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Posted by on Dec 4, 2011 in Media, Politics, Society | 11 comments

Cain and the Death of Shame

Shame is dead or at least comatose as two public figures refuse to retreat into embarrassment over mounting evidence of their sexual misconduct.

A would-be leader of the Free World, Herman Cain is surrounded by barbecue, bunting and bands in announcing “suspension” of his campaign after “continued hurt caused on me and my family” by numerous charges of harassing women as well as a long-term extramarital affair.

Cain’s positive spin on disaster recalls a press conference decades ago by two entrepreneurs who had bankrupt a venerable publication that started with a slide
presentation titled “Moving Ahead with the Saturday Review.”

Similarly, the former pizza mogul touts a “Plan B” that consists of denying everything while trying to hold on to media attention, as if his campaign wreck were the result of a natural disaster not of his own making.

Cain’s disconnection from reality is echoed by the central figure in the Penn State scandal, Jerry Sandusky. Faced with 40 charges of child molestation, the former coach is pursuing what may be the weirdest legal strategy ever by giving interviews everywhere.

In the latest, he tells the New York Times that, despite being caught in a public shower with a 10-year-old boy, that he was only “a father figure” to disadvantaged children and prosecutors “just twisted that all.”


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