During a CNN appearance Monday morning, Breitbart senior editor Joel Pollak attempted to justify Roy Moore against allegations that he molested children and sexually assaulted teenagers by citing a lyric from a song popularized by Ringo Starr more than 40 years ago.
“You know, in 1973 Ringo Starr hit number one on the Billboard charts with the song, ‘You’re 16, you’re beautiful, and you’re mine,'” Pollack said. “He was 30-something at the time singing about a 16-year-old — you want to take away Ringo Starr’s achievement?”
“You can’t be serious. You can’t be serious,” Cuomo replied. “You think Ringo Starr’s song is supposed to be a nod toward allowing 30-year-old men to prey on teenagers? You don’t believe that, Joel, you’re a parent. You don’t believe that.”
The song in question — “You’re Sixteen” — was originally written by the Sherman Brothers and covered by Starr. The song’s lyrics make no reference to the age of the person who professes to be enamored with a 16-year-old.
Moore — a Republican U.S. Senate candidate from Alabama — has been accused of child molestation and groping and assaulting multiple teenagers. Leigh Corfman says Moore groped her when she was 14 and he was 32, and Beverly Young Nelson says Moore groped and assaulted her when she was 16 and he was 30. Multiple other women have accused Moore of pursuing them sexually when they were between the ages of 16 and 22.
Monday wasn’t the first time Pollack has gone to extreme lengths to defend Moore. Earlier this month, the Breitbart editor went on MSNBC and argued that Moore’s conduct isn’t the scandal the mainstream media is making it out to be because the age of consent in Alabama is 16.
“The 16-year-old and the 18-year-old have no business in that story because those are women of legal age of content,” Pollak said.
The top editor at Breitbart — former White House senior strategist Steve Bannon — has been among Roy Moore’s most outspoken supporters. His website has staunchly defended Moore, going as far as to argue in articles published on the site that there’s nothing wrong with 34-year-old “dating” someone less half their age or younger, as long as it is “romantic.”
On Sunday, Breitbart published a piece attacking Tina Johnson, an Alabama woman who has accused Moore of assaulting her in his office in 1991. The article — headlined “Court Documents: Roy Moore Accuser Has ‘Violent Nature,’ History Of Criminal Fraud Against Own Family” — attempts to discredit Johnson by painting her as a bad mother.