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Cain and the Case of the Misplaced Ws Cain and the Case of the Misplaced Ws

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CAMPAIGN 2012

Cain and the Case of the Misplaced Ws

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Republican presidential candidate, Herman Cain wipes his forehead before answering questions at the National Press Club in Washington, Monday, Oct., 31, 2011. Denying he sexually harassed anyone, Cain said Monday he was falsely accused in the 1990s while he was head of the National Restaurant Association, and he branded revelation of the allegations a "witch hunt.". (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

One of the first things newcomers to my insufficiently esteemed craft learn is how to determine what to emphasize among the five Ws -- plus the H -- that make up the fundamentals of any news story.

They are not all equal.

As a sometime professor of journalism, I'd have to assign a different letter -- F -- to Herman Cain and his advisers for trying to turn the unfortunate public relations crisis that has engulfed the GOP presidential contender this week into a story about How word got out of the sexual harassment allegations against him and Who leaked it.

For those of us who live Inside the Beltway, this line of inquiry makes for a juicy parlor game. But for Republican voters who are trying to decide which of the contenders for their party's nomination can best challenge President Obama, there are  far more pertinent questions:

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