Cain seeks advantage in media attention

By BETH FOUHY | November 12, 2011 | 3:35 AM EST

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is escorted by security as he leaves the back door of the Russian Tea Room after a fundraiser, Friday, Nov. 11, 2011, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

NEW YORK (AP) — Herman Cain has decried the media firestorm surrounding claims he sexually harassed former employees. But the Republican presidential hopeful is also eagerly seeking the limelight, even as he casts himself the victim of a journalistic smear.

The allegations that Cain sexually harassed subordinates while heading the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990s are catnip for reporters. The story blends power, sex, race and money and pits Cain's word against that of his accusers.

It's led news broadcasts, made major headlines and kept hordes of reporters tracking the candidate. Cain himself has sought coverage, appearing on Fox News, visiting late-night talk shows and calling in to radio hosts.

Along with unrivaled exposure, the attention allows the businessman to malign what he calls the liberal mainstream media and curry conservatives' favor.