Professor stupidmonkey wrote:
Now, Trump has denied that the Access Hollywood tape is him, despite having previously admitted and apologized for the "Locker Room Talk" Vulture Article
Sigh. That's conflating two different things. The voice on the recording is his. The words he said are his. What he's denying is that he ever actually did the things he was talking about on the recording. Those are not the same thing.
It was pretty clear to me upon hearing the entire recording (and reading the transcript), that he was not actually talking about his own behavior, but mocking what he saw as stock behavior by powerful men in Hollywood. A point that is downright prophetic given what's going on right now.
A first step to realizing that an article might not be 100% true is when it talks about what someone said, but doesn't actually provide a quote. Instead of saying "he's denying X", you need to quote him actually denying it. Otherwise, it's pure opinion or interpretation of what was said, and is likely subjective. And in the current media, it's probably *very* subjective.
As to Moore, it's an interesting issue. And another one where different things are being conflated into one. Which makes it tricky for Moore to deny, because some of the things may be true, but not illegal, while others are not true (and are illegal). But all of it can be embarrassing in any case and difficult to explain (which, I suppose is precisely why these sorts of allegations pop up right before an election).
There are basically two different claims. One is from 3 women claiming that Moore dated them when they were between the ages of 16 and 19 (different ages for different women). Note that the age of consent in Alabama was (and still is I believe) 16, so none of this is illegal. Also, this was in the late 70s, when an older man dating teens in that age range was not as socially unacceptable as it is today (so something that looks positively creepy by today's standards wasn't at the time, but good luck explaining that to the public now). Additionally, in all three cases, he didn't just sneak around and date these young women, he asked their mothers for permission to date them. And in two of the three, the mothers gave permission (enthusiastically, since he was considered a great potential marriage find - remember, this was a different time). In the third, the mother said no, and the relationship never progressed.
In all three cases, no sexual activity beyond kissing occurred. It's almost like a Leave it to Beaver style "dating", going on here. Very 1950s. And by all three accounts he behaved like a complete gentleman.
Which leads us to the fourth accusation. Which is jarring in that the behavior described is completely contradictory to the behavior with the other women. This is the one who claims that when she was 14, he got her phone number, called her, and had her sneak out of the house, picked her up on the street, and drove her to a house somewhere, and proceeded to be fairly sexually aggressive with her (no actual ***, but striping down to underwear and heavy petting). What's strange about this is how different the behavior is. That's not to say that he didn't do this, but it's odd that he behaved one very consistent way with the other young women, but not this one. You'd think someone with such predatory motives would have at least attempted to be more aggressive with the women he was actually on dates with, and who were legal, and wouldn't have needed to sneak around with. Dunno, it's just strange to me.
And while I'm hesitant to bring it up, the backgrounds of the women are dramatically different as well. The one who's making the claim about her being 14 when they were involved also had a series of difficult years in her teens and 20s, had addiction problems, a series of self destructive behaviors, a series of bad relationships, etc. Again, it's possible that she's telling the compete truth, but it's also possible that when a reporter went around the town following up on rumors about Moore being known for dating teens when he was in his early 30s, that in addition to the open and known relationships he did have, said reporter found one woman who decided to blame her life's troubles on a prominent politician. No way to know for sure.
What I find is that the stories of the other three women, instead of acting as support for the fourth woman's claims, actually act in a way to call it into question. Again, the described behavior is completely different. Like all she knew was that he was being investigated for having relationships with young women, that there were other women "coming forward", and she made up her own story of abuse assuming it would match up. But it really doesn't. Her story is completely different than those of the other three women. IMO, they don't corroborate anything at all. Doubly so given that one of the women reported that she first met him when she was 14 and working as a Santa's Helper at the mall, and that he told her she was cute/pretty/whatever (can't remember the exact word atm), but didn't proposition her, or ask for a number or a date. And when they met later when she was 16, she told him that she'd met him before (remember this was a town with less than 50k people, and he was well known), he didn't remember her or that encounter at all. You'd think, if he had some thing for 14 year old girls, that he would have moved on her then, and not when she was 16 (and thus legal to date).
His behavior seems pretty consistently to have been about dating young women who were of legal age, and doing the gentlemanly thing of asking permission of their mothers to date them, and behaving properly while on those dates. So yeah, the one outlier is really an outlier. Which calls it into question. The problem is that in the public eye, it's hard to make that distinction. The media simply conflates him "dating multiple underaged women", when that's not actually true. There exactly one and only one claim of him engaging in illegal sexual activity with an underaged woman. One. Not four. Just one. But he's in a position of being demanded to either admit or deny the entire set of allegations. The fact is that the other three have no bearing at all on anything. They don't support anything. They're fluff added to the one real allegation of wrongdoing, designed to make it appear to have greater weight than it actually does. Once you peel that away, and ignore the half-truths and hysteria, that one allegation looks pretty darn weak.
But that's just my opinion.