politico’s original reporting:  Nothing. After hundreds of articles at Politico, what do we know about the specific evidence against Herman Cain which gave rise to Politico’s original reporting:  Nothing. Truly incredible.”

Which is why we don’t, and can’t, trust the news media. But unless the accusation is that the media hired a mad scientist to manufacture out of frog DNA and old magazine photos a plausible paramour for Herman Cain, or that the Disney team built Ginger White out of old Abe Lincoln audio-animatron parts, whatever journalist or journalists who tracked down White were doing their job. Herman Cain has sold himself to the American people as authentic, someone who doesn’t hide his real opinions, character or flaws. He has also asserted a personal history of integrity to deny the allegations. legitimate or not, of sexual harassment. The media should have been looking for a Cain mistress, because a Cain mistress proves that the man is a charlatan, a liar and a fraud.

We now know that Cain not only knows nothing about foreign affairs, a rather large component of the President’s responsibilities, but can’t be bothered to learn anything about them. We know that his grasp of economic matters extends to endless repetitions of “9-9-9” and little else. We know he thinks that abortion is murder but should be allowed anyway, that Muslims should be discriminated against and that gay Americans don’t deserve the right to marry. Against all of these troubling factors, Cain has effectively promoted his integrity, honesty, openness and trustworthiness. Well, if he has been cheating in his wife for 13 years, he isn’t honest, open and trustworthy, and the public has a right to know it.

The media can’t be blamed for Herman Cain’s duplicity, and anyone who tells you otherwise has revealed their own lack of fairness and honesty. These kinds of situations are  simple: if Herman Cain didn’t want the media to uncover a mistress in the middle of his presidential campaign, he had two choices, and they were all his: don’t run for president, or don’t have a 13 year adulterous affair. The news media may well have been out to get Herman Cain, but if he’s been exposed, it’s his fault and nobody else’s. We owe the media thanks for rescuing us from another in a long line of political con-men.

Whether there are any potential leaders who aren’t con-men is a depressing topic for another day.

11 thoughts on “Cain’s Mistress: Don’t Blame The Media This Time

  1. I think I can blame the media for this. They have set up a classic “Boy that cried ‘wolf'” scenario. First came an accusation that Herman Cain either sexually harassed or created a hostile work environment for some unknown person at some unknown time in an unknown place. When that wasn’t taken seriously, 5 or 6 or 8 other unknown ‘people’ said backed the first uknown ‘person’. When unknown people making claims that some unknown thing happened sometime somewhere wasn’t taken seriously, a person made a specific accusation. When interviewed, however, this person’s story had several problems and contradictions. When those accusations faded away for lack of any concrete evidence, a new accusation comes to the surface. Excuse me for being skeptical at this point. If the previous accusations hadn’t surfaced, and if they hadn’t been sequential, with each new accusation a stepwise escalation, I would be less skeptical.

    It is obvious to me that Herman Cain would make a lousy president. The only benefit that I saw in his candidacy is he could have made the other candidates elaborate on the issues. That benefit is gone with this circus of sexual harassment/ adultry accusations.

    Is it too late for me to legally change my name to None of the Above and run for President?

  2. “These kinds of situations are simple: if Herman Cain didn’t want the media to uncover a mistress in the middle of his presidential campaign, he had two choices, and they were all his: don’t run for president, or don’t have a 13 year adulterous affair.”

    You seem to be totally discounting the possibility that the woman’s claims are untrue.

    • I am. A one night stand is a he-said/she said. A 13 year affair is impossible to fake, and Cain could affirmatively disprove it, and would have by now, if that’s what White was trying to do. The language from Cain’s camp virtually admits that there was an affair, even as he denies it. The hotel records can be checked. She has the books he signed for her. I don’t think her financial issues are relevant, except in that they may have led her to come forward in hopes of making a buck. Even assuming that some of the allegations against Cain are exaggerated, men who don’t fool around don’t generate multiple women willing to say they do. One of the big strikes against Anita Hill was that there was no trail of women following her lead, meaning, to me, that there was a complex personal history between Thomas and Hill that went way beyond sexual harassment, and that neither was being candid.

      • I’m not saying that it is or isn’t the case with Cain, but I know personally that it’s possible to have a close, long-term relationship without involving sexual infidelity, and I know that a lot of powerful people with a lot of money want Cain out of the race. Pooh pooh the mere possibility if you like. Whatever the truth of the matter, it’s a sad story.

        • Sure it’s possible. The most important question is, did he keep the relationship secret from his wife? I think most people will think as I do, that the most likely truth is that something illicit was going on. Let’s say the odds are 3-1 against Cain. In electing a president, the public shouldn’t gamble more than it has to. There are legitimate doubts. The fact that they aren’t 100% substantiated doesn’t mean it is wrong or irrational to consider them.

          • I think your question goes to the heart of it, Jack. Did his wife know about it? If she didn’t, and wouldn’t have approved regardless of what was actually going on, he wasn’t being true to his wife. There is such a thing as emotional infidelity, and it is a wrongheaded idea, always. Simply put, the person doing it is flying too close to the flame. That might be OK if they were the only one who would be consumed but, sadly, that is rarely, if ever, the case.

  3. It’s worth noting that we’re already seeing comments (not here, but elsewhere) that the current allegations about Cain’s affair somehow “prove” that the earlier allegations about sexual harassment were true. You touched on this up above, Jack, but I think it worth repeating, and strongly, that the later accusations say nothing about the previous ones, and Politico was just as unethical now as they were then.

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