(ThyBlackMan.com) It’s midnight and I need a story to put in my show. Click on the AP wires for AP Right Now; the latest update on news around the world from the Associated Press. What I’d like to call God’s gift to news producers. Grain elevator explosion in Kansas. I got that. Afghanistan suicide bombing I really don’t care. Herman Cain accused of sexual harassment. That story will go well coming out of the GOP poll. Insert story. Show stacked.
This morning the accusations against Herman Cain for sexual harassment served as a time filler in my morning show. I knew it was a good story, not necessarily a big story, but a good story. I put it in because it intrigued me, it was yet another scandal to rock the GOP front runner, and because I needed it. That was at midnight. Now 14 hours later the story is crossing every blog, newspaper outlet and is in constant rotation in the 24 hour media machine as the Herman Cain campaign continues into damage control mode to undo the damage Politico has done.
Honestly I don’t see the big deal.
Yes that’s a hypocritical statement since I ran the story in my own newscast. But that was just a time filler and easily killable had I gone over. (I know excuses excuses) But after the show was over and I was out of the producer’s chair the story was just another one of those things that happens during campaigns for the Presidency. Dirt is dug up. Candidates deny or affirm with good reason and reporters move on.
Or do they?
As I watched the Herman Cain story explode this morning my first thought or connection to previous political scandals was Clarence Thomas. This time last year the country woke up to drama from 1991 when it was revealed wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas called up Anita Hill – at her job on the weekend at 7:30 in the a.m. — to ask her to apologize for accusing him of sexual harassment during her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee during Thomas’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing.
Perusing the blogs this afternoon I saw an author ask that people not be so quick to condemn Thomas since we did have a President who got polished off in the Oval office. But these aren’t the only scandals sexual or otherwise to crop up during a candidates campaign. Senator Scott Brown posed for Playgirl. Christine O’Donnell was a witch… or not. Sarah Palin had a pregnant daughter. And then there was the holy grail of all scandals; then Senator Obama and his angry hellfire and brimstone god damning America pastor Jeremiah Wright.
The country just couldn’t let go of the fact a preacher would say such incendiary things about the Nation God so fully and omnipotently inhabits. The country couldn’t let it go, therefore the media didn’t let it go, and after it was all said and done we had a Presidential candidate deliver the defining speech of his campaign named after the first sermon he ever heard at Trinity United Church of Christ, “A More Perfect Union.” Before reporters in Philadelphia then Senator Obama spoke for 40 minutes about race in America. Gems from the speech: “Sunday is the most segregated day in the country.” “I can no more disown my grandmother who has made statements that make me cringe (paraphrasing a lot here) than I can disown him [Jeremiah Wright].” In a blue suit standing before a blue podium with eight American flags behind him then Senator Obama defended himself and his pastor he unfortunately later disowned. When the speech was over Brian Williams — brought in for the Breaking News said — the only thing missing from this speech was the Presidential seal. This was a move by the Obama campaign to present the Senator as President. As we know months later Obama won the Presidency.
These new old accusations of sexual harassment against Herman Cain may play as his own “Jeremiah Wright moment.” While race and sexual harassment are far from being the same; the situations and likenesses between supposed “dirt” found during the 2008 Obama campaign and the new old revelations coming to life about Herman Cain are still similar. Politics is as much about honesty, truth, and virtue as it is about persuasion and defense.
Will Herman Cain deliver an enlightening and thought provoking speech on an issue that is always more mired in muck than clarity? Judging by this smoking gun of a campaign ad I doubt it. But if by some dumb luck Herman Cain was able to string together eloquence from his down home get-to-know-you country cadence and speak about the issues that plague men and women in the workplace I’m sure he would garner much more respect than he does by saying
9-9-9 … my bad 9-0-9 all day long.
Point is, these accusations were made 20 years ago. The women have not come forward to make the claims again. In fact according to Politico, they chose to take money and run away from Herman Cain and the accusations they made.
Sexual harassment is a subjective issue. My entire newsroom, myself included, could all probably go to jail for sexual harassment if some overly sensitive person took the snide comments we make in jest a little too seriously. Yes, there is something really wrong with a man who thinks he can talk to a female colleague any kind of way because he feels like it. (The same goes for women as well…in this instance think more teacher student relationships than anything) Such behavior prompts movements like “Slut Walks.” But in the middle of the campaign season there is so much more to focus on about Herman Cain than what two women he may or may not have worked closely with said about him 20 years ago. Hell, he probably doesn’t even know what he said that was inappropriate in the first place.
I’d rather hear Herman Cain continue to flip-flop on his position for abortion and how it should be handled legally, change his tax plan when it better suits his talking points, and deride Black Democrats for being stuck on a plantation then hear about what might’ve went down on a few too many late nights with the National Restaurant Association.
These new old accusations about Herman Cain are a natural part of the political news cycle. A candidate not expected to become the front runner surges in the polls, reporters start digging for scraps to ruin — or at least make them fight to protect — their image, and BOOM we have a big deal out of nothing; or something so old it’s not even worth mentioning.
The accusations against Herman Cain will make great fodder for television news over the next few days. Then after that political coverage we will get somewhat back to normal with attacks and accusations currently facing politicians and not those facing the men and woman behind the politics when no one knew who they were.
Is Herman Cain, in the wrong?
I don’t know.
Should Herman Cain give a public speech probably?
Is this a slow news day.
This is the written definition of slow news day.
Staff Writer; Nikesha Leeper
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