Viewers of CNN’s The Situation Room this afternoon may have noticed that something sort of strange happened at the end of the first of two segments in which Wolf Blitzer interviewed former GOP frontrunner Herman Cain. The host told his television audience that CNN now had “Breaking News” (complete with graphics package), but that they wouldn’t share it until after the commercial break. After car insurance and other unmemorable ads ran, Blitzer came back (now with breaking news audio as well), and Cain announced news of forthcoming allegation.
Cain revealed little detail about the actual accuser to Blitzer, other than that he was aware that a third individual would be coming forth shortly, apparently identifying herself with news of the allegations. He did share that the woman expected to come forth was an “acquaintance” whom he had previously considered to be a friend. The clear message to come from the allegations was that Herman Cain was interested in getting out in front of the story, preempting and, therefore, controlling how the news would break. Given how seamlessly he was able to reveal the news and dismiss the allegations, all in one fell swoop, suggests that the communications and messaging team working with candidate Cain has learned some valuable lessons since they bungled the news of the first accusations that broke roughly a month ago.