Some editors and reporters in Alabama are frustrated, and they are not hiding it.
As nationwide Republicans disavow Senate nominee Roy Moore amid allegations of sexual misconduct, Moore and many of his supporters are blaming the media. Localized journalists are receiving issues and dodging insults while seeking to cover the deepening scandal.
“Journalism is typically a difficult sell in a place where some persons defend Moore over 4 named women and 30 sources,” said Bob Davis, the editor of the Anniston Celebrity in the northeast section of the state.
Some readers simply don’t want to hear the disturbing charges, which were originally published by the Washington Post last Thursday. Distrust of the press is a significant factor.
Republican voters are “not going to believe this Washington Post story because it’s the liberal media lying about their beloved leader right here,” Alabama political columnist Josh Moon said found on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”
He said that if the storyline had formerly been published in an area paper, voters would “probably” be more inclined to believe it, “but I don’t know that even then,” Moon said. “They believe him first and last,” he said.
Many of Moore’s defenders have cast suspicion on the storyline since it came out just a month before the December 12 election. More than the weekend, Moore claimed, with no evidence, that the storyline was an “intentional take action to avoid the campaign.”
The Post has been clear about what happened. In line with the paper, reporter Stephanie McCrummen, an Alabama indigenous, stumbled upon the topic “while reporting a tale in Alabama about supporters of Moore’s Senate campaign.”
When McCrummen was told about Moore’s alleged behavior, the paper followed up and contacted additional girls who used to learn him.
“All were primarily reluctant to speak publicly but thought we would do thus after multiple interviews, saying they thought it had been important for persons to learn about their interactions with Moore,” according to the Post. “The women say they don’t know one another.”
Other reporters have verified that that they had heard rumors about Moore.
“There have been rumors through the years. And, you find out, for a number of Alabama political reporters, this is going to be the the one which got apart,” Kyle Whitmire, circumstances political columnist for Alabama Mass media Group, explained on CNN the other day.
Even now, Moore and his defenders have got rallied around the idea that the Post is part of a conspiracy to imperil Moore’s candidacy.
Reporters from Atlanta, Washington and New York have flown in to cover the aftermath of the allegations. Staffers from the right-wing Breitbart Media, which supports Moore, also have arrived in the state, reportedly to research the accusers called in the story.
“Breitbart aims to discredit Roy Moore’s accusers” was the headline on Axios.com on Sunday nights.
One of Breitbart’s stories, labeled “special,” was titled “Mother of Roy Moore Accuser: Washington Post Reporters Convinced My Daughter to Head out Public.”
The Post, of course, said that the accusers were reluctant to speak, so this story just had the effect of confirming the original account.
But Breitbart’s narrative appealed to Moore’s ardent supporters.
Tim Lockette, among Davis’s reporters at the Anniston Celebrity, responded via Twitter: “In search of sources and asking them for comment is not a crime. It’s not misconduct. Journalism is not shameful. It retains this nation free.”
The ongoing controversy inspired Davis to publish a column in Sunday’s Star: “In defense of journalism.”
Many of the state’s major newspapers and news internet sites are actually owned by the same enterprise, Advance Publications.
Presented the ongoing scandal, the umbrella home page on AL.com has a special top section called “Latest on Roy Moore,” with six links to the latest developments.
But to put the coverage in point of view, 4 of the five most-read stories about AL.com on Monday were about college or university football.
A version of the column appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. Sign up for the newsletter here.