An Alaskan journalist's perspective on local and national issues

Posts tagged ‘Herman Cain’

Sex, Lies, and a Public Relations Nightmare

It isn’t everyday that a situation comes up that is so interesting as the one that is happening right now.  There are three tales that are going to be told here, and they are all public relations nightmares.  Each of them is connected, not directly to one-another, but in what kind of problems they are, and the people who are involved, and the public reaction to what is happening.  This is the tale of three people who each have some very ugly sex scandals that have come up.

The first is one that is close to home.  On November 8th, the former mayor of Ketchikan, Jack Shay, was charged with having child pornography.  This came up when he took his computer into his office to be fixed.  After it was, by sheer accident, he had a large number of images in his que to be printed.  They did, and his dirty little secret came to light – having a huge amount of child pornography on his computer.  This was only the beginning.  After this came up, he was arrested.  The police searched his home, and found a lot more, including a video that Shay made with an unidentified girl.

For the community of Ketchikan, this is a large blow.  Shay was a very respected member of their community.  Almost everybody who knew him liked him.  He had a huge presence in this community, and the support the community has for him is reflected.  Go onto the Anchorage Daily News website and look up the articles that they have done on this story.  Then go down to the comments section, and you’ll see that there is a lot of outrage, as expected, but there are some people who are torn, who don’t want to just throw Shay to the dogs.

The next story is of what is going on at Penn. State University.  For those of you who didn’t know, it is reported that Jerry Sandusky was also found to be guilty of sexual crimes in relation to minors.  There are reports that Sandusy was guilty of sexually abusing, inappropriate conduct, and even rape of minors.  This is something that has rocked the very foundations of Penn State, because of how it has gone far beyond him.  It came out later that the head coach, Joe Paterno, was also aware of this.  As you can imagine, there was a very mixed reaction to this.  A lot of people came out in support of Paterno.  After it was announced that he was going to be terminated, effective immediately, there was a pretty large protest from the student body, along with the local community.  Like Shay, Paterno was very loved by his community.  Now it is being questioned if the head of the college is going to be asked to retire.

This is another area that has a lot of mixed feelings.  It has gotten a little violent, but still, the concept is the same.  Sandusky was quickly hung out to dry, but Paterno has had some very avid supporters, who are completely upset with what has happened.

The final story is the one that most people are going to be well-aware of.  It involves the potential Presidential candidate, Herman Cain.  Now, while the allegations against Cain are not nearly as serious as they are against Shay or Sandusky, how this has been handled is worth talking about.  It started out kind of small.  There was a woman who wanted to remain anonymous accusing him of sexual harassment.  Since then, 4 more women have came forward accusing Cain of sexual harassment.

Now, it is worth saying that there is a convenience of timing that is kind of making these allegations suspect.  Not to say that these women are lying, because we don’t know yet, it is worth saying that these cases came up at a very opportune moment.  Cain’s reaction to these allegations has varied.  First, he said the women are lying, and went on about how they were trying to attack him out of guilt (not a smart thing to do).  After that, he blamed the government, the liberal media, and all the other places that a conservative can point at in tough times.  He even saw fit to say that Congress was somehow responsible for this mess.

Now, what do all of these stories have in common – a HUGE public relations problem.  Let’s take a look at Cain first.  As Slate magazine pointed out in the link above, Cain is doing all the wrong things.  If he was going to do this right, he would have just denied it, and moved on.  Instead, he has been feeding the endless maw that is our media, and blaming everybody.  This is not good handling of a crisis situation.  Some of his responses have actually been more damning, like challenging his accusers to give proof, along with providing data to counter that was quickly proven to be false.

Now the question becomes – what is going to happen now?  Cain was running neck in neck with Romney as the front-runner to get the Presidential nomination.

The next we will examine is Penn State.  They quicky hung Sandusky out to dry.  They cut their losses with him.  But with Paterno, he originally wanted to retire at the end of the season.  It was almost expected that the Board of Trustees would demand his resignation sooner.  If the allegations of his knowing what Sandusky was doing are true, then he is in a very difficult position.  But this is a big blow to Penn State.  They are a football college.  They are well-known for their team.  This is a major discredit to that program.

The question now is if they will ask the President of the college to retire.  There are some questions of if he was aware as well.  If he is connected, this doesn’t bode well for him, either.  Regardless of what happens, it is going to be a very big blow to the repuation of Penn State, and they wil have to work hard to regain it.

Finally, Jack Shay.  This was such a shock to the small community of Ketchikan.  Truly, nobody saw this coming.  Nobody could have imagined that somebody wh owas so community-oriented like Shay could have done things like this.  The question with him comes down to – what will he do?  The legal question is a big issue, because he is currently 80 years old.  Not exactly the best person to find out what happens to child molesters in an American prison.  But regardless of what happens, Shay has to question what he will do.  Does he remain in Ketchikan, where everybody will know him as the man they trusted and loved, who turned out to be a horrible villain?  Does he move?  These are not easy questions.

Public relations is not the system that a lof of people believe it to be.  Questions like these come up quite often.  And these three cases are perfect examples of how being the PR advisor of some people is a very difficult thing to do.  There was a student in the JPC course at UAA where this was being discussed who said it best, when asked what he would do in this situation –

If I was Cain’s advisor, I would quit!”

It is a weird, twisted, and tragic little world that we live in, and this is some pretty good food for thought.

Peace out,


Republican Debates: The Latest Round of Conservative Farce

So, there were the GOP debates on CNN.  If anybody didn’t get to see it, you missed a good show.  As my friend John Aronno said on the Shannyn Moore show that he was subbing in on –

If any of you were playing the word game the night of the debates, as I was, and woke up feeling sick the next morning, you are in good company.

Those who were involved were Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, and Herman Cain.  You couldn’t find a better rogue’s gallery for asking questions.  Even among the progressive community, people are still getting off on the idea of Ron Paul being president.  I will never understand why.  If that man actually, or rather, at least, understood the issues, then perhaps he would be a viable candidate.  But he is just another imbecile who says that he speaks for the Constitution, and people just get all dreamy over him.  Then there is Pawlenty, who looks way too much like a Ken-doll to be human.  There is someething so eerily disturbing about Michele Bachmann.  It is like she is not a real person.  The way her skin looks, it is like something stretched over a metal form.  She is the person that people see in their nightmares.

One of the word games that people could have been drinking to was tax cuts.  Another big term that could have involved drinking was Obamacare.  This goes to a larger point – that all Republicans pretty much sound like broken records.  Some have wondered why Sarah Palin hasn’t thrown her name in for the 2012 election.  Well, that is pretty simple, because she is much happier with her job as a conservative money-grubber who is leeching all the funding she can from every conceivable source.  From her appearances on Fox News, to her big rallies that she is paid over $70,000 a pop to talk at.  It was pretty clear that she doesn’t want to be an actual politician after she quit her job and pretty much told all of Alaska that they could just get lost.  But I am getting away from the debates.

If only a single conservative candidate had even the slightest understanding of how the economy works.  It is such a shame that the bulk of the American population is equally ignorant and stupid, then they might understand how ridiculous phrases like this are from Rick Santorum-

 What we need is an economy that is unshackled.  And what’s happened in this administration is that they’ve passed oppressive policy and oppresive regulation.

One should be very curious – how exactly is the market being oppressed?  It leads a person to think that people are almost slaves in this country these days.  Of course, Healthcare Reform was attacked by Ron Paul, the great zion of ignorance as being against the free market.  It never ceases to amaze how these people believe that bringing down regulation will make things all better.  Let’s ask Reagan how it worked out for him when he was the cause of a recession himself.  Of course, green energy is the enemy.  Oil is the friend of the Republican Party.

The moderator asked a good question – if lowering taxes solves the problem, where are the jobs?  Pawlenty didn’t answer it remotely, but that is no surprise.  It is the magic question that is never answered in a way that makes two bits of sense.  Spending cuts was something else that one could drink to and would have been completely smashed.  One counter that was given that Obama didn’t create the recession, but rather made it worse.  Yeah, except for all that improvement of the economy that happened while Obama has been in office.

Plus, where did this obsession with calling everything Obama-whatever come from?  There’s Obamacare, Obamanomics, Obamneycare.  What exactly does the conservative community hate so much about this guy?  There is always the idiots of the Tea Party who can rampantly accuse the President of being a genocidal maniac (see all the Obama-Hitler signs, anybody?), but that is just bigotry.  That makes sense.  That is a perfectly understandable (not good, mind you, but at least it makes sense) thought process, racist as it is.  But the conservative elements of this country seem just bent on making the President look as villainous as possible.  Maybe I am just wishing that the GOP would mature a little.  That’s a lot to ask, I know, but here’s hoping.

Of course, to justify their farce, the rattled off a bunch of figures about how many people are going to be put out of work because of “Obamacare” and all the legislation that he has ever passed.  Newt Gingrich apparently thinks that Healthcare Reform is some form of fascism.  For real, he believes that if you have the government legislating healthcare, they are suddenly going to start being thought police and controlling everything.  Playing to fear, anyone?

Then there was one guy who actually asked a question of merit – will the candidates not be swayed by the hardcore groups within the Republican Party and the Libertarian Party.  Finally, a decent question.  This is a good one, because Bachmann has sold out her entire political career to the Tea Party.  Rick Santorum didn’t bother answering, but just ego-stroked.  Bachmann defended her Tea Party masters and blame the media.  Cain said he would “surround himself with the right people,” which answered nothing.  This is how the Republican Party does things.  They don’t want to anger the Tea Party because they don’t want to lose the hardcore conservative votes.  But the problem with pandering to the hardcore bigots, as Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell found out, is that the moderates don’t buy your position later on.

The debates were a lot more involved than I could realistically talk about here without dragging on forever, so I’ll end this here.  If you want to see the entire bit, go on YouTube.  A user posted the entire event, from start to finish.  You can hear the entire farce for yourself.  Trust me, you will lost your faith in the Republican Party.  Those of us who think already knew they were garbage, but see for yourself.

Peace out,


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