Friday, December 08, 2017


Breaking story, from The Hill:
Moore accuser says she added notes below Moore's yearbook signature

A woman who has accused Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore of sexual misconduct says she made her own notes below a yearbook signature she claims was made by Moore.

Beverly Young Nelson, who has accused Moore of sexually assaulting her decades ago when she was 16 years old, told ABC News in a Friday interview that she made notes underneath Moore's alleged yearbook signature, but defended the veracity of the message itself.

"Beverly, he signed your yearbook?" ABC News reporter Tom Llamas asked.

"He did sign it," Nelson replied.

"And you made some notes underneath?" Llamas followed up.

"Yes," she answered.
That's a straightforward, accurate story. And say what you will about Ben Shapiro, he's exactly right about Nelson's lawyer, about the facts, and about the impact of this revelation:

This will be used to dismiss her story in large part because a lot of people are not going to read a full story, or even watch the ABC clip. They'll just see headlines like this:

She's not admitting that she forged anything. She's saying she (foolishly) added her own words to what Moore wrote. But most rank-and-file right-wingers will never make that distinction.

Fox initially went with "forged" as well:

Because Fox tries to maintain the appearance of hewing to journalistic standards, it's since changed the headline to "Roy Moore accuser admits she wrote part of yearbook inscription attributed to Alabama Senate candidate." But your right-wing uncle probably forwarded the Fox story when it still had the original headline, and the tweet hasn't been pulled. (Update: It's been pulled now.)

Years ago, I came up with a name for this: "truth creep." It didn't catch on, obviously. Some people told me that what I was describing was what Stephen Colbert called "truthiness." But even the fakest news can be "truthy" (as I think we learned in 2016). I was referring to the specific practice of pretending to report a story straight while given the facts a skew that seems slight but pushes the story into an entirely different category.

If you explain to your right-wing uncle that Nelson added new writing to the inscription but didn't attempt to generate a fake Moore inscription, he'll say, "Yeah, that's forgery." It's a huge distinction, but it's a fine one. Call it truth creep or whatever you want. It works. The right-wing media will never stop doing it.

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