"(Cain) really doesn't want to be overtly associated with African-Americans." -- MSNBC's Martin Bashir on Cain's failure to appear at the Martin Luther King Memorial dedication.
"I think that (Cain) makes that white Republican base of the party feel OK, feel like they are not racist because they can like this guy. I think he is giving that base a free pass, and I think they like him because they think he is a black man who knows his place. And I know that sounds harsh." -- MSNBC Democratic strategist Karen Finney.
"(Cain) needs to get off the symbolic crack pipe and acknowledge that the evidence (of racism in America) is overwhelming." -- Princeton professor Cornel West.
"There is this constant minstrelsy aspect that (Cain) keeps bringing up. ... And yet Cain allows the GOP to have this sort of force where it's like: 'Well, we're not racist. We are supporting this black man.'" -- Time.com contributor and author Toure.
Left-wing black journalists (a near redundancy) absolutely hate, hate, hate black conservatives. A few years ago, a black former policy advisor for President George W. Bush resigned after being arrested for stealing from retail stores. Los Angeles Times journalist and contributing editor Erin Aubry Kaplan wrote: "I don't support conservatism in its current iteration, and I support black conservatives even less. ... Here is a man who, like most black conservatives, has had to do an awful lot of personal and political rationalizing to pay dues. ... It's hard to imagine that such compromises and cognitive dissonance don't exact a psychological toll at some point."
Chicago Tribune's John Kass, after the revelation of Jackson's love child, finally acknowledged the double standard and the media-imposed no-fly zone over Jackson: "For years, Jackson has been treated kindly. Here's my explanation. In the media, we're white people, mostly, and mostly suburban born, mostly Democrats, terrified of being called racists, even if the charge comes from a hustler. Black reporters don't want to become targets, either.
"So news organizations skip timidly around Jackson's finances, though we've known his race baiting has carried a price tag. ...
"Through this condescending bargain, this queasy media pact laced with white liberal guilt and white liberal racism, the crafty Jackson has prospered.
"His profile increased, while other black voices, those with legitimate yet differing views, were diminished.
"We didn't want true diversity. We wanted it easy. We used him. And he used us."
Yes, the media do indeed put front-runners -- all of whom willingly enter the political fray -- under an intense microscope. And properly so. But not all microscopes are created equal.