Archive for November, 2011

Herman Cain accuser analysis

On Friday the lawyer for the “sexual harassment” accuser made various statements to the media. Given that I definitively debunked the Al Gore accuser a while back, I think it is only fair to analyze these recent Herman Cain accusations as well.

In 1999, I was retained by a female employee of the National Restaurant Association concerning several instances of sexual harassment by the then-CEO. She made a complaint in good-faith . . .

He spontaneously denies that the complaint was made in bad faith. This might signal that the complaint was, indeed, made in bad faith. At the very least, he is going out of his way to be defensive on this point.

But even more importantly, this defensive denial is only a very weak denial. Complaining “in good-faith” absolutely does not mean that the complaint was well-founded. It just means that there was no blatantly fraudulent intent. An overly-sensitive (or crazy) person could complain about even innocent behavior “in good-faith.” So even if I assumed that this lawyer were telling the absolute truth here about “good faith,” it would not mean that Herman Cain did anything wrong.

. . . about a series of inappropriate behaviors and unwanted advances from the CEO.

So apparently, this woman complained about various activities — only some of which (allegedly) involved “unwanted advances.”

And the other activities did not apparently include rape, or coercion, or anything or anything else terribly serious, because the lawyer uses the rather mild word “inappropriate” to describe them. When I wear white socks to court, that is inappropriate. Rape is not “inappropriate.”

 Those complaints were resolved in an agreement with her acceptance of a monetary settlement. She and her husband see no value in revisiting this matter now, nor in discussing the matter any further — publicly or privately. In fact, it would be extremely painful to do so.

Why would it be “extremely painful”? Possibly because she cheated on her husband in some way. Or perhaps because she just knows that she fabricated all these accusations, or that the silliness and triviality of the accusations will cause her embarassment if the details become public.

She is grateful that she was able to return to her government career, where she is extremely happy serving the American people to the very best of her ability. She looks forward to continuing to work hard for them as we face the significant challenges that lie ahead.

More defensiveness and stupid rhetoric. He is going out of his way to paint the woman as a saint — and laughably, merely because she gets a paycheck from the government. She very easily could work at a post office, yet she is supposedly saving America from the significant challenges that lie ahead.

She wishes to thank the media for the restraint they have shown her, . . .

This part is basically just a lie. The media has not shown restraint. This comment demonstrates that the lawyer does not have much respect for the truth.

. . . and thank her family for their love and support, her colleagues and supervisors for their patience and forbearance, and her advisers for their wise counsel, and most of all her dear husband of twenty-six years.

When he thanks “her advisors for their wise counsel,” he is indicating that her “advisors” had to persuade her not to speak. This somewhat contradicts the earlier statement — that she is keeping quiet merely because it would be “extremely painful.” Instead, she is apparently keeping quiet because all her “advisors” have advised her to keep quiet.

He also points out that she was married when these alleged incidents occurred.

Everyone is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect in the workplace. Sexual harassment is unfortunately very much alive, and with us even today, and women must fight it in all kinds of workplaces and at all levels.

Generalities. He is saying that “women” in general must fight it — not that his client had to fight it.” Basically, he is trying to justify his dubious law practice. In his mind, sexual harassment occurs in all workplaces at all levels — and so therefore it was acceptable for him to attack Herman Cain. He is saying that some men engage in bad behavior, not that Herman Cain did. Notably, not once in this entire statement does this lawyer ever directly accuse Herman Cain of anything. Rather, the lawyer simply reports that his client made some accusations — and then the lawyer goes out of his way to distance himself from the client.

My client stands by the complaint she made.

First, this is an extremely DEFENSIVE comment. And basically, the lawyer’s entire statement is defensive.

The lawyer does not say, “Herman Cain is a predator,” or even any stronger defensive statement, like “Our complaint was justified.” Rather, he simply says that “[m]y client stands by the complaint that she made.” The complaint was not necessarily just, but she does stand by it. She made the complaint, not him. She stands by it. He does not. He is distancing himself from her.

Finally, in another interview, the lawyer also made the following very telling comment:

There’s an expression that where there’s smoke, there’s fire . . . . The fact that there are more complainants tells me that it’s more likely than not that there was some sexual harassment by this man at that time.

He did not believe his client, originally. But after learning that other women supposedly made similar allegations, this pattern “tells” him to have more confidence in his client. Thus, he now considers it “more likely than not” that his client was telling the truth. Notably, this is still a rather low level of confidence.

He also points out that another woman came to him, with a similar allegation, but decided not to pursue it. What are the chances that two women went to this same lawyer by chance? More likely, the news that one woman made the accusations had become public within the company. And this publicity brought other company malcontents out of the woodwork. Women are herd creatures.

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Vague accusations

A story in the news right now is that some anonymous women once accused presidential candidate Herman Cain of sexually harassing them. Herman Cain admits the existence of the past allegations and denies the allegations themselves.

My question is:  Does anyone really care? This allegation seems to me like a defective indictment that fails to allege an actual offense. It’s like, even if we assume that any of this were true, so what? So what if he did sexually harass some women? I don’t see much point in having good-looking women at your business if you can’t harass them every now and then. (But then, do we even know whether these anonymous women were attractive, and thus worth harassing?)

People keep talking about this story even though I suspect that most people do not even know what sexual harassment is. Broadly speaking, Wikipedia defines sexual harassment as “intimidation, bullying, or coercion of a sexual nature, or the unwelcome or inappropriate promise of rewards in exchange for sexual favors” (emphasis added). I highlight the conjunction “or” to emphasize that sexual harassment does not even necessarily include sexual solicitation. Notably, another website specifically points out that “[s]exual harassment isn’t limited to making inappropriate advances.” Rather, “harassment” can include just saying things that are “suggestive,” or making “lewd jokes,” or making “sexual gestures,” or communicating “sexual comments about appearance.” I would go out on a limb and declare that even if a person were married and did any of the aforementioned forms of harassment, it would still not actually be wrong.

As far as legality, who knows. Everything is a crime nowadays. For example, I had a bonfire at my house recently. According to Tennessee, that is illegal unless I first ask for permission from the government. Come get me, Sheriff Long!

But whatever. I guess it’s always cool when you can throw vague accusations against people without backing anything up. My whole life story.


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