Another round of allegations came out over the last several days. These are allegations that Moore is now contradicting himself—i.e. that he acknowledged more in his Hannity interview than he is acknowledging out on the stump now. Now if he said in one place that he knew some of the girls and in another place that he didn’t know any of them, that is what philosophers understand as kind of an A and not A situation.
I am currently in the process of trying to get access to side-by-side video footage of all that. I will let you know what I find, and if Moore is plainly lying, I will say so. That is the kind of thing that impeaches a witness. My reluctance to condemn Moore, which is pretty apparent, is no absolute. I have no intention, to use the words of Francis Bacon, of offering to “the Author of Truth the unclean sacrifice of a lie.” And I know there are ostensibly “conservative” defenders of Moore out there who do not feel the same constraints, and who give the secularists ample opportunity to blaspheme.
But why do I appear to be dragging my feet at all? Why am I looking for video? Why video with no cuts, and video that provides the before and after context? Because, as C.S. Lewis once said, we shouldn’t condemn a dog on the basis of newspaper extracts.
Let’s ask the big question. Why is this even a race? How is Moore still in it at all? There are multiple factors, but The Wall Street Journal shares part of that answer with us. A good portion of the answer is that the establishment media has been disgracing and beclowning itself for decades now, and conservative people just don’t believe them anymore. And it is right and proper that the people don’t believe them. That boy has had way too much fun with his wolf story. The WSJ article cites a CBS poll that indicates that 71% of Alabama Republicans simply don’t believe the allegations. It would be easy to say that this is simply because they are red state goobers, but the right answer lies in a completely different direction.
Now I have seen this play up close and personal any number of times. I have seen it in the secular press and I have seen it in World magazine. When you are in the middle of a story, and you know the facts on the ground, and you see how it often gets represented to the larger world, and how easily it can be misconstrued, the end result is that primary observers are often what the King James translators would have described as “astonied.”
People glibly say that the charges against Moore, as first reported by The Washington Post, are “credible.” “Why, Wilson, do you not join in the stampede of instantaneous acceptance? Why do they not seem nearly so credible to you?” Well, sonny, let me tell you. Many of these establishment figures who find such charges so credible are also the same kind of people who find the things said about us and our ministry here in Moscow “credible.” But I happen to know that the things being circulated about us are a farrago of mendacious nonsense.
For just one example, within just the last few weeks, I have been misrepresented by Kathryn Brightbill in The Los Angeles Times, in The Chicago Tribune, and at Religion News Service. For whatever reason, whatever Moore did or did not do forty years ago, I have good reason to believe that the same kind of play is being run on us. As in, right now. On the basis of this bundle of lies, some personage, just the other day, tweeted this: “Another reason to be concerned about Piper & Desiring God. DG publishes stuff by Doug Wilson. Wilson has a documented history of mishandling sexual abuse cases within his congregation & he supports child marriage.” This is followed by a link to the Tribune version of the article.
So then, Doug Wilson supports child marriage, does he?
Not only do I not find such charges credible, I also find news outlets who publish them to be incredible. They buy their ink by the barrel, and so they do not feel the need to accept correction. They are above all correction, and now we find ourselves in the position where vast swaths of the populace simply disregard whatever they say.
Let me conclude with a couple of shrewd takeaways from the Journal.
“They may well be wrong about Mr. Moore and his accusers, but is their skepticism really that difficult to understand?”
“So if Mr. Moore does find himself Alabama’s newest senator next Tuesday night, it may be as much the fault of those who opposed him as those who supported him.”