Monday, October 31, 2011

The POLITICO Collaborationist Hatchet Job On Herman Cain

Let's face it: Conventional wisdom holds that these sexual harassment accusations may well sink the Cain campaign, such as it is. Rachel noted tonight that it is "the politics of personal destruction" that's being waged by Republicans against each other. The Republicans this year haven't only violated Ronald Reagan's "Eleventh Commandment"— Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican — they've fucking blown it to smithereens. Not only that, but they're producing all the anti-Romney attack ads for the Democrats in the general; and some of them are pretty good, thank you very much. All good, for those of us who hate Republicans.

Given my low opinion of Herman Cain — which goes for all Republicans, because in my "Christian" world I consider a person's character to be inextricably linked to how they treat the least among us; and to be a Republican you must accept unacceptable things, so you're all going to Hell — personally, I have little doubt there's plenty of damning evidence that he actually sexually harassed those two women, just as Clarence Thomas sexually harassed Anita Hill.

That said, the way this "story" went down troubles me more than whatever there is there, considering the convenient factoid that the women accepted an apparently substantial financial "settlement" with the proviso that they could not discuss any part of this case. Nice catch-22 for media whore Jonathan Martin and his POLITICO posse of "regardless of where we got this" (Ken Vogel) virtual streetwalkers. Here's their self-serving justification: "POLITICO has confirmed the identities of the two female restaurant association employees who complained about Cain but, for privacy concerns, is not publishing their names." [Editorial revise (in red): "POLITICO has confirmed the identities of the two female restaurant association employees who complained about Cain but, for legal and privacy concerns, is not publishing their names."] See, even a creep like Dominique Strauss-Kahn was granted the right to face his accuser.

Here's what all the wasted POLITICO bandwidth amounts to:
"The women complained of sexually suggestive behavior by Cain that made them angry and uncomfortable, the sources said, and they signed agreements with the restaurant group that gave them financial payouts to leave the association. The agreements also included language that bars the women from talking about their departures." [But it doesn't stop POLITICO and the Idiot Punditocracy from talking about it, which is exactly what the "multiple sources" (think Karl Rove) intended.]
Steve Cornacki of Salon, a card-carrying member of the Idiot Punditocracy, confirmed his good standing by falsely speculating that when Cain mentioned "anonymous sources" he was referring to the two women accusers, when in effect it was clear the reference was to POLITICO's secret "multiple sources." Then Cornacki criticized POLITICO for not disclosing the women's names. Hellooo ... anyone home? They're already skating on thin ice, pal, and I mean thin legal ice. They might need some of their "sources'" unlimited funds (think Karl Rove) to help with legal expenses, if it ever comes to that. 

Ken Vogel, POLITICO media whore, would not confirm or deny whether any "campaign" was involved (think Karl Rove, people). He wouldn't get into "sourcing" but that is the story. It goes to motive, as they say in the legal system — who benefits and who has an axe to grind — and therefore to credibility not necessarily of Cain's culpability but of the Play Within The Play, as my dad used to say, quoting Shakespeare, the political undercurrents that are obsessing the Beltway political and media elites. That's the story. Who wants Herman Cain to go down so badly that they'd feed this story, nicely gift-wrapped to POLITICO, on condition of anonymity. It stinks to high heaven, for reasons that have little to do with Herman Cain but which I've broached in this blog quite a bit.

NBC-MSNBC has a strange symbiotic relationship with POLITICO which is troubling, to say the least, and gives the lie to whatever tenuous claims there are that MSNBC is "liberal media." Sure, each organization has their individual, should I say token, liberals and progressives but the overall culture is corporatist and conservative. And commercial. Political "scandal" is the mother's milk of cable political news and commentary organizations, driven and controlled as they are by ratings. What's really weird is that because of this relationship from Hell, MSNBC talking heads are reinforcing the wingnut-Limbaugh-Coulter-Fox false narrative ("occupy POLITICO"... yuck-yuck says a Fox hound) that this is a "liberal media" hit job. It's bizarrely self-serving.

The recent unnecessary lineup changes — Big Eddie was the perfect in-our-face host for crazy insomniac libs while Lawrence was easily digestible on the rerun — showed me just how much the skeert MSNBC suits still are in Keith Olbermann's orbit. Who cares if we're but the Merry 50,000 — Keith is sizzling with his comprehensive coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movements across the nation, which I've always maintained is this year's and next most important story. But hey, no one listens to me, anyway.

Let's take a closer look at POLITICO's long in the tooth but short on substance "investigative story." Here's a typical offering:
"He was then asked, “Have you ever been accused, sir, in your life of harassment by a woman?”

He breathed audibly, glared at the reporter and stayed silent for several seconds. After the question was repeated three times, he responded by asking the reporter, “Have you ever been accused of sexual harassment?”
If I were to guess, I'd say this is Jonathan's contribution. When he doesn't show up on Andrea Mitchell looking like he's been on an all-night bender, he's on Hardball tonight breathlessly reporting there was "touching" (no kissing? Obviously this dude's never been to Latin America.) and an invitation for some woman to meet Cain in his hotel room. If that were grounds for sexual harassment, I can attest that at least one MSNBC host would be in hot water. "Nuff said.

Here's another typical offering:
"In one case, POLITICO has seen documentation describing the allegations and showing that the restaurant association formally resolved the matter. Both women received separation packages that were in the five-figure range."
Really? And how come we, the public cannot see any of this "documentation." Is it because it was possibly illegally obtained? And what does that "five-figure range" amount to? Spell it out, POLITICO: was it $10,000 or $90,000 or exactly where in-between? I'll bet POLITICO's legal counsel was busy in advance of publication of this story, y'think? If the New York Times published this shoddily sourced story, it would be laughed out of the business. But then, some of us at least know, POLITICO is not a legitimate news organization.

Memo To Sweet Melissa: I'm sure you're a fine poli-sci professor but you clearly have no clue about the so-called "liberal media" if you think POLITICO is a part of it. Shame on you, Melissa, for being so misinformed as to perpetuate this farce.

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