October 30, 2011

On "Face the Nation," Bob Schieffer chastised Herman Cain about the "smoking man" ad.

Bob Schieffer could not restrain himself within the role of journalist today. It was pretty ridiculous:

BOB SCHIEFFER: Mister Cain, I-- I just have to ask you. What is the point of that, having a man smoke a cigarette in a television commercial for you?

HERMAN CAIN: One of the themes within this campaign is let Herman be Herman. Mark Block is a smoker, and we say let Mark be Mark. That's all we're trying to say because we believe let people be people. He doesn't deny that he's a smoker. This isn't trying to--

BOB SCHIEFFER: Are you a smoker?

HERMAN CAIN: No, I'm not a smoker. But I don't have a problem if that's his choice. So let Herman be Herman. Let Mark be Mark. Let people be people. This wasn't intended to send any subliminal signal whatsoever.

BOB SCHIEFFER: But it does. It sends a signal that it's cool to smoke.

HERMAN CAIN: No, it does not. Mark Block smokes. That's all that ad says. We weren't trying to say it's cool to smoke. You have a lot of people in this country that smoke but what I respect about Mark as a smoker, who is my chief of staff, he never smokes around me or smokes around anyone else. He goes outside.

BOB SCHIEFFER: But he smokes on television.

HERMAN CAIN: Well, he smokes on television. But that was no other subliminal message.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Was it meant to be funny?

HERMAN CAIN: It was meant to be informative, if they listen to the message where he said, "America has never seen a candidate like Herman Cain." That was the main point of it. And the-- the bit on the end, we didn't know whether it was going to be funny to some people or whether they were going to ignore it--

BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): Well--

HERMAN CAIN: --or whatever the case may be.

BOB SCHIEFFER: --let me just tell you, it's not funny to me.


BOB SCHIEFFER: I am a cancer survivor--


BOB SCHIEFFER: --like you.

HERMAN CAIN: I am also.

BOB SCHIEFFER: I had cancer that's smoking related.


BOB SCHIEFFER: I don't think it serves the country well. And this is an editorial opinion here, to be showing someone smoking a cigarette. And-- and you are the front-runner now. And it seems to me as front-runner, you would have a responsibility, not to take that kind of a tone in this. I would suggest that perhaps, as the front-runner, you'd want to raise the level of the campaign.

HERMAN CAIN: We will do that, Bob. And I do respect your objection to the ad. And probably about thirty percent of the feedback was very similar to yours. It was not intended to offend anyone. And being a cancer-- being a cancer survivor myself, I am sensitive to that sort of thing.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Would you take the ad down?

HERMAN CAIN: Well, it's on the internet. We didn't run it on TV. And once--

BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): Well, why don't you--


BOB SCHIEFFER: --take it off the internet?

HERMAN CAIN: It's impossible to do now. Once you put it on the internet, it goes viral. We could take it off of our website but there are other sites that have already picked it up. It's nearly impossible to-- to erase that ad from the internet.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Have-- have you ever thought of just saying to young people, don't smoke? Four hundred thousand people in America die every year--

HERMAN CAIN (overlapping): I--

BOB SCHIEFFER: --from smoking related.

HERMAN CAIN: I will have no problem saying that. And matter of fact--

BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): Well, say it right now.

HERMAN CAIN: Young people of America, all people, do not smoke. It is hazardous and it's dangerous to your health. Don't smoke. I've-- I've never smoked and I have encouraged people not to smoke. So, I don't--

BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): And it's not a cool thing to do.

HERMAN CAIN: It is not a cool thing to do. And that's-- that's not what I was trying to say. Smoking is not a cool thing to do.
This is a journalistic interview with a frontrunning presidential candidate? What an embarrassment. Too bad Herman Cain had to refrain from telling Schieffer he ought to take personal responsibility for the habits he indulged in that made him sick. Can you believe how long Schieffer belabored the subject?


MayBee said...

Bob Schieffer must have seizures when he watches Mad Men.

Harsh Pencil said...

Can you believe how long Schieffer belabored the subject?


Shouting Thomas said...

Well, that's better than Martin Bashir of MSNBC, who chastised Cain for being insufficiently black.

rhhardin said...

It sends a signal that it's cool to smoke.

Smoke signal. Fine Indian tobacco.

Primitive blog.

Audie Murphys Mom said...

Being a liberal journalist means never having to take personal responsiblity for your mistakes. It is always the fault of conservatives, the Tea Party, Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin.

He will keep repeating it until the people in Kansas finally get it.

prairie wind said...

Wow. This was really funny!

When and how did smoking become the worst thing that could happen (other than bullying) to people today? Because of school and the anti-smoking hysteria there, my kids are so afraid of smoking and the two hundred poisons in every cigarette--or whatever the propaganda is--that they think smoking is more dangerous than drinking. Smoking is dangerous and I hope they never ever smoke. But I'd much rather they smoked than drank.

As for Bob Schieffer and Mad Men, he probably watches it without thinking about the Message Sent about smoking...because the show is enjoyable. To him, Herman Cain is not enjoyable. Therefore, Cain's message about smoking is way worse than anything a show like Mad Men does.

Audie Murphys Mom said...

Herman Cain is Mormon Wicca trailer trash and J will be along any moment now to let you know it.

God Bless him!

traditionalguy said...

Cain was caught Smoking in the Boys Room by Principal Schieffer.

Now he has to write 100 times, "It is not cool to spread cancer among children."

What's all this letting people be people thinking. The Church Ladies neo-Volstead Act on Smoking cannot be compromised. Ever, never. Shame, shame, shame.

But you old CBS viewers know how those Darkies are.

Paul said...

Being a liberal journalist also means being a sanctimonious prick.

Of course that can pretty much be reduced to being a LIBERAL means being a sanctimonious prick.

ndspinelli said...

I quit smoking in 1989 but I think I may take it up again.

Audie Murphys Mom said...

The only thing that should be smoking is the ruins of the homes and businesses of the people on Wall Street.

Bob Schieffer knows this and will keep telling it until the rubes in Kansas get it.

I'm Full of Soup said...

Don't forget Shieffer busted Boehner's balls about smoking on one show about 6 months ago. I guess Obama will get a similar treatment.

traditionalguy said...

I just caught that attack barb, "...And you a Front Runner!"

That is really funny. The Networks are puzzled on how to defame Herman in a way that sticks.

And you an Obama Public Relations organization, CBS!

Cincinnatus said...

Oh My God! He smoked on TV!

Someone pass Schieffer his heart medicine.

Big Mike said...

I think it's unfortunate that Cain didn't take the opportunity to say "Mr. Schieffer, there is absolutely no way you plan to vote for me or any other Republican in November 2012, so if this ad got under your skin, then that's fine. Yours is a skin I want to get under and stay under for the next 9 years."

Sue D'Nhym said...

Apparently, the same lack of restraint hit Tom Brokaw.

ndspinelli said...

traditionalguy, The professor is also trying to determine how to cleverly skewer Cain in a way that sticks. He's obviously not a fellow law professor or the Magic Negro in any way. And he's certainly not Mitch Daniels.

gadfly said...

If it were me, I would tell Bob Schieffer to fuck off. Nobody forced him to smoke cigarettes, so he needs to lose the liberal-holier-than-thou attitude about cancer victims.

As for Herman Cain, his "human microphone" response to Bobby-boy was not a good sign. I am left to wonder what would he do when the going gets tough as President and Commander-in-Chief.

Nomennovum said...

The proper response by Cain is, "I am a candidate for President of the United States. You are a journalist. Who gives a fuck what you think?"

Michael said...

Herman would have done well ro remind Schieffer that our dear leader smokes. It would have been fun to see Cain take up that topic and see where it led.

Shanna said...

Too bad Herman Cain had to refrain from telling Schieffer he ought to take personal responsibility for the habits he indulged in that made him sick.

Seriously. I wish Herman had said 'Bob, since you actually did smoke cigarettes, I think you should take this opportunity to tell everybody about how it gave you cancer! Also, maybe you should talk to the president, because I hear he's still smoking and I worry about his heatlh.'

traditionalguy said...

ndspinelli...I realize that there is a northern bias against all things southern which has to limit The Professor to her cruel neutrality position on Herman.

But she has a good eye for what is happening, and that gives Herman a fair chance to win her vote in private as his campaign train rolls on into the General election.

The Wisconsin state Journal may then run a classic early headline that Obama Wins Wisconsin, but wake up to find Herman winning on unexplainable support.

Irene said...

"smoking-related cancer"

Bob Schieffer illustrates again that the most zealous fanatics are the converts.

mike said...

OB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): Well, say it right now, boy!

Psychedelic George said...

Schieffer had bladder cancer.

How does Schieffer know that his tobacco usage was the proximate cause of that cancer?

Cain's research must clearly show that a powerful number of voters are totally fed up with government intrusions into their lives.

I'm Full of Soup said...

Here is Scheifer badgering Boehner:


edutcher said...

There was a movie review some time ago that warned the pic in question had graphic violence and sex and, oh, no!


Scratch a Lefty and a petty dictator jumps out.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Schieffer's right! All the kids these days want to be like an old white man with a moustache. Of course they're going to smoke.

SunnyJ said...

Schieffer made a point...Cain responded. But, that wasn't good enough.

Schieffer's condescension and belligerance did everything to Cain but call him "boy". Cain responded in an honest and open way...and then he heard the unspoken "boy" and everything changed. Cain held back verbally but there was a look on his face I haven't seen, and I've been watching him for some time, including in confrontations like the one with Slick Willy Clinton.

It reached a point where I would have welcomed him telling Schieffer he'd made his point.

Ann Althouse said...

"Schieffer's condescension and belligerance did everything to Cain but call him "boy"."

Yes, and if you watched the video and saw the whole show, you would think that even more, I believe. The sneering condescension on Schieffer's face was really embarrassing for him.

Ann Althouse said...

(I shouldn't have implied that Sunny didn't watch it on video. Clearly, she did.)

Chuck66 said...

I hate nanny's. Do show someone smoking. Don't eat red meat. Don't touch booze. Blah blah blah blah.

Ann Althouse said...

Here's the video.

Freeman Hunt said...

Doesn't the actual President smoke?

Maybe Schieffer can have a conniption about smoking when he interviews him.

Chuck66 said...

Most every CBS show has a homosexual character in it, but I don't have the urge to engage in gay sex after watching them.

Ann Althouse said...

"Doesn't the actual President smoke?"

And unlike Mark Block, the President is cool. Allegedly.

Freeman Hunt said...

Schieffer had bladder cancer.

How does Schieffer know that his tobacco usage was the proximate cause of that cancer?

He smoked so much that he peed smoke. That's how he knows.

Freeman Hunt said...

And unlike Mark Block, the President is cool. Allegedly.

Yeah, that's the other thing. Teenagers want to emulate Mark Block? Schieffer should pause a bit over that premise.

Rob said...

Mark Block smoking isn't cool. You know what's cool? Barack Obama smoking.

edutcher said...

Sure it is. Just his being half-black is cool.

The fact that he's failed at everything he's ever done is cool.

I'm Full of Soup said...

Sheifer really seems to believe that kids will do what he says.

Hagar said...

Say goodnight Bob!

Amartel said...

Bob Schieffer is so intent on chastising Cain for having smoking in an ad that he misses the point of the ad. The reason people like that ad is because it is giving a big fuck you to the chastisers and the finger-wavers of the world. Enough rule of the victims, for the victims, and by the victims. I think ole Bob even forgot for a second that Cain is a cancer survivor too. Oooops. Kind of took the wind our of his sanctimony sail.

RightKlik said...

CBS glorifies a lot of irresponsible behavior with its programming (violence, casual sex, etc.) Schieffer needs to give the execs a stern on-air lecture.

Lucius said...

Bob Schieffer is the George Hamilton of news.

But in a bad way. I liked George Hamilton in "The Godfather Part III."

Schieffer just seems to me an old, old man. A wannabe silver fox who sits in a tanning bed.

Is he gay? He's the kind of person I want to call "gay" in the post-gay playground sense='so not cool.'

He's like a gay metrosexual hobbit. An evil George Hamilton-wannabe hobbit who stoops and smiles at you with a tan smile and talks rubbish.

To be equal opportunity for candidate John Kerry, I despised Schieffer for obsequiously paraphrasing to George W. Bush his words about talking to a higher Father. W.'s words were on the record. A lot of Americans might've thought them deeply blasphemous and/or paternally disrespectful. Schieffer had time to do his homework; he could've quoted the President verbatim.

He's a court hermaphrodite.

John henry said...

Scheiffer probably even believes the lie that smoking causes lung cancer.

It doesn't.

Very few smokers get lung cancer.

Less than 10%

Almost 5% of non-smokers get lung cancer.

John Henry

Seeing Red said...

"lung cancer"

try a family of chain smokers w/bone, brain, bronchial & lung cancers.

2 dead before they were 50.

rcocean said...

1) Cain can't show a smoker on TV - 'cause that causes people to smoke.

2) We *can* show violence, serial killers, teenage sex or rape on TV - 'Cause TV doesn't have any impact on real life, its just fantasy.

Liberal logic.

Mark Daniels said...

The interview is strange. And Schieffer's belaboring of the matter is stupid and silly.

But in looking at the ad on YouTube, I was struck by how weirdly incongruous it was to have this image of Mark Block taking a drag on a cigarette and exhaling tacked onto the end.

Did it seem that way to anybody else?

Anonymous said...

Jeez gramps...I'm sorry. I take it back. I swear. Smoking is bad for you. I get it.

Leland said...

Dear Bob,

You weren't cool when you smoked. You're not cool now that you are a cancer survivor, because you put yourself in that situation. You're not cool dictating what candidates can and cannot portray on their ads. And you're not cool showing your ignorance of the internet.


Non-Smoker, which I guess means I have even more moral authority than you.

Lem said...

Schieffer has been on television for a long long time... does he mean to say that he has never made a living of tobacco?

wv flatuall - an Alinsky tactic

Lem said...

See rcocean @ 7:36

Lem said...

Maybe Schieffer can have a conniption..

Kudos Freeman for the use of that word.. I strive to do that here.. but most times they just dont come to me.

btw don't forget to keep us apprised of your.. baby status.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

#MayBee said...

Bob Schieffer must have seizures when he watches Mad Men.

X-Files re-runs, too.

Lem said...

The sneering condescension on Schieffer's face..

I hope the Cain campain (I'm not on his vanwangon btw) abstains/restrains from making a racial case the way the left is so fond of making.

Patrick said...

I honestly did not expect to laugh out loud-literally, but I did, twice. I'm 44, and Bob Schieffer saying something is not cool gives me the urge to do it.

Will you take it off the Internet? Seriously?

Skyler said...

Jeez, does Cain do everything anyone tells him to do? Dancing for Bob Schieffer is pretty humiliating. How is he supposed to lead the country if he can't stand up to Schieffer's bossiness?

John henry said...

Sorry for your loss, Seeing Red. I certainly don't mean to diminish the horror of death from cancer.

FWIW: My father was a 2 pack a day Camel smoker and died at age 70 of lung cancer.

Cigarette smoking does double your risk of getting lung cancer.

But it doubles it from about 4.5% for non-smokers to about 9% for smokers. (I used to teach a case on tobacco and am recalling CDC figures from memory)

It seems to me that if 90% of smokers do NOT get lung cancer, it is hard to say that smoking "causes" lung cancer.

Yet we have this fear that has been beaten into us that if we smoke even a single cigarette we will die of lung cancer.

We have 27 studies, each of which showed no harm from second hand smoke, that were somehow rolled into a meta-study that did show harm. This was by the EPA, IIRC.

Smoking is a bad habit. It is nasty, smelly and bad for you. It is also expensive. I would like to see everyone stop smoking. I would like to see every business and every workplace make themselves smoke free.

But it is a choice and I would never make it illegal for adults. I would never force anyplace to implement a no-smoking policy. It should be their choice to allow it or not. And my choice to not patronize them if they do.

I am a former smoker. I quit for the last time in Feb 1971 on Taussig Blvd in Norfolk.

John Henry

sorepaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rcocean said...


The problem with smoking isn't just Lung cancer, it increases your risk for a heart attack, stroke, and many other diseases.

That said, if you know the risks and still want to smoke - go for it.

Myself, I've always hated smoking for aesthetic reasons. Dirty ashtrays, cigarette butts, dirty smelly smoke.

Lem said...

I dont smoke.. not because its unhealthy, but because whenever I've tried it I didnt feel anything.. unlike alcohol.

That said. I'm a civil libertarian when it comes to smoking.

If you want to smoke.. its a legal product.

Henry said...

Hey Bob Schieffer, Have-- have you ever thought of just saying to young people, don't watch TV? Four hundred thousand brains in America die every year--

Bob, you should spend very minute of every show telling people to turn you off and go outside and do something productive.

Beta Rube said...

Schieffer savaged the Tea Partiers for "incivility". This after 8 years of silence during all the Bush = Hitler stuff.

I wonder if old Bob will have anything to say about the stinky, violent hippies getting arrested en masse and despoiling public spaces.

sarge said...

sarge here sum times a ciggy ios just a ciggy...harhar sarge thinks caines got a problem a little more importnt then thar smokin man

"The women complained of sexually suggestive behavior by Cain that made them angry and uncomfortable, the sources said, and they signed agreements with the restaurant group that gave them financial payouts to leave the association. The agreements also included language that bars the women from talking about their departures.

In a series of comments over the past 10 days, Cain and his campaign repeatedly declined to respond directly about whether he ever faced allegations of sexual harassment at the restaurant association. They have also declined to address questions about specific reporting confirming that there were financial settlements in two cases in which women leveled complaints"

Anonymous said...

I've smoked three packs a day and I'm as healthy as a horse. It's a liberal lie that smoking causes cancer. Obama doesn't smoke tobacco, he has been seen by white house staff lighting up a joint.

bagoh20 said...


I think Cain playing it that way is what makes Schieffer look like the fool. Cain could have gotten combative and that could work too, but it would have to be done just right.

Cain let Schieffer have as much rope as he wanted. Scheiffer, like many journalists aren't smart enough to control themselves in such a situation. They are liberals and therefore, the smart good people who should be telling us all how to live. Cain made that point, as he did, knowing the touchy thing about Presidential candidates never getting too confrontational, lest they be seen as loose cannons.

Althouse would be swayed by that kind of thing and would be telling us he hasn't got the "temperament" for the office.

For many, simply being right about something is entirely secondary, especially in political campaigns.

bagoh20 said...

And of course the ad worked perfectly for a cash strapped campaign, thanks to Schieffer and now Brokaw. Smart people are so useful.

MDIJim said...

I don't know yet about Cain. It is very interesting how Cain, like Palin and Bachman before him, gets inside the heads of the media and drives them crazy.

So now we have an allegation that around the same time that Bill Clinton was actually having sex in the oval office with an intern around his daughter's age and blatantly lied about it a couple of women who worked with Cain accused him of saying something that made them uncomfortable and were paid six figures to shut up and go away.

If Cain continues to be a serious candidate it is guaranteed that the media will turn this sexual harassment incident into something far, far worse than anything that Bill Clinton ever did.

AllenS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AllenS said...

What happened to Cain is what will a does happen every time a Republican goes on these shows brought to you by the MSM. Every time. The hosts of these shows will find something they don't like about the candidate, and hope to make them look unelectable, and continuously bash them over the head about it.

You never see them doing the same thing to a Democrat. Never.

WV: vercro

Velcro's brother.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

The unprofessional pro-democrat hack-media show their true racist colors when a black Republican emerges.

They can't help themselves. It's their inner hack talking.

Bill said...

Perhaps Mr. Cain should focus more on stopping his sexual harassment of women.

If I was the GOP, I'd be thrilled with this most recent development--it possibly gets Cain out of the picture and gives a real, viable candidate a chance to step up to the plate...one who could win.

Allen S--apparently, you've never watched Fox News. Whenever a Democrat comes on one of their shows, it's the same thing. Major "news" outlets are obnoxious.

AllenS said...

Dear Bill,

I don't watch any news shows. Do you have the names of the women that Cain sexually harassed?

sorepaw said...
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sorepaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe said...

Bob Scheiffer should have simply asked, "Why would you make an ad that is simply awful?"

Freeman Hunt said...

Today I was at the grocery store, and when I walked past the cosmetics aisle I saw that it was full of teenage boys debating how to best create liver spots. Blush or lipstick seemed to be the point of contention.

You don't think this could be related, do you?

Sharc said...

Freeman Hunt is a riot.

Methadras said...

So Erkle smoking Kools outside the whitehouse on the east lawn or in the rose gardens gets a pass? Fucking simps.