Cain Seeks Advantage In Media Attention

Herman Cain has decried the media firestorm surrounding claims he sexually harassed former employees. But the Republican presidential hopeful has also eagerly milked the limelight, even as he casts himself the victim of a journalistic smear.

"A lot of people who have been writing stories from their cubicles don't get it," Cain said in a radio interview Friday, maintaining an anti-media theme he's stuck with since the story first broke.

Allegations that the Georgia businessman sexually harassed subordinates as head of the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990s have been catnip to political reporters, blending issues of power, sex, race and money and pitting Cain's word against that of at least four accusers. The story has led news broadcasts, made headlines in major papers and driven reporters to track the candidate's every move.

Cain himself has been a constant media presence since the claims first surfaced, appearing frequently on Fox News, visiting late-night talk shows and calling in to radio hosts. As he takes advantage of its many platforms, he also criticizes the media for its interest in the controversy.

The attention has given Cain unrivaled exposure since Oct. 30, when the Politico website first broke the story. But it's also allowed the former pizza chain executive and his allies to malign the media, currying favor with many conservatives who believe news coverage is biased in favor of Democrats.

"It's fun for the right to bash the press. It plays to the victimhood strain, the aggrieved aspect of being a conservative in an allegedly liberal, elitist media world," said Marty Kaplan, a professor of media and politics at the University of Southern California. "Cain has played into that - he gets the benefits of attention, and for his conservative supporters it proves what a grand antagonist toward the media he can be."

Audience members booed at a nationally televised debate this week when CNBC's Maria Bartiromo questioned Cain about the harassment claims. And they cheered when Cain pushed back.

"The American people deserve better than someone being tried in the court of public opinion," Cain said to applause.

At first, Cain and his backers could blame press scrutiny with ease. The early stories from Politico and other news organizations, including The Associated Press, did not include the names of Cain's accusers or many specific details of what he was alleged to have done.

Fox News personality Sean Hannity referred to the reporting as "journalistic malpractice," while Donald Trump dismissed it as a witch hunt.

Conservative pundit Ann Coulter revived the term "high-tech lynching," which is how Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas described the media scrutiny he received during his confirmation hearings in 1991 when allegations he sexually harassed a coworker, Anita Hill, surfaced. Thomas and Cain are both African-American.

Cain even got an assist from a GOP primary rival, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who said the press focused on scandal at the expense of the interests of ordinary voters.

But it got harder for Cain to target reporters Monday, when one of his accusers went public.

Sharon Bialek told her story at a packed news conference in New York. She appeared with celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, and the two women then sat for several TV interviews.

Cain and many other conservatives jumped on Bialek's association with Allred, who has contributed to many Democratic candidates.

Another Cain accuser, Karen Kraushaar, identified herself Tuesday.

Cain held a news conference Tuesday in Arizona, where he took questions only after he and his lawyer, Lin Wood, gave lengthy opening remarks.

Wood has warned other women who might come forward with allegations against Cain that they would be aggressively scrutinized and should give the matter careful consideration before going public.

Cain also sat for an interview with ABC News, where he suggested reporters had menaced members of his family, including his wife, Gloria, who has stayed out of the spotlight thus far.

Cain is also making the rounds of late-night talk shows.

"The voice of the people is stronger than the voice of the media," Cain told ABC's Jimmy Kimmel. "They're not going to be easily swayed by what the media hype is."

The media frenzy surrounding the Cain story - and Cain's strategy to take advantage of it - speaks to the often unhealthy symbiotic relationship between media and politicians, according to Robert McClure, a professor of media and politics at Syracuse University.

"In no other country would Herman Cain be taken seriously in a way that would take up the time and the attention of serious decision-makers," McClure said. "What Cain traffics in is that he's glib and he loves attention. The media also traffics in glibness, so it's a match made in hell."

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  • by Anonymous on Nov 14, 2011 at 05:25 PM
    Put this Clown of the Jerry Springer Show with his accusers. I guarantee the truth will be revealed within the first 30 minutes. Let the women tell their side of the story!
    • reply
      by Obama Snake Oil co on Nov 15, 2011 at 03:31 PM in reply to
      Actually, Jerry Springer wants you! You will fit in nicely to the crowd there. I suggest you go shirtless with a bottle of MD 2020 in you crack sticking up. You can explain why you and the other tatooers in the trailer park voted for Obimbo. Oh, don't forget the eyebrow rings, first impressions are always good there.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Nov 15, 2011 at 05:40 PM in reply to Obama Snake Oil co
        I'm not the one being accused of sexual harassment, Herman Cain is. Seems mighty fishy the women are not being allowed to talk. Looks like Cain is hiding something. You should go on the show also, and explain why you supported that Pervert Cain, the Idiot Palin, the Nutjob Bachmann, the Phony Trump, the King of Brain dead Perry, and that Economy Killing Bush (2X's). BTW, don't forget to wear your Tinfoil hat, it suits idiots.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Nov 16, 2011 at 05:08 AM in reply to
          I'd tune into that show just to see Old Snake get his butt kicked. Priceless.
        • reply
          by Obama Snake Oil Co on Nov 17, 2011 at 02:58 PM in reply to
          I would love to go on your favorite show in the whole world (very small and missinformed one) and tell all of you Obama voters how you failed your country by your vote! It only proves that the people that made the mistake of voting for Obama once, are fool enough to vote him again. It means you don't care about your country, just your doctrine of the libertdial democrats. The dirty, lying, sneaky underhanded politics side. So call names all you want of all the candidates...then cry outloud, pound sand..yell loudly, its over man, Obama will lose in 2012. Not cause the Obama Snake Oil co says so, the polls say so. So stock up on tissues and poptarts, you will need them in November 2012. In the mean time, us responsible voters will keep the Party of No, the party of no. You should move to Hawai which is in Asia or find one of the other 7 states we have in 57 states...happily ever after the worst president in the history of America.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Nov 19, 2011 at 04:16 PM in reply to
          The Spring Show has to much class for trash like Cain.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 13, 2011 at 06:47 AM
    You are all just scared he might actually get elected!! :)
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Nov 15, 2011 at 12:25 AM in reply to
      No, just scared you are supporting a sexual predator/rapist, that dont scare you?
      • reply
        by Obama Snake Oil co on Nov 15, 2011 at 03:27 PM in reply to
        So now he is a rapist too. Geez man, how desperate you are to save the King of the Libterds, Obimbo. And we all know Obama is gay since its all over the internet with young boys. I think he should be a coach at Penn State. Why do you racists spring up? What do you have against black Americans? Do black people scare you? Man...sterotyping lives on in America. I thought you guys defended blacks? What happened, did Obama change your outlook? And why do you keep blacks oppressed and force them into welfare? You trying to keep them out of your way?
        • reply
          by Where there's smoke.....there's FIRE. on Nov 15, 2011 at 05:44 PM in reply to Obama Snake Oil co
          Cain's approval rating has dropped since the allegation­s came to light last week, and my guess, they will continue to as long as he continues this charade of innocence.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Nov 15, 2011 at 05:56 PM in reply to
      Apparently­, he is the Koch candidate. All of his advisers worked for the Kochs, AND there is now an investigat­ion into his campaign finances..­..a felony investigat­ion.
      • reply
        by Obama Snake Oil co on Nov 17, 2011 at 03:00 PM in reply to
        Yeah, I heard that from a friend of a friend of a liberal guy we know. Real credible...You know, I heard Palin dies her hair just like Bachman! Who knew.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 13, 2011 at 06:30 AM
    Why haven't men in white coats taken all of these GOP'ers off the stage in straight jackets?
    • reply
      by Obama Snake Oil co on Nov 15, 2011 at 03:28 PM in reply to
      Because the guys are waiting for Obama and his libterdial cabinet to lose their jobs first. The white jacket people are GOP'ers. You know, the normal people.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Nov 15, 2011 at 05:41 PM in reply to Obama Snake Oil co
        I can't tell by the past debates, these guys are GOP Clowns period!
        • reply
          by Obama Snake Oil co on Nov 17, 2011 at 03:01 PM in reply to
          Have you heard Biden speak? Now there is a clown show...that is one big fn deal right there...
  • by T Maxx Location: G-vegas on Nov 12, 2011 at 07:20 PM
    I guess Clinton had respect for women as well, I see people have short memory, all that crap Clinton done before he was in office and after he became President look at the stuff he done with Monica. So he without sin cast the first stone.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Nov 15, 2011 at 05:45 PM in reply to T Maxx
      Not that I ever did or ever would condone President Clinton's behavior, even if he was the night supervisor at WalMart, but apples and oranges. Consenting adults versus victims of sexual harassment­. Two very different situations­.
    • reply
      by Earl K. on Nov 15, 2011 at 05:48 PM in reply to T Maxx
      You are mixing apples and oranges. Put aside the emotional reactions of affairs, etc and look at the facts if you want to include Clinton in this conversati­on. Women filed sexual harassment allegation­s against Cain which were settled out of court. This wasn't a mutual consensual relationsh­ip as the intern. I suspect Clinton would have been viewed differentl­y if he were a candidate when the informatio­n came out. We had to balance the potential harmful consequenc­es to the country of removing a sitting president. Read the congressio­nal record of the Senate speeches as they considered impeachmen­t; very profound speeches from both sides of the aisle. What's not being talked about is all the money exchanges that took place during Cain's time as a lobbyist for the tobacco industry.
  • by Lavon Location: Goldsboro on Nov 12, 2011 at 06:07 PM
    I can just tell by looking at Cain's demeanor that he doesn't have any respect for women at all. The man's dangerous
    • reply
      by Obama Snake Oil Co on Nov 14, 2011 at 06:41 AM in reply to Lavon
      Thats OK Lavon, we can tell by the demeanor of your posts you are clueless like always....
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Nov 15, 2011 at 05:50 PM in reply to Obama Snake Oil Co
        If the claims were baseless, and you didn't do anything wrong, why pay off your accusers? Why put a GAG Order on them?
  • by Anonymous on Nov 12, 2011 at 05:34 PM
    Herman Cain is adept at lying and pretending­, but he doesn't pass the smell test. His wife knows she can't rely on anything he says; that is why she is continuing to remain silent. Where there's smoke, there's fire.
  • by And he wants to be President???? on Nov 12, 2011 at 05:30 PM
    The way Herman Cain talks about and to women just makes my skin crawl. This guy's attitude is so typical of the way men thought of women in the workplace thirty years ago before all of the sensitivit­y training. They thought they were the masters of the universe and whatever they did was acceptable­. Since I was one of those women who was harassed I know what I'm talking about. I hear people saying that he's innocent until proven guilty but in most cases it's impossible to prove this allegation and that's how men like Cain get away with it. But I recognize Herman Cain, he's the man who has a low opinion of women in general and thinks he can take advantage of a situation where a woman may let him have his way so she doesn't lose her job. Princess Nancy indeed!
    • reply
      by Obama Snake Oil Co on Nov 14, 2011 at 06:46 AM in reply to And he wants to be President????
      Sounds by the paragraph you posted, that you have libterdialitis. You should seek help from a doctor in the field of libterdial sickness. The first sympton is you may have voted for Obimbo. The second, is you can no longer use a search engine to find out the truth and finally, you would most like vote for the failure, Obimbo again....then they show up with a straight jacket and take you away.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Nov 14, 2011 at 05:20 PM in reply to Obama Snake Oil Co
        Excuse me, excuuuuuuu­uuuuse me!!!
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Nov 15, 2011 at 12:30 AM in reply to Obama Snake Oil Co
        Sounds like you have some problems of your own. Have you ever been convicted of any sex crimes? Are you a predator also?
  • by Barlow Location: Winterville on Nov 12, 2011 at 03:45 PM
    I just read where Cain told some your Republicans that god told him to run for president. lol. You republicans sure get some strange messages from god (reference GW and invading countries). Next time you get a message consider getting a second opinion on the medication you've been prescribed.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Nov 12, 2011 at 08:39 PM in reply to Barlow
      26 minutes ago (11:06 PM) I wonder what part god played in the post sexual harassment revelation s,lying, stunts and antics you tried to sing your way out of whenever it was time to man-up. If Cain thought god was telling him to run it was the kind of running OJ was doing when his butt was wanted. When candidate who claim to be good church going Christians have their immoral conduct exposed and boastfully lie about it, while making crude,inse nsitive and outright false comments about the women they've victimized only to be applauded by an audience who is willing to dismiss the truth and fact merely because they like his politics, I'm left feeling that America has NO clue what awaits her if one of these psychopath ic religious zealots is elected. It is quite obvious America has yet to identify her true DOMESTIC enemies. God convinced me to run too, to run Cain's butt right back where the heck the dog found him.
  • by Forrest Gump on Nov 12, 2011 at 02:56 PM
    Stupid is what stupid does.....
  • by Anonymous on Nov 12, 2011 at 01:44 PM
    I feel sorry for anybody he scams into giving him money to continue his farce of a campaign any further.
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