There is a lot of talk going on all over the Internet in reference to Herman Cain. Some are saying that the media does not enjoy the fact that a black conservative is running for office, and this is why they jumped all over the Politico.com piece that broke a sexual harassment scandal. These people claim that anytime a Republican scandal breaks, the media cover it with more ferocity than they will a Democrat. These same people charge that when a Republican is a woman or a minority, the media will cover their scandal with even more ferocity than they will a white male. Others are saying that the sexual harassment charges, that occurred while Cain was working in the private sector, would’ve surfaced regardless of color or party. This is the nature of the media, they say, this is their job.
The race to report the Cain scandal has nothing to do with party, say Democrat supporters. Democrat supporters erect three names to support their claim that the media will report any and all scandals: Anthony Weiner, John Edwards and Bill Clinton. The one thing that all three of these Democrat politicians have in common is that the mainstream media outlets did not break their stories. On the latter, Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff has been given credit for taking the lead on the story. Isikoff won the awards and the plaudits for reporting the scandal, but as everyone knows the credit for breaking the story belongs to a lowly (at the time!) internet reporter named Matt Drudge. Anthony Weiner’s story broke as a result of reportage done by Breitbart.com purveyor Andrew Breitbart. At the time Breitbart broke the story he was nowhere as obscure as Drudge was when he broke the Clinton scandal, but no one would’ve mistaken Breitbart for Isikoff or any of the other, major names in the reporting profession. Finally, John Edwards’ story was reported by the National Enquirer long after Edwards bid for the Democrat nomination for president was over.
The first question is how? How could these small, out of the mainstream, news outlets beat major news outlets (such as Newsweek, NY Times, and Washington Post) to these national news stories? Was the idea that a president could have an affair on his wife, and on the White House grounds, considered insignificant? What about a former Senator, former vice-presidential candidate, and then current candidate for president? Was the scandal considered inconsequential to a presidential candidate’s character that he was cheating on his wife while she was dying of cancer? On that note, did it say anything about a sitting Congressman’s character that he was exposing himself on the internet to anonymous people that may have stepped forward to reveal these photos?
A Democrat, reading this, may state that the Cain scandal was first reported by Politico.com. Politico.com is not one of the major news outlets listed above, so isn’t that similar to the other three scandals listed above? The first thing to note in this argument is that the prominence of the internet has risen radically since the days when the Drudgereport.com first broke the Clinton scandal. The Drudge Report wasn’t what the Drudge Report is today, and the internet wasn’t the powerful media force that it is now. I don’t think political sites were even ranked back then, but if they were I’m quite sure The Drudge Report wouldn’t have even shown up in the top 100. Politico.com ranks number three in most popular political sites as of 11/1/2011. Breitbart doesn’t list in the top 15 most popular political websites on this list, and the National Enquirer has never been considered a bastion of top flight journalism. Politico.com has a more prestigious journalistic reputation than any of these periodicals at this point in history.
The next question to ask is it possible? Is it possible that these major news media reporters didn’t know about these major scandals? A reporter in Washington has to have long arms if they’re going to survive in the cut-throat business they’ve chosen as their profession. One has to imagine that being a reporter for the NY Times is so competitive that a reporter who is low on the totem pole would do just about anything and everything possible to be able to make a living at the profession. One has to imagine that that these reporters know more about the personal lives of these pages and clerks in Washington than they do their own family members. Is it possible that these little clerks and pages–people we’re sure would do anything for a little fame–don’t say anything about these major candidates to reporters? How is it that a reporter couldn’t find one disgruntled, fired clerk who knew a little something something about their boss? If it is possible that none of these pages and clerks broke ranks, how is it that these minor news outlets beat the majors to the story? Or is it possible that reporters aren’t to blame, and it has something to do with the editors that refused to publish their stories?
To borrow from the Nixon scandal’s mantra: What did the media know, and when did they know it? Some have said that the current Herman Cain “scandal” was floating around the media for days. Some said that the Edwards scandal was floating around the media for media for months. How long was the Weiner scandal floating about or the Clinton scandal? You can probably put down some money down on the fact that it took a lot of floating for the Clinton scandal to reach a Matt Drudge.
Democrat supporters say that the rush to report the Cain scandal has nothing to do with his race. To support this claim, Democrat supporters point to Democrats action on the 1964 Civil Rights Act, as if to say the media has ties to the Democrat party (!?). Most Democrat supporters point to this specific act, because all of the previous attempts at civil rights legislation were opposed by Democrats:
“In the 26 major civil rights votes after 1933 and prior to 1964, a majority of Democrats opposed civil rights legislation in over 80 percent of the votes. By contrast, the Republican majority favored civil rights in over 96 percent of the votes.”
But if we are going to focus our attentions on the 1964 Civil Rights Act, then we should mention that it would not have passed if it weren’t for Republicans. Republicans voted for the ’64 Civil Rights Act by a greater majority than Democrats. 138-34 Republicans and 153-96 Democrats. Democrat supporters also point out the specific Democrats that “championed and signed” the 1964 Civil Rights Act legislation, but they do not mention how many Democrats (Dixiecrats) were against the piece. Humphrey championed the legislation, but some believe he has been given undue credit for it, seeing as how the Democrats had the majority of the Senate at the time. (To the victors go the spoils.) In other words, if an individual Democrat hadn’t supported The Act it would’ve never made it to the floor for a vote. Once on the floor, however, the 1964 Civil Rights Act would not have been possible without a Republican. That Republican’s name is Everett McKinley Dirksen (R. Ill.). LBJ and Hoover knew that without Dirksen the bill would’ve been dead in the water. Dirksen did the dirty work on the floor, getting votes, working through objections, and calling press conferences to build support. He did all of this even though African-Americans in his home state of Illinois had not voted for him. When asked why he would risk his reputation for a group of people that weren’t even supporters, Dirksen said:
“I am involved in mankind, and whatever the skin, we are all included in mankind.”
Democrat supporters also state that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed by a Democrat President from Texas, but as anyone who knows anything about LBJ knows, he was no altruistic darling and champion of Civil Rights. This can be derived by the comments he made shortly after signing the legislation:
“I’ll have those blacks (LBJ’s pejorative deleted) voting Democrat for the next 200 years.” In other words, it appears as if the 1964 Civil Rights Act was all about politics for LBJ.
To emphasize this point, LBJ made this comment prior to 1964: “These blacks (LBJ’s pejorative deleted), they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough (author’s emphasis) to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference. For if we don’t move at all, then their allies will line up against us and there’ll be no way of stopping them, we’ll lose the filibuster and there’ll be no way of putting a brake on all sorts of wild legislation. It’ll be Reconstruction all over again.”
One of the reasons that these Democrat supporters defend Democrat actions in the 1964 Civil Rights Act is that people like Ann Coulter have said things like: “If Richard Nixon had defeated John Kennedy in 1960, we would’ve had a civil rights act before 1964, and Republicans would be seen as better on civil rights than Democrats.” To the victor go the spoils of course, but JFK has historically been characterized as reluctant when it came to civil rights legislation. Some have said that the reason for the delay had to do with world affairs that distracted him (Cuban Missle Crisis, Bay of Pigs, etc.), others have said that JFK didn’t believe the legislation would even make it past a filibuster, but when the political winds began to shift JFK began to work on a civil rights bill. Coulter’s claim that Nixon would’ve acted more expediently, and that he would’ve been a champion on civil rights, is based on his voting record, his work as vice-president to Eisenhower, and his campaign rhetoric.
They say it’s not about race and it’s not about political party. They say if you do something wrong, you’ll eventually get raked over the coals. It doesn’t matter who you are. But they also told us that it’s just about sex when a Bill Clinton had a sexual scandal. They said: “The boss gets one free grope,” as feminist leader Gloria Steinem said in op-ed piece she wrote after the Clinton scandal. As we’re seeing now those ‘get out jail free’ cards are only to be monopolized by Democrats. Another reporter lowered herself to comment that she would give Bill “a Lewinsky” if he kept abortion legal in America. Then we found out that Thomas Jefferson and a bunch of presidents had sex scandals. No reporter, or commentator, has come forth to inform us that a former presidential candidate stated that a woman was almost as tall as his wife. No one in the media has declared that anyone who accuses Cain of sexual harassment is a racist. No one has brought up any historical precedents to defend Cain in the manner they would an Obama, as they did with Clinton, and as they will do the next time a Democrat is accused of a nefarious act. Remember Democrats are not hypocrites when they do something wrong, because they don’t tell us to be moral. As the great Thomas Sowell once said: “Media bias is not always easy to discern based on what’s reported. More often than not, it can be detailed in what’s not reported.”