Right-Wing Media Hype "Really Thin" Accusation That Rahm Emanuel Leaked Cain Story

››› ››› MIKE BURNS

The conservative media is divided on anonymous sources: Some right-wing media figures have been hyping a claim by an anonymous source that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is "likely involved with the sexual harassment" allegations against Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain. At the same time, however, other conservative media figures have tried to cast doubt on the sexual harassment allegations against Cain by pointing out that they are based on anonymous sources.

Wash. Times' Picket Reports Emanuel "Likely" Behind Cain Leak, Citing Anonymous Source

Wash. Times' Picket: "According To A Source Who Is Friends With The Cain Campaign ... Rahm Emanuel Is Likely Involved With The Sexual Harassment Accuser Attacks." In a November 2 post on The Washington Times' Water Cooler blog, Kerry Picket reported a claim by an anonymous source that Emanuel likely leaked the story about sexual harassment allegations against Cain:

Herman Cain's campaign is revealing suspicions about who is behind the story regarding the former unidentified employees who accused Mr. Cain of sexual harassment in the late 1990's.

According to a source who is friends with the Cain campaign, not only is the Rick Perry campaign involved but also the Mayor of Chicago and former Obama White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is likely involved with the sexual harassment accuser attacks. A friend of the Cain campaign believes a National Restaurant Association (NRA) employee out of the Chicago office leaked the story to the Perry campaign via information and influence from Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office. [The Washington Times, 11/2/11]

Fox's Chris Wallace: Supposed Emanuel Connection "Seems Really Thin"

Fox's Chris Wallace: Report That Emanuel Was Involved In Leaking Sexual Harassment Story "Seems Really Thin To Me." In an interview with Brian Kilmeade on Fox News Radio's Kilmeade & Friends, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace said it "seems really thin" that Emanuel leaked the story about sexual harassment allegations against Cain. He then suggested it doesn't make sense that Emanuel would leak the story because it would not benefit Obama, whereas leaking it in "September or October of 2012" would. From the November 3 edition of Fox News Radio's Kilmeade & Friends:

BRIAN KILMEADE (host): Well how about this? The Washington Times reporting that his former chief of staff, now mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, likely involved with the sexual harassment accuser attacks. A friend of the campaign, the Cain campaign, believes the National Restaurant Association employee out of the Chicago office leaked the story to the Perry campaign via information and influence from Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office.

WALLACE: That seems really thin to me and if I -- also, quite frankly, if I'm the -- think, you basically have to say, who benefits?

KILMEADE: Right.

WALLACE: If you're Romney, you benefit from Cain going down. If you're Perry, you benefit from Cain going down. If you're the Obama camp, wouldn't you one, want to see a primary campaign go on as long as possible to see Mitt Romney and Perry and all these guys fighting with each other and spending money and time? And, if[,] you know[,] by chance, Cain ends up as the nominee, you know, how great would it be to be able to spring this in September or October of 2012?

KILMEADE: Right. Good point. [Fox News Radio, Kilmeade & Friends, 11/3/11]

Nevertheless, Right-Wing Media Hype The Anonymously Sourced Claim About Emanuel ...

Fox Nation Highlights Washington Times Claim That "Rahm Emanuel [Is] Linked In Cain Sex Story." On November 2, Fox Nation linked to the Washington Times story under a picture of Rahm Emanuel:

foxnationrahm

[Fox Nation, 11/2/11]

Jim Hoft: "It Was Rahmbo." In a November 2 Gateway Pundit post, Jim Hoft linked to the Washington Times post under the headline, "Cain Camp: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Is Also Involved in Sexual Accuser Attacks(?)," and wrote:

It was Rahmbo.

According to the latest reports, the Cains campaign is also suggesting that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is involved in the sexual accuser attacks. [Gateway Pundit, 11/2/11, emphasis original]

Fox's Bolling: "Is A Rival Campaign, One Of The Accusers, Or Even Rahm Emanuel Behind The Herman Cain Leak?" Teasing a segment on the allegations against Cain, The Five co-host Eric Bolling said: "Plus, a question of who done it. Is a rival campaign, one of the accusers, or even Rahm Emanuel behind the Herman Cain leak?" Emanuel's name did not come up during the actual segment Bolling was teasing. [Fox News, The Five, 11/3/11]

... While Other Conservative Media Figures Dismiss Cain Allegations Because Of Anonymous Sources

Fox's Gretchen Carlson: Anonymous Sourcing "Always Adds A Little Bit Of Shadiness To Anything." From the November 3 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

GRETCHEN CARLSON (co-host): I don't know. I think it's important to find out who did plant the story. Why? Because it's all anonymous sources. And I think that if -- you know, that always adds a little bit of shadiness to anything, and so I think it's important to find out who planted the story.

[...]

CARLSON: See, nobody's free and clear here. If you want to blame Herman Cain for pointing fingers, the Perry camp then pointed fingers at the Romney camp.

BOLLING: I'm not blaming. I'm saying, look, this -- they had ten days to figure this thing out. They should have gotten out in front of it. That's no way to handle this. But again, what do you expect from Politico, a lefty organization that systematically tried to take down Palin when she was on top, Bachmann when she was on top, Perry when he's on top and now Cain. Whoever -- if Newt Gingrich rises to the top now guess what? There's going to be an expose, my guess from Politico as soon as he gets up there too.

KILMEADE (co-host): Newt says -- by the way, Newt's advice, he goes, Herman Cain should sit down and evaluate this with his lawyers and find a way forward. Karl Rove's advice is tell -- lift the confidentiality and let the accuser's story get out. So everyone's giving him different advice at this time, but now it's going to even get more complicated.

CARLSON: Well I don't know, because now there's another anonymous source citing a third accuser in an AP article. So is that fair? Is it fair to keep printing these stories from anonymous sources? Now the accusation in this one -- anonymous, so I don't know if you can believe it or not -- is that Herman Cain asked this particular woman up to a hotel room when they were on some sort of business trip together.

BOLLING: But Gretchen, a lot of sources are anonymous, though. I mean, as long as they've investigated whether or not the actual facts of the case -- that there was something that happened, it doesn't matter where your source is, does it? [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 11/3/11]

Brent Bozell Suggested Allegations Are A "High-Tech Lynching" Because They Are Based On An "Unsubstantiated And Thoroughly Hypocritical Hit Piece." In an October 31 blog post titled "Stop the High-tech Lynching of Herman Cain," Media Research Center president Brent Bozell wrote:

Sadly, Herman Cain's predictions have come true. In May he stated that he was "ready for the same high-tech lynching that [Clarence Thomas] went through -- for the good of this country." That's what Politico is doing with its unsubstantiated and thoroughly hypocritical hit piece against him. Anyone in the press that gives this story oxygen is equally hypocritical.

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. So they must destroy him, just as they tried destroying Clarence Thomas. [NewsBusters, 10/31/11]

Hannity Also Suggested That Cain Was Subject To "High-Tech Lynching" Because Of "Unusually Vague Report From Politico.com." During the October 31 edition of his Fox News show, Sean Hannity said:

HANNITY: Now, before Herman Cain became the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, he predicted that his opponents would attempt to orchestrate what he called a, quote, "high-tech lynching." And over the weekend, the left-wing media, well, they made Cain's prophesy come true.

Now, according to an unusually vague report from Politico.com, Cain was accused of sexual harassment back in the 1990s when he was the president and the CEO of the National Restaurant Association. [Fox News, Hannity, 10/31/11, via Media Matters]

NRO's McCarthy: Initial Story About Cain "Was Woven Out Of Insufficient Evidence, Anonymous Sources, And Vague Allegations." From a November 3 National Review Online post by Andrew McCarthy:

Rich, I continue to think the real story here is the media -- and Politico in particular. To repeat, I am not a Cain guy, and I think that lashing out at Perry, on the basis of what appears to be close to zero evidence, undermines Cain's colorable claim to be the target of a hatchet job -- if you're going to charge hypocrisy, you need to stay above it yourself. But Cain's shooting himself in the foot doesn't change how we got here -- and how Politico is still stoking the flames with irresponsible reporting.

Politico's initial story was woven out of insufficient evidence, anonymous sources, and vague allegations that -- even if you construed every possible inference against Cain -- would amount to an impropriety that outfits like Politico would find too trivial to cover like this if the culprit were a left-leaning Democrat. [National Review Online, 11/3/11]

Jeffrey Lord: "We Can't Have A Conservative Black Man In The Oval Office Because He Was Once Accused By Anonymous Women Of 'Inappropriate Behavior'?" From an October 30 American Spectator blog post by Jeffrey Lord, a former aide to Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp:

So.

Here's the story.

From a liberal media outlet.

An "Exclusive" story about Herman Cain. A story about a black man who is a conservative and just by coincidence is now riding high in the presidential polls. A story about anonymous women making allegations of sexual harassment against Mr. Cain. And getting bucks for their efforts.

[...]

The last time this kind of story was deserving of keeping somebody from high office, strangely enough that target turned out to be a black conservative man as well.

So. Do we have this right?

We can't have a conservative black man in the Oval Office because he was once accused by anonymous women of "inappropriate behavior"?

But we can give a pass and an attaboy to a liberal white man who was actually in the Oval Office when accused of infinitely worse behavior by said multiples of women? Including, say again, rape? And now everybody just has a big ole laugh about it all at said ex-president's 65th birthday when Lady Gaga shakes her booty at Bill and everybody roars?

Yes indeed. That does appear to be the game. [The American Spectator, 10/30/11]

We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.