Ben Johnson, The White House Watch
Twenty years after the media’s “high-tech lynching” of Clarence Thomas, the Left’s tactics have not changed a bit.
The political world is reeling over allegations that unlikely Republican frontrunner Herman Cain sexually harassed two women while he was CEO of the National Restaurant Association, which he headed 1996-1999. The two women, who accused Cain of acting “inappropriately,” reportedly received settlements “in the five-figure range.”
What was Cain’s offense? No one really knows, presumably including Cain and the reporters who published the story. Politico reports: “These incidents include conversations allegedly filled with innuendo or personal questions of a sexually suggestive nature, taking place at hotels during conferences, at other officially sanctioned restaurant association events and at the association’s offices. 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.” (Emphasis added.)
Cain announced just as this article was being written that one “gesture” in question was that Cain once placed his hand at chin-level, saying, “You’re about the same height as my wife.” He did not touch the woman, Cain said, but she felt “uncomfortable” about being sized up.
Mary Ann Cricchio, who served on the National Restaurant Association board at the time, had a different assessment. Cricchio said, “Herman treated everyone great.”
This morning, Cain took to the airwaves to defend himself. Cain told Fox News reporter Jenna Lee, “I’ve never sexually harassed anyone, and yes, I was falsely accused while I was at the National Restaurant Association. And I say falsely, because it turned out after the investigation to be baseless.”
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Later in the day, he said substantially the same thing at the National Press Club.
Cain alluded to the allegations at the American Enterprise Institute earlier, saying, “I am an unconventional candidate, and yes, I do have a sense of humor, and some people have a problem with that.”
But when it comes to angry, gold-digging feminists, jokes can be deadly serious. The Austin-based law firm of Melton & Kumler answered the question, “What’s the difference between friendly joking and sexual harassment?” by saying, “The difference lies in how they are received.” If a woman is offended, the joke constitutes sexual harassment; if not, you may be the life of the party.
The infiltration of radical feminism into the legal system has criminalized a host of otherwise innocuous behavior, discussion, or unconscious actions and left besieged employers walking on eggshells. Mary Boland wrote in her book Sexual Harassment in the Work Place that an off-the-cuff reference to “dumb blondes” or stating the fact that women are more emotional than men could land you in court. In 2004′s Lust v. Sealy Inc. a litigant won $150,000 in damages (reduced from $300,000) after “proving” a boss was sexist by citing such outrageous statements as “oh, isn’t that just like a woman to say something like that,” and “you’re being a blonde again today.” A court allowed a case to proceed because a Wisconsin Agriculture Department employee made a joke about keeping women “barefoot and pregnant.” Another did so after a man nicknamed a co-worker who was expecting “Prego.”
The United Nations’ definition of sexual harassment includes such offensive savagery as….