Fox News turned its campaign to protect Herman Cain on CNBC Wednesday, lashing out at CNBC debate moderators for asking Cain about sexual harassment allegations during a GOP primary debate.
Co-hosting the first GOP presidential debate since news broke that the National Restaurant Association paid two women tens of thousands of dollars after they accused Herman Cain of sexually inappropriate behavior, CNBC's Maria Bartiromo asked Cain to address the accusations and whether voters should be concerned about "character issues."
Before the debate even took place, Eric Bolling primed the pump, bemoaning that moderators would "probably say, hey Herman Cain how come there are four people accusing you of having, of sexual assault?"
Later, Sean Hannity and Fox Business's Charles Payne reacted live to Cain's only question addressing the allegations made against him. Hannity claimed he had never "seen anything like this," and railed against NBC for asking it. Payne echoed his outrage: "I couldn't even believe the tone of the whole thing, the panel. It was so -- so vicious, so vitriolic; it was dumb, and it was mean-spirited."
From the outset of the sexual harassment scandal, Fox News has led a right-wing media campaign to discredit Cain's accusers. Now there is evidence that the channel will go silent on the issue going forward. During a seven minute interview after the debate, Fox's Greta Van Susteren did not ask Cain a single question about the allegations: