If Roy Moore’s Senate candidacy goes under, you can’t blame Sean Hannity. While doing his best not to look like he was in the tank for suspected pedophiliac Moore, Hannity threw a number of golden opportunities the Republican candidate from Alabama would not or could not put to good use.
Moore began by addressing the most damning of the allegations made by four women in an explosive Washington Post article, that of Leigh Corfman, who said she was 14 at the time a 32-year-old Moore tried to engage in a sexual encounter with her. Moore said he didn’t know Corfman and called her allegations “politically motivated.”
Rather than noting that Corfman’s mother had confirmed her account and that the Post said it had spoken to others who had corroborated parts of it, Hannity moved on.
Many of Moore’s comments should have raised suspicions, not allayed them. In fact, after the interview, two Republican senators, Mike Lee of Utah and Steve Daines of Montana withdrew their support for Moore. But Hannity let them all go by unremarked upon.
Moore all but acknowledged he had been involved with teens.
Regarding Debbie Wesson Gibson, who told the Post she was 17 when she first dated Moore, he was disturbingly vague: “I seemed to know her. I remember knowing her parents, that they were friends. I can’t recall specific dates because that’s been 40 years but I remember her as a good girl. But neither of them have ever stated any inappropriate behavior.”
Hannity did not question Moore’s use of other people’s behavior as “evidence” of his own good behavior. Hannity did, however, follow up by asking Moore, “Do you remember ever going on a date with her?” Not, had Moore gone on a date but did he remember doing so? Hannity helpfully added, “You know her but you never dated her. Is that what you’re saying?”
No, Moore said, he didn’t remember whether he had or not. But he hinted that he had. “If we did go out on dates, then we did,” he said.
Instead of pressing for more, Hannity moved on to Gloria Thacker Deason. She had said she was an 18 year-old when Moore took her out and gave her wine at a time the drinking age was 19.
Moore said that never happened because, “In this county, it’s a dry county. We never would have had liquor.” The Washington Post fact checked that claim and noted that the county had not been “dry” for years. However, Moore also said, “As I recall, she was 19 or older.”
Odd things to “remember” for someone who generally claimed not to remember dating these girls, eh? If Hannity thought so, he kept it to himself.
Hannity went through the motions of asking tough questions without showing any real desire to uncover substantive information. (Compare this behavior with his recent on-air demands that an American imam reveal his thoughts on whether or not he thinks Iran is a great country.)
HANNITY: At that time in your life, let me ask you this: You do remember these girls. Would it be unusual for you, as a 32-year old guy to have dated a woman as young as 17? … Do you remember dating girls that young at that time?
MOORE: Not generally, no. If I did, I’m not going to dispute anything but I don’t remember anything like that.
That a rather damning response. But Hannity was obviously more concerned with exonerating Moore:
HANNITY: But you don’t specifically remember having any girlfriend that was in her late teens even at that time?
MOORE: I don’t remember that and I don’t remember ever dating any girl without the permission of her mother and I think in her statement she said that her mother actually encouraged her to go out with me.
That’s an implicit admission that he dated underage girls. Why would he ask a mother for permission to date a daughter otherwise?
That question never seemed to occur to Hannity. He went back to Corfman. This time Moore took Hannity’s lead:
HANNITY: She gives specific instances where you met her at the court house, you got her phone number, you talked to her on the phone and you drove her 30 minutes from her house to the woods where you lived and you kissed her and on a second visit, you took off her shirt, pants, removed your clothes, touched her bra, underpants and you guided her hand to touch him over your underwear. Now those are specific charges she’s making and I think, you know, obviously it’s about a month away from this election campaign. … Is it your position none of that ever happened?
MOORE: It never happened and I don’t even like hearing it because it never happened and they’re doing this a month away – four weeks away, after 40 years in public service. I’ve run five successful campaigns or five campaigns, statewide campaigns, three in this county. This has never been brought up, it has never been even mentioned and all of a sudden four weeks out, they’re bringing it up. They’re bringing it up because it’s political. It’s a direct attack on this campaign. … The behavior was altogether appropriate according to them.
Actually, each of the four women told the Post otherwise.
But Hannity let that slide, too, as he egged on Moore to attack the Republican establishment because Senator John McCain and Mitt Romney had called for Moore to quit his campaign. “Seemingly suggesting just because of the allegations you should step aside. How do you respond to them?” Hannity "asked."
Moore went on to attack the two as poor judges because “You are innocent until proven guilty.” Even though Romney had said “innocent until proven guilty” applies to criminal cases, not political campaigns. “If you step aside for any allegation, then you might as well not run because when you run, you’re going to get allegations,” Moore said.
Moore continued by playing the victim.
MOORE: In this case, this woman has waited over 40 years to bring a complaint four weeks out of an election. It’s obvious to the casual observer that something’s up. We’re also doing an investigation and we have some evidence of some collusion here. But we’re not ready to put that to the public just yet.
When he is ready to show his evidence to the public, you can be sure that he’ll get a friendly platform from Hannity.
Listen to the interview, from the November 10, 2017 The Sean Hannity Show, via FoxNews.com.