The Lessons of Cain

Politics and news are dirty. Herman Cain is not the first political candidate slandered and libeled by the drive-by media, and he will certainly not be the last. Why "drive-by"? Because they report and spin unverified information, without any regard to the people they defame, or worse, with the explicit aim of defaming them. Yes, defamation. Somehow, news outlets have managed to insulate themselves from the liability of defamation, by reporting other peoples' slander about public figures: slander by proxy, or by spinning facts to make things seem worse then they were: slander by error.

The spectacle surrounding Cain was highly reminiscent of what happened to Jack Ryan, who was accused of having kinky sex, with his wife. It was a non-story; something befitting the rags in the checkout lines of the local convenience stores, but the Chicago "news" media, strong supporters of Barack Obama and the Democratic Party, hounded Ryan about having sex with his wife. The kinky allegations may not have even been true, as they came from allegations made in a bitter divorce, and his ex-wife refused to comment on them. Long after the non-story should have been dropped, it was the only thing the reporters asked Ryan about, until he ended his campaign. The real story, which was largely ignored, was how the sealed allegations came to public notice.

Cain was different, you think? Think again. The first two allegations, made 15 years ago when Cain was at the NRA, were both non-starters. They were both investigated, at the time, and both found to be false. Cain himself was unaware of one, and had recused himself from handling the other. For the third allegation, the attorney for Sharon Bialek was Gloria Allred, which gives her accusations all the credibility of an alien autopsy video from 1947, lacking negatives, and filmed in HD. The latest accuser, Ginger White, is another non-starter, as there seems to be an important aspect missing from her so-called affair: the sex. Everything White has accused Cain of seems very platonic, like being invited to Cain's hotel room to... plan a future meeting. Even worse, 13 years of voice mails and text messages, and there is still no evidence of what most people would call an affair. It makes Ms. White seem a little yandere.

What did the press do with these laughable accusations? Embellished them, double and triple counted them, and reported them endlessly, to the point that no one knew how many accusations or accusers there were. They even mixed in some unfounded rumors of accusations, to just add to the confusion.

In contrast, did you know that Barack Obama was accused of some shocking behavior? Larry Sinclair, a man, told a story about how in 1999, he shared a limo with Obama, they did some lines of cocaine together, and then Larry orally gratified Obama. Larry outed Obama on YouTube, because no news outlet showed interest in his story. Instead of spending every waking moment hounding Obama about this accuser, the news media did everything they could to forget that Larry Sinclair ever existed. The ones who could not forget about Sinclair, did everything they could to discredit him. Pretty much the same thing that was done to all of the accusers of Bill Clinton.

The lesson is not about how the so-called news media engages in defamation by proxy, or about how the media is nothing more than the propaganda arm of the Democratic Party. We already knew these things.

The first lesson is that even knowing this, we still continue to fall for it. The news media has time and time again revealed that, in terms of politics and policy, it has its own agendas, which often conflict with the interests of the American people. As a conservative, one might make the general rule that the news media is the propaganda division of the opposing philosophy, yet we still allow ourselves to be influenced by it. Why would Obama's friends promote a candidate who could threaten him? Yet the candidate the media promotes is still hanging on in second place, loved by almost a full quarter of the people who want Obama gone. Fat chance, if the media gets its way. The media would certainly defame a good, strong conservative, and they did a good job, apparently.

The second lesson is a little more difficult to see, because the media has turned politics into a thick, ugly haze. How can we tell which accusations are real, and which are fake? The corruption and arrest of Rod Blagojevich (D-IL) was no surprise to the Republicans of Illinois, because the allegations were out there. The arrest was a surprise to the average voter of Illinois, because they were led to believe, by the media, that the allegations were just campaign hype.

The second lesson makes a general rule: when you see smoke published about a Democrat, there is probably a roaring, multi-alarm fire. In fact, the town has probably already burned down. When you see smoke about a Republican, it is probably smoke, and there may or may not be a fire. When you see fire about a Republican, it is probably a show, so dig deep, find the unedited video or original quote, and think for yourself.

The final lesson: a functioning democracy needs a reliable news media. We do not have one, which is perhaps why we are a representative republic. News agencies are for-profit entities, and rely on customers. Find news sources that are reliable, and purchase them. Watch the channel, click on their banner ads, or subscribe to their print. For the propaganda rags, learn who they are, and do not even glance at them. Do not follow their Google hits, cancel the subscriptions, and avoid flipping through the channel (maybe even block it, and forget the code). Competition and market demand will sort this problem out, or at least to the point where the media defames everyone equally.