Photo: Wikimedia Creative Commons
It’s pretty clear that this Herman Cain harassment story does not have any legs. Of the truly damaging kind, anyway. (Unless, of course, this new employee can provide any actual details.)Here’s what appears to be getting lost in that story. Herman Cain’s continuing ignorance on foreign policy.
Sure the initial ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan remark made for good late night fodder. But Cain’s remarks regarding foreign policy in the last 24 hours should be sounding alarm bells. And they aren’t.
Imagine for a moment (as Joe Scarborough did this morning) that Sarah Palin had said in an interview that she was worried about China as a military threat because they’ve “indicated that they’re trying to develop nuclear capability and they want to develop more aircraft carriers like we have.”
Cain said that last night on PBS. China has had nuclear capability since 1964.
Or declared it was her intention to send war ships into the Persian Gulf and get in a shooting war with Iran. As Cain did on O’Reilly last night.
Palin, meanwhile, was excoriated (and rightly so) for telling Katie Couric she reads “all the papers” and that her foreign policy experience was rooted in the fact Alaska was bordered by foreign countries (hence the SNL line “I can see Alaska from my house”).
That interview was so damaging it essentially ended Palin’s (and McCain’s) White House run. One wonders if Cain would even make headline for anything so mundane.
It’s true that Cain is not the official nominee as Palin was. But he has now sustained his lead in the polls for so long that he needs to be treated with some gravitas. Outside of MSNBC the media has been slow to shift to freak-out mode (the NYT did a deep dive yesterday on the sex allegations but hasn’t paid all that much attention to the foreign policy gaffe). And thus far Fox seems awfully close to defending Cain. As does the GOP (mostly by dint of their silence).
As Joe Scarborough ranted this morning: “Sarah Palin could absolutely take down Herman Cain in a foreign policy jeopardy contest right now. And yet for some reason Herman Cain is not being held to the same tough standard.”
Indeed. Want to know why?
Here’s why: Because that tough standard disappeared after Obama went to office and Palin became a pop culture personality and cable news figured out there was great success in promoting and generating idiotic viral clips and essentially turning their cable hosts into pretend candidates and their networks into political operations.
Herman Cain is simply the logical result of four years of cable news nonsense. And he is currently on the receiving end of the sort of explosive ratings that cable has been enjoying for the last three years.
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