Moore used Breitbart to try to get in front of allegations that he pursued teenage girls

Breitbart’s willingness to be used as a media-relations arm of Moore’s campaign veers back toward blind loyalty to a candidate.


It is not unusual for a political figure to try to get in front of bad news. Recall that in July, when the New York Times was about to report on the contents of emails Donald Trump Jr. sent before meeting with a Russian lawyer during the presidential campaign, Trump Jr. decided to post the emails on Twitter "in order to be totally transparent." 

The idea was to make the Times' report seem inconsequential — before it even published — by appearing to release the emails voluntarily. 

Roy Moore, the Republican Senate candidate in Alabama, made a similar effort on Thursday to head off The Washington Post's report that he allegedly initiated a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old and dated teenagers when he was in his 30s. But Moore did not use Twitter or any official campaign channel. He used Breitbart News. 

Minutes before The Post published its report, Breitbart posted a preemptive response from Moore under one of its signature, all-caps headlines: "AFTER ENDORSING DEMOCRAT IN ALABAMA, WASHINGTON POST PLANS TO HIT ROY MOORE WITH ALLEGATIONS OF INAPPROPRIATE RELATIONS WITH TEENAGERS; JUDGE FIRES BACK DENIAL." 

(Disclaimer: The Washington Post editorial board endorses candidates, not The Washington Post newsroom.) 

Breitbart has made no secret of its support of Moore. Website chairman Steve Bannon headlined a rally for Moore before September's GOP runoff in Alabama, and there is not even a pretense of neutrality in Breitbart's coverage of the general-election contest between Moore and Democrat Doug Jones. 

Yet Breitbart's willingness to be used as a media-relations arm of Moore's campaign is a dive even deeper into the tank. 

It is reminiscent of the time in March 2016 when Breitbart conjured an elaborate, alternative account of an incident in which Donald Trump's campaign manager at the time, Corey Lewandowski, grabbed the arm of a female reporter — a reporter who worked for Breitbart, no less. Reconstructing the episode, Breitbart asserted that its own journalist must have mistaken Lewandowski for someone else. 

Video evidence later proved that it was indeed Lewandowski who grabbed the reporter, Michelle Fields. Breitbart removed its article challenging Fields' account, but its initial, reality-defying defense of the Trump campaign drove Fields, editor-at-large Ben Shapiro and spokesman Kurt Bardella to resign in protest. 

Breitbart, to its credit, has since demonstrated that it can hold Trump accountable on foreign policy, immigration, health care and other issues that are important to the president's base. In fact, getting behind Moore put the site at odds with Trump, who endorsed incumbent Republican Sen. Luther Strange in the runoff. 

Now, however, Breitbart is veering back toward blind loyalty to a candidate.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

Ohio Senators Portman, Brown criticize separating kids from parents at border
Ohio Senators Portman, Brown criticize separating kids from parents at border

Sens. Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown, and Republican Steve Stivers of Upper Arlington sharply criticized the Trump administration for separating children from parents trying to cross the border in the United States. In a statement Tuesday, Portman, R-Ohio, repeated what he has said during the past few weeks, saying "is counter to our values. We...
Trumpism finds a safe space at a conservative women’s conference
Trumpism finds a safe space at a conservative women’s conference

The young women had come from 48 states across the country, yearning for moments of belonging they rarely found at home.  Cheyenne Martin, a 19-year-old student at Georgetown University, described being ridiculed by classmates for her desire to lead the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency one day. But this weekend, she was met with...
Colombia elects populist conservative as president
Colombia elects populist conservative as president

Iván Duque, a populist young conservative who tapped into dissatisfaction with the economy and a controversial peace deal with rebels, won Colombia’s presidential vote on Sunday.  Duque, a former senator from the right-wing Democratic Center party, won about 54 percent of the vote in the balloting on Sunday, the second and last round...
Township trustees say Oda resignation leaves them with 30-day deadline
Township trustees say Oda resignation leaves them with 30-day deadline

The trustees of this growing township on the Montgomery-Warren county line moved quickly Monday to replace Fiscal Officer Linda Oda within the 30 days allowed by state law. The Clearcreek Twp. trustees said they were surprised by the timing of Oda’s resignation-retirement after what she described as 10 “bumpy” years. RELATED: Township...
Corey Stewart, Virginia Senate nominee, evokes Trump on racial issues
Corey Stewart, Virginia Senate nominee, evokes Trump on racial issues

Speaking to a racially mixed audience in August 2016, Corey Stewart, the far-right provocateur who won the Republican Senate nomination in Virginia last week, hailed the renaming of a middle school to honor a local black philanthropist instead of a former governor with segregationist roots.  “As we’ve become safer, as we have become...
More Stories