When it comes to sex, the media apply different standards to Republicans and Democrats.
Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton allegedly trolled for women, using state troopers as his procurers. As president, Clinton engaged in oral sex with Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office. He lied about it under oath and was impeached, though later acquitted by the U.S. Senate. Other sexual accusations tainted Clinton, including one that he raped one Juanita Broaddrick. That "everybody lies about sex" and "it was just sex" and didn't affect his public responsibilities, were just two of the exculpatory statements from Clinton's Democratic defenders. James Carville slimed Paula Jones, one of Clinton's accusers, by saying you never know what you'll find "when you drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park."
Many other Democrats in modern times have been caught with their pants down -- JFK, John Edwards. Some paid a political price. Most did not because their policies were favored by the liberal media, which gave them cover.
Now it is Herman Cain's turn and the rules have suddenly changed. Cain stands accused of sexually harassing two women more than a decade ago when he headed the National Restaurant Association. Many in the media wolf pack have already judged him guilty because he updated his initial statement denying the allegations. And yet The Washington Post, in association with Politico.com -- which broke the "story" -- routinely updates its online pages when new information comes to light.
Is Cain, a relative media novice, expected to have instant and total recall of events that may or may not have happened more than 10 years ago?
The way this works is, if you can't give the media immediate and detailed answers to their questions, they "raise new questions" and then when you do provide them additional information they say you should have provided it before and must be covering something up, prompting even more questions.
One cannot say what, if any, political motives the anonymous female accusers might have, or even if they helped bring these charges to Politico. So much of this is subjective. What is known is that a charge of sexual harassment is not proof that sexual harassment occurred.
This story also has a noxious odor of racism about it. Historically, perhaps the worst stereotype directed at African-American men is that they are oversexed and constantly on the prowl for female conquests.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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