Karl Frisch, 11/3/2011 [Archive]

Less Vetting Than the Average Godfather's Pizza Delivery Boy

Less Vetting Than the Average Godfather's Pizza Delivery Boy

By Karl Frisch

If you haven't yet heard, the so-called "liberal media" is out to get Herman Cain.

To believe conservatives, members of a "liberal media" cabal began conspiring to take down the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza more than a decade ago when he was head lobbyist at the National Restaurant Association (NRA) in the late 1990s, knowing he'd seek the 2012 Republican nomination.

It was then that two women were planted deep inside Cain's organization with the expressed purpose of accusing their boss of sexual harassment. Adding to the devious plot, these women were then told to accept large cash settlements in exchange for silence that was only to be broken years later when the women would come forward as anonymous sources to the "liberal media."

The only thing more ridiculous with that theory is the racially charged, political hysterics with which the right wing responded to the brewing scandal.

Brent Bozell, head of the conservative Media Research Center, wrote in a blog post: "In the eyes of the liberal media, Herman Cain is just another uppity black American who has had the audacity to leave the liberal plantation."

Not to be outdone, right-wing author Ann Coulter attempted to defended Cain against attacks from the left saying they hate black conservatives and that "our blacks are so much better than their blacks." How that line of thinking proves Cain's innocence is anyone's guess.

If the fact that Herman Cain is African-American was going to be lost on anyone, it wasn't going to be Rush Limbaugh. Cain's race made this a perfect story for El Rushbo. After all, this is a guy who sees race everywhere. Among other things, he's called Obama a "Halfrican-American" and said the President's "entire economic program is reparations."

So what did the king of conservative talk radio have to say?

He attacked the messenger, saying Politico, which initially reported the scandal, had made an "unconscionable, racially stereotypical attack" and engaged in "the politics of minority conservative personal destruction." He then zeroed in, saying, "It really is about blacks and Hispanics getting too uppity."

Putting their absurd attempts to deflect attention from the story aside, let's look at the facts. And yes, I realize conservatives assume facts have an intrinsic liberal bias just like the media, science, weather, letters, numbers, and shapes.

At 11:20 a.m. on Monday morning, Cain told Fox News, "If the restaurant did a settlement, I wasn't even aware of it." That is essentially the same thing he told the National Press Club not two hours later when he said, "I am unaware of any settlement. I hope it wasn't for much, because I didn't do anything" indicating that he not only had no knowledge of any agreements but that he also had no knowledge of the amount of any agreements if they actually existed.

By 6 p.m. that evening, Cain's story was beginning to change. This time he told PBS, "I was aware that an agreement was reached."

Before calling it a night, Cain appeared on Fox News again at 10 p.m. to completely contradict himself saying, "We ended up settling for what would have been a termination settlement, quite frankly ... Maybe three months' salary or something like that."

In less than twelve hours, Cain went from being clueless about the whole affair -- pardon the pun -- to knowing quite a bit more than he'd let on about.

Don't for a second assume that Cain and his team first heard about these accusations when they read them in Politico -- they had been contacted several times over the course of nearly two weeks in advance of the publication of the story by reporters requesting comment in writing and in person.

Since the story broke, a third woman has come forward, telling the Associated Press that she had received "a private invitation to [Cain's] corporate apartment" and that the future presidential candidate had made "sexually suggestive remarks or gestures" towards her.

Few people know exactly what happened between Cain and his female employees and only one person has been free to discuss the story openly: Herman Cain.

Since Cain has proven himself unreliable, perhaps the National Restaurant Association should free these women from their confidentiality agreements so they can tell their side of the story.

Then, and only then, can this blame game end.

Because, in the end, Herman Cain's problem is less about some fictional "liberal media" and more that he's gone through less vetting than the average Godfather's Pizza delivery boy.


Copyright©2011 KarlFrisch.com, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Karl Frisch is Democratic political strategist at Bullfight Strategies based in Washington, DC. He can be reached at KarlFrisch.com.

This column has been edited by the author. Representations of fact and opinions are solely those of the author.

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