In the 20 years since Anita Hill accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings, there’s been a standard pattern whenever similar accusations emerge. The accuser is either part of a “vast conspiracy” against the accused (e.g. Paula Jones) or has a financial motive. Herman Cain — who looks to be about as inconvenienced by the multiple accusations against him as Thomas was — has gone to the mattresses and pursued both options. He has repeatedly stated that he’s a victim of the “Democrat machine,” which means he gives the Democrats more organizational credit than I do at this point. He also suggested that it was “common sense” to consider Sharon Bialek’s finances as a possible motive for her coming forward.
The first seems less than plausible in Sharon Bialek’s case because she’s a Tea Party Republican. However, a leopard can always change its spots if there’s enough money involved. So, the theory is floated that economoic desperation is leading her into the manipulative arms of “celebrity activist” lawyer Gloria Allred. I call it the Tinkerbell Theory because it only lives if conservatives wish real hard for it.
Allred appeared on the Sean Hannity show in which Hannity, as a good mouthpiece for the right, continued to pursue the “lying broke hussy” narrative.
GLORIA ALLRED, ATTORNEY FOR SHARON BIALEK: Nice to see you, Sean.
HANNITY: I actually prefer when you’re on my side, which is occasional. These are serious allegations. You said and made a big point in your press conference — and I watched the whole thing — that your client could have sold the story, it could have been about money. But it’s not. Why won’t she rule out a book deal?
ALLRED: Well, she has no plans to do a book.
HANNITY: New York Times today — and how often do I quote that –Miss Sharon Bialek has said, she is not seeking money, though she has not ruled out a book deal at some point. That means that there still maybe a financial motive here. And you made a big point saying that it wasn’t.
ALLRED: There really isn’t. You know, I have spoken with her. There is no financial motive. There is no one has offered us a book deal. We haven’t looked for a book deal. She hasn’t talked to anyone about a book deal. This is just complete nonsense. Let’s focus on what’s really –
HANNITY: You have been in celebrity media a long time. That’s not nonsense, because you know and I know she’s going to get a book deal off of it.
ALLRED: Well, no, I don’t. Because you know, what? She has already told her story. And that’s what is important. And the critical point where she could have made some money, she could have sold her story instead of doing a news conference and telling everyone without any charge.
HANNITY: But at that point, she has no credibility, if she tells her story later, it has more credibility.
ALLRED: No. She’s not — take the book deal off the table. It’s not happening. OK?
HANNITY: Not happening?
ALLRED: I have represented people in book deals. And a number of them — Amber Frey, Anne Bird — you know, from the Scott Peterson case — even the jury, I represented.
HANNITY: All right. I got it.
ALLRED: You know, she has not asked me to represent her to do anything with a book deal.
HANNITY: Here is a problem that I see with the story. First of all, whatever happened to the idea, there was a severance payment to her, which is very different from a legal settlement term. You’re a lawyer, you know the distinction and difference. So, they came up with a severance agreement that was supposed to be confidential.
ALLRED: Talking about the other — some other women.
HANNITY: OK, right, but in that case. And I am thinking, all right, so in this case, we don’t have that. In this case, we have this. She goes to look for a job, she never worked for the Restaurant Association. And I am putting this all together in my mind. Do you not understand why people are saying, wait a minute, is this politically motivated?
ALLRED: You mean as to Sharon?
HANNITY: As to all of these charges. We don’t know except for your client with the specific charges.
ALLRED: OK. All right, well.
HANNITY: You said he’s a serial abuser, serial harasser.
ALLRED: What I said was, Sean, if in fact, the allegations of all four women are to be believed and are true, then he is a serial sexual harasser.
HANNITY: If, but you didn’t say if.
ALLRED: Yes, I did. And if they are true then he is also a serial liar and a person who disrespects the rights of women to enjoy equal employment opportunity without the interference of sexual harassment in the workplace.
HANNITY: All right. Here’s my question though, as we follow the timeline of the story that she’s telling here, right? And she claims that she wanted help. She wanted to get a job, right? Legitimate. She has a history of bankruptcy. She has a questionable employment record that, you know, job after job after job after job. Legitimate questions to check the credibility of somebody. Now, when this allegedly happened, didn’t she get back in the car with him after?
ALLRED: In the car?
HANNITY: With Herman Cain. Didn’t she stay with him after? Didn’t she spend time with him after this supposedly happened?
ALLRED: No, she asked him to take her back to the hotel.
HANNITY: So, she got back in the car with him.
Hannity does not hide his bias — openly stating that he and Allred are on different sides. He also seems to have an issue with quoting The New York Times. It’s not like it was from the op-ed page or a Jayson Blair article. Anyway, this is all an interesting twist. There are no questions about Cain’s integrity or background. There is no discussion of his motives for lying — he’s running for president, after all. Instead, there is boundless speculation about Bialek — that she is so financially and morally destitute that she’s willing to destroy a man’s reputation for the possible chance of a book deal at some point in the future. That certainly is motive for her to lie but only if she’s a complete psychopath. There’s no evidence that Cain fired her or refused to hire her for a job that would provide a somewhat reasonable — if still irrational — motive for such actions.
Hannity — most likely never having been in the situation that Bialek describes — makes the same mistake that countless other men have made whenever women made accusations regarding sexual assault. They seem to believe that after such an experience, a woman would never be in shock or confused. No, her behavior afterward must be highly calculated and logical or else she’s obviously lying.
So, far Hannity is the classiest of Cain’s supporters, including Cain’s own lawyer, Lin Wood, who said “others should ‘think twice’ before making accusations” — as if the inevitable media scrutiny that is bound to occur is something Bialek didn’t consider. She just woke up one morning and thought she’d threaten the career of a powerful man. What could go wrong? Rachel Maddow called it a ‘remarkable moment,’ because a lawyer was telling potential harassment victims to “shut up,” and seemingly threatening them with some kind of retribution if they didn’t.” Indeed, Tom Hagen was usually more subdued and tactful when representing the Corleone Family.
Rush Limbaugh, from whom one should expect nothing and — if you actually listen to him — will receive even less, reportedly “slurped as he pronounced Bialek’s name ‘buy-a-lick’” and Dick Morris on FOX News ”wondered when a Playboy spread would come.” Aside from being a professional woman and mother, Bialek is 50 years old and Hugh Hefner is not generally inclined to feature women only half his age in his magazine.
Hannity meanwhile allowed Cain’s chief of staff, Mark Block, to flat-out lie on-air and claim that Karen Kraushaar, who also accused Cain of sexual harassment, was the mother of a Politico reporter. (Politico was the publication that first broke the sexual harassment story regarding Cain.)
“You’ve confirmed that now, right?” Hannity asked.
“We confirmed it that he does indeed work at Politico, and that’s his mother, yes,” Block said.
In reality, Josh Kraushaar has not worked at Politico for 17 months – and he isn’t related to Karen Kraushaar.
These gentlemen — and I use that word in the most sarcastic sense possible — apparently think bullying and intimidation is the way to counter sexual harassment allegations (though, I guess that’s in character for someone accused of doing what Cain allegedly did). He could stick with the facts and not with the people who made the claims — most of which occurred before he was even running for office — but I guess that’s my own Tinkerbell Theory.