Pew: Plurality believes Herman Cain sexual harassment coverage has been fair

Pew Research Center for the People & the Press
Among people who have heard about the sexual harassment allegations against GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain, more think media coverage has been fair than too easy or tough, according to a new Pew survey.

“A plurality (43%) of those who have heard about the allegations say they think recent media coverage of Cain has been fair. Among those critical of the press coverage, more say it has been too tough (24%) than too easy (14%) on Cain.”

The report says that Republicans are more likely to believe that coverage has been too tough, with those respondents split almost evenly between “fair” and “too tough.” Pew also reports that more Americans think the allegations are true than false, although those sentiments also shift depending on one’s politics. The telephone survey was taken before another woman — the first to do so publicly — accused Cain of sexual improprieties Monday. || Related: Americans believe too many in media are “downright dishonest” (Yahoo News) | Cain emails his list: “Media obsessed” with harassment story (Politico) | Post ombud received just 11 emails about Herman Cain coverage (Poynter) | Spotlight on Herman Cain shows four stages of campaign coverage (Poynter)

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  • Anonymous

    Although it frequently is difficult to tell the difference between news stories, editorials and political ads, campaign laws exempt the commercial press, because the 1st Amendment has been interpreted to prohibit abridging these corporations’ freedom of speech and the press. So the corporate media is free to spike, ignore or over hype stories and decide what views are presented as news.
    The Federal ‘Press Exemption: 2 USC 431 (9) (B) (i) “The term expenditure does not include any news story, commentary, or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, or other periodical publication, unless such facilities are owned or controlled by any political party, political committee, or candidate;”
    But the press exemption is contrary to the 1st Amendment. Campaigns are assemblies of like minded citizens using speech and the press to petition the government for a redress of grievances. And the 1st Amendment denies Congress authority to abridge those rights:
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    Unless corporations have taken up worshiping God; freedom of assembly, press and speech are intended for flesh and blood citizens. And equal protection is still a fundamental tenet of law.
    If the United States Supreme Court defined freedom of religion using the logic campaign laws use to define a free press only the church “as an institution” would enjoy freedom of religion, not its parishioners!
    Muzzling communications by grass roots does not reduce corporate influence?  When citizens and grass roots are free to spend unlimited amounts balance is restored and challengers are more likely to win.
    Individuals and grass roots organizations have formed 527 and 501(c)(4) corporations to level the playing field and overcome some of the unconstitutional campaign laws that hinder participation by flesh and blood persons in American politics.
    To restore the ‘equal rights’ of flesh and blood and grass roots corporations, the language of the press exemption, above, should be modified to read: “The term expenditure does not include any news story, commentary, or editorial distributed by any citizen, citizens group, broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, or other periodical publication.” Senator McConnell Smelled the Pew in 2001Senator McConnell exposed the charitable trusts behind BCRA in the Congressional Record of Arpil 2, 2001. Mitch deserves credit for his insight and integrity. Click the adjacent thumbnail for excerpts and follow the hyperlinks to full text of his speech.  It is prophetic and well worth the read.
    The blogosphere is buzzing with talk of stopping the draconian language of McCain’s awful bill from impinging on the denizens of the web. I encourage Mitch to once again ride to the defense of the 1st Amendment by signing on to Senator Harry Reid’s Bill(S 678 IS). A bipartisan Reid/McConnell bill could counter McCain/Feingold and keep the internet exempt
    The following is excerpted from three pages of the Congressional Record, Proceedings and Debates of the 107th Congress, First Session, Washington, Monday, April 2, 2001, Vol. 147, No. 46:
    BIPARTISAN CAMPAIGN REFORMACT OF 2001—ResumedThe ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore.The Senator from Kentucky.Mr. MCCONNELL.
    Who wins?As I said the other day, who wins are people such as Jerome Kohlberg. This is the billionaire who has decided this is going to be his legacy. This is the full page ad he ran in the Washington Post the other day on behalf of this legislation. I suspect a lot of the lobbyists out in the hall right off the Senate floor are either on his payroll directly or indirectly. People such as Jerome Kohlberg and the big charitable foundations are underwriting the reform movement, hand in hand with the editorial pages of the Washington Post and the New York Times, which have editorialized on this subject an average of once every 6 days over the last 27 months.
    At least in the Senate, they are going to get their way shortly, but this new world won’t take a penny out of politics, not a penny. It will all be spent. It just won’t be spent by the parties. It will be spent by the Jerome Kohlbergs of the world and all of the interest groups out there. As everyone knows, the restrictions on those interest groups will be struck down in court, if we get that far.
    Welcome to the brave new world where the voices of parties are quieted, the voices of billionaires are enhanced, the voices of newspapers are enhanced, and the one entity out there in America, the core of the two-party system, that influence is dramatically reduced. I strongly urge our colleagues to vote against this legislation. It clearly moves in the wrong direction.