It has been weeks since any new accusers have emerged against Roy Moore, who is still the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Alabama, despite the pleas of party leaders in Washington.
As of now, the bulk of the allegations concern entirely legal behavior: an older, single man dating young women above the age of consent.
Moore’s opponents in the media treat those relationships as if they were morally revolting and politically disqualifying.
The hypocrisy of that position becomes apparent when compared with how the media treat a figure with a different political label who has done the same thing.
The best example is French president Emmanuel Macron, beloved by the left and the media for defeating Marine Le Pen. He married his high school teacher, whom he met when he was 15 and she was 39 (and married). They dated formally when he was 18. Eccentric? Yes. Disqualifying? Mais non.
These kinds of relationships may be inappropriate in many cases. But there are many exceptions, and in some parts of our own society — particularly in very religious communities — they are considered quite acceptable, which is why they are legal.
We even, on occasion, celebrate such relationships in our popular culture. Ringo Starr is not the only rock balladeer with a hit song on that theme (though not every song is quite so upbeat as “You’re Sixteen”).
The reason we are talking about that issue is that the Washington Post embellished its original story on Moore, in which he was accused of molesting a 14-year-old four decades ago, with other “accusers,” both to entice the first alleged victim to come forward and to create the impression of a pattern of predatory behavior for which there is no evidence.
The rest of the mainstream media followed suit, with CNN even making an issue of the fact that Moore met his wife when she was a teenager, though they married eight years later. A New Yorker story about Moore being kicked out of a mall for hitting on young women was later debunked, though it is evidently still widely believed on the left.
The stories about Moore dating young women are what lawyers call “character” evidence, and it is inadmissible in court, for good reason: it encourages the jury to convict a defendant based on the feeling that it does not like him.
The only other accusations against Moore are looking shaky. The woman who said that Moore assaulted her when she was 16 has refused to submit a key piece of evidence for independent forensic analysis. A woman who says that Moore groped her from behind as she was leaving his office has a history of fraud (and that kind of evidence would be admissible in court as a way to help the jury evaluate whether the accuser has a problem with telling the truth.)
What is left is the original accusation, which Moore denies. It is supported by the word of an alleged victim who admits she is not the most credible witness, and the sort of hearsay evidence that would also be thrown out of court.
The voters in Alabama still remember the 1998 election, when a Republican running for lieutenant governor, Steve Windom, was falsely accused of sexual misconduct. That may be one reason why Moore is leading in new polls.
The other reason is that voters resent being shamed into submission by the political and media elite. The ongoing effort to humiliate Moore over legal behavior, which is being cast as predatory by the pundit class, could also be perceived by male voters as an attack on them, too, not just on a political candidate.
Again, of course, If Moore did all he is accused of doing, he should not be a Senator, and leave repeat offenders like Al Franken to run the country.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.