CNN's Piers Morgan on Monday did the first interview with Herman Cain's accuser, but failed to ask Sharon Bialek - who was in the company of her liberal activist attorney Gloria Allred - any questions about her two bankruptcies, the paternity lawsuit her former husband filed against her shortly after their child was born, or exactly why she was terminated by the National Restaurant Association a month before the alleged actions by Cain took place.
Maybe Morgan missed this report by ABC's Chicago affiliate Monday (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
CHUCK GOODIE, ABC-TV CHICAGO INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Bialek's resume and a trail of public records indicates that changing jobs has been a regular occurrence for the Chicagoan. She has worked for at least nine different employers the past 17 years and appears to have struggled financially.
The public record on Bialek begins in 1991 when she filed personal bankruptcy for the first time while living in Des Plaines. Between '93 and '96 she worked for four different companies in promotion and marketing positions.
In '96, and part of '97, she was at the National Restaurant Association. After being let go from that job in mid-1997, she says that she went to Washington, D.C., to meet with Cain, president of the association, because she needed a job.
In 1999, her son Nicholas was born and a paternity lawsuit was filed by the father, a media executive. In 2001 came her second personal bankruptcy, filed after sizable legal bills.
So, a woman with two bankruptcies, a history of financial troubles as well as difficulty holding a job is now accusing someone of inappropriate sexual conduct fourteen years ago.
Yet Morgan, granted a lengthy first interview with Bialek, largely ignored all this (from CNN transcript):
PIERS MORGAN: And tell me this. When did you first meet Herman Cain?
SHARON BIALEK: I first met Herman in 1994 -- 1997 when I was employed at the Educational Foundation of the National Restaurant Association. Every year they have a show, the NRA show, and it's usually a five-day show. So I had a lot of opportunity to engage in conversations during various events with him.
MORGAN: So you got to know him quite well. And then you were laid off, is that right?
BIALEK: Yes, I was terminated.
Doesn't that seem like a perfect opportunity given her history of not being able to hold a job to ask her why she was terminated? Apparently not, for Morgan's response was, "And you then made contact with Herman Cain?"
But that was just the start of Morgan's lack of inquisitiveness. Later in the intervew:
MORGAN: Obviously, the cynics -- and there will be many out there -- will say why have you waited 14 year to come out with these claims? Are you making any money from this? Do you intend to make any money? You're not being paid for this interview. But do you intend to make any money from your revelations?
BIALEK: Piers, that was never my intention from the start. And it is not my intention to do it. I'm all about doing the right thing, about justice being served. And I wanted to do this because those that know me know I don't back down from controversy and things. And I felt I needed to do this for the other women that couldn't or wouldn't. And regardless of what happens -- and I know there is -- you're right, there's going to be a lot of backlash, and I'm going to have to suffer through that. And I'm sure I'm not going to be not portrayed, as you know different things. So I'm willing to handle it. I'm a tough girl.
Wouldn't this have been a great opportunity to ask her about her current financial position as well as her history of not being able to hold a job and the two bankruptcies?
Apparently not for Morgan dropped the financial line of questioning entirely and moved on:
MORGAN: You have a teenaged child.
MORGAN: Are you concerned about the impact of all this on your child?
BIALEK: Absolutely. He's the love of my life. And the most important thing in the world to me. And -- but you know, on the other hand, I want him to know that his mommy did something good for women, that she stood up for what she believed in. And I think that's a more important lesson to learn that I did something on behalf of women.
As you can see, Morgan chose not to ask Bialek why her previous husband filed a paternity suit against her shortly after this child was born.
Why were such topics ignored? Was it part of the terms of the interview set forth by Allred?
Consider that when Morgan asked for names of those corroborating her story, Allred refused to let Bialek answer:
MORGAN: How many other people have known about what happened?
BIALEK: I only told two people.
MORGAN: And who are they?
GLORIA ALLRED, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: We're not going to name them, Piers, but we are identifying them as we did today as a physician that she was dating who has provided a declaration under penalty of perjury to us, which we have signed. And also a very prominent businessman who has been a longtime friend and mentor of Sharon's, and he has also provided declaration under penalty of perjury to us that she told them shortly thereafter, after the incident, that Mr. Cain had made sexually inappropriate advances to her and conduct, misconduct with her, but she did not provide the detail to them. She was very, very embarrassed and shaken by this situation.
So the only really penetrating question asked by Morgan during this lengthy interview was deflected by Bialek's attorney.
How convenient. One quite imagines Cain not being able to get away with that.
Another great question Morgan didn't ask was, "If you wanted to be taken seriously by Republican voters and are a Republican yourself, why would you show up with liberal activist Gloria Allred?"
That apparently didn't cross Morgan's mind.
Also of note, when Paula Jones first accused former President Bill Clinton of inappropriate sexual conduct in February of 1994, she did it at CPAC. Liberal reporters used the venue as an excuse not to cover it.
Under those rules, Allred would say what she's doing is a liberal hatchet job.
Sadly, that didn't occur to Morgan either.
The point here is that Bialek because of her allegations Monday is destined to become a media star.
As the Associated Press reported Tuesday, she's already done the rounds at the network morning shows.
With this in mind, wouldn't it be nice if the accuser-come-lately was grilled as intensely as the target has been from the moment Politico first published its hit piece two Sundays ago?
Or is that too much to ask from a network that ran more stories on the Cain allegations in six days than it did on Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's ties to domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, convicted real estate developer Tony Rezko, and America-hating Rev. Jeremiah Wright combined?