American Malady


By: Wayne Brown

The American media has officially began its work for the 2012 elections. The kickoff event of national concern apparently is the “Herman Cain Sex Scandal”. Politico claimed to have unnamed female sources who were “harassed” by Mr. Cain while he served with the National Restaurant Association. This was the extent of the information or allegations if you will. Rather than present any detailed evidence, Politico simply reported that Mr. Cain needed to be forthcoming with the facts.

Cain took the stance that he has never sexual harassed anyone in any way as the story broke. He has stuck by that claim throughout the early stages of the reporting and a number of credible people have come forward to defend his reputation. The Huffington Post then reported that Mr. Cain had “changed his tune” on the alleged claims which, in effect, was nothing more than a sensationalized headline designed to lure in the reader. Cain had not changed his position but simply explained the circumstances under which these accusations were contrived.

Though Mr. Cain is “accused” of sexual harassment, there are no specific allegations cited other than to say that “he made hand movements which the accusers found offensive”. Since Mr. Cain was in a managerial role at the NRA, he had to recuse himself from investigating the so-called incident and allow other officials to handle the follow-up. This is typical of any such occurrence in most large organizations. Anyone with any knowledge of the events is normally excluded from the information gathering process on the investigative side. Unfortunately, some in the media, want to use this recusal by Cain as an indication of his guilt in the matter regardless of whether there are any supporting facts.

The cases were settled for some amount of financial compensation according to some sources. Cain claims that he was not privy to that settlement nor does he possess any information as to how much was paid. He did go on to point out that he hoped the amount was not a large sum in that there was no behavioral basis for the claim in the first place. Regardless of the amount paid by the NRA in compensation, the fact of the matter is the end result all came down to money seemingly with little concern as to whether Herman Cain was disciplined or paid a price for the actions claimed by his accusers. I don’t know about you, but I find those who claim damages all in the name of money to have somewhat of a credibility problem with the basis of their accusations in the first place.

We live in a society which is supposedly based on the premise, “a person is considered innocent until proven guilty.” That may be true in our courts of law but one quickly finds that in the realm of the race card and sexual harassment, just the opposite is true…the accused in guilty until they can prove their innocence. What a shame that we live in such a world. What a shame that such a card can be played on Herman Cain and he is immediately looked upon with a jaded eye without a single fact being presented beyond the story of an accusation. In this case, we can say that in the court of public opinion, Mr. Cain is being convicted on the basis of accusation only.

Several years ago, I had an employee that I supervised accused of racial discrimination by an employee of one of our corporate customers. As the immediate supervisor, I was “recused” from the investigation by our personnel group. Once all the interviews were completed and the information gathered, it came to light that the accuser had thought that he could get some money for his claim because our employee worked for a large corporation that would be anxious to settle such a matter. He basically assumed and rightfully so that the corporation would be more interested in the claim just “going away” than dealing with it head-on. Unfortunately, he picked the wrong corporation to deal with in such matters. My employee suffered a lot of emotional trauma in this case because he found that he could be accused when he had done nothing. The result brought out a fear in him that will be with him for the rest of his days…a fear that one can be accused and convicted though innocent. To this day, he lives with that fear every day and the fact that he was cleared does little to help him calm his concern.

Politics in America is dirty business. Character assassination is an easy way to destroy the opposition especially when that opposition becomes the party that the other side would rather not run against in the election. It is manipulation across the aisle in its finest form. For far too many people, the fact that Herman Cain is accused is enough to convict him in the court of public opinion. His detractors know this and have no ethical conflict with playing such a card. Winning, in their mind, is not about ethics, it is about outcomes sadly.

I did not write this perspective because I am a “Herman Cain” fan. While I appreciate the fact that he is a successful businessman with a very impressive record of success in all his ventures, I have not yet made up my mind that he is the one person that I want to support as a presidential candidate. That time will come but I am not there yet. I write this because I truly feel that Herman Cain, like any of us, deserves better than what he is currently getting from a media that is far too ready to drag him out in the street and tar ‘n feather him with accusation ending his chances for political success.

Where is the Republican organization in this matter? Does it not take a formal stand for those candidates participating in the election process or does the public have to wait for the “anointed one” to be named before any defense can be forthcoming? Does Herman Cain not deserve the benefit of the doubt and deserve to have some reasonably concrete evidence placed upon the table before he is politically black-balled on the basis of accusation alone? Where are the other candidates in this conservative race for the nomination? Are they just going to sit back and watch the media fry Mr. Cain without weighing in on the circumstance? If so, they make a very stupid mistake because eventually this process may also come to their door. Any right thinking candidate, regardless of political affiliation, would be demanding proof of guilt and putting those in the media on notice that their approach in this circumstance is unacceptable. One day the bell might toll for thee.

Herman Cain’s life is considered by the media to be an open book with no chapter closed for their inspection. What a shame that their attitude was so different in regard to the current media darling in the White House who has a chain of baggage a mile long which the media makes no demands upon but actually defends to the death in most cases. What an ironic contrast between two people desiring the same office. If one thought about it long enough, one might conclude that the American public is being manipulated in their thinking and actions by a media with a desired outcome on an otherwise democratic event. That in and of itself is quite troubling in our country.

Hopefully, Herman Cain can preserver and continue in his political ambition to occupy the White House as the Commander-In-Chief. Much of that will depend on continued efforts of the media and the public response to those efforts. Regardless of any forthcoming proof, the right spin placed upon the subject material can be an anchor which weighs heavily on the political success of Mr. Cain. One might want to ask, “How does Herman Cain prove that he never sexually harassed anyone?” For that matter, how do you prove it of yourself given that someone comes forward with the accusation? Stop and think on that for a while before you help tie the loop in the noose to hang Mr. Cain’s political career.

America deserves far better than it is getting from the media today. Whatever happened to objective journalism in this country? Somewhere around the time of Vietnam and Watergate, journalism took on a different role in this country. A free press was originally thought of by the Founding Fathers as an element which would keep America honest because it would report the facts, not the accusation, the innuendo, but the facts. A free press would cut to the chase and do so in an objective manner so that the overall good of the American public was best served. Now we have reporters more worried about being barred from the White House detail than reporting the facts. More sensationalism that detail; more desire by the reporter to make a name than to research the facts and report them. Human nature and political leanings have overcome truth and objectivity in journalism in America today. No longer is a free press the guardian and keeper of American freedom. What a sad state of affairs.

©Copyright WBrown2011. All Rights Reserved.


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Comments 33 comments

Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

With such few deserving candidates for our 2012 elections...I sure hear ya.

But, it's good to get out all the skeletons out of the closet of any candidate before we start trusting in them. Herman Cain has a good record and once he clears himself of the scandal...he will be driving with no bumps ahead.

homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas

Our media certainly does not treat everyone fairly, and I think that is what chaps me more than how it is covered, although I don't believe that is right either. If the media did the same to everyone it would be more credible to me. They use the power they have managed to garner for themselves very inappropriately.

politicalzealot profile image

politicalzealot 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Let me first start off by saying I am a huge Herman Cain fan and would love to see him in the White House as a disclaimer.

You ask where the republican organization is on this matter. Reading between the lines, it appears that you believe this was a hit piece done by the left (correct me if I am wrong). To me the whole thing reads like opposition research done by a republican candidate. If I were a betting man, I would place money on it coming from Mitt Romney's camp.

The reason I think that's the case is because of two things. First, the democrats have no reason to really start hitting candidates hard until a nominee is selected. It would make no sense to strike at Herman Cain if you are a democrat at this point. If you had this dirt on him, it would make more sense to hold onto it until he was selected as the nominee.

Second, Mitt Romney has been publicly hitting Rick Perry and mostly ignoring Hermain Cain. But the facts are that Romney needs to do something to bring Cain back down. This hit piece allows him to do so, while enabling him to stay focused on Perry in public. That is why I think it makes sense that it came from his camp.

What do you think?

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 5 years ago from Rural Arizona

Let me think about this for a minute. Our Media wanted no part of the issue with Obama's possibly forged birth certificate, or his failure to produce school records, or the SS# he used issued by a state he never lived in? But they are willing to go after Cain with all the gusto they can manage over alleged accusations. I smell a rat and it isn't Herman Cain.

Cousin Fudd profile image

Cousin Fudd 5 years ago from From the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina

Good write Wayne. The media jumps at any chance to improve ratings. As you said so well politics in America is dirty business. There are so many today who feel someone has pea'd in their oatmeal and their rights have been scorned but the sad truth is most are blame games centered around how much sympathy can be bought with money.

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Ruchira...I certainly hope that you are correct in your perspective. Time will tell. WB

@homesteadbound...I tend to agree. If they are going to be unfair, let's be unfair to everyone rather than selectively unfair. Good point. WB

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@politicalzealot...I do not necessarily hold a perspective beyond saying that the left-leaning media seems to be the visible force behind the effort. As to whether it could be an inside or outside job, yes, it could come from inside the Republican camp but I think it would be foolish to get into that level of dirty politics within your own race. At the same time, do not discount the left's desire to run against certain candidates as opposed to others. Obama would much prefer to run against Romney as opposed to Cain. Romney is defineable and has enough issues weighing against him to benefit the Obama camp. Cain, on the other hand, completely changes the demographic and may shift a lot of the vote in the same manner which Obama did in the 2008 elections. On that basis, Obama is not eager to face him in 2012. So, there is a credible reason that this could be coming from the party in charge at the moment. Thanks for the comments. WB

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Old Poolman...I think you just summed up it better than I could, Mike. Thanks for the comments. WB

@CousinFudd....Amen to that! Isn't it amazing how much a little money can salve the person with the hurt feelings and also incriminate the person offering it. WB

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

The Free Press, Wayne, is no longer free (if it ever was). It is bought and paid for by those with the largest war chests. And since sensationalism sells more papers and attracts more viewers, we can expect much more of it with regard to Cain and the other candidates as well.

oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 5 years ago from The Midwest, USA

Great hub, Wayne. The gross inconsistencies are what get me. It just all depends on how much one side wants to attack the others, its like a form of terrorism almost. While Cain should have been prepared, it seems to me he is so innocent on this matter that he truly didn't see all of this coming. Its so wrong to just try and destroy someone's credibility to the degree they are. If a party or a group doesn't have enough good on their side to back them up, so that people will vote for them, it doesn't give them right to just go after the opposition. Yet they do. Voted up, great hub.

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@drbj...Doc, I respect you intelligence and insight thus I will take your evaluation on face value. What a shame this is what America has come to be. WB

@oceansnsunset...You are so correct. Winning politically should be about having the issues on your side not defaming the character of others. Obama cannot run on his record so what is left? WB

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

The problem is that Cain really can't prove anything anymore than his accusers can. He said, she said. I don't find it at all strange that these women were paid money and then let go. Sadly, it is sometimes the only way to handle such matters. The campaign is now heading in for the kill. I wonder, who the Obama machine has their eye on next. Where are the Republicans? Up interesting and awesome.

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Real sexual harassment is rare, but claims are common. Cain was never accused of using his supervisor position to elicit sex from an employee, and that is real sexual harassment.

Today, virtually anything can be used as a basis for claiming sexual harassment. One guy had a picture of his wife in a bathing suit on his desk and found himself charged with harassment!

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 5 years ago from Rural Arizona

I would suspect the other wannabes are secretly thrilled about this allegation against Cain. Cains fast rise in the Polls has become a serious threat to most of them. Now, the MSM is doing their work for them in trying to eliminate Cain as a strong contender. I also suspect the libs view Cain as a serious threat to the anointed one, our King, and would love to see Cain out of the race. Anyone who has worked in a management position in the last 20 or 30 years knows how easy it is for any employee to file a sexual harassment or discrimination complaint against their supervisor. The supervisor is then considered guilty, and are on their own to prove their innocence. It is not uncommon for the HR department to agree to a cash settlement and a silence agreement rather than have this complaint go through the courts. By doing so, they are giving the impression the supervisor was guilty as charged. They take the easy way out, and the accused lives with this cloud over his or her head for the rest of their life. The point to this is that just because HR decided to pay these employees some money doesn't necessarily mean Cain was guilty.

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@breakfastpop...In the public domain, the accusation stands as evidence in lieu of any evidence. The accused can only disclaim to accusation but really has nothing to fight with especially if someone else investigates and creates the resolution. Thanks, Poppy.

@WillStarr...True, the concept is abuse to a high degree because too many have figured out that they stand a chance to get away with it and reap a financial reward. WB

@Old Poolman...There are few companies that will stand and fight on many of these issues. Too often the situation has no witnesses and it's one person's world against the other. Certainly the left would rather have Cain out of the picture. In reality, they want Obama to run against Romney. Sadly, too many in the Republican Party believe Romney should be the horse...a bad choice and one that can be beaten even with Obama's record. Cain could change that entire demographic and the left knows it. WB

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 5 years ago from Rural Arizona

Wayne - I too feel that Cain would stand a much better chance of beating Obama for many reasons.

At one point in my Corporate years, I had the dubious honor of supervising 65 to 70 service representatives, mostly females. This was such an unpopular job, the company assigned it on a 90 day rotation basis. The company had a dress code because on occasion these service representatives would be required to meet face to face with a customer. One in particular had been written up several times by other supervisors for failing to meet the minimum required dress code, and I in fact had recently written her up myself for this same violation.

One day I was in the break area grabbing my morning coffee when she walked in dressed very nicely, hair fixed, and very presentable. I made the mistake of saying "You look very nice today" thinking this would sound like a compliment. I took my coffee back to my office to start another day. A few hours later I was called and asked to come up to HR to discuss a problem. Sure enough, this employee had filed a sexual harassment charge against me, telling them I was "hitting on her." Fortunately for me, one of the other employees was standing nearby at the time I made this statement and came to my defense. Based on the testimony of the other employee the entire matter was dropped.

Had it not been for this other employee, I could have found myself in the same position Herman Cain is in now. It happens that easy and that quickly.

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

I too was hit with a harassment suit, but luckily, our corporate lawyer discovered that she had several such suits pending with other deep pocket companies. When he informed her lawyer that we knew about the other suits, the charge was dropped.

Unfortunately for the accused, companies have discovered that it's cheaper to settle than to fight it. Therefore, people like Herman Cain look guilty because there was a settlement.

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 5 years ago from Rural Arizona

WillStarr - When my incident happened I asked HR if I could count on legal representation from the company. The answer was a big "NO", you will need to hire your own legal representation. That sure gave me a warm fuzzy feeling about being on the management side of the house.

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Corporate lawyers are concerned with saving the company money. The whole purpose of these harassment suits is to get a big settlement, and that comes out of company pockets, not some middle level manager, so the company lawyers eventually have to defend that manager in order to protect the company.

Had your case gone to court, the company would have been forced to defend you to protect themselves.

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 5 years ago from Rural Arizona

Will, you are no doubt correct on this, but it was sure a scary situation at the time.

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"...but it was sure a scary situation at the time."

Damn right it is! You are being called a pervert, and your job is at risk! You feel guilty and dirty when you've actually done nothing.

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@OPM & WillStarr...Based on your exchange, can I assume that the roots of this problem fall more with the prosecuting attorney than otherwise. Afterall, if the attorney had the ethics to tell the client whether or not they truly had a case then maybe these situations would not be so common...could that be that "greed" rearing its ugly head...not capitalist greed but a worst kind? WB

femmeflashpoint 5 years ago

Mr. Brown - sooooo glad you wrote this piece!

Also thrilled to see so many comments from so many who've been there done that, in the same shoes as Mr. Cain.

If the "women" (I intentionally did not type that as "ladies"), had an issue with this, and (if I got it right), the situations allegedly happened in the 90s, that's some massively delayed shock they're all experiencing at the same time.

Personally, I'd not need a lawyer filing a suit to take care of a sexual harassment case. In my own experience, by the time they've managed to crawl back to standing position, they have a perfect understanding of rejection, and no lawyer is needed.

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 5 years ago from Rural Arizona

femmeflashpoint - I loved your comment about not needing a lawyer. Come to think of it, that is exactly how this type problem was dealt with before lawyers became so popular.

I sure hope Cain can recover from this. The news media is loving it now, but will drop it as soon as these accusations are proven to be false. That way the idea of his being guilty sticks in people minds, not the fact that he was accused and found innocent.

The issue of the long delay before these women decided it was a big deal is certainly something to question. It just isn't passing the smell test.

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Sexual harassment suits are very lucrative, and the 'victims' have learned that all they have to do is claim to have been offended, to get a payoff. The most innocent remark can easily be twisted into a claim of harassment, and most companies will settle, rather than have it become public and a possible class action.

In my own case, the 'victim' claimed that I did not allow her to travel to another job (like several other employees...all male) because she did not dispense sexual favors. Of course, no such favors were ever requested, a fact that she finally admitted to. She wasn't invited to another job because she was such a poor worker and a known troublemaker!

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@femmelflashpoint...Now, I am beginning to see how you got this moniker! LOL! Thanks much! WB

Deb Welch 5 years ago

Wayne - I voted this Hub - Interesting, Awesome, Beautiful and Useful - not Funny. I'm a Cain follower and read today - he made a comment that most did not understand his humor back then. One woman changed her mind about claiming sexual harassment and even said he was a 'good boss'. He's in a heavy political world and he isn't a politician. He is a genuine man who happens to be of dark skin and not half & half - Obama - does not want to encounter a race between them in my opinion.

Hopefully all will turn out well. An excellent read.

femmeflashpoint 5 years ago

Wayne, lol!

More than once it has served me well to be raised by a Jarhead and his buddies. ;)

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Deb Welch...Thank you. I appreciate the good words. I have no doubt that Obama wants to see Cain go away and do so in a hurry before he energize a very different demographic than the that truly will make it difficult for Obama to see a second term. If Cain can last, he'll wise up. Hopefully he will last. WB

@femmelflashpoint...All it takes is one good Marine! LOL! WB

Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

My experience as an HR consultant has involved me in sexual harassment issues on more than one occasion with various clients. I work with people, extensively, at various levels of the power spectrum. Although I am as yet undecided regarding my vote, I happen to like Mr. Cain, and wanted to offer my observations regarding Wayne’s well-written hub.

Truth is one thing. But the media’s obsession with these types of scenarios is just another example of the dummied-down, drama laden nonsense with which much of the public seem to be enthralled; personally I find it repugnant.

Wayne is also spot-on in that Mr. Cain’s recusing himself from any oversight or influence into the investigation was the proper thing to do. The extent of his involvement should have been giving information insofar as his participation in the alleged incident(s) was concerned.

Here’s the part of this mess that has me raising an eyebrow: Whether Mr. Cain liked it or not, he would have most certainly been advised of the final disposition; he was CEO of this organization and the focus of the investigation. To assume he was kept in the dark concerning the final outcomes is highly unlikely; that just doesn’t happen…at least, not in my experience.

In any event, time to move on. :-)

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Genna East...I tend to agree with you on that final point. The explanation that is out there is that he left the organization long before the settlement came about. He either didn't care or forgot about it. At the same time, the NRA should have been responsible enough to advise him of the outcome to each allegation since he was the accused and had the right to know. His recusal was limited to the investigation not the outcome results. In that respect, the reply from the Cain camp has not been very good Still, on the basis of how these allegations have remained unstated, Cain must try to prove a negative in order to dispense with the issues...a difficult if not impossible feat. Thanks, Genna for those insightful remarks based on your personal and professional experiences. WB

tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 5 years ago from California

W.B. Great hub. With new allegations yesterday against Mr. Cain I see a definite strategy to get just the person on the Republican ticket that the media wants.Slander them personally, until they protect their family, until they quit the race. Really infuriating.

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@tirelesstraveler...I seem to remember the media doing more to discredit some of this back when Gennifer Flowers and various others were clamining affairs with Clinton. He even got caught lying about it and still managed to get out of it. I doubt we'll get that much of a break on the conservative side of the aisle. It would be one thing if they were coming forward with evidence but all I see so far is allegation. We are going to convict this man in the court of public opinion on allegation yet we are not willing to pursue the mystery information with regarding to birth, citizenship of Obama. There is something very wrong here. WB

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