Scandalous Scoop

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Secrets lead to scandals. As journalists, we feed off of this basic formula for our biggest scoops.

According to an article from The Huffington Post, the identities of the women who accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment remain anonymous. This adds to Cain's politically scandalous story.

As a reporter covering the Cain development, a few legal issues are present.

First off, the choice to grant anonymity is a double-edged story. For some sources that is the only way to get them to talk, and without them there would be no story. On the other hand, because the source is unnamed, there is less accountability placed on the source to be accurate and a greater level of scrutiny on the journalist to have the facts instead of lies.

Thus far, only the attorney for one of the accusers has commented on the case. Joel P. Bennett, the attorney, said that his client will stay anonymous and decline interviews. Due to her silent approach, he said, "I could be on TV 12 hours a day easily," Bennett said. "I could be on CNN eight hours alone. Meet the Press. ABC. Next week, I'll be a nobody again."

Bennett brings up an interesting point. The public loves a good political scandal whether it be 'Weinergate' via Twitter, Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton, or Herman Cain. However, will the press care in a week?

Clinton was reelected after the Lewinsky scandal, but Weiner stepped down after his Twitter fiasco. Cain topped the polls when the sexual harassment allegations hit the headlines. Will he be able to recover?

Photo by Gage Skidmore


Kate November 7, 2011 at 7:47 AM  

The question isn't whether or not the press will care in a week. Somebody will always find something new and shocking in cases like these. What matters is whether the public cares enough to tune in to the news anymore or not. Maybe they will, but possibly they won't.

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