- Breitbart News editor Joel Pollack defended GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore’s courtship of teenage women.
- Breitbart has defended Moore in the past.
Breitbart News senior editor Joel Pollack blasted The Washington Post for its bombshell story that Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore engaged in sexual misconduct with a then-14-year-old girl when he was 32 years old.
On Thursday, Breitbart News published a story previewing The Washington Post’s expose that Moore engaged in sexual misconduct with one teenager, and propositioned several others. Breitbart’s story was far more fawning and sympathetic to Moore – their story attempted to undermine The Post’s credibility, and painted some of the relationships with the teens as “consensual” and “romantic.”
In an interview with MSNBC’s Ali Velshi, Pollack also dismissed The Washington Post story, saying the outlet “packaged it with all sorts of other stuff that has nothing to do with the question.” He argued that Moore’s pursuit of teenaged women shouldn’t have been included in The Washington Post’s story.
“The 16-year-old and the 18-year-old have no business in that story because those women of legal age of consent,” Pollack said.
He added: “The Post has successfully put a narrative out, at least on MSNBC and in other places, that there’s this pattern of teenagers. There’s really, as far as know, the facts could come out differently but as far as we know, there’s only one relationship that’s been alleged that’s problematic.”
Breitbart's Joel Pollack says the 16 and 18 yo girls mentioned in the WaPo story shouldn't have been in there because they were "perfectly legitimate" relationships
… Moore was in his 30s. pic.twitter.com/XUBtx4ACw5
— Lis Power (@LisPower1) November 9, 2017
Pollack’s comments quickly went viral on social media.
I'd like to book this guy on my new TV show, "What The Fuck Is Wrong With You?" https://t.co/Rl56Uy7BYt
— Jeffrey Young (@JeffYoung) November 9, 2017
In an email with Business Insider, Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple, an opinion writer who is separate from the news team that broke the story, said he wasn’t surprised by Breitbart’s story. He said its preview may have actually raised awareness about the Post’s story.
“Breitbart cares about clicks and protecting politicians who align with Steve Bannon’s ideology, though not always in that order,” Wemple said, referring to the former White House chief strategist. “Here, it pursued both at the same time.”
He added: “It’s a nice illustration of how media diversity works in bizarre ways for the benefit of certain embattled politicians. Such prebuttal journalism isn’t my style, but Breitbart does what Breitbart does. And though the goal appears to have been to undermine The Post’s story, seems to me that the effect was to provide a boost for it.”
During the Alabama Republican primary earlier this year, Breitbart was one of the most vocal backers of Moore over Sen. Luther Strange, who was backed by Republican leaders including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump, who backed Sen. Luther Strange.
The Washington Post declined to comment.