Journalism in the Public Interest

Raising Cain: When Is a Scoop Ready to be Published?

One thing missing from Politico’s scoop on Herman Cain’s alleged sexual harassment: the underlying facts. 

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Nov. 1, 2011, 12:50 p.m.

I was not sold on Candidate Cain, but this accusation makes me believe he is a serious threat to Obama. Will have to send him $20 and reevaluate his potential.

David Lubin

Nov. 1, 2011, 4:02 p.m.

Well, I’m not waiting for the truth.  Cain has shown me enough already. He waffles and shucks and jives better than Obama. And that’s going places. Time to focus on a new candidate and a new issue.  New issue: The former governor of New Jersey’s investment firm is belly up and beaucoup bucks are missing. This rates “Five Wows” on my coveted wow meter.

William Blanshan

Nov. 1, 2011, 4:17 p.m.

The funny thing here is that the liberals are all over this, like Herman Cain is the most evil man in history, but they’re ok with what Bill Clinton did before and during his tenure in the White House. Can you say Double Standard? The left will attack and attack on this, even after it’s been proven to be bad reporting. I don’t trust unnamed sources, as they can say whatever they want and claim it came from an “unnamed source”. Cain doesn’t fit into what the left thinks a black man should be, so they’ll try to beat him down with whatever they can think up.

David Lubin

Nov. 1, 2011, 4:22 p.m.

Let’s open this up for discussion.  Would anybody like to speculate on what happened between Cain and the mystery lady who, by the way, will make a fortune once she can write a book on the subject or sell her story to the TV networks.  By the way,  If one of us describes the confrontation correctly,  we can divey up a prize.

David Lubin

Nov. 1, 2011, 4:50 p.m.

I don’t know about anyone else, but hearing the story about former New Jersey governor John Corzine Democrat, and MF Global Holdings makes me long for a return to consideration of Chris Christy for President.  Also, we’re now starting to understanding what the initials of MF actually mean.


Nov. 1, 2011, 5:39 p.m.

Conservatives are freaking out and many are pretending that “Democrats”, by which they mean of course the old SOUTHERN Democrats, were the party of Segragation. When the democratic President, Lyndon B. Johnson, had the Democratically controlled Congress pass the Civil Rights bills of 1964, but especially of 1965, The Democratic Party lost the South and the “Democratic” congressman switched to the GOP.

There is a reason 92% or so of black Americans vote Democratic Party and that reason is that the GOP uses racial issues as a wedge to win elections.


Nov. 1, 2011, 5:50 p.m.

Three points, if I may:

1, Since Cain has confirmed the story, there is no doubt that Politico (which I hate because I am a liberal and life long Democratic Party member and they are NOT either liberal or Democratic Party friendly) wrote a good story.

2. Since these events happened, and Cain paid a woman to shut up forever about it, the stories needed to come out. We know nothing about Herman Cain.

3. The man plays a clown in the presidential race, his campaign manager is an old fashioned advertisement for the pleasures of smoking (although his crocodile skin tells the story of the real damage of smoking), and his supporters love him because he says racism in America is the reason that whites don’t succeed.

We know as much about him as he knows about the world outside of his little interests. We know he is contemptuous of countries whose names and leaders and problems and presence in the world he mocks because they are not something he does know. “When they ask me who is the president of Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan, I’m going to say: ‘You know? I don’t know. Do you know?’ ”

Why the surprise that he has two sexual harassment allegations, one of which has an acknowledged settlement against him? He ha, ho ho, cue the spiritual and give Mr. Bojangles his hat and cane: Mr. Cain is running for president. Well shucky-ducky, aren’t white people great because they accept this clown, I guess I will just light up another smoke and enjoy his clowning and singing…


Nov. 2, 2011, 9:35 a.m.

Sar, I have to disagree that the change came with Obama.  Bush may have been mocked in the media, but that was eight years of lock-step on stories, essentially White House or Pentagon press releases dressed up like stories.  And prior to that, Clinton’s administration was a master of manipulating the media, which you can see in a good chunk of Brian Springer’s “Spin” (a documentary composed of raw satellite footage).

Max, I’ve always thought the impeachment trial was just a dog and pony show to protect Clinton overall.  With all the open evidence of wrongdoing, Congress selected a very low-hanging fruit and then distracted the country and derailed the proceedings with a non-impeachable scandal.

While I freely admit that I love conspiracy theories, it strikes me as implausible to do that so cleanly through incompetence alone.  Imagine hauling Capone in for tax evasion, only to have the prosecutor attack the defendant’s fashion sense and ignore the charges.

David, Corzine came from Goldman.  Corruption was a given.  If that didn’t make the point, surely the idea to lease out the Turnpike must have.

I know less about Christie (not being from Jersey), but after the Lakhani case (prosecuting despite clear signs of entrapment), and given the power the FBI is trying to grab by “unifying” databases and integrating non-criminal information, I’d be very concerned about the man.

robert smith

Nov. 2, 2011, 9:46 a.m.

My comment concerns the acts of Politico rather than Cain.  If an editor/reporter has verified information that (1.) two sexual harassment claims were made and (2.)  that money was paid to the unknown claimants,  does he publish that information now or does he wait until further details are discovered such as names, amounts, details, ect.?
Interesting dilema. If one waits, somebody else gets the scoop. If one prints, there is the risk of being called a muckraker. Would be interested in other news organizations comments on this dilema, including ProPublica’s.

larry leighton

Nov. 4, 2011, 7:30 a.m.

Why does it automatically have to be bias against a black man, as Cain suggests? As has been mentioned in the story and by several posters, many white politicians from Gary Hart of Colorado, to Bill Clinton had the same charges leveled against them, and they were accurate. Color didn’t have a thing to to with it, Mr. Cain. But it makes a good effort to place the guilt on the accusers.


Nov. 4, 2011, 6:52 p.m.

sorry the burden of proof is always on the accuser. You cannot prove a negative, so you cannot prove what didn’t happen.  Something happened, they all agree. The article by Politico fails because they don’t actually say what is accused. They say it was an act that made the woman uncomfortable, but they refuse to say exactly what that act was. 

This type of character assassination by innuendo is deplorable. A man at the end of the day only has his name.

I will say this. We know he has a quirky sense of humor. It is possible that he did or said something that made some others uncomfortable. Who hasn’t?  Does it rise to the level of sexual harassment?  They don’t quite go that far.  Is it fair that when an employee says she is not comfortable working at place XYZ to give her some severance so she can find another job?  Yes.  Does that mean his is guilty?  Not at all.

larry leighton

Nov. 4, 2011, 7:09 p.m.

Tony, in my 45 years in the workforce, I’ve never seen anyone given a severance package because they were “uncomfortable” working there. I’ve worked in places where people worked because they were uncomfortable with the conditions under which they worked, but no serverance. Myself, I was given severance when let loose because of downsizing, as have others. Not for quitting.

larry leighton

Nov. 4, 2011, 7:37 p.m.

“I’ve worked in places where people worked because they were uncomfortable”
I’m sorry. That should have been LEFT because they were uncomfortable.

David Lubin

Nov. 4, 2011, 11:48 p.m.

@Tom CJ What’s wrong with smoking?  Don’t t answer that.  You sound like a g.d. Stalinist.  An elitist.  A control freak.  All I have to say to folks with your mindset is “Let freedom ring.” baby.  Lrt freedom ring.

David Lubin

Nov. 5, 2011, 12:08 a.m.

Everyone wants to make a name for himself, make lots of money and publish a book. Journalistic integrity is something people laugh at these days.  Something from the quaint past.  The women involved here might have to return the settlement money if she talks.  So now, she hesitates.  Everyone is getting their legal situation down and jokeying for position.  $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

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