The Big Picture –
By Glynn Wilson –
MOBILE, Ala. — They say politics makes strange bedfellows. But somehow I don’t think they meant a 32-year-old assistant district attorney fondling a 14-year-old girl in nothing but his tighty-whities.
Discredited judge Roy Moore emerged from his seclusion this week and tried to blame former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and of course the “liberal media” for his campaign troubles.
“The Obama-Clinton Machine’s liberal media lapdogs just launched the most vicious and nasty round of attacks against me I’ve EVER faced,” Moore wrote in a mass email sent by the campaign under his wife’s name on Saturday morning, the same day he showed up in Vestavia near Birmingham at a Veterans Day event to deny the charges leveled at him by four women in a detailed Washington Post investigative report.
It became clear why Mr. Ten Commandments has remained out of the public eye of late when the story broke Thursday. His campaign must have gotten wind that Post reporters were in the state digging around in his past. That’s what happens when you run for national office. Reporters dig. If they find something, look out.
Of course the alt-right fake news media and their attack dogs on talk radio have taken up Moore’s cause, trying to discredit the story by screaming: “Why now?”
That’s the message being spread on local television news here with broadcasters turning to talk radio hosts to report “the other side” of the story. Since it is too late to remove Moore’s name from the special election ballot Dec. 12, Moore has to act defiant and try to use the story to turn out his base.
“These allegations came only four-and-a-half weeks before the election,” Moore told about 100 supporters at the Veterans Day breakfast. “That’s not a coincidence. It’s an intentional act to stop a campaign. . . . We do not intend to let the Democrats or the establishment Republicans or anybody else behind this story stop this campaign.”
For the record, this story is not just coming up now. Rumors of Moore’s dalliances with teenagers have been floating around for a long time. Sources have tried to get me to investigate this story for years. But since the allegations did not involve actual sexual intercourse or rape, and since my resources are limited compared to the Jeff Bezos Washington Post, I never took on the story. It will be curious to see what the New York Times does now, considering reporters there had to know about the story too. Why did the Times not take on the story and break it? The same is true for the Newhouse Birmingham News (blog dot al dot com) and the Montgomery Advertiser. Their bloggers are now publishing commentary on the story under the cover of the Washington Post investigation.
A former prosecutor who worked alongside Moore in the early 1980s told CNN it was known at the time that Moore dated high school girls.
“It was common knowledge that Roy dated high school girls, everyone we knew thought it was weird,” former deputy district attorney Teresa Jones told CNN in comments aired Saturday. “We wondered why someone his age would hang out at high school football games and the mall … but you really wouldn’t say anything to someone like that.”
BREAKING NEWS: Sources tell me Moore was actually banned from the Gadsden Mall and the YMCA for his inappropriate behavior of soliciting sex from young girls. If Moore keeps lying, that story will soon come out in a big way too.
Meanwhile back on the Doug Jones Senate campaign.
After spending a few months building up our national bureau in Washington, D.C., I arrived back in Alabama this past week — just in time to catch up with history in the making.
I caught up with Doug Jones on Friday morning at the Veterans Day Parade in Mobile, and then Friday night in Prichard, where civil rights hero John Lewis showed up to help get out the African American vote. The feeling in the packed gymnasium was dripping with history. My long-time friend and civil rights photographer Spider Martin would have been proud.
While walking alongside the organized labor float Friday morning trying to find the right angle to take pictures, I got a chance to talk to Doug in person. We have talked on the phone and by text a number of times over the past few months.
“You picked a good time to come back,” Jones said with a wry smile, literally the day after the allegations came out on Roy Moore.
Many other friends on Facebook and followers on Twitter have made comments and sent private messages saying “welcome back.”
It is good to be back on the Gulf Coast for the winter. Now back to building our local news bureau.
I hope you will help us by liking and sharing our links on social media, as John Lewis urged Friday night. We still have work to do to build the economy for the web press around here if democracy is going to survive and thrive in these parts. There is only so much the Washington Post can do all by itself. We need a stronger local press too.
This is a fact that was recently acknowledged by the editors of the New York Times and the Washington Post in a panel discussion at the National Press Club in Washington, as I reported in this story and video. I wonder if they are really willing and able to help us in this effort? We will see.
© 2017, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.