Explosive accusations of sexual misconduct by Alabama’s Republican nominee for the US Senate, Roy Moore, made immediate headlines across the United States and the world — but not on Fox News.
A Washington Post report detailing allegations that Moore had sexually abused a 14-year-old girl in Alabama when he was in his early 30s was a leading story Thursday across cable news networks such as MSNBC, CNN and the BBC.
On the other hand, Fox’s top prime-time news shows, Hannity and Tucker Carlson Tonight, were more interested in the spat between former DNC Chair Donna Brazile and Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Carlson barely mentioned the allegations against Moore, and Sean Hannity tried to play down the story. Hannity went as far as to suggest that the women in the story were lying about their interaction with Moore:
“Do people do it for money, do they do it for political reasons? Is it more common than people would think?” Hannity asked a legal analyst on his show.
Before Hannity, Tucker Carlson spent most of his hour-long show ranting about the addictive dangers of social media and urging the Trump administration to investigate Clinton’s campaign for allegedly manipulating the Democratic National Committee.
As Mediaite points out, Carlson only mentioned the allegations against Moore at the very end of his show, for a total of 46 seconds. This is all he said:
Four women said Moore pursued relationships with them as teens
In the Washington Post’s story, four women described in detail how the influential Alabama lawyer allegedly pursued relationships with them when he was in his 30s and when they were under 18.
The most shocking accusation came from Leigh Corfman, who said Moore approached her and her mother at an Alabama courthouse when she was 14, then privately asked for Corfman for her phone number. She claims that Moore later drover her to his house, undressed her, and fondled her. Three other women said Moore pursued them when they were between 16 and 18 years old, though they said he didn’t pressure them into a relationship after rejecting his advances.
In a statement published in Breitbart, Moore denied the accusations, calling the report “completely false” and “a desperate political attack by the National Democrat Party and the Washington Post on this campaign.”
The allegations have caused panic in Washington, DC, as the special election is a month away. Many prominent Republicans on Capitol Hill asked Moore to step aside, particularly establishment Republicans like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who endorsed his primary opponent, Luther Strange.
The seat Moore is running for was vacated by former Sen. Jeff Sessions and is considered a crucial win for the Republican Party to maintain its slim majority in the Senate.