When the people of Birmingham, Huntsville, and Mobile walked out to get their morning papers, they were greeted by a rare sight–a front-page editorial. But under the circumstances, it was more than warranted. The three largest papers in Alabama urged their readers not to send Roy Moore to the Senate.
Alabama Media Group, a subsidiary of Advance Publications and owner of The Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times, and the (Mobile) Press-Register, ran a blistering call for Alabamians to “Stand For Decency, Reject Roy Moore.” This echoes The Washington Post’s front-page editorial rejecting Donald Trump last summer.
Michelle Holmes, the vice president for content at the three papers’ shared Website, AL.com, revealed how the editorial appeared in The News.
Early look at Sunday’s front page. @aldotcom and the state’s 3 largest newspapers call on voters to unite for decency, support Democrat Doug Jones for U.S. Senate.
Read full editorial here: https://t.co/I7XfZqIesG pic.twitter.com/rgX5NpoSkq
— Michelle Holmes (@mlh_holmes) November 19, 2017
With a headline like that, it comes as no surprise that this editorial pulls no punches in telling Alabamians why they should not vote for a man who stands accused of “courting and preying on young women and girls.” It also slams the Alabama GOP for not only giving full-throated support to Moore, but “attacking and belittling” his accusers.
Alabama Media Group seemingly agrees with Steve Bannon that this election is solely an Alabama matter–but not in the way that the Breitbart boss would expect. As Alabama Media Group sees it, this election is “a referendum on whether we will accept this kind of behavior from our leaders” and on “the moral values of the people of Alabama.”
In an obvious swipe at people like Governor Kay Ivey and Congressman Bradley Byrne, who seemingly believe that all that matters is keeping Jeff Sessions’ former Senate seat in Republican hands, the editorial rightly argues that there is something more fundamental at stake.
“How can we look our neighbors, our parishioners, our colleagues, our partners, or our children in the eyes and tell them they are worth less than ensuring one political party keeps a Senate seat? How can we expect young Alabamians to have faith in their government or their church, when its leaders equivocate on matters as clear cut as sexual abuse?”
While Alabama Media Group believes there was enough in Moore’s record even before now to oppose his Senate campaign, it believes sending him to the Senate at this point will effectively tell victims of sexual assault that they either won’t be believed or “we just won’t care.”
The editorial then offers a ringing endorsement of Jones. Alabama Media Group believes Jones would potentially have “a larger seat at the table” on the issues affecting our nation, and would be in a strong position to work with the state’s senior Senator, Richard Shelby, “to secure policies that benefit Alabamians.” For that reason, it believes Jones is the only candidate “who has proven worthy of the task of representing Alabama.”
CNN’s Brian Stelter discussed the editorial on Sunday’s edition of “Reliable Sources.” Watch here.
Alabama Media Group investigative reporter Anna Claire Vollers told Stelter that she was used to hearing chants of “FAKE NEWS!” in this crimson-red state. However, she recalled that since this story broke, half of her emails have been supportive.
Moore’s only comment has been to tweet an article from Breitbart slamming Jones’ support for abortion.
“Doug Jones, like Hillary Clinton, represents well the extreme position of the Democrat Party platform on abortion,” Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life. #alsen https://t.co/4zdH3j7Z5T
— Judge Roy Moore (@MooreSenate) November 19, 2017
The article quotes Pavone, Alveda King, and other forced-birth activists hammering Jones as a babykiller.
So now we know two things. First, Moore is not willing to offer a real defense against these allegations even though they are approaching Bill Cosby-like proportions–i.e., too many women spread across too many years for their claims to be credibly dismissed. Rather, Moore is reverting to his old mainstay–throwing red meat to his base. Second, so-called mainstream “pro-lifers” are willing to throw Moore’s accusers under the bus in the name of keeping a librul babykilling Democrat out of the Senate.
In so doing, Moore and his allies have just done a better job of proving why he is not fit to serve in the Senate than Alabama Media Group or anyone else could have possibly done. As the editorial puts it, it is time for Alabamians to show they are “people of principle” and “reject Roy Moore and all that he stands for.”
Recent polls have been all over the place, showing anything from a six-point Moore lead to an eight-point Jones lead. What is beyond doubt, though, is that this race is still very winnable for Jones. For Alabama’s sake, and the nation’s sake, it’s time to help him get over the finish line. Donate to Jones here.
(featured image courtesy The Birmingham News via Holmes’ Twitter)