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An explanation for the media focus on Cain

As I was preparing for bid, this story led the headlines on Yahoo!’s main page: Republican sexual harassment furor boosts Obama:

The longer the Republican presidential hopefuls battle over sexual harassment claims against Herman Cain, the better things look for President Barack Obama as he mounts his campaign for re-election. . . . .

The rare instance of infighting in a party known for its unity comes just as Obama, a Democrat, is gaining some traction in opinion polls and the U.S. economy is showing signs of improvement.

Huh, Republican presidential hopefuls battling over sexual harassment claims against Herman Cain? Infighiting What? The Republicans aren’t battling over this. (Most of the candidates aren’t event talking about it.)  About the only “infighting” there is  –  and the only thing Reuters “reporter” Patricia Zengerle is Cain accusing “Rick Perry’s camp of being behind the story” and Perry denying that claim.

Yeah, there is some modest signs of improvement in the economy, but no indication that we’re enjoying the type of recovering that normally follows a severe downturn.  And the traction the president is gaining is in one poll, not some polls — and that poll appeared to oversample Democrats.

That said, maybe Miss Zengerle is onto something.  Maybe the folks in the media hope this story will make the Republicans appear to be insensitive to women — while the brouhaha keeps stories about scandals in the Obama White House off the front burner.

UPDATE:  Commenting on the same article, Jim Geraghty holds it “offers a somewhat plausible theory without citing much direct data to support that idea“:

Now, it is true that time spent discussing what Cain did or did not do with several former employees is time not spent making an argument against Obama. But if Cain doesn’t get the nomination, this is largely moot — I remain unconvinced that some Cain-backing conservative will stay home on Election Day 2012 to protest how some GOP rival treated this issue — and if he is, it suggests that this story, with all of its remaining known unknowns and unknown unknowns will be a larger factor in voters’ minds than, say, Obama’s performance since taking office.

FROM THE COMMENTS: ILoveCapitalism quips, “So Jonathan Alter was right, after all. The Obama administration is “scandal free”. (Not in reality; but in the media.)”

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7 Comments

  1. Your selected quote, whatever the accuracy, answers the question you posed earlier:

    And why have our media devoted so much coverage to this when they were so unwilling to cover more credible (and more specific) allegations against a Democratic president?

    So there you go.

    Comment by TGC — November 4, 2011 @ 4:44 am - November 4, 2011

  2. There are the signs of infighting developing as Perry accuses the Romney campaign for bringing the issue to light. If either Perry or Romney should be the nominee it could hurth them as being, ¨more of the same.¨This has to be put to bed early; with hope that this is something thatt was initiated by the left, and our candidates apologize to each other for fingerpointing. The faster, the better.

    Comment by Roberto — November 4, 2011 @ 12:58 pm - November 4, 2011

  3. Maybe the folks in the media hope this story will make the Republicans appear to be insensitive to women — while the brouhaha keeps stories about scandals in the Obama White House off the front burner.

    So Jonathan Alter was right, after all. The Obama administration is “scandal free”. (Not in reality; but in the media.)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 4, 2011 @ 2:15 pm - November 4, 2011

  4. Insensitive to women? Charges leveled against Cain by a woman in an industry inundated with homosexuals/bisexuals where sexual harassment is commonplace? Anonymous charges leveled and refusing to step forward or prevented from stepping forward due confidentiality agreements? The hotel/restaurant industry is rampant with sexual harassment. It is the only industry where I have personally witnessed a woman called “cameltoe” to her face without repercussion. Addressing women as “bitches” and “sluts” was commonplace.

    Comment by rjligier — November 4, 2011 @ 3:12 pm - November 4, 2011

  5. [...] An explanation for the media focus on Cain [...]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » 90 stories on Cain kerfuffle and still no specifics — November 4, 2011 @ 6:45 pm - November 4, 2011

  6. Maybe the folks in the media hope this story will make the Republicans appear to be insensitive to women — while the brouhaha keeps stories about scandals in the Obama White House off the front burner.

    No. The folks in the media hope this story gets them ratings. The media loves stories about sex will talk about this stuff incessantly regardless of party affiliation. I mean, you can’t really go around saying that Politico is some wild-eyed, leftist media organization that is dedicated to smearing Republicans, can you?

    The media is a gossipy schlock-fest and that’s why stuff like this is prioritized. You guys need to stop shrieking about the liberal media conspiracy, because it just doesn’t exist.

    Comment by Levi — November 5, 2011 @ 8:34 am - November 5, 2011

  7. Levi,

    Oh yes there is. I cite no better authority than the late Andy Rooney, who is quoted in an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal in 2001 by Bernie Goldberg entitled ¨Ever Notice Liberal Bias?¨ Rooney was a guest on Larry King Live and stated , ¨There is no question that I, among others, have a liberal bias.¨ He went on to say that ¨Dan Rather is transparently liberal. Now he may not like to hear me say that. I always agree with him, too. But I think he should be more careful.¨

    Comment by Roberto — November 6, 2011 @ 2:38 pm - November 6, 2011

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