I get what Steve Bannon was going for.
“The Bezos-Amazon-Washington Post that dropped that dime on Donald Trump is the same Bezos-Amazon-Washington Post that dropped the dime this afternoon on Judge Roy Moore,” Bannon said Thursday at a fundraiser in New Hampshire, likening The Post's publication of four women's claims that Moore tried to seduce them when they were teenagers to The Post's publication of Trump's “Access Hollywood” tape.
“Now is that a coincidence?” the Breitbart News chairman continued. “That's what I mean when I say 'opposition party,' right? It's purely part of the apparatus of the Democratic Party.”
Bannon, Trump's former chief strategist, meant to suggest that the media, in general, and The Washington Post, in particular, pursues a liberal agenda, not the truth, and therefore should not be trusted.
But the “Access Hollywood” comparison doesn't really help Moore's case because everything The Post reported about the tape last year was demonstrably true, since, you know, there was a tape. If Bannon was trying to show that the media smears conservatives with specious accusations, he could not have picked a worse example.
Recall that Trump didn't even attempt to deny that he said what The Post reported — remarks about women which included his now-infamous boast that “when you're a star,” you can “grab them by the p‑‑‑y. You can do anything.” A denial would have been pointless. Everyone could hear the words come out of Trump's mouth.
Trump instead sought to minimize his comments by claiming the entire conversation with TV host Billy Bush was merely “locker-room talk” and not indicative of his real-life actions.
Moore, however, is taking a radically different approach. The Republican candidate for a Senate seat in Alabama asserts that the claims published by The Post are “completely false” and “the very definition of fake news and intentional defamation.”
So, Moore insists The Post's report about him is false. Trump said The Post's report about him was true but not a big deal.
That's not the same thing. It makes little sense for Bannon to cite a previous, true report as evidence that a new report is false.
There is one way in which Trump's “Access Hollywood” tape is a favorable reference point for Moore. Trump went on to win the presidential election, anyway. Perhaps Moore also can overcome a damaging report to win a Senate race in deep-red Alabama.