On the Herman Cain ‘Sexual Harassment’ Story

Hey, look! We have a black candidate for president with a background that the media actually cares about scrutinizing. That’s of course because he’s conservative — but nonetheless, from here on in, whatever it is that happened, Herman Cain can look forward to getting the Clarence Thomas treatment.

Politico:

During Herman Cain’s tenure as the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, at least two female employees complained to colleagues and senior association officials about inappropriate behavior by Cain, ultimately leaving their jobs at the trade group, multiple sources confirm to POLITICO.

The women complained of sexually suggestive behavior by Cain that made them angry and uncomfortable, the sources said, and they signed agreements with the restaurant group that gave them financial payouts to leave the association. The agreements also included language that bars the women from talking about their departures.

In a series of comments over the past 10 days, Cain and his campaign repeatedly declined to respond directly about whether he ever faced allegations of sexual harassment at the restaurant association. They have also declined to address questions about specific reporting confirming that there were financial settlements in two cases in which women leveled complaints.

In my 20 years experiencing corporate America at varied levels, I’ve seen two sexual harassment accusations (not directed at me, but I knew the people involved). In one, I didn’t witness the alleged offenses, so I can’t vouch for the veracity of the accusation. But another I was familiar with, and I can safely say that the accusation was complete BS. Nevertheless, the women received a settlement and went away.

I mention this merely as a reminder that an accusation and subsequent payment doesn’t automatically equate to guilt of the charge. Companies often just want these things to “go away,” so they sometimes pay the accuser to do just that, which also unfortunately implies guilt on the part of the accused, which isn’t necessarily the case.

We’ll now await the rest of the MSM that continues to fawn and gush over a married ex-president who used an intern as a cigar humidor to aggressively investigate and critique the morals and sexual ethics of Herman Cain.

Here’s what Real Clear Politics cites as the “most damning part” of Politico’s “not well sourced” report:

There were also descriptions of physical gestures that were not overtly sexual but that made women who experienced or witnessed them uncomfortable and that they regarded as improper in a professional relationship.

Sounds like Cain might have made the same gesture I make every time I hear somebody in the White House say the stimulus created millions of jobs or that the health care law will save people money (cue the “five knuckle shuffle” motion).

Update: Cain confirms he was accused, but says the accusations were false.