The Cain interview

CBS has now posted its video from its strange interview this morning with Herman Cain, the presidential candidate with the suspended campaign.

In an unusual move, Cain campaigned to be secretary of defense in a Republican administration, then cited as one of the reasons he’s qualified for the position, the fact he’d been on a Navy ship.

But the interview also exposed Cain’s inquisitors as something less than adequate. Nora O’Donnell, a CBS White House reporter, asked Cain how many people are in the military, a clearly “gotcha” question. She agreed it was, then recited statistics that appear to be incorrect.

  • Jeanne

    It always irritates me when I see journalists play these games when conducting interviews. Cain said he was there to talk about a “movement” that would offer “solutions” to our country. At 1:53 I would have asked, “Can you give us some specifics on what solutions your movement would offer?” No, they go off on something Gingrich said earlier (who cares what Cain thinks about it), which is a lead-in to “How’s your wife doing?” (Herman Cain should be the one concerned about how his wife is doing, not the American public), and then the Secretary of Defense Pop Quiz (seriously? A set-up to make him look (more) foolish). What I wanted to hear from Cain in this interview is what these supposed “solutions” are. I want to turn off the TV when journalists succumb to foolish behavior themselves.

  • Bob Collins

    When I was watching it, I kind of figured it was doomed when Bob Schieffer’s first question was, “why are you here?”

    It was a good example of how reporters sometimes make lousy anchorpeople.

  • Jeanne

    I have no rational as to why, but I have a soft spot in my heart for Bob Schieffer. He seems like the uncle with great stories to tell around the dinner table. So I am disappointed when he acts like a doofus. Maybe that soft spot isn’t it my heart, but in my head.

  • Jim Shapiro

    Send in the clowns.

    Infotainment journalism puts the spotlight on the black male version of Sarah Palin.

  • Jamie

    Cain is such a creep, I can’t even stand to watch this.

  • Glenski

    I agree with Jeanne. Also, that entire interview seemed very awkward and unprepared, especially with the question about the wife. The military question was the worst “gotcha question” I’ve ever heard, it made me feel bad for Mr. Cain, someone whom I’ve never had any sympathy for.

    I really think they just wanted a foolish sound bite that would get them some replay on other news sources- Bob, do you have any thought on that, you are the media expert.

  • Bob Collins

    //Bob, do you have any thought on that, you are the media expert.

    Not much beyond what I added above as reporters as anchors/hosts. The two jobs are not the same.

    CBS is ending The Early Show and fired everyone — or mostly everyone — last week. They start the new show with Gayle King and Charlie Rose next week and I get the impression that just grabbed these two, stuck them in Des Moines and said “just make the needle bounce for a week.”

    Schieffer looked particular old and confused here and O’Donnell is just out of her league and comfort zone. It was about as disastrous an interview as I’ve seen in a good, long time.

  • Patriot

    The gotcha question exposed O’Donnell’s own ignorance.

    She asked how many “serve” in the armed forces.

    There are about 2.2 – 2.3 million uniformed members of our armed services and 500,000 to 600,000 civilians who “serve” in the armed forces.

    Correct answer to the question she posed is “about 3 million”.

  • Bob Collins

    DOD says about 1.6 million “active”

  • Patriot

    And we have 700,000 – 800,000 reservists and 500,000 – 600,000 civilians who serve.

  • Sue

    The only thing I see is that Herman Cain is an egomaniac. He loves to hear himself talk and thinks that everybody wants to hear him speak.

    When CBS asks him to speak to the public nobody should be surprised about the nonsense that comes from his mouth.

    And to think he was the Republican front runner only about a month ago.

  • Jim Shapiro

    Sue – you nailed it.

    Cain and Palin should be going to narcissists anonymous meetings, were it not for the fact that the last thing a narcissist wants to be is anonymous.