Video Link: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
The Big Picture –
By Glynn Wilson –
MOBILE, Ala. — Now that we have made “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” I think it is incumbent upon me to add a few editorial comments as material for future shows.
First of all let me say for the record that I personally have no malice towards Roy Moore. Now before you ladies get mad at me, remember, that is a legal term. In fact, I only have mirth for him. Lots of mirth.
You have to hand it to him. He has now become the most famous and pilloried citizen of my native state since George Corley Wallace. He may go down as a hero to his people, but he is going down, one way or another.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions was giving him a run for the money on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” for a few weeks. But the discredited judge has now reached the top of the hilarious heap on late night talk shows, social media and blogs.
In fact, Mooore reminds me a lot of Wallace, who is not just a maligned figure in the history books for me. I covered his last term in office as a newspaper reporter in my early years of practicing the craft of journalism back in the 1980s.
I’ve also covered Roy Moore’s storied career. I was there on the state Supreme Court building steps in Montgomery to see first hand the “Ten Commandments Judge” lead his moral crusade to try to keep the granite monument in the courthouse. Many called it “Roy’s Rock.” Some may forget he snuck it in during the middle of the night.
I was there just down the street in federal court covering the trial when he failed. I was there when he was ordered to remove the religious, Christian symbol from the secular court by U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson, a very wise and couragous man.
I covered his trials for the New York Times and the Christian Science Monitor, and later for my own publications on the web.
Tuesday night, I watched as Moore showed he had real guts, albeit the guts of a true-believer, when he emerged from the shadows of infamy and showed up to preach a sermon in Jackson, Alabama. The CBS affiliate in Mobile, WKRG News 5, carried the video live on Facebook. The station’s broadcasters didn’t seem to be having any fun with the story. They seemed quite stressed over the entire sordid affair. I called it The Sermon Before the Fall.
I mean he quoted not only the Apostle Paul in his final sermon as a politician. There was Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, who this poor little man just doesn’t even seem to understand at all. Perhaps he had bad teachers in high school and college. Or maybe he is dyslexic or has another learning disability or just suffers from a flawed sense of reading comprehension.
It’s amazing Moore has not yet fallen on his own sword. We watched the video in its entirety just in case. Will he come out soon and confess his sins as a child sex addict and ask “the Lord” and his faithful followers for forgiveness in front of the entire world?
It’s not just Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the powerful Republican from Kentucky, who Moore has to worry about to take away his Republican nomination in the U.S.. Senate race against Democrat Doug Jones, who is now leading in the polls by a 12 point margin, 51-39 percent, according to one poll.
U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, the Tuscaloosa Republican, has emerged from his rocking chair at his mansion on Lake Shelby and is now working on the 21 members of Alabama’s Republican Party central steering committee to revoke his candidacy if he doesn’t “step aside.” He also said he would not vote for Moore and would cast a write in ballot himself.
But everyone who knows Moore also knows he’s way too stubborn to simply step aside and relinquish the argument. He has always had to be kicked off the court kicking and screaming. Like the Blues Brothers, he has always been on “a mission from god,” even if it did cost him his job, twice, as a judge.
He is not alone.
Now that every news corporation and amateur blogger in America is writing things about him being a sex fiend, his crazy zealot of a lawyer Trenton Garmon has written a grammatical apocalypse of a letter threatening to sue the Alabama Media Group, a.k.a. Al dot Com, owned by the Newhouse family in New York, even though they didn’t even break the news about Moore trolling the Gadsden Mall, the local library and the YMCA for teenagers to have sex with.
I did, and the link was picked up in followup reporting by The New Yorker (also owned by Newhouse) as well as the Daily Kos blog and AlterNet, the HuffPo and many other news sites and blogs around the country and the world. Our traffic feed is running non-stop.
Since we seem to be the news outlet that has to break all this news to get it out, here’s something else for the news reporters and comics to chew on.
Moore’s legal schnauzer Trenton Garmon had his law license suspended for 91 days in 2014 for impersonating a preacher to get to a family in a hospital so he could unethically solicit their business in a wrongful death case. Then Chief Justice Moore was involved in the ruling. So he knows that to get business as a lawyer, Garmon impersonated a preacher. Now he is representing the former judge, who is impersonating a Christian and a Republican. Perfect.
According to the September, 2014 issue of the Alabama Lawyer, the newsletter of the Alabama Bar Association:
Gadsden attorney Trenton Rogers Garmon was suspended from the practice of law in Alabama by order of the Alabama Supreme Court for 91 days, effective April 7, 2014. The supreme court entered its order based upon the decision of the Disciplinary Board, Panel II, of the Alabama State Bar wherein Garmon was found guilty of violating rules 7.3(a) and 8.4(a) and (g), Ala. R. Prof. C.
Within one or two days following funeral services for a 13-year-old child who was killed in an automobile accident, Garmon called the child’s home identifying himself as “a pastor and an attorney.” Garmon tried to establish a relationship with the parents by claiming a connection with the father’s cousin, who was not a cousin, but a person whose name was given to Garmon by an individual associated with Garmon’s law practice. Garmon had no prior professional or other relationship with the child’s family. Garmon stated that he would like to meet the parents to discuss their legal rights. Garmon also made subsequent calls to the mother of the child stating that he had talked to her husband about their legal issues and wanted to set up a meeting. Garmon made no effort to inquire about the parents’ need for counseling, their church affiliations or spiritual resources. [ASB No. 11-1689]”
Yet on his law firm’s website, Garmon boasts of being “an advocate for people and considers it an honor to battle major insurance companies, large corporations and other powerful people or entities on behalf of the injured and those who have lost a loved one,” he writes on his legal bio, which must give state and national Republican Party officials great pause, since they tend to not like lawyers who sue corporations and “powerful people” like them. They are for tort reform. Roy Moore and his lawyer are not.
Born in Gadsden in 1979, Garmon brags of a degree in Business from Troy University, where he played center on the football team. His football experience seems to be more important to him than his actual courtroom experience, although he claims to have been in the courtroom somewhere when juries awarded injured parties $20 million and $5 million in verdicts, and in one case that settled for $40 million.
Before he attended Troy, he spent two years in military school at West Point, receiving his appointment from Vice President Al Gore, a Democrat. He later received a degree from Birmingham School of Law, where he brags of serving as Chaplin in the Christian Legal Society.
He also boasts that he has represented a state Supreme Court Chief Justice (Roy Moore) and a member of a City Council as well as “the disabled, the falsely accused, families of those tragically killed, the unborn and countless others.” I would be willing to bet it would be easy to count them on one hand. But let’s not quibble. That’s another story.
Bring It On
So come on, now Mr. Moore, not judge Moore, and your ill-prepared lawyer, go ahead and sue. But you will have to sue every big and little news organization in the world, and when your case is summarily dismissed as frivolous, they will all get to counter sue you in a frivolous lawsuit.
Does your fake news buddy Steve Bannon have enough deep pockets from his libertarian tech guru Robert Mercer to underwrite all that legal action? I suspect Jeff Bezos and the Newhouse family have enough in reserve to handle your fake legal claim. If not, they will make enough on the clickbait of a trial with you guys to more than pay the courts and lawyers.
As for me, I have a lot of attorney friends from many years in the news business, and some record of success with GoFundMe. I don’t think a legal defense fund will be hard to raise, especially now with CBS and Colbert on our side. I can’t wait to meet Stephen in New York and collect on my share of the frivolous lawsuit civil case.
So please, bring it on.
Dear Roy Moore
Mr. Moore, perhaps you don’t remember me, but I bet you do.
You once had me kicked out of a press conference after you lost your Ten Commandments case in Montgomery for asking a very simple and fair question.
After you insulted every reporter there, including those working for the New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, AP, Reuters, the Chicago Tribune, the Birmingham News, The Annistan Star and Montgomery Advertiser by passing around a printed copy of the First Amendment — as if we had not been steeped in what it means far more than you — I asked you this: “How could two law school graduates and Sunday school teachers like yourself and the great former U.S. Supreme Court Justice and former U.S. Senator Hugo Black, also from Alabama, come to such dramatically different conclusions about the meaning of the First Amendment?”
That is the only time in your career when I saw you speechless. You could not even seem to comprehend my simple question.
So now I’ve got only one more thing to say to you. When I find out you are on your death bed, I would like to visit you one more time — just so I can hand you a copy of the First Amendment, and wink, right before you breathe your final breath.
Perhaps St. Peter will take the time to explain it to you before he lets you through the “pearly gates” into “heaven.” Or maybe he should make you take the bar exam again before you qualify to enter. Our secular laws have nothing to do with the Bible and the Ten Commandments and everything to do with a long history of common law going back centuries.
As Hugo Black, Thomas Jefferson, et al. knew so well and you don’t seem to comprehend, we must have a high wall of separation between church and state for American democracy to work. Black once wrote, in a majority decision for the United States Supreme Court, that “this wall must remain high and impregnable. We should not approve the slightest breach.”
Clearly you are not interested in saving democracy or don’t have any idea how to make it work. You must want to implement an authoritarian theocracy here. That’s why you have been compared to the Taliban.
You say “only god can save the country,” but we know a functioning democracy requires a separation of church and state. The problem is not that god needs to be at the center of our government. The problem is that your god is already too prominent in talk of government, at least in Alabama, and because of that, we are divided — because of religion and the involvement of churches in politics. You are dividing us.
You have been in breach of this wall for far too long, all the while fooling the poor Christian people of Alabama to support you in this breach. You could have been a real leader and helped your people. Instead, you had to turn out like Wallace, a grand standing opportunist willing to exploit people’s lack of understanding and faith for your own political and financial ends.
Now that you have been exposed as a sexual predator of teen-aged girls, maybe some of your faithful followers will stop hyperventilating and screaming for blood — thanks to you — for a few minutes and watch retired Auburn history professor Wayne Flynt explain why the Baptists are not involved in the separation of church and state movement anymore, even though it is an integral part of their history. Even if you won’t listen to me or any news media other than Breitbart, perhaps you and they may understand Dr. Flynt. He is a Baptist and says Doug Jones will make a great Senator.
Please, sir, for the good of the state and country, get your people to watch and understand this.
Like the scriptures say, “Judge not lest ye be judged.”
“Live by the sword; die by the sword.”
You have lived by the sword of judgement your entire life. You can’t judge and sue everybody else in the world who doesn’t agree with you and force your radical religion on everybody else. We have religious freedom in this country, according to the same First Amendment you like to wave around in everyone’s faces as if you have some special understanding of it the rest of us don’t get. As if God has spoken to you, and you alone, like a high priest.
Just so you will know, that same document includes freedom from religion, especially when it interferes with the daily functioning of our government and society. It becomes a hazard to running the country, a hindrance if you will. It is in the way of forming reasonable and effective policies. It’s a distraction.
You set yourself up as a pious man of god, but they now know you are flawed. Why do you have to drag the rest of us down with you? Confess your sins and ask your god for forgiveness. And then leave politics forever. You have no chance of getting elected to public office ever again.
Here’s something else for the record.
While Moore’s moral masses are running around screaming that the women who have now come out and told their stories of sexual harassment and assault by Moore are not backed up by any evidence, an Alabama attorney named J. Chris Cochran recently posted a brief about this on his Facebook page. Check this out:
OK, I think it’s time for a brief lesson on evidence, because I have read a lot of posts recently from folks who clearly don’t understand what is and what isn’t evidence….
The fact that four individual women don’t know each and, yet, have eerily similar stories, is evidence. It’s circumstantial evidence; but circumstantial evidence is admissible. Indeed, some cases can only be proven by circumstantial evidence.
Second, a person’s general reputation in the community is also evidence. Evidence of the general reputation of a person affords the basis for an inference as to the person’s actual character; for behind a bad reputation usually lies a bad character.
Thus, when former co-workers state that it was common knowledge that someone dated high school students when he was a grown man — a prosecutor — well, that is evidence. Reputation evidence.
The fact that these four individual women told others the same thing in the past is also admissible evidence. It is NOT hearsay. In fact, under 801(d)(1), a prior consistent statement is admissible if it is offered to rebut an express or implied charge of recent fabrication or improper influence or motive. Thus, when an alleged perpetrator accuses his victims of lying, being improperly influenced or having an improper motive, the prior consistent statements are admissible as evidence of the veracity of their stories. You know, like, if someone accuses four individuals of lying, being bribed or having a political motive, then the prior consistent statements are admissible as evidence to prove the stories are not recent fabrications.
Next, one would then weigh this evidence against the evidence offered in opposition to it. So, the alleged perpetrator’s own statements are also evidence. If an alleged perpetrator made a statement like, “I don’t remember it… but if she says I did it, I wouldn’t deny it.” That is evidence.
If the alleged perpetrator later, when not being subjected to questioning, states, “I deny it.” That is also evidence. Evidence that is wholly inconsistent with his previous statement.
The fact that his current untested statement is wholly inconsistent with his earlier tested statement is also evidence in and of itself. It is evidence as to the credibility of the alleged perpetrator. The fact that an alleged perpetrator stated, “I did not buy alcohol for a minor, because it was a dry county,” is also evidence. Indeed, the fact that he didn’t say, “I did not buy alcohol for a minor, because I have never bought alcohol for a minor,” is also evidence.
The fact that the County wasn’t actually dry at that time is, you guessed it, also evidence. The fact that the alleged perpetrator then immediately stated, “anyway, I think I remember that she was 19”’is also evidence. You see, the fact that the alleged perpetrator wants the listener to believe that he thinks he remembers that the underaged girl was actually the legal drinking age at the time evinces a consciousness of guilt. One must ask why the alleged perpetrator would suggest that the underaged girl might have been of legal drinking age at the time, if he really had not tried to ply the underaged girl with alcohol. This is also evidence.
The fact that the alleged perpetrator later stated, “you have to wonder why these women are coming forward now for something that happened 30 years ago” is also evidence. You see, his own statement betrays him … for in his own statement hides the truth. What is that truth? Something that happened 30 years ago. Something. That. Happened.
Something that happened to at least four individual girls who didn’t and still don’t know each other, girls who have different political beliefs, girls whose stories are eerily similar, girls who told other people the same thing in the past, girls who the alleged perpetrator said, “If they say we did it, I wouldn’t deny it.” You see, Something actually happened to them. This is all evidence.
Now, you get to decide what to do with it. If this evidence does not cause you any pause… then it does not cause you any pause. That is fine. But stop saying you need evidence. It isn’t true. Just be honest and say, “no amount of evidence would change my mind … I live in a black and white world … there is no grey … there is no room for questions … there is no room for empathy … I can’t handle the truth.”
UPDATED: The fact that a 5th Woman, who does not know the other women, has come forward with a similar story is also evidence. The fact that, in his denial as to the 5th woman’s description of events, the alleged sexual predator stated, “I have never known this woman,” is also evidence, which is directly contradicted by the fact that the alleged serial abuser of children intimately signed her year book a week before the alleged sexual assault.
The undisputed fact that the alleged sexual predator knowingly posted a forged and, thus, fraudulent letter ostensibly in his “defense” evinces a consciousness of guilt and also goes directly to the alleged serial child molester’s complete lack of credibility.
Finally, the now undisputed fact that the alleged serial child molester is robo-calling Alabama voters and pretending to be a non-existent reporter offering money to make up stories against the alleged perpetrator is also evidence. Again, this type of evidence goes directly to the alleged child abusers lack of credibility and his consciousness of guilt. It is also a separate and stand alone intentional tort.
© 2017, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.