His "truth" Web site quotes hearsay from CBS's Bill Kurtis implying Sharon Bialek is the sexual predator VIDEO
I’m not surprised that right-wingers are trying to smear the women who’ve come forward to charge Herman Cain with sexual harassment. This is what they do. Remember Graeme Frost, the 12 year old boy who spoke out on behalf of the Child Health Insurance Program in 2007 and wound up under attack by Rush Limbaugh and Michelle Malkin for faking hardship to get government help? Or Ty’Sheoma Bethea, the young South Carolina girl who asked President Obama for funds to rebuild her crumbling school and got trashed by the Washington Times for grubbing for federal handouts? In fact, remember Anita Hill?
Now Herman Cain and his supporters are trashing Cain’s accusers, with a Web site devoted to “debunking” their claims, CainTruth. But Friday they hit a new low. Cain Truth now features as its top story a charge that’s been making the rounds on the right via Glenn Beck and Mark Levin: that Sharon Bialek, the Chicago woman who claims Cain groped her when she asked him for help finding a job, has an unsavory sexual past of her own.
Apparently CBS’s Bill Kurtis, who should be ashamed of himself, went on Chicago’s WLS Monday and smeared Bialek, who had worked for a CBS Chicago radio affiliate in 2006 and 2007. From what Kurtis heard “on the elevator” at work, Bialek had a “track record” and a “history.” While he wouldn’t specify what this history involved, Kurtis shared this tidbit: “Let’s put Herman or Sharon in the car and say their roles may even have been reversed, given her track record here.” Having already trashed Bialek’s attorney Gloria Allred, Kurtis added, “I really haven’t confirmed it, and I don’t want Gloria to come after me.” But he confided that after the story broke, he wanted to call the Cain campaign and advise them “don’t do anything rash.”
Got it? Bialek has already been trashed for going from job to job, and for financial troubles. Now we’re supposed to believe she’s some kind of sexual predator, maybe even a sexual harasser, based on “elevator” talk at CBS in Chicago. I’d like to call Bill Kurtis and advise him: Apologize. Now. Whatever you heard in the elevator at work, you smeared this woman without any evidence. Apologize to Bialek, and to your audience for your admitted solicitude towards the Cain campaign.
Meanwhile, Cain himself showed his own classlessness when he joined a GOP audience in mocking Anita Hill. When someone in the crowd asked him something about Hill, Cain quipped: “Is she going to endorse me?” Watch the video, and catch the way the GOP crowd hoots and hollers at the mere mention of Hill’s name. The fact is, while Hill was smeared, we later learned she was telling the truth about Clarence Thomas’s sexual harassment. Cain will be sorry for his mockery; polls already show women voters turning against him. Even Republican women will grow weary of his efforts to turn the clock back to the days when men could humiliate their female employees with crude sexual conduct and get away with it every time. Now they only get away with it sometimes.
I don’t know if Herman Cain harassed the women who say he did. But in the same week that the nation’s been riveted by the sickening child-rape scandal at Penn State University, we’ve got more evidence about why victims of sexual assault and harassment don’t come forward.
I talked about Cain’s new low with Rev. Al Sharpton on MSNBC’s “Politics Nation” today.
More Related Stories
- Must-see morning clip: Barackalypse Now
- Okla. tornado survivor reunited with dog trapped in rubble live on camera
- Is Pope Francis an exorcist?
- Oklahoma tornado death count revised to 24
- Frantic parents search for children in tornado's wake
- Crews dig through rubble after deadly tornado
- 51 killed in massive Oklahoma tornado
- Don't cry climate-change wolf
- Record tornado devastates Oklahoma
- Limbaugh: No one willing to impeach the first black president
- Tornado reduces Oklahoma City suburb to rubble
- AP: Toll at least 37 dead in Okla. tornado
- Entire Midwest on tornado warning
- Oregon senator proposes appeal to Monsanto Protection Act
- Supreme Court to rule on prayer at government meetings
- Beltway scandal machine breaks, knows nothing about America
- Gitmo hunger striker launches Twitter campaign
- "Hero" cop, honored by Obama, accused of double rape
- Father of gay high school student arrested for dating classmate speaks out
- Pentagon adviser pushed Anthrax drug, which his firm produced
- Conservatives A-OK with closeted Boy Scouts
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11
Joan Walsh is the author of "What's the Matter With White People: Finding Our Way in the Next America."
Joan joined Salon in 1998 to become the first full-time news editor and became editor in chief in February 2005. At the end of 2010, she became editor at large, to
write full time. In the last couple of years she's had the privilege of debating conservative zealots on TV, from Bill O' Reilly to Dick Armey to Pat Buchanan.
As a columnist for San Francisco Magazine, she won Western Magazine Awards in 2004 and 2005 for writing about local politics. She's written for everyone from the Los Angeles Times and Washington Post to Vogue and the Nation.
Before she joined Salon, Joan spent many years as a freelancer. She also ran her own business, consulting to national foundations and nonprofits on education, community development and urban poverty issues. She's a crazy San Francisco Giants fan and co-wrote a book about the ballpark back in 2001.