Responding to a report that Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain allegedly engaged in “sexually suggestive behavior” in the 1990s, right-wing media figures have turned to race-baiting, arguing that Cain is being targeted because he is a “black conservative” and that he is the victim of a “high-tech lynching.”
Politico Report Airs Accusations Of “Inappropriate Behavior” Against Cain
Politico: “At Least Two Female Employees Complained ... About Inappropriate Behavior By Cain.” Politico reported:
During Herman Cain's tenure as the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, at least two female employees complained to colleagues and senior association officials about inappropriate behavior by Cain, ultimately leaving their jobs at the trade group, multiple sources confirm to POLITICO.
The women complained of sexually suggestive behavior by Cain that made them angry and uncomfortable, the sources said, and they signed agreements with the restaurant group that gave them financial payouts to leave the association. The agreements also included language that bars the women from talking about their departures. [Politico, 10/31/11]
Right-Wing Media Turn To Race-Baiting To Defend Cain
Coulter: Liberals “Are Terrified Of Strong, Conservative, Black Men.” On Fox's Geraldo at Large, conservative author Ann Coulter said:
COULTER: I'm spitting mad at this attack on Herman Cain. Maybe he should be at the top of the ticket.
COULTER: Liberals are terrified of Herman Cain. He is a strong conservative black man. Look at the way they go after Allen West and Michael Steele and they're not even running against Obama. They are terrified of strong, conservative, black men. [Fox News, Geraldo at Large, 10/30/11, via RealClearPolitics]
Jim Hoft: “Let's Face It ... They're Racists.” Right-wing blogger Jim Hoft claimed that the “latest liberal media smears” of Herman Cain from Politico's story shows that “they're racists.” [Gateway Pundit, 10/31/11]
Brent Bozell: “In The Eyes Of The Liberal Media, Herman Cain Is Just Another Uppity Black American.” In a 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]
Limbaugh: Politico Story “Is About Blacks ... Getting Too Uppity.” On his website, Rush Limbaugh featured the transcript of a radio show segment in which he defended Cain using the title: “We Should Not be Surprised by the Left's Racist Hit Job on Herman Cain.” On his radio show, he stated:
LIMBAUGH: It really is about blacks and Hispanics getting too uppity. That's what this is. You don't achieve in American politics as a Republican, as a self-reliant individual or conservative. You don't do it. You try it and we're going to destroy you -- Washington Post and Marco Rubio last week and the week before. Today, Herman Cain.
Now Clinton is laughing because he knows the media and the liberals are gonna treat a black conservative far different than how they would treat any Democrat. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 10/31/11]
Greg Gutfeld: “When You're A Black Conservative, Beware.” Fox's The Five co-host Greg Gutfeld suggested Politico wrote its story because “if you're a conservative, anything can be misconstrued as sexist behavior and people will go after you.” Cain, he said, is a “black conservative”:
GUTFELD: But I want to get to something that Andrea said, which I think -- because it's Halloween, we should talk about costumes. And the great thing about being a progressive, is as long as your costume is a progressive, you can be a pig. But if you're a conservative, anything can be misconstrued as sexist behavior and people will go after you. The media will go after you right away.
But, you know, if you're Teddy Kennedy, if you're Bill Clinton, if you're John Edwards, if you're the Wall Street protesters who are covering up sexual assaults, the media will keep their hands off it because you're wearing the costume of the progressive. When you don't wear the costume of the progressive, when you're a black conservative, beware. [Fox News, The Five, 10/31/11]
Monica Crowley Asked If Cain Story Happened Because He's A “Black Conservative.” While guest-hosting The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News contributor Monica Crowley asked Karl Rove: “Do you think that Herman Cain should be prepared for more of this because he is a black conservative?” [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 10/31/11]
Right-Wing Media Quickly Declare Cain's “High-Tech Lynching” Warning A “Prophecy” That Came True
Drudge Invokes Cain's “High-Tech Lynching” Comment. Under a link to the Politico article that first reported the allegations against Cain, The Drudge Report promoted a “flashback” to Cain's May 2011 statement referencing Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and claiming he was “ready for the same high-tech lynching”:
[Drudge Report, 10/30/11]
Hannity: Politico Story “Made Cain's Prophecy Come True” That He Would Suffer A “High-Tech Lynching.” During 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]
Coulter: Politico Story “Absolutely Is” A “High-Tech Lynching.” From Ann Coulter's appearance on Fox News' Hannity:
HANNITY: Both Herman Cain and Clarence Thomas used the term “high-tech lynching.” Is that high-tech -- is that accurate?
COULTER: Yep. It absolutely is. It absolutely is, and it's coming from the exact same people who used to do it the lynching with ropes. Now they do it with a word processor.
HANNITY: You mean the Democratic Party.
COULTER: Yes. Yes. We had to have national federal civil rights laws to protect blacks from Democrats. [Fox News, Hannity, 10/31/11]
Peter Johnson Jr.: “Some People” Have “Pointed Out” That “Maybe This Is A High-Tech Lynching.” While guest co-hosting Fox & Friends, Fox News contributor Peter Johnson, Jr. said:
JOHNSON: Especially in this case based upon what we've seen in the past with Judge Thomas and those allegations, should this African-American, chief executive of the National Restaurant Association, does he need a witness in the room, does he need someone to stand there and corroborate a discussion with a woman in the room?
STEVE DOOCY (co-host): There is none.
JOHNSON: And so, and there have been some people that have pointed out in the national media that maybe this is a high-tech lynching that Politico engaged in with regard to Mr. Cain. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 11/1/11]
Jeffrey Lord: “High Tech Lynching Of An Uppity Conservative Black Man.” From Jeffrey Lord's American Spectator blog post:
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.
High Tech Lynching of an Uppity Conservative Black man.
The Sequel. [The American Spectator, 10/30/11]