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Creating complaints

Creating complaints

I’ve been struggling to put my finger on just what it is about how Politico handled the Herman Cain allegations that I find so offensive.

Michael Walsh has a good explanation, Return of the Whipsaw, which starts and ends as such:

First, posit the existence of a “story” as defined by Politico’s editors — doesn’t matter whether it’s true, relevant, or even recent. Actions that may have been acceptable, or at least non-actionable, in the past, no matter how long ago, can be re-framed in the context of current “morality,” and thus employed as handy blunt objects, journalistically speaking….

Fourth, watch with pleasure as the victim’s allies edge away from him (after all, it’s not the truth that matters, it’s the seriousness of the charge), and he starts to founder, the latest victim of the scorpion’s bite.

I’ll use a different example from my own career, having been a plaintiffs’ employment lawyer in the securities industry.

A good way to ruin a departing broker is to create customer complaints which go on the broker’s record and create hiring and licensing problems.  So what the firm does is start calling customers and asking questions like “were you happy with Joe,” or “did you have any problems with Joe,” or “did Joe ever make any transactions without calling you first,” and so on and so on.  Out of hundreds of clients, some percentage will be unhappy and start complaining, and then those complaints get entered into the system, and voilà, an otherwise clean broker now has 5-10 hits on his record, no one will hire him, and the regulators hold up his license transfer.

And that pretty much is what Politico did to Herman Cain.  The original thinly attributed and fairly vague article was an attempt to smoke out people who had a gripe about Cain, to create complaints from people who never before complained.

We’re seeing that now as various people are coming forward saying they heard Cain say “inappropriate” things, or do “inappropriate” things, but they never complained before.

Now Cain isn’t fighting just the two people who complained at the time, but a diffuse group of ever expanding complainers who gain strength from numbers.  The volume of complaints is what now matters, as they will tie up the candidate and slowly drag down the campaign.

It’s not the sort of thing honorable employers do to departing employees, or honorable journalists do to a candidate.


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Honorable journalists?

Surely you jest sir.

What Cain has to do is take it and not cave.

That’s what worked for Clinton and the myriad of Democrats that didn’t go down because of scandal.

Yeah it helped that the Media layed off of them relatively quickly and weren’t so savage but in the long run refusing to cave is what wins the day.

Unless of course the charges are vile and substantiated.

We all know that the majority of sexual harassment cases of a certain time last century were mostly bogus, derived from hurt feelings or just plain venality. Part of the emerging victimology game being played between the sexes on the field of business.

Does anyone really think that Mr. Cain was a serial sexist harasser like Bill Clinton? Me neither.

Not a lot of honor to be found in anything related to politics.

Least of all in Presidential campaigns. I just watched Cain’s chief of staff (he of the smoking video) tell Fox that the Politico story was engineered by the Perry campaign (which was, by the way, what I suspected from the instant I read the Politico story).

So, either Perry is dishounourable for contriving with the press to sully Cain or Cain is dishonourable for accusing Perry.

Rough business.

    spartan in reply to JEBurke. | November 2, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    I await the day when Cain’s Chief of Staff explains the Cain campaign’s financial improprieties which seem to be major violations of campaign laws. It appears he is in the middle of that mess. Who will he blame for that?

    The problem is we don’t really seriously vet anyone. Today, politics is akin to reality TV than real life. We don’t choose leaders wisely; we choose the people we emotionally think will do what we want. We choose the one who taps into our inner populist. We truly live in interesting times.

I R A Darth Aggie | November 2, 2011 at 6:45 pm

I’ve heard that the staff of the Politico likes to molest ewoks in their spare time.

“honorable journalists”

ROTFLMAO. Hey, thanks for the laugh!

I think it is despicable that cain’s campaign manager should go on Fox and blame the Perry campaign without any proof whatsoever. No-one knows where the leak came from other than Politico, but the Left has the Cain supporters blamimg Perry and Romney and maybe even Bachmann. There is no proof whatsoever that any of these campaigns leaked the information. Cain is trying to deflect attention from the fact that an Iowa Conservative radio host came forward today and said that Cain used language to his female staff that made them also feel uncomfortable. Cain has a problem and he points the finger at other campaigns to try and get himself out of a hole.
Until evidence specifically points towrd a GOP campagin we ought not to jump to assumptions.

“honorable journalists”

I don’t understand what you mean by this. I understand the noun and the adjective separately, but put together it’s like dividing by zero in mathematics.

Herman Cain is getting Palinized. As Sarah would say, “making stuff up.”

Politico came out with their story seeking maximum exposure and have gone to great lengths to make the story relevant.

I’ve dealt with many sexual harassment allegations. They seldom are accompanied with tangible evidence, they inevitably end up between a “he said she said” dispute that an arbiter has no way of finding fact to pass judgment.

There are so many inconsistencies in these stories. The claimants lawyer saying she wants to get her statement out but from another source she is reluctant to do so. Then there are these other individuals who allege sexual harassment but never complained to management.

Herman is at a distinct disadvantage because he really has no crisis management staff to help him out. He has a thin staff and himself to defend against the broadsides.

Rather than appear on all the talks shows and such, I’d much rather that he and his staff develop a communications strategy.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to mdw9661. | November 2, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    “As Palin would say”….Not at all . That comment was a humorous response to a false story.

    There is a settlement here & thus it exists.

    I have heard the ‘He said ” & found it at best odd .

    I could add here there are very real complaints by the Pigmy tribes that other men were stealing their women.

    So maybe it is a black thing .

The association is made, typically through an appeal to emotion, and when the details are forgotten, the tainted perception will remain.

Tyranny of the minority is a common theme in progressive societies. It is sufficient for them to influence perception in order to effect reality. Most people do not suffer from delusions of grandeur and seek to maintain a moderate state.

It should be interesting to learn who is conducting this campaign. While it is more common for corrupt left-wing ideologues (i.e., individuals who seek to consolidate capital and power through authority), and the American left has demonstrated a supreme mastery of manipulating and exploiting human emotion, it could still be individuals who are vulnerable to corruption in the exception (i.e., everyone else).

All of the events transpiring today remind me of the perfect storm in 2008 which heralded the coming of a “historical moment” (i.e., regression to an earlier time when individuals were routinely judged by their incidental features).

In the meantime, we are distracted from the pervasive corruption of authoritarian interests (e.g. Obama, Holder, Geithner), including their part in the death of American citizens, Mexicans, and others; and introducing massive distortions in the market. We are blinded to the over 10 million (and likely 20 million) illegal aliens who are at best displacing American men, women, and children. We still do not know if authoritarian interests were instigators or conspirators of the latest crises. But renewed interest in allegations of incidents in the private sector which happened over a decade earlier are captivating America’s attention. It’s like we are living a soap opera or some twisted sitcom.

[…] analysis comes from a political know-nothing nobody, of course (see my blog title).  UPDATE.  Professor Jacobson better explains the problem of creating a pattern: “Now Cain isn’t fighting just the two people who […]

Bingo. It’s the creation of a pattern that is so harmful. The voters won’t be as critical of the accusations, because surely so many women wouldn’t like and/or be unreasonably offended.


I completely agree with Jakee308’s comment. Cain has to take it and not cave, like Clinton. It’s his only hope.

“honorable journalists”

There’s your problem right there….

kobayashi, that is not evidence. It is just Cain’s campaign manager slandering Perry without any proof.
I guess Cain is using the scorched earth policy. If he’s going down he’s taking making darn sure to take Perry with him, because he has made his distain for Perry abundantly clear. Cain has zero proof that it was the Perry campaign, so now he’s doing the same thing to Perry that he claims to despise….”allegations without proof or specifics”. This would leave the field wide open for Romney.

    Owen J in reply to damocles. | November 3, 2011 at 3:15 am

    This is where the real damage will be done. For Cain’s manager to make such a statement, he needs proof.

    Assuming for a minute that Politico told Cain’s people: “Yeah, Perry did it” — why would we believe them? They making some more bogus claims, and if Cain goes for it, they get a twofer. [I beieve this behavior is known in some circles as “the signifying monkey.”]

    Cain’s people — if not Cain himself — should be aware of this and should be very careful about playing this game.

    This episode seems to be providing more evidense that Cain is not a serious candidate.

This is a bullshit story. And given the recent history of non-anonymous women raising specific allegations of sexual harassment (or worse- Juanita Broderick) against democrats and being ignored or ridiculed, the reporting of this nonsense is the height of hypocrisy.

First of all, Cain asked for it. Remember the rock at the hunting camp.

Payback is a bitch.

Truly, it does not matter who told, or leaked, or how this information got out. Cain knew it was enough of an issue that he told Chris Wilson about it in, what, 2004?, for campaign purposes for a lesser office. Didn’t he tell his current campaign people? This is the presidency, FCS, not tiddlywinks. The vetting is going to be more and more ferocious. Better this comes out now while choices remain. Better this comes out now than in the national campaign. It will come up. Everyone knows this. Now, how does Cain deal with it? Not very well so far. Not in a prepared way (10 days to prepare). His staff isn’t even prepared. He needs to man up rather than blame others (he is fixated on one person, it seems). Deny sexual harrassment as he has; apologize for remarks that have made women uncomfortable (if he has had this habit) and go forward. People like Cain. However, he has a huge deficit of vetting awaiting him in the future. (And, yes, the 2008 Dem candidate was not vetted, we know. Life is not fair.) The other candidates have much more known about them. Again, I like the phrase, “man up”. And to change metaphors: If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Stop blaming others.

I don’t believe it Cain is blaming Rahm Emannuel now!
So, Perry must be in cahoots with rahm Emmanuel, really? ya, think? This is getting ridiculous.

PICKET: Source – Rahm Emanuel involved in Cain sexual harassment accuser attacks

Sorry but liberals defended Clinton against rape allegations by several women, claiming it has no disqualifying effect on his fitness to be President, so it would be racist for me and others to say that much lesser charges against Cain could disqualify him for such office.

[…] I didn't catch it, but since this guy's a lawyer who has been through it, he explains it well… Creating complaints […]

[…] suggest that you read the other pieces on this subject there as well – and comments on it are here. 0.000000 0.000000 Rate this: Share this:TwitterLike this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

Reporting the news, or creating the news?