Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore accused of statutory rape

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inu-kun:
Technically speaking, unless one views all undercover journalism as unethical there is not a lot of difference between the two.

Oh, there is. It's the same as the difference between a sting and entrapment.

What O'Keefe does is unethical for different reasons, though. It's not so much that he sends out interns disguised as telephone repairmen to illegally plant bugs in federal buildings, though he does do that. It's that he selectively edits the recordings he releases to make his targets seem guilty of something they are not guilty of. Like in that old Simpsons episode.

inu-kun:
We can't even really know how untrue the reporting would have been had the paper taken the bait or whether the paper would have accepted her story if she wasn't followed, was a better actress or wasn't giving the newspapers something too good to be true.
I mean, it's pretty usual to excuse inconsistencies in those cases as a result of trauma and those cases nearly entirely fall into "she said" with very little hard evidence.

The wonderful thing about this story is how it reassures me. See, the Washington Post could have accepted the allegations at face value and published them without verifying them. No doubt O'Keefe's belief was that they would actually do that, because people like O'Keefe and Bannon and the late Andrew Breitbart are so thoroughly cynical about the concept of journalistic ethics that they simply do not expect other journalists to behave any better than they do.

But WaPo didn't do that. What WaPo did was their job; they examined the woman's story, explosive as it was, to see if it was credible enough to be published. They did not suspend basic investigative standards in order to publish a quick partisan sucker-punch. They put their ethics before their politics, in a way that I honestly didn't think WaPo would do, given the sad state of modern politics.

James O'Keefe, just like Bannon and Trump and too many other media personalities who call themselves conservatives but are really just hacks, sought to pull his opponent down into the shit-pile so that the both of them would end up looking dirty. But instead, the Washington Post was left standing clean on the banks, pointing at O'Keefe and saying "Hey, that guy's covered in shit!"

inu-kun:
Going through with a publishing a rape allegation without proof or confirmation from police and attorney on what is little more than heresay is definitely corrupt and unethical (even before considering political gain from it), though. At the very least it is likely to destroy a person's life. If after some time the story is revealed to be hoax and the accused life is ruined you can't go to say "oh that was just a error, silly me". The fact they heard her out rather than gave her a telephone of a lawyer and a psychiatrist is disturbing.

Broadly speaking, yes; it is unethical to publish an unverified or unverifiable story, especially if it's defamatory and there is no compelling public interest served by the reporting.

This was part of the problem with Buzzfeed reporting on the Steele dossier. The dossier was explosive and certainly defamatory, but at the time it was largely unverified. Buzzfeed hoped that if they were up-front about it being "unverified" and pointed to the public interest in knowing about the dossier, that would outweigh the bad ethics of reporting unverified information. As far as I'm concerned, that's right on the hazy line between unethical-but-justified and just-plain-unethical.

But, and I feel I really should emphasise this, the Washington Post did not report on the allegations. They investigated them, sat on them for weeks, found the holes in the story, and passed the test.

O'Keefe, meanwhile, failed.

Update: Trump has endorsed Roy Moore explicitly for the first time since the allegations were made public. By tweet, of course.

This comes after Mitch McConnell walked back his earlier statement that he would move to block Roy Moore from taking office if he won, saying that he'll let the people of Alabama "litigate" it, because apparently America determines criminal guilt by popular vote now.

Trump's endorsement of Moore, which can be said to have started a week or so ago when he started ripping on Doug Jones (Moore's opponent) via Twitter, has had a serious effect on the Alabama race. Polls earlier in the month had Doug Jones with a solid lead - as much as nine points. After Trump started bashing Jones, poll results put the race too close to call.

Who knows what they'll look like in a few days time? Alabamans trust Trump, for some reason. I seriously don't know why, he's really obviously untrustworthy. But Trump coming out like this may well result in a world where Senator Roy Moore is a thing. And that - honestly, fuck that. I'm not even going to rant about it.

bastardofmelbourne:
Update: Trump has endorsed Roy Moore explicitly for the first time since the allegations were made public. By tweet, of course.

This comes after Mitch McConnell walked back his earlier statement that he would move to block Roy Moore from taking office if he won, saying that he'll let the people of Alabama "litigate" it, because apparently America determines criminal guilt by popular vote now.

Trump's endorsement of Moore, which can be said to have started a week or so ago when he started ripping on Doug Jones (Moore's opponent) via Twitter, has had a serious effect on the Alabama race. Polls earlier in the month had Doug Jones with a solid lead - as much as nine points. After Trump started bashing Jones, poll results put the race too close to call.

Who knows what they'll look like in a few days time? Alabamans trust Trump, for some reason. I seriously don't know why, he's really obviously untrustworthy. But Trump coming out like this may well result in a world where Senator Roy Moore is a thing. And that - honestly, fuck that. I'm not even going to rant about it.

I wish to express my hostile anger (at the situation, not you melbourne), but I dont wish to get in trouble on here to do so.

So...tl;dr: Left good, right bad.

"Look he was an innocent misunderstood victim who only ever wanted to do good for his community and frankly I'm tired of hearing all these sick liberal lies about a truly great man. He worked hard to get where he was and scraped by with so little and all it takes is a few rumors about his history and suddenly everyone's forgetting that just because he hung out in the sewer he was still a very good clown who has never done anything inappropriate with children! He stands for family values and the safety of children and making sure that tax benefits continue to rise to the point where it seems like they are floating. He's a true and proud republican. The fake news media can't cover it up forever, the truth will come out and the righteous shall be vindicated. And That's why I'm voting for Pennywise to become our state senator, he'll make for a fine Senator for the people of Maine and I couldn't be prouder. Vote for Pennywise people! We will all float down here together!

... and if any kids were actually brutally devoured by him well, they probably secretly wanted it. Little sluts! Why aren't we talking about the problems the left has huh? That's what I wanna know!"

- Fox News anchor in the near future at this rate.

Seriously though at this rate we might as well hand the reins of politics to a creature like Pennywise, lord knows there are already enough clowns that shouldn't be trusted around underage girls in the Republican party as is. At least Pennywise is honest about it.
And the people who vote Republican wouldn't even care, they would just see the 'R' next to his name and that would be the end of it.

And yeah Republican Party? If Roy Moore does win you never get to claim Christian Values or 'familiy values' ever again, you will be the party of pussy grabbing and kiddy diddling.

Not that that'll stop your base voting for you.....

I read somewhere that 71% of Republicans don't believe the allegations against Roy Moore. He's up 49-43.

I noticed that the last contested election for the seat (2008) was about 65-35 to the Republicans. This tallies reasonably closely with Trump winning in Alabama, taking about 63% in 2016. Skim off about 30% of 65%, we get to ~43%, which is not that far below 49%. Although that 6% difference still suggests there is a small tranche of Republicans who believe Roy Moore is a kiddy-fiddler but will vote for him anyway.

I also don't believe he is guilty

Agema:
Although that 6% difference still suggests there is a small tranche of Republicans who believe Roy Moore is a kiddy-fiddler but will vote for him anyway.

Consider the evangelical culture down there. In many of these churches, Moore's actions were perfectly justifiable. Child brides are a normal thing to these people because of their fucked up views of sexuality and "purity." There's a reason even other southern states look at Alabama like, "At least we're not them."

cold_revenge92:
I also don't believe he is guilty

I respect your right to skepticism and agree that the allegations probably can't be proven to a criminal standard at this stage. But consider this:

- He is facing nine separate allegations of sexual misconduct from unrelated women, including one that would constitute sexual assault and another that would constitute sexual molestation of a minor.
- The story of the primary accuser (Leigh Corfman) is backed up by her mother and by court records from the day she described meeting Moore.
- The story of two other accusers - Beverly Young Nelson and Debbie Wesson Gilson - is backed up by the presence of Moore's handwritten signature in their high-school yearbooks.
- Locals in Moore's hometown of Gadsen have gone on record to say that Moore's behaviour was an open secret, and employees at Gadsen Mall have confirmed that Moore was banned from the premises because of repeatedly using the mall as a location to hit on teenage girls.
- A former colleague of Moore from the 80s stated that it was "common knowledge" at the workplace that Moore pursued relationships with teenage girls.
- Contemporary friends of Corfman and other accusers from the time period in question separately confirmed the stories. In all, several dozen people have gone on the record in support of the accusations. None of them have been paid, despite the dissemination of false robocalls to the contrary.
- Moore has refused to go under oath - where he would risk perjury if he told a lie - to deny the charges when challenged to do so.

Moore's rebuttal to the accusations has been feeble. He has not explained how his signature got on those two yearbooks. He has given no reason why so many women and the people around them would feel the need to lie about him in such a co-ordinated and consistent way. He has not provided any evidence that would give him an alibi for any of the alleged incidents. He has not explained why he was banned from Gadsen Mall, or why his former work colleagues remember him dating teenagers. His defence has started and ended with "fake news."

Now, it would be presumptuous of me or anyone else to say that he's guilty without it going to court. But this is never going to court. And with that in mind: fuck yes, this man is guilty. He is guilty as sin.

bastardofmelbourne:

Moore's rebuttal to the accusations has been feeble. He has not explained how his signature got on those two yearbooks. He has given no reason why so many women and the people around them would feel the need to lie about him in such a co-ordinated and consistent way.

How distinctly and maliciously untrue. Roy Moore has in actual fact heroically defended himself against these allegations in the typical tea party fashion: "When in doubt, blame gays, liberals and socialists for your percieved misconduct."

Because as a member of the tea party, what is the point of the LGBT community if you can't scapegoat them for your problems?

bastardofmelbourne:

- Locals in Moore's hometown of Gadsen have gone on record to say that Moore's behaviour was an open secret, and employees at Gadsen Mall have confirmed that Moore was banned from the premises because of repeatedly using the mall as a location to hit on teenage girls.
- A former colleague of Moore from the 80s stated that it was "common knowledge" at the workplace that Moore pursued relationships with teenage girls.

Honestly, these two points alone seal the case, IMO.

Not that his supporters will care. They will defend moore because he's "one of them, a righteous god-fearin' true conservative man!" and tribalism runs even deeper on the right than on the left.

I do find it ironic how these people screeched that "If you legalize the gays, you'll legalize the pedos and the bestiality people!" and "Ya gotta keep the trans people out of the bathrooms to protect the kids!" and yet now they're defending a guy with a mountain of circumstantial evidence against him that he's a damn pedophile with fanatical vigor.

If he wins (and it looks like he very well might), I never want to hear alabama talk about "teh gays and trannys are comin' for your kids" or "christian values will save the country!" ever again.

ineptelephant:

bastardofmelbourne:

Moore's rebuttal to the accusations has been feeble. He has not explained how his signature got on those two yearbooks. He has given no reason why so many women and the people around them would feel the need to lie about him in such a co-ordinated and consistent way.

How distinctly and maliciously untrue. Roy Moore has in actual fact heroically defended himself against these allegations in the typical tea party fashion: "When in doubt, blame gays, liberals and socialists for your percieved misconduct."

Because as a member of the tea party, what is the point of the LGBT community if you can't scapegoat them for your problems?

That is...wow. That sure is something that should be solely within the realms of satire, but nope...here it is as a living embodiment of the selfish hiding behind the weakest of religious defenses. Are they just seeing how far they can push the blind loyalty of their followers? It's looking pretty bad from the outside for a developed nation.

bastardofmelbourne:

cold_revenge92:
I also don't believe he is guilty

I respect your right to skepticism and agree that the allegations probably can't be proven to a criminal standard at this stage. But consider this:

- He is facing nine separate allegations of sexual misconduct from unrelated women, including one that would constitute sexual assault and another that would constitute sexual molestation of a minor.
- The story of the primary accuser (Leigh Corfman) is backed up by her mother and by court records from the day she described meeting Moore.
- The story of two other accusers - Beverly Young Nelson and Debbie Wesson Gilson - is backed up by the presence of Moore's handwritten signature in their high-school yearbooks.
- Locals in Moore's hometown of Gadsen have gone on record to say that Moore's behaviour was an open secret, and employees at Gadsen Mall have confirmed that Moore was banned from the premises because of repeatedly using the mall as a location to hit on teenage girls.
- A former colleague of Moore from the 80s stated that it was "common knowledge" at the workplace that Moore pursued relationships with teenage girls.
- Contemporary friends of Corfman and other accusers from the time period in question separately confirmed the stories. In all, several dozen people have gone on the record in support of the accusations. None of them have been paid, despite the dissemination of false robocalls to the contrary.
- Moore has refused to go under oath - where he would risk perjury if he told a lie - to deny the charges when challenged to do so.

Moore's rebuttal to the accusations has been feeble. He has not explained how his signature got on those two yearbooks. He has given no reason why so many women and the people around them would feel the need to lie about him in such a co-ordinated and consistent way. He has not provided any evidence that would give him an alibi for any of the alleged incidents. He has not explained why he was banned from Gadsen Mall, or why his former work colleagues remember him dating teenagers. His defence has started and ended with "fake news."

Now, it would be presumptuous of me or anyone else to say that he's guilty without it going to court. But this is never going to court. And with that in mind: fuck yes, this man is guilty. He is guilty as sin.

Considering how obvious it was Trump was everything we said he would be and more, no, it is not presumptuous to say he is guilty. HE IS GUILTY.

Anyone who supports Roy Moore doesnt deserve any rights. Trump supports Roy Moore.

Supporting Roy Moore makes you pro-pedophilia, pro-rape, pro-slavery, anti-LGBT, anti-black. Trump supports Roy Moore.

If you support Roy Moore, you are a bad person. Trump supports Roy Moore.

Saelune:
If you support Roy Moore, you are a bad person.

I guess that's one way to say it.

I remember a time, not so long ago, when people used to argue whether pedophiles deserve to be put to death. Now we're arguing whether they should serve in the Senate. That's what the GOP and Trump have done to the US in less than a year.

ineptelephant:

How distinctly and maliciously untrue. Roy Moore has in actual fact heroically defended himself against these allegations in the typical tea party fashion: "When in doubt, blame gays, liberals and socialists for your percieved misconduct."

Because as a member of the tea party, what is the point of the LGBT community if you can't scapegoat them for your problems?

Just the picture in the article makes it look like he's ready to molest someone most greviously.

Holy fuckballs this is a close race..
Jones is ahead by a less than a full percentage, and we're not at 100% reporting yet.

Ya know...I dunno what to do. I had all of this outrage sorta planned, and I dunno what to do with it. I mean, yay for Alabama not being officially the worst state, but now I got heartburn. I hope this scares the fuck out of Republicans everywhere though.

Still, Moore needs to go to jail.

Saelune:
Ya know...I dunno what to do. I had all of this outrage sorta planned, and I dunno what to do with it.

Get drunk!

Dr. Thrax:
Holy fuckballs this is a close race..
Jones is ahead by a less than a full percentage, and we're not at 100% reporting yet.

The votes remaining to be counted are from urban areas that vote heavily Democratic, so people are calling it in favour of Jones. But yes, it is astonishingly close. I saw that Moore was leading by three points about an hour and a half ago, and I had resigned myself to the inevitable; then I checked again twenty minutes later and it was literally neck-and-neck at 49.2% for both candidates.

Then Jones pulled ahead by about .5%, and apparently that was enough, given that the remaining ballots were coming in from places where he was polling twenty points ahead. Very close race. I shouldn't speak too soon!

bastardofmelbourne:

Saelune:
Ya know...I dunno what to do. I had all of this outrage sorta planned, and I dunno what to do with it.

Get drunk!

I dont drink. If I did, I'd probably be an alcoholic.

Saelune:

bastardofmelbourne:

Saelune:
Ya know...I dunno what to do. I had all of this outrage sorta planned, and I dunno what to do with it.

Get drunk!

I dont drink. If I did, I'd probably be an alcoholic.

Get high!

Wait, that's worse.

Read a good book!

Ooopsiee looks like someone just went and lost, didn't he? All that whining about his god being on his side, guess prayer couldn't actually help him.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. This little experiment with reactionary populism has been fun and all, but now it's time to step aside and let the adults take over. The reactionaries got lucky a couple of times, but hopefully the message will start to sink in that no one wants what they're selling.

At the time of me typing this, 99% of the votes are in and Jones won 640,540 over Moore's 631,576.

Literally 9000 plus or minus people made the difference. Under 9000 people lessened the grip of the GOP sycophants who blindly followed Trump.

While a victory, it's still... heartbreaking that it's even this close.

bastardofmelbourne:

Saelune:

bastardofmelbourne:

Get drunk!

I dont drink. If I did, I'd probably be an alcoholic.

Get high!

Wait, that's worse.

Read a good book!

I think I will wait for Trump's response to this. Im sure it will be infuriating.

ObsidianJones:
At the time of me typing this, 99% of the votes are in and Jones won 640,540 over Moore's 631,576.

Literally 9000 plus or minus people made the difference. Under 9000 people lessened the grip of the GOP sycophants who blindly followed Trump.

While a victory, it's still... heartbreaking that it's even this close.

That's exactly how I feel. It's great that Jones won, but it should have been a slam-dunk, not a nail-biter.

ObsidianJones:
At the time of me typing this, 99% of the votes are in and Jones won 640,540 over Moore's 631,576.

Literally 9000 plus or minus people made the difference. Under 9000 people lessened the grip of the GOP sycophants who blindly followed Trump.

While a victory, it's still... heartbreaking that it's even this close.

I wonder how many of them were people who usually vote republican, how many were democrats who usually dont bother, cause Alabama, and how many were undecided types.

Just waiting for the usual suspects and the 10 year old in the white house to start screaming about voter fraud being responsible for Moore's Loss. Because God obviously wanted the pedo to win and it would have happened if the Dems weren't trucking in mexicans to swing the election.

Saelune:

bastardofmelbourne:

Saelune:
I dont drink. If I did, I'd probably be an alcoholic.

Get high!

Wait, that's worse.

Read a good book!

I think I will wait for Trump's response to this. Im sure it will be infuriating.

Something something fake news. Something something Moore was cheated. Something Something Democrats.

And then /pol/ will be something something but Pizzagate.

Saelune:
I think I will wait for Trump's response to this. Im sure it will be infuriating.

It was, but not for the reasons you'd expect. It was...polite.

dun dun DAAAAAAAAH

bastardofmelbourne:

Saelune:
I think I will wait for Trump's response to this. Im sure it will be infuriating.

It was, but not for the reasons you'd expect. It was...polite.

dun dun DAAAAAAAAH

I honestly dont think he posted that. We already know his lawyer has used his twitter to post stuff. I genuinely believe someone else is posting this using his twitter.

Establishment Republican commentators are taking the piss out on Steve Bannon for this. It's hilarious!

It's like watching snakes trash-talk a honey badger that got its face stuck in a toilet. A toilet that molested teenagers!

Oh good, enough Alabamans had enough standards to not elect a goddamn pedo to the senate. By about a sliver of a hair of a margin. I'm with ObsidianJones on this, it's heartbreaking that it was this goddamn close.

Well, hey, good on you, people of Alabama, for stopping that shit in its tracks, even by this slim margin.

bastardofmelbourne:

It was, but not for the reasons you'd expect. It was...polite.

What sorcery is this? A polite, "Yeah, a win is a win, grats" tweet from the cheeto in chief? :o The world must be ending.

Saelune:
Ya know...I dunno what to do. I had all of this outrage sorta planned, and I dunno what to do with it.

Direct it at Ajit pai who will likely sacrifice the internet on an altar to the elder gods of corporate greed on thursday, most likely? :(

bastardofmelbourne:
Establishment Republican commentators are taking the piss out on Steve Bannon for this. It's hilarious!

It's like watching snakes trash-talk a honey badger that got its face stuck in a toilet. A toilet that molested teenagers!

As opposed to Roy Moore being a pedo... *cough*

They are scapegoating Bannon to pull attention away from Moore being a sex offender.

Saelune:

bastardofmelbourne:

Saelune:
I think I will wait for Trump's response to this. Im sure it will be infuriating.

It was, but not for the reasons you'd expect. It was...polite.

dun dun DAAAAAAAAH

I honestly dont think he posted that. We already know his lawyer has used his twitter to post stuff. I genuinely believe someone else is posting this using his twitter.

Honestly, after the man implicated himself in obstruction of justice, I'm pretty sure they took away his rights to write on twitter anymore. Still, it's at least nice to not see the usual Trump rhetoric being slung on his twitter feed. I'm sure it won't last long though.

bastardofmelbourne:
Establishment Republican commentators are taking the piss out on Steve Bannon for this. It's hilarious!

It's like watching snakes trash-talk a honey badger that got its face stuck in a toilet. A toilet that molested teenagers!

Again, I love how getting a Republican into the senate is much more important to these guys than the fact that they were supporting a known pedophile. Where was all the Pizzagate outrage for this? Oh right, it only counts if it's not the person you support.

And just to make it clear, I'm not any sort of Clinton lover. The only reason I would've preferred Clinton over Trump is the fact that it's just the moral and sane choice. Not the best one overall, but the lesser of the two evils. There are several people I'd have preferred over her.

bastardofmelbourne:

Saelune:
I think I will wait for Trump's response to this. Im sure it will be infuriating.

It was, but not for the reasons you'd expect. It was...polite.

dun dun DAAAAAAAAH

... the fuck? Did his wife write that behind his back or something?

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