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Late Night With Herman Cain

I have been reluctant to pile on Cain in a jocular manner about the sexual harassment charges. All sexual harassment claims should be taken very seriously. It takes incredible bravery for any sexual assault victim to step forward and endure embarrassment and humiliation as bad or worse than the original offense. Still, although false accusations are rare, they do exist. The Duke Lacrosse players may have been sexist, privileged jerks but they weren’t rapists. They also were violated in a repulsive manner and may never fully heal.

However, with Cain’s erratic defense and now that he has attacked his self-identified accuser with such insensitivity to the complex dynamics of sexual assault reporting, pile on I will. – Iron Filing

“Forget president — this guy could be premier of Italy.” – David Letterman

“I have a lot of Herman Cain jokes but I cannot do them; I am bound by a confidentiality agreement.” – Bill Maher

“Some God father’s Pizza customers said they found it odd that he would tell them to hold the sausage.” – Bill Maher

“There are fourteen more Republican debates and they are running out of formats…next they are going to do one where they are in sleeping bags around the campfire and then one where they are blindfolded and nude and have to figure out who each other is by touching.” – Bill Maher

“One of the Herman Cain women was paid $35,000 and another was paid $45,000, so he’s saying it just proves he can create high-paying jobs for women.” – Jay Leno

“Herman Cain was unaware that China is a nuclear power. And I said to myself, ‘Hey, Herman, how about making an unwanted advance on a history book?'” – David Letterman




  1. Don wrote:

    I fully agree that sexual harassment needs to be managed in such a manner that employees feel comfortable in their work environment, but I wouldn’t necessarily use the word “assault” in the same paragraph with sexual harassment. Assault, to me, implies direct physical force with the intent to do harm and, although we use the word in other figurative contexts (that music assaulted my ears), in the work-a-day world of the workplace, sexual harassment and sexual assault are two very different actions.

    Sexual harassment can be as “mundane” as someone overhearing a joke with sexual content or innuendo and taking offense. Sexual harassment can be nude pictures, displayed or concealed, at your work station. Sexual harassment can be someone feeling someone else is undressing them with their eyes. It isn’t necessary that there be some sort of quid pro quo for job advancement in exchange for sexual favors (although that action is certainly sexual harassment and, in my mind, should also carry serious charges with it well beyond the administrative currently applied in sexual harassment cases).

    In the Federal gubmint, as least, those who feel they are victims of sexual harassment have back channel paths to bring their complaints forward, just as individuals that file discrimination complaints. In my experience, it is usually the complainant that leaks the story, not the gubmint. (As a digression: it worries me that the complaint filed by one of Cain’s accusers when she worked for INS has become public and I have to wonder from where it was leaked.)

    Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Permalink
  2. Iron Filing wrote:

    Good point Don. The distinction between sexual harassment and sexual assault is important. I used both terms in this post because the latest accusation involving a hand up a dress does cross the line into sexual assault. You’re still right that I should have made a clear distinction.

    Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Permalink
  3. Don wrote:

    IF: I posted a link up above to a Jon Carroll column from the SF Chronicle this morning. He, just as you were implying, characterizes the most recent allegations as being sexual assault. I think I was just too slow to pick up that was what you were alluding to.

    Friday, November 11, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Permalink