09 November 2011

Miss American Pie?

Sharon Bialek accusing Herman Cain
Stifler's Mom (Jennifer Coolidge) 
Shortly after Sharon Bialek's explosive yet uncorraborated allegations against GOP Presidential candidate Herman Cain, a reporter shouted a compliment for her stylish appearance which Bialek happily accepted.  She may be a dedicated follower of fashion, but one can not help but acknowledge Misfit Politics aesthetic appraisal that Ms. Bialek looked strikingly similar to Stifler's Mom from American Pie 1.

Sharon Bialek made serious charges of unwanted sexual advances against Herman Cain from fifteen years before, but she never pursued it with the police nor did she bother to tell anyone in detail until last week.  Pro arguendo, Bialek’s specific but unsubstantiated account sounded close to sexual assault.  Yet her legal representative, publicity hungry celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, smeared the candidate with a crude double entendre political jibe “Mr. Cain instead decided to try to provide her with his idea of a stimulus package.”  So should we conclude from attorney Allred that sexual assault is a laughing matter or that she is just a political tool?

If the court of public opinion is going to pass judgment on Herman Cain for such allegations, it is only fair to judge the character and presentation of the accuser.  Veteran Chicago TV Anchor Bill Kurtis alludes that Bialek was a CBS employee that had a "track record". Herman Cain sought to simply characterize Bialek as a troubled woman.

Don McLean’s album American Pie (1971) has an iconic song about the “Day the Music Died” that can be interpreted as recounting how innocence as lost during the turbulent 1960s.  However, the original  American Pie film (1999) was about four boys who made a pact to lose their virginity before their high school graduation.  One of the boys, who came to the prom after party dateless, has an encounter with Stifler’s mother reminiscent of Mrs. Robinson’s cougar aggressiveness from The Graduate (1967).

If we were still a nation of laws, there would be a presumption of innocence against the accused and these serious charges would have been adjudicated in a timely manner in a court of law.  But instead scurrilous uncorroborated charges are made to sway the court of public opinion. The Lamestream Media proffers the charges which can devastate a figure in the middle of the feeding frenzy but never stick around long enough to vet the facts.

In the case of Sharon Bialek, why was this not reported as a sexual assault to authorities?  For that matter, why did she supposedly vaguely allude to this traumatic incident only to  two men fifteen years ago and then she keep silent until a fortnight ago?  Surely Bialek’s oft-referenced boyfriend at the time would have wanted to know details if her prospective mentor was getting fresh with her.  And what about Bialek’s close encounter with candidate Cain at a Chicago-land Teacon last month.  Reports of a show down about coming clean are impeached by eyewitnesses.

Had Bialek’s charges been made contemporaneously, they could have been properly addressed by authorities (police, the Nat’l Restaurant Association etc...) But raising going on a media campaign fifteen years later may generate some headlines the drive by media has mostly moved on to the next sensational headline rather than actually reporting and vetting the veracity of the charges.

Some cynics say that details do not matter as much as a marvelous appearance.  Pundits make snap judgments about how Cain’s sartorial choice of double breasted suits as intending to convey executive swagger but has an off-putting in your face authoritarian edge which compounds his charges of sexual harassment.  So what are we to make about an accuser  who's counsel makes in-your face political jokes about sexual assault allegations and who seemingly fashions herself after  Stifler's Mom?

Alas, the answer may be what “news”  is widely reported by the media.

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