THE PAROCHIALS: Even as young as 22!


Interlude—The parochial Post rolls on:
Will Roy Moore make it across the finish line in Alabama next Tuesday?

We can't tell you that! In all honesty, it would be fascinating to see him forced to defend his claims about Leigh Corfman and Beverly Young Nelson, who have accused him of assaulting them when they were 14 and 16 years old, in 1979 and 1977, when he was 32 and 30.

We would be very surprised if these accusations were false. Beyond that, Moore's current attempt to attack Nelson's credibility is especially ludicrous, though the Washington Post helping him out today with its inability to compose a sensible front-page headline.

(Front-page headline in today's Post: "Roy Moore accuser alters her account of inscription." While technically accurate, we'd say that headline displays extremely poor journalistic judgment.)

It would be fascinating to watch Ol' Roy attempt to address those accusations and defend his recent conduct. That said, we focus on press corps behavior here. How have they been behaving?

In our view, the Washington Post continues to display amazingly parochial behavior. We refer to part of Michael Scherer's front-page report today, the report which bears that unfortunate headline.

Corfman and Nelson have accused Moore of extremely serious, apparently criminal assaults. But at the parochial Washington Post, other "accusers" abound.

Let's try to stop judging Moore for an Alabama minute. Instead, let's consider the sophistication, or lack of same, of the highly parochial folk who keeping churning copy like this:
SCHERER (12/9/17): Six women have told The Post that Moore pursued them in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Five were teenagers at the time, and one was 22; Moore was in his early 30s. One woman, Leigh Corfman, said she was 14 and Moore was 32 when he took her to his house, gave her alcohol and touched her sexually.

Nelson's account has not been independently verified by The Post. But The Post did interview another accuser, Debbie Wesson Gibson, who shared a scrapbook from her senior year in high school containing a similar inscription and signature from Moore. His campaign has not specifically contested Gibson's account.
Say what? Did we miss this earlier? Has the Post ever reported the "accusation" that Moore "pursued" someone who was 22 when he himself was 30 years old, or perhaps somewhat older?

We were puzzled by that statement—but as it turns out, we didn't exactly miss it. Presumably, Scherer is referring to a woman named Becky Gray, who says Moore asked her out on several occasions in 1977, when he was 30 and she was 22.

We were able to revisit Gray's claim after firing up the Nexis. In this November 16 report, Gray was quoted telling the Post that Moore asked her out so many times that he made her uncomfortable. Forty years later, this is offered as conduct which should help a voter decide how to vote next week.

Does that journalistic judgment make sense? Should people vote against a 70-year-old candidate because someone who supports his opponent says he made her uncomfortable in 1977, when he was 30 years old and she was 22?

Does Gray's account help establish a pattern of conduct by the 30-year-old Moore? Does it make sense to toss this off in a major newspaper in the way Scherer does?

These are all matters of judgment. For our money, we think the journalism is strange when readers are told, without any surrounding context, that a male candidate once "pursued" a woman who was 22, full and complete freaking stop.

Especially before we turned to Nexis, that struck us as very strange writing. That said, at times of moral panic, everything seems to make sense.

Everything will seem to make sense at times of moral panic! That includes Scherer's additional claim, the claim that Debbie Wesson Gibson is one of Moore's "accusers"—that she is "accusing" him of some sort of misconduct during that distant era.

Is Gibson accusing Moore of past misconduct? We'd have to say she is not! But that is where the charge of parochialism comes in.

Corfman and Nelson are accusing Moore of criminal assaults. Gibson is "accusing" Moore of dating her in an open fashion, with her mother's enthusiastic approval, in a way which left her feeling that Moore was "one of the nicest people I know."

Does that sound like an "accusation?" It pretty much doesn't to us!

As part of Gibson's "accusation," she recently told the Post that she'd held Moore "in high esteem" for forty years, until recent weeks. She told the Post that she'd always considered her brief dating relationship with Moore to have been "a very lovely part of my past."

Does that sound like an "accusation?" At a time of moral panic, pretty much everything does! To parochial people on a stampede, Gibson's account of "a very lovely part of my past" starts sounding like Corfman's and Nelson's descriptions of criminal assaults!

When journalists stampede in such ways, they help us see their vast limitations. These limitations have helped create the current era, in which sentient beings are counting the days until the start of the conflagration which will be known, by future survivors, as "Mister Trump's War."

On Monday, we'll finish our recent award-winning series about dating and marriage patterns from the period in question. Almost surely, those patterns help explain why Debbie Gibson, and her mother, welcomed Moore's "pursuit" in an era the Post's parochial, unimpressive children may not understand.

The children are staging their latest stampede. They do this amazingly often.

Future anthropologists, living in caves, continue to tell us, in dreamlike visits, that this was the best our species was able to do. This is all our species was, these anthropologists keep telling us, reporting from the desolate years after Mister Trump's War.

On Monday, we'll execute a data dump concerning marriage patterns from the era in question. We'll postpone a fascinating discussion of age-and-sex in the cinema during the 1950s and early 1960s, the highly comical Hollywood era in which, to cite one abomination, poor Leslie Caron had to marry Maurice Chevalier in the Oscar-nominated film, Fanny.

(Caron was 30, playing 18. Chevalier was 73! But this was the way of this ridiculous Tinseltown era, in which young and young-seeming female stars—Caron, Reynolds, Novak, Loren, Audrey Hepburn and others—were repeatedly forced to hook up in major films with a crusty battalion of aging "old coot" male stars.)

Hollywood's male moguls were dreaming big dreams during that ridiculous era, the era in which the mothers who later cheered Moore on were forming their cultural notions! We'll tell that ridiculous, instructive story at some not-too-distant date, hopefully next Saturday.

On Monday, we'll talk about actual marriage patterns from the era in question. Was it strange when Ol' Roy Moore, age 30 or so, dated younger women? Truth to tell, stampedes to the side, it seems to us that it probably wasn't real strange at all. This may explain why at least two mothers were cheering him on, the fact which can't say its name.

Corfman and Nelson have made real accusations. By way of contrast, Gibson has said that she held Moore in high esteem! But at the Post, it all sounds the same. This is the way of panics.

When our journalists start lumping everyone in, people on The Other Team find ways to allege fake news. As our journalists stampede ahead, can anybody actually say that The Others are totally wrong?

At present, Moore seems to be lying through his teeth. At the same time, we'd say the Post is on its latest stampede.

The Post directs us, often stupidly, to focus on decades-old conduct where the facts will be extremely hard to resolve. In the process, it steers us away from Moore's ludicrous behavior as a public official, conduct the Post may find less exciting because the one thing to which its scribes can relate isn't directly involved.

The children want to stampede about sex. According to major anthropologists, this is the way of our kind.

The dance of the major male moguls: The horrifically bad major film, Daddy Long Legs, helped capture this ludicrous Hollywood era.

The film appeared in 1955. Fred Astaire was 56. Leslie Caron was 24, playing 18 in the film.

Everyone knows what had to occur! The leading authority on the unwatchable film describes its plot line as follows:
Wealthy American Jervis Pendleton III (Fred Astaire) has a chance encounter at a French orphanage with a cheerful 18-year-old resident, Julie Andre (Leslie Caron). He anonymously pays for her education at a New England college. She writes letters to her mysterious benefactor regularly, but he never writes back. Her nickname for him, "Daddy Long Legs", is taken from the description of him given to Andre by some of her fellow orphans who see his shadow as he leaves their building.

Several years later, he visits her at school, still concealing his identity. Despite their large age difference, they fall in love.
Of course! What else could happen? And trust us—it's even worse on the screen! Adding to the lunacy is this account from the leading authority:

"The film was one of Astaire's personal favorites, largely due to the script, which, for once, directly addresses the complications inherent in a love affair between a young woman and a man thirty years her senior."

Thirty years her senior? On the screen, it looks like a hundred!

Hollywood's ludicrous alpha males continued this delusional nonsense for a great many years. As they did, Americans were possibly forming their notions about sensible ages for dating and marriage.

At least two mothers cheered Ol' Roy on! Why the Boot Hill did they do that?


  1. There is a big difference between an older man dating a 20 year old or even an 18 year old compared to dating a 14 or 16 year old. When it comes to children, each year makes an important difference in their development, including their cognitive and emotional development, not just their sexual maturation. These differences matter.

    We know that now because the science of developmental psychology has studied such things. The best arbiter of what is good for children is no longer social custom or the desires of rich older men, but we have studies of outcomes to go by.

    Somerby thinks that because some film showed an older man dating a youngster (Gigi comes to mind), that makes it OK for the general public. He is wrong. Our laws governing legal age exist for good reasons and flouting them is NOT OK, no matter how old Fred Astaire was compared to Leslie Caron. Or their mothers.

    I don't know why two mothers would be so eager to sell off their daughters to an old coot like Moore. Why did Sandra Dee's mother let her marry Bobby Darin? What happened to that adorable couple?

    Somerby doesn't understand this topic at all. There is no evidence he has ever taken a psychology course and none that he understands the demographic stats he seems inclined to post. Next thing, he'll be arguing that we should be giving Roman Polanski and Woody Allen a break. Can't wait for that post!

    1. Leslie Caron was legal.

      So are 16 year olds in Alabama. And Europe.

      While unwise to pursue I think, where is all this sudden piety and outrage about young women and older men coming from?

    2. Here are some sources for you:

      Google it yourself and you'll find lots more links.

      This is an emerging campaign in both the USA and globally to change the situation for female children so that they can enjoy childhood, receive an education comparable to boys and that will equip them to participate in the workplace, and be permitted to object to forced marriage, especially at very young ages.

      Calling a human rights movement "piety and outrage" tells us all we need to know about your sympathies.

    3. They were not CHILDREN. Is a 17 year old who's getting married a child?

      On what planet?

      And who's talking about marriage? This is getting nuts. In no time at all the Sex Mob is going to be locking up Dr. Ruth.

    4. A 17 year old without parental permission is considered not legally able to consent to a marriage.

      Physiologically, adolescent brains are not fully developed until the mid 20s, especially the frontal lobe areas used for judgment and decision-making. But our society has not caught up to that reality.

      States with low marriage ages have them in order to permit parents to arrange marriages between a teen who has gotten pregnant and the father of the child. Sometimes older men get young girls pregnant in order to force such a marriage. Sometimes the parents arrange such marriages for business or family reasons, without consulting the girl, and she is forced to consent because she has no choice. Sometimes older men seduce young girls and encourage them to run away with them, then parents consent to a marriage to save honor or provide a home for a compromised girl who will otherwise have few marriage prospects later on due to her foolish actions. Sometimes older men just skip the seduction and kidnap a young teen. This results in an amber alert and police involvement because it is kidnapping.

      There is no reason why a 17 year old cannot wait until she is 18 before marrying. At that point there is more likelihood she is making a choice that involves her own decision and not that of others around her. If she makes it to college, she will realize she has other options and may delay marriage until she has a better start in life.

      But people who talk about the Sex Mob here never seem to consider the welfare and needs of these young girls. It is only about sex to them, obviously. The marriage part is what is forced on older men when they really only want to sleep with a girl who they have perhaps convinced themselves they are in love with. It saves a shred of respectability for the young girl such men seduce and would otherwise abandon. Most often, however, it would be better if they did abandon them, since these guys are no prize and they mostly get divorced when the girl grows up a little, if he lets her and doesn't get her involved in a domestic abuse situation, or doesn't get her pregnant so that he can hold the child hostage to prevent her from leaving him. Life isn't pretty sometimes.

  2. "which will be known, by future survivors, as "Mister Trump's War.""

    Still grieving for ISIS, are we, Bob? We all sympathise, I'm sure; after all, it was your 'tribe's client 'state'.

    Meanwhile, may we once again observe (in genuine liberal-feminist spirit) that Susan Sarandon is so much smarter than you are?

  3. The leading authority also says the hit song "Something's Gotta Give" was written for "Daddy Long Legs".

    Here's the recording by Frank Sinatra, remembered for his morals in those years:

    1. In those days French morals were considered different than American ones.

    2. Still are.

      France has an unenforced and unofficial age of consent of something like 14.

    3. Not for marriage, for sexual activity.

      This is why the UN is trying to change the way women are treated worldwide. No one has ever consider the French to be leaders in rights for women. Simone de Beauvoir emerged from France because things were bad there, not because the French were enlightened people.

    4. Let's make 30 the age of consent!

      Because young women have no idea what they're doing. Even with young boyfriends.

      Sex, bad! It's something men invented.

    5. This is not rocket science. Both parties to a marriage should be making a voluntary choice to be married. Children are not legally able to make such a choice because, at a minimum, they don't know what they're getting into. They don't have the maturity and life experience and they are too easily manipulated because they are entirely dependent on others for their support. They can be too easily pressured into something they don't want by their life circumstances.

      Sex for children is bad because (1) it hurts their health, (2) they aren't mature enough to prevent pregnancy, (3) pregnancy is bad for their health, (4) they don't have the means to support or raise a child, (5) the pregnancy can be used to coerce them into a marriage they don't want, (6) early marriage and pregnancy interfere with completion of education which has enduring consequences for earning ability to the end of the lifespan.

      These are good reasons to keep grown men away from children. Men who want to have sex with children are definitely bad. People are not animals. Our cultures has created laws to protect children from predators, including human adult males who think kids are fair game.

      You need to go back to whatever pedophile blogs think your comments are nifty. No one here has sympathy for your arguments (such as they are).

      If Somerby were a responsible blog proprietor, he would be moderating these comments and we wouldn't have to deal with guys like you.

  4. Have to disagree with you Bob about Nelson. She seriously damaged her case by getting caught trying to alter Moore's yearbook inscription in order to help cement her claims. Then, she and her attorney actually lied about it at their first press conference!

    Her credibility is seriously impugned, because if she altered the one for derogatory effect, what ELSE is she altering or embroidering?

    Her case was always a bit much anyway, and had no corollary elsewhere. Threatened rape and fear for her family? Who else has made that sort of allegation?

    1. I don't think you have the facts straight on this. The right has been claiming the whole signature was forged, but an independent expert proved them wrong. What else has the right been lying about?

      Gosh, you make it sound like no one in the history of time has ever been raped before. If you consider that this girl was a waitress and Moore may have considered he was condescending to pay attention to her, it seems entirely plausible he may have had expectations about her willingness and been more frustrated at her refusal because of those beliefs about the easiness of wait staff, or her presumed gratitude to him or some similar class-based assumption. It would explain why he behaved differently with her. Men are more likely to coerce women they have less respect for.

      But Moore is not speaking, so we cannot ask him "why her?" and "was she the only one?" and similar pertinent questions. His credibility is already impugned by his denial of even knowing her. What ELSE is he covering up?

    2. I'm not the Right. I never thought the sig was forged.

      The inscription was clearly amended for effect. Allred and Nelson lied about this at their first press conference.

      The inference is easy. If she/they embroidered one thing to tie Moore into her accusation more closely, what else have she/they embroidered?

    3. Most likely, Nelson didn't tell Allred she had added anything to the signature.

      People write on memorabilia all the time, so they can remember what happened when. It used to be common to write the names and dates on the backs of photos. Scrap books have lots of inscriptions written by the owners about the stuff pasted there. There is no law that says she couldn't write anything in her own year book. But so far, I haven't see anyone say when the notation was made -- recently or years ago. And if it was in the past, she may have forgotten she did it. So you can paint this as an act of deception, but the circumstances may be something far more innocuous.

      None of that changes the fact that a handwriting expert has verified that Moore did sign the yearbook.

    4. by now all are probably familiar with this but.... apparently it was known because the Handwriting Analysis Report dated December 6, 2017, Section I - Questioned Handwriting and Signatures
      1. Yearbook entry "To a sweeter more beautiful girl I could not say "Merry Christmas" 1977 Love, Roy Moore". Note that the handwritten notation after the signature ""D.A. 12-22-77 Olde Hickory House" is not in question.

      So Gloria was laying out a smacker for all the doubters and it worked as there have been numerous theories about why the D.A. was there or the hand was definitely different, it was probably this or that!!! Ultimately December 10, 2017 7:54 PM is correct. It doesn't change anything and the report speaks for it self.

      Read it at

  5. I am reminded of the biography of Jessie Benton Fremont, but of course, I did not take notes and no longer have the book. She was Senator Benton's daughter. When she was 14 or 15, she was proposed to, or courted by, President Martin Van Buren, who was a widower aged 57.

    The biography tells of how one of her young friends married an ancient (and rich) fellow.

    In another book, Allan W. Eckert tells this story about Sir William Johnson.

    "Now William turned from the window, blew out the candles and headed upstairs where, in a large room with a large bed for this large man there lay waiting an absolutely gorgeous fifteen-year-old French girl.
    For fourteen pounds, William Johnson had bought from the Mohawks the lovely prisoner, Angelique Vitry." Wilderness Empire p 93

    1. No one is arguing this never happened. Just that it ought not.

      How lucky a young girl would be for the privilege of nursing an old man through the last years of his life.

    2. Most girls who run away from home as young teens wind up as prostitutes to satisfy the needs of men who find the porn quoted above exciting. We know men prey on young teens. It needs to stop.

    3. What men?

      That like saying that, "We know women lie about sex."

    4. The men who write comments about how natural and wonderful it is to marry young girls here, obviously. What other men? That's between you and your conscience.

  6. Is the Roy Moore that we are talking about is the one who pulled out his revolver during a campaign rally? The one who was impeached twice in Alabama during his judicial career? The one who was quoted two months ago as referencing some of the benefits of
    slavery? Just checking

    1. Yeah, he's nuts. That's why this over-obsession about his sex life is almost equally as crazy.