Bill Press: ‘There’s No Difference’ Between Herman Cain And Alleged Penn State Rapist


It is campaign season, and no matter how serious any other non-political story may be in the meantime, there is no such thing as a news item unable to be tied to the presidential election. So when the Penn State child rape scandal broke, it was inevitable someone would drag it into the Republican race– this time, it was Bill Press, who argued there was “no difference” between Herman Cain‘s sexual harassment allegations and coach Jerry Sandusky allegedly being caught sodomizing a ten-year-old boy in a locker room.

“I wonder what Herman Cain’s supporters say about what happens in Penn State,” Press said on his program Friday, suggesting that Republicans who don’t believe the accusations against Cain are defending him “because he happens to be a conservative politician Republican running for president.” “You can’t touch him, but the media can go after Sandusky… what’s the difference? There’s no difference, really.”

Yes, of course! Telling a woman “you’re the same height as my wife” is exactly the same as starting a charitable organization to allegedly rape underprivileged boys. Allegedly running an unwelcome hand up a stranger’s skirt is on the same moral playing field as allegedly raping your foster children. If you didn’t cringe at both of those scenarios (the two worst-case scenarios for Cain and Sandusky, respectively), there’s something wrong with you, but it’s hard to not see that there is an order of magnitude in the difference of the gravity of these crimes. Sure, it is possible that Press was trying not to equate the evilness of the crimes, but merely that both should be unacceptable nonetheless, and that one is more difficult to believe because of the person’s status should not minimize its gravity.

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But then he does go on to deliberately discuss the comparative gravity of these crimes. “We have maybe sexual assault in the case of Sandusky,” he argues, but “assuming what Sharon Bialek says is true,” that would also be assault, Press concludes. Now, legally, this is not exactly the way things go, as rape is a crime in and of itself, while assault is “unwanted or offensive touching” prima facie— a very broad range of moral culpability. Statutory rape, which would be the case in which there was “consent” with the children, is a separate crime as well– and equally as disturbing, though that is not the case here. If the allegations are true, this story is on an entirely different level from the case of a CEO trying to get grabby with an employee– though the latter is obviously condemnable as well.

To minimize what happened to these children in this way is, to borrow from Tommy Christopher, similar to minimizing the heinousness of the alleged activity by calling it a “sex scandal.” Calling Sandusky’s crimes “sexual assault” cheapens the monstrosities he committed– which, yes, Tommy is right, constitute crimes against humanity (via the UN, this includes “rape or other sexual abuse of comparable gravity, or enforced prostitution,” all of which appear to be present here, as well as torture).

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Press goes on to complain that he “gets sick of these right-wingers” defending Herman Cain’s illicit behavior. If the accusations prove true, he is correct to be “sick” of it. But Americans should also be “sick” of irrelevant atrocities being drafted into political wars in which they have no place, at the expense of the dignity of the victims.

Press’s comments on his program below:


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