Video Credit: ABC News
ABC News conducted an exclusive interview with Beverly Young Nelson, one of eight women accusing Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual misconduct when she was a teenager.
Moore continues to deny these accusations, claiming they are a malicious attack on him and his Christian conservative ideology.
During her interview, Nelson describes her experiences with Moore, what life is like for her after the accusations went public, and her thoughts on Moore getting elected.
One part of the interview was quickly capitalized by some media outlets — Nelson made an admission about the yearbook signature that was being used as evidence of Moore’s fraternization with her when she was younger.
Nelson says that notes under Roy Moore’s alleged signature and message were made by her, but said “he did sign it” and the message was all him.
Conservative-leaning websites like Fox News and Breitbart jumped on this almost immediately.
This is an extremely sensitive issue. It deserves due diligence. What do we know? What was actually said? Is there credibility to the story?
Here are headlines from other news outlets:
These headlines might not be as attention grabbing as “forging the yearbook,” but they are closer to what Nelson actually said, and they are not designed to fit into a certain narrative.
What’s more important: The accuracy of the story? Or how much attention can be drawn?
Here’s a quick definition:
forge / fôrje / verb: Produce a copy or imitation of (a document, signature, banknote, or work or art) for the purpose of deception.
So does this count as forgery? There doesn’t seem to be clear evidence to support this claim.
What’s clear is that the mass media has gotten too caught up in taking a side in this election. They either want to produce stories solely designed to discredit Roy Moore’s accusers or they want to do all they can to portray Moore as a monster.
This is a headline the liberal-leaning website Huffington Post is running with:
What Moore said was that Putin may be right on his opposition to same-sex marriage. You might disagree with it, but the intent of the headline and subhead is to spur outrage with the Russia investigation still ongoing.
Or how about this one?
That is based on an interview he did over the summer, yet the headline is from Friday, December 8.
Left-leaning websites want you to think Moore is a racist pedophile, while right-leaning websites want you to think he is the victim of a malicious political scheme to derail his campaign.
What gets lost in all the noise is where the truth lies. Are media outlets more concerned about influencing an election or are they concerned about giving their readers the story they need?
Just days before the special Senate election in Alabama, it seems clear that the answer is the former, not the latter.