Some right-wing media outlets went to extreme lengths to discredit the women accusing Roy Moore of child sex abuse. Now, two men in charge of organizations involved in those smear campaigns claim they actually believed Moore’s accusers all along. The admissions came in separate interviews conducted after Moore lost the Alabama senate seat to Democrat Doug Jones.
In an interview with CNN, Breitbart editor-in-chief Alex Marlow said the claims of Leigh Corfman, who said she was sexually assaulted by Moore when she was 14, “had a lot of credibility.”
Marlow also stressed that he was personally uncomfortable with the behavior attributed by The Post to Moore, and noted that he did believe the accusations from Leigh Corfman, who said Moore assaulted her while she was 14 — they were “not perfect,” he said, but had “a lot of credibility.” He also noted that he, and much of the Breitbart audience, initially supported Mo Brooks in the Republican primary, and only shifted support to Moore because of his opposition to Strange as the establishment candidate. But he said he saw political motivations behind The Post’s reporting on Moore and wanted to home in on the “coverage of the coverage.”
While Marlow claimed Breitbart’s interest was in taking on The Washington Post’s reporting about other women, many Breitbart articles directly attacked Corfman’s credibility.
Neither of these stories actually raised legitimate questions about her credibility, but Breitbart pushed the narrative anyway. Steve Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart, bragged that he sent his “two best guys” to Alabama to defend Moore against the accusations.
James O’Keefe, the founder of the pseudo-journalism outlet Project Veritas, told Mediaite that he believed Moore’s accusers. He didn’t let that belief interfere with his work trying to discredit them, however, because “it’s not my subject matter.” O’Keefe claims his effort was about “bias in the media.”
O’Keefe tasked an operative to pose as a fake Roy Moore rape victim and approach Washington Post reporters with a false story. The woman told a reporter that Moore had raped and impregnated her when she was 15, then pressured her into having an abortion. The operation failed after the Post did basic background research on the woman, but the clear purpose was to undermine the credibility of the real accusers in the Washington Post’s initial report — which O’Keefe now says he believes was accurate.
Still, O’Keefe has no regrets. “You think posing as a [rape] victim is hardcore? You should see a lot of the other aliases we use,” O’Keefe told Mediaite.