Roy Moore’s nomination as the Republican running for Senate in Alabama marked Steve Bannon’s first victory since leaving the White House. Moore was the Breitbart chief’s shining example of beating the GOP Establishment. Upon his victory on December 12, Bannon would launch his assault against “RINOs” in the Senate.
Things took a turn for the worst last week when the Washington Post published an article telling stories from four women who accused Moore of various degrees of sexual impropriety. One of those making claims, Leigh Corfman, said Moore sexually abused her when she was 14-years-old. Moore was 32-years-old at the time.
Now, Axios is reporting that Bannon is sending two of his most trusted lieutenants, Matt Boyle and Aaron Klein, to find stories that can discredit the women from the Washington Post article.
Steve Bannon has sent two of Breitbart News’ top reporters, Matt Boyle and Aaron Klein, to Alabama. Their mission: to discredit the Washington Post’s reporting on Roy Moore’s alleged sexual misconduct with teenagers.
Bottom line: This story is about to get even uglier, if that’s imaginable. I expect more counter-attacks will play out in Breitbart News and other outlets over the coming days.
While it’s easy to condemn or support Bannon’s decision based upon whether we support or condemn Moore, we should take a hard look at what Bannon’s motivations are. We know he wants Moore to win. The question is whether this is a political move by Bannon to take something he feels may be true but needs to be discredited or whether he sincerely believes Moore didn’t do what the four women claim he did.
If it’s purely politics, this is a disgraceful move. If they think Moore is getting set up, then they must do everything they can to prove Moore’s innocence.
One might wonder what difference Bannon’s motivations make. As an opinionated journalist who has no trouble acknowledging my biases, I don’t think Breitbart nor Bannon have any need to hide their leanings. However, they should hold to the journalistic standards of truth. It’s one thing to highlight the best in one’s candidates and the worst in one’s opponents. It’s another thing altogether to attempt to hide the truth or discredit those telling the truth simply because it doesn’t align with political goals.
I’m willing to give Breitbart the benefit of the doubt. Bannon is close to Moore and has certainly heard as much of Moore’s side of the story as anyone. If he believes Moore is innocent, then his actions are righteous. Personally, I like Moore and I hope that the accusations are false, but if they’re true then he really should step aside. If they’re false, he needs to keep fighting to the end.