PJM’s Pollock Publishes First Specific Account of Cain Harassment Charge UPDATE: PJM Makes Corrections
Posted on | November 3, 2011 | 115 Comments
Hat-tip to Ace of Spades and congratulations to Richard Pollock at PJM for finally getting the specifics on the record:
Both sources, one male and one female, worked at the time — mid-1990s — for the governmental affairs department of the National Restaurant Association, as did the woman.
According to both sources, Mr. Cain and the woman had been with a large group for a long evening of food and drink at the Ciao Baby Cucina, a restaurant near NRA headquarters in downtown Washington, D.C. This was a normal routine, as the trade association worked with the food and beverage industry. Afterwards, Mr. Cain allegedly took the woman by taxi to his apartment, where she spent the night and woke up in his bed.
The female source told PJ Media that she witnessed the woman entering a taxi with Herman Cain.
Neither source has direct knowledge of what occurred at Mr. Cain’s residence, but several days after the alleged incident, the male source witnessed the woman returning to her workplace “distraught.” “She was very upset.”
Why did this take so long? What were people afraid of? Now the Cain campaign has something specific that they can deal with.
UPDATE: I have sent text messages and e-mail to the Cain campaign seeking their official response. Meanwhile, I agree with Glenn Reynolds: “I’d still like to see names named, even from people I trust.”
Anonymous accusations, in regard to such a serious matter, are unacceptable. It’s one thing to grant anonymity to sources when what you’re reporting is routine campaign strategy stuff. It’s something else when grievous accusations of sexual misbehavior are being made against the leading candidate for a major party’s nomination for president.
UPDATE II: The commenters are, of course, free to speculate on the factuality or meaning of the account reported by Pollock. Given that I am expected to report on the Cain campaign, however, I am obligated to resist the speculation temptation.
Nevertheless, it is possible to say — as a neutral objective fact — that this changes the nature of the story.
Whereas we were previously led to believe that this was a matter of mere words, which may have crossed the line into the range of “unwanted advances,” now it seems to be something else entirely. And shame on any reporters, at Politico or anywhere else, who were aware of such specific accusations and failed to report the details.
However this story turns out for the Cain campaign, there will need to be some accountability for journalistic incompetence.
UPDATE III: PJM corrects the Pollock article:
(CORRECTIONS: A previous version of this story mentioned that a source witnessed Cain and the woman entering a taxi together. This was incorrect.
The previous version also mentioned that the woman awoke in Cain’s bed — the source only claimed that the woman awoke in Cain’s apartment.
The previous version incorrectly attributed comments from one source to the other source.)
Can you see me biting my tongue?
UPDATE IV: I put this post online at 1:28 p.m. and had contacted Mark Block and J.D. Gordon via e-mail and text before 2 p.m., seeking a response. When that didn’t work, I called at 2:40 p.m. It’s now 4:15 p.m.
My phone isn’t ringing and there’s no answer in my inbox. If they’re not responding to me — on a day like today — to whom are they responding? Why should I even bother trying to get a response?