Politics & Policy

The Roy Moore Story Is Not the Same as Rolling Stone’s Campus Rape Story

Beverly Young Nelson with attorney Gloria Allred at a press conference in New York, November 13, 2017. (Reuters photo: Lucas Jackson)
There are only two explanations for this talking point, and both are disgusting.

Every time I hear someone say that he won’t believe the allegations against Roy Moore because Rolling Stone’s campus rape story turned out to be a hoax and that the two are basically the same thing, I want to bash my head against a wall.

These two situations are not the same; they’re not even close.

Don’t believe me? Let’s break it down, shall we? On the one hand, Sabrina Erdely’s story in Rolling Stone magazine was perhaps one of the most irresponsibly reported works of “journalism” that I have ever seen. It relied on only one single, anonymous source — “Jackie” — and that’s it. No witnesses, no corroborating research, no nothing.

The Washington Post’s account of the Roy Moore allegations, on the other hand, is a completely different ball game. Not one, not two, but four women went on the record with their real first and last names — risking their reputations to tell their stories — and these accounts are backed up by interviews with more than 30 sources. Oh, and then there’s this: Since the WaPo’s article, an additional woman, Beverly Young Nelson, has come out on the record to say that Moore also assaulted her when she was 16.

Come on, people. If you are really going to tell me that you think that five on-the-record women, and more than 30 corroborating sources is the same thing as a story based solely on the word of a single, unidentifiable source, then I’m going to tell you that you’re either disingenuously trying to create a false equivalency for political purposes or you’re just really, really, really bad at math.

The comparison is asinine, and the only thing more asinine than the comparison itself is how common it is. How could anyone even insinuate that these two situations are the same thing? There really are only two explanations: These people do realize how they’re different, but they just don’t care — they’ll say anything to carry water for Moore because even though he may be a pedophile, at least he’s not a Democrat! — or, they just didn’t bother to do their research — they’d rather thoughtlessly throw out some random talking point than take the two seconds it would take to Google it first, no matter whom it hurts. Both are disgusting, and there’s no excuse for either.

Logic leads me to believe that the allegations against Roy Moore are absolutely true.

As I wrote in my column last week, logic leads me to believe that the allegations against Roy Moore are absolutely true. Look at all the facts, and you’ll see that any claims to the contrary can only be based in either political trickery or pure idiocy. Moore needs to step down, and absolutely no one should be saying otherwise. Defending this guy is so, so harmful — not just to his victims but to all victims, many of whom are still too afraid to tell their stories.

By the way: If you find yourself asking “But why didn’t they come out sooner? Seems suspicious! They just want attention!” then all you really have to do is find the nearest mirror. There, you’ll see your answer.


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— Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review Online.

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