Last weekend, Politico reported that Herman Cain allegedly engaged in "sexually suggestive behavior" toward female colleagues while he was president of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s. The right-wing media quickly resorted to race-baiting to defend Cain from the allegations, calling the report "high-tech lynching."
On Friday, Washington Times columnist Jeffrey Kuhner continued this line of defense for Cain, claiming that he is "being politically lynched by liberals in the media. All that's missing is the noose and the tree":
Liberals are determined to destroy Herman Cain. The Republican presidential candidate is tied or ahead of the presumptive front-runner, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. He has been run- ning an anti-establishment, insurgent campaign that champions sweeping tax reform and a pro-growth agenda. He is a Southern populist who touts his private-sector experience. He also is an authentic black conservative. For this, he is being politically lynched by liberals in the media. All that's missing is the noose and the tree.
It started several weeks ago. Bill Maher, along with MSNBC host Rachel Maddow and Thomas Friedman, a columnist at the New York Times, mocked Mr. Cain on HBO for being "too dumb" and "stupid" to be taken seriously. MSNBC host Martin Bashr, a virulent British leftist, asked on his program whether Mr. Cain even knows "how to spell Iraq." Mr. Cain has indeed made mistakes on the campaign trail, such as stumbling on abortion and failing so far to articulate a coherent foreign policy. Yet he is a successful businessman, who also had a popular radio talk show and writes a syndicated column. He certainly is not stupid. The left is deliberately promoting a vicious racist smear: The black man has nothing between his ears.
The latest assault, however, is the allegation that Mr. Cain sexually harassed two female employees while he was president of the National Restaurant Association (NRA) during the 1990s. The story was first published in Politico, a left-leaning news website. Politico claimed that Mr. Cain was accused of engaging in "sexually suggestive behavior" that made the women feel "uncomfortable" or "awkward." The story said the NRA reached a separation agreement with the women and that one accepted a "five-figure" settlement. Both signed a confidentiality clause. Hence, the women remain anonymous, and the exact nature of the alleged harassment is still murky. Apparently, a third woman has come forward anonymously as well. The media report that one of the complaints accused Mr. Cain of inviting a female subordinate at an event-sponsored conference to go up to his "corporate suite." So far, there is no conclusive proof that he sexually harassed his subordinates. Yet the Politico story has cast a cloud of suspicion over Mr. Cain's candidacy.