Steve Bannon (Getty/Drew Angerer)

Breitbart tried to help Roy Moore, but bolstered Washington Post reporting instead

Steve Bannon's publication is doing whatever it can to save Moore's troubled candidacy


Taylor Link
November 13, 2017 3:43PM (UTC)

Breitbart News dispatched two reporters to Alabama to try and discredit the Washington Post's reporting on Roy Moore, including allegations of sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl when he was 32.

An article appeared on the Breitbart homepage Sunday that claimed to invalidate the entire story. "Revealed: False Reporting in WashPost Bombshell," the headline read. But all the Breitbart story found was that Leigh Corfman, who accused Moore of making sexual advances toward her when she was 14, did not have her own, personal telephone in her room, as she recalled with journalists from the Post.

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Breitbart later reported that the Post "worked to convinced [Corfman] to give an interview" about her interactions with Moore years ago. A bizarre tidbit, considering they were only confirming the Post's reporting. The Washington Post already informed its readers that it sought out the accusers, rather than them coming forward unprompted.

Before the Post’s original story about the allegations was published, Breitbart tried to preempt the bombshell by categorizing the report as a smear coming from the Jeff Bezos-owned paper.

Breitbart Editor-in-Chief Steve Bannon confirmed over the weekend that he had launched the campaign because he was "at war" with the Post and the political establishment.

"The Jeff Bezos, Amazon Washington Post that weaponized the hit on Donald Trump on Billy Bush weekend, the same Bezos Washington Post weaponized this hit on Judge Roy Moore," Bannon said on his radio show.

"You know why they want to destroy Roy Moore? They want to destroy anyone who speaks on your behalf," Bannon added. "Whether it is Donald Trump, Judge Roy Moore, Breitbart News, they are at full out war. You know what our response is? Bring it. We are at war."

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The interference campaign Breitbart has been running seems to be working somewhat. Journalists on the ground in Alabama have found that few Alabamans have publicly said that the Moore allegations were going to sway their vote in the December election.

According to Axios, one political reporter, Lauren Walsh, said that out of all the voters she spoke with Friday in Columbiana, Alabama, "We didn't find one voter who believed the Washington Post report about Moore."

An NBC News report from Prattville, Alabama, went even further: "Inside the store, a man who declined to give his name said, 'This is Republican town, man. (Moore) could have killed Obama, and we wouldn't care.'"

A new poll that came out Sunday, however, had Democratic candidate Doug Jones in a four-point lead over Moore, the first sign yet that the allegations could have dented the Republican's chances of taking Attorney General Jeff Sessions' old seat.

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Taylor Link

Taylor Link is an assistant editor at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @taylorlink_

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Alabama Breitbart Media Right-wing Media Roy Moore Senate

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