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Senate candidate scandal has "Moore" to it

by Sarah Morris - Copy Editor
Wed, Dec 6th 2017 11:00 am
Photos taken from Wikimedia Commons 
The media is always hungry for scandal, but sometimes the race to get the news out first can come at a price. The Washington Post recently paid that price as it found out allegations against Roy Moore were not what they appeared to be.
Photos taken from Wikimedia Commons The media is always hungry for scandal, but sometimes the race to get the news out first can come at a price. The Washington Post recently paid that price as it found out allegations against Roy Moore were not what they appeared to be.

With sexual abuse allegations flying left and right, it can be hard to have a solid opinion on each and every accusation. One recent allegation against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore caused quite the uproar on social media after President Donald Trump made a statement supporting him, regardless of the four previous accusations by women who claimed to have been raped by him when they were teenagers.

However, shortly after, word got out that Jaime Phillips, the anonymous woman who claimed Moore had impregnated her at the age of 15 in 1992, leading to an abortion, had made up the story to get Moore ousted from the Alabama race. Phillips originally made the claims to The Washington Post, which several conservative outlets labeled as “fake news,” causing suspicion. Because of this, extensive research was done on the woman’s background and it was soon revealed that she was working for James O’Keefe, an American conservative political activist.

The Post published a story on Monday, Nov. 27, exposing Philip’s true identity as an employee of Project Veritas, an organization O’Keefe is the co-founder of that spreads fake stories to hurt their targets. She used three different aliases with three different phone numbers she gave journalists while talking to them.

“I can't give up the identity of our sources, no more than you can disclose the identity of your anonymous sources,” O’Keefe said in an interview with The Chicago Tribune.

There are several problems with this whole situation. For one, before we knew the story was fake, Trump proudly stood by him, saying,“If you look at what is really going on and you look at all the things that have happened over the last 48 hours, he totally denies it. He says it didn't happen. And you know, you have to listen to him also,” after staying silent for a week when he returned from his one-week trip to Asia. Of course, Trump's statement means nothing, being accused himself of sexual abuse by 16 different women.

Four other women accused him previously of sexual abuse when they were girls aged 14 to 19. With this toxicity looming over Moore’s head, some smarter Republican elected officials have taken a step back from Moore, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Paul Ryan (though he still supports Trump, but that’s a whole other thing).

This is all a huge mess, but the bigger problem, if you take into consideration all the sexual abuse allegations this year, is that because of Phillips, the four girls who previously accused Moore have been completely forgotten. Other women who came out as survivors of sexual abuse have lost their credibility, too, and those who want to come out may be afraid of not being believed.

Yes, there are bad people out there, like Philips and O’Keefe, who will lie about something so serious, but that doesn’t mean they’re all liars. We shouldn’t use them as an excuse to brush off the next sexual abuse allegation that will most likely come out within the next month.

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