Politico reported this afternoon that Sharon Bialek, a woman who worked at a foundation connected to the National Restaurant Association in 1996 and 1997, told reporters at a press conference in New York that Herman Cain had inappropriately touched her when she asked him for help looking for a job. Bialek said Cain told her, “You want a job, don’t you?” when she resisted his advance. The Cain campaign immediately put out a statement denying the allegation.
Politico asked ARENA participants: Are Bialek’s charges credible? How badly does it hurt the Cain campaign to have a name, face, and specific allegations attached to questions about sexual harassment?
BENJAMIN: Are the charges credible? I have to ask, “Is attorney Gloria Allred credible? Her client, Ms. Bialek has just emerged from the shadows and recesses of Herman Cain’s past. At this point, his comparison to Justice Clarence Thomas is fitting.
It’s unimaginable to me that a black man raised in the segregated South and educated at Morehouse College would make passes at white women.  The accusation, as described, seems more than mere sexual harassment but rises to sexual assault.
This accusation has racial undertones. Undertones that will jar white Republicans far more than Gov. Perry’s Niggerhead Rock problem. Lynching may well be a real hazard. Perry’s rock may be useful yet.
Eighty years ago, the Scottsboro Boys were falsely accused. Unlike those young men, Cain will be fortunate to escape with only a derailed presidential candidacy.
Sadly, the GOP candidates proposed assaults on American workers and the national economy will be ignored as the media pursues salacious accusations. Their proposed rollbacks of healthcare, financial and environmental regulations are dangerous to American prosperity.
The real question should be, “Is the media credible in its pursuit of sexual harassment allegations again Herman Cain?” “And how will that affect coverage of real issues?”