THE PAROCHIALS: They strongly urged their daughters to date!


Interlude—The mothers get disappeared:
When we humans stage our moral panics, our limited intellectual skills tend to fail completely.

So it has been in the Roy Moore case, where major corporate-owned journalists have had a very hard time describing the charge with which Moore stands accused.

Of what does Moore stand accused? Last evening, on CNN Tonight, the Washington Post's David Swerdlick—and no, we kid you not—described Moore as "someone who's alleged to be a serial dater of teenagers."

An assistant editor at the Washington Post actually told Don Lemon that! Moore stands accused of "dating teenagers" when Swerdlick tells the tale.

The assistant editor didn't mention the two alleged sexual assaults of which Moore stands accued. And then, good grief!
When Lemon tried to help him out, this odd exchange occurred:
LEMON (12/5/17): You're being kind with "a serial dater." Because there was one woman who said she, at the time she was 14, and he went beyond just—


SWERDLICK: Yes, just to be clear, he's accused of at least one crime in one instance.

How hard is it to keep track of the number of alleged assaults? Sadly, when corporate journalists stage a panic, they routinely have trouble keeping track of even the most basic facts.

Lemon seemed to think that we're dealing with one alleged assault. Even as he tried "to be clear," Swerdlick did little better. But then, our pundits are skilled at reciting standard group scripts. They tend to remarkably weak on their basic facts, as CNN contributor Ana Navarro demonstrated just a bit later.

Later in that 10 PM hour, Navarro, spouting her standard colorful insults, offered this peculiar account of yesterday's front-page report in the Washington Post. As she did, the analysts groaned, then covered their ears:
NAVARRO: The only thing that has changed in the last three weeks is that more women have come out. In fact, another one came out today in Florida, who had a card, when she was a teenager, that he signed to her. More and more women have come out in the last three weeks.
Navarro seemed to be referring to Debbie Wesson Gibson, who was the focus of yesterday's front-page report in the Post. That said, Gibson isn't "another woman" who has "come out in the past three weeks." She was part of the Post's original, November 10 report about Moore's past behavior.

Gibson's account of dating Moore was a basic part of the very first report about this matter. Was Navarro aware of this fact?
To appearances, she didn't know that. But then, with amazing regularity, corporate pundits betray ignorance of the most basic facts when they stage their panics. So it was in Salem Village. So it is today.

Of what does Moore stand accused? Swerdlick's account was extremely peculiar last night. One night earlier, Rachel Maddow had continued the long struggle she has maintained with this vexing question.

We'd say that Maddow did better than Swerdlick. Still, we found this weirdly unclear:
MADDOW (12/4/17): Also, the U.S. Senate race, which is going to take place one week from tomorrow in Alabama. Today the president abandoned all pretense and explicitly endorsed the Republican candidate in that race, who has been accused by multiple women of having either sexually harassed or sexually assaulted them when they were teenagers and when now-candidate Roy Moore was a grown man in his 30s.
According to Maddow, Moore "has been accused by multiple women of having either sexually harassed or sexually assaulted them when they were teenagers and when...Moore was a grown man."

Without any doubt, two women have said that Moore sexually assaulted them when they were teenagers. Those are very serious charges—and two can be thought of as "multiple" in and of itself.

That said, who are the women who have said that Moore "sexually harassed them" when they were teenagers? Was Maddow referring to the teenage women Moore dated at that time, the ones who have Swerdlick so upset?

More specifically, was Maddow referring to Gibson, who has described the high esteem in which she held Moore when the two were dating, and for years thereafter? Gibson is the woman concerning whom Navarro seemed confused. Is she one of the people Maddow thinks was "harassed?"

Alas! Our pundits have had a very hard time describing the accusation against Moore. As we noted yesterday, Lawrence O'Donnell extended the panic to the point where he smarmily complained, for several nights, about the fact that Moore married a woman who was 24 when he was 38.

Two nights later, Lawrence wept about President Kennedy, our dear departed Jack. But as we noted yesterday, he married a woman who was 24 when he was 36!

In fairness, Lawrence wasn't the first to advance this deeply intrusive complaint about Moore's troubling marriage, which has lasted some 32 years. Weeks earlier, Slate's Will Saletan, who isn't crazy, initiated this indictment, going beyond even Lawrence in his Dimmesdalian bill of particulars:
SALETAN (11/14/17): “I’ve been married to my wife, Kayla, for nearly 33 years.” Moore presents this as proof of his character. But do the math. Thirty-three years ago, when they met, Moore was 38, and his wife-to-be was 24. That’s a difference of 14 years, roughly the same age gap his accusers describe. Kayla Moore’s bio also mentions that she had “previously been named Miss Alabama US Teen 2nd Runner up.” Moore didn’t just date pretty women who were 14 years his junior. He married one.
Lawrence is nutty; Saletan isn't. But when our species enters a panic, even people who are sane may author accusations like this, in which Saletan would frog-march Moore away for having dared to marry someone conventionally pretty!

It's all athropology now! As we wait for Donald J. Trump to launch his nuclear war, we no longer see any reason to try to steer the nation's "journalists" toward more rational practices.

As we wait for Trump to act, we're channeling future anthropologists, most likely from other planets, who will describe the behaviors of the species which brought that war to pass.

Those anthropologists will note the way our species' extremely limited intellectual skills would tend to disappear altogether at times of moral panic. In footnotes, they might marvel at outliers like Karissa Fenwick, who writes an extremely intelligent column in today's Washington Post.

Fenwick is a graduate student in social work at USC—Southern Cal. She has brought an harassment complaint against an academic mentor.

In tdoay's column,
Fenwick does something extremely intelligent—right in her headline, she invites the world to "question my story." With extreme wisdom, she says this process might help create the type of discussion we very much need at this time.

Fenwick could never be a journalist; she's far too wise for that. At times like these, our journalists tend to do something quite different—they tend to disappear, embellish or invent facts to drive their panics along.

In the current panic, a basic fact has been disappeared. Here it is:
According to the Washington Post, two mothers of the teenagers Moore dated cheered the relationship on!
We've never seen a cable pundit mention this basic fact—and you've never seen that either. This fact has been thoroughly disappeared, enabling panicky complaints like the one Swerdlick issued last night.

Moore did date several teenagers—Gibson was 17, another young woman was 19—but were they being "harassed?" Given the mores of the place and time, should people like Swerdlick be staging stampedes about those troubling events?

Parochials like our corporate journalists will serve you the facts and the stories they like. They'll disappear the facts they don't like. Tomorrow, we'll start doing something different.

Following in the shoes of Fenwick, we'll suggest that you use better sense. As we wait for Mr. Trump's war, we'll suggest you consider the cultural context surrounding the past events of this pleasing group panic.

Two women have accused Moore of committing sexual assaults. They've made very serious charges. It isn't hard to remember that number. It isn't hard to cite these extremely serious accusations first.

The women Roy Moore dated back then have made no such claims. Tomorrow, we'll start to ponder the cultural context surrounding those relationship, which left Gibson holding Moore in the highest esteem.

This may explain the world views of those women's mothers—even of Moore himself.

None of this "matter" at this point as we wait for Trump to strike. But the story we tell will at least be interesting about the American past.

We think this cultural history is interesting and instructive. Our modern "journalists"—panicky, corporate, scripted, inane—fall far short of that.

Tomorrow: "The best love story, ever"


  1. After first acknowledging that he did know Ms. Gibson but that he never dated her, Moore now says "Let me state once again: I do not know any of these women, did not date any of these women and have not engaged in any sexual misconduct with anyone.”
    This has angered Ms. Gibson, who has now found evidence that he did in fact know her. Moore is lying one way or the other.

    Why does Somerby keep disappearing this fact?

    1. Because it doesn't apply to either the stories themselves OR the way these stories are being portrayed on TV.

    2. There are numerous women who have accused Moore of sexually harassing them as teenagers, well documented in various news reports. Indeed, Moore was a known predator of teenagers and was essentially banned from roaming the mall in the area due to his incessant harassing.

    3. @3:21pm:
      Yes, it does apply. Despite Somerby (and many others) not having a problem with a 34 year old dating 16 year olds, Moore seems oddly to deny doing this, at least with these particular women. Why? Is he embarrassed? Afraid it would lend credence to the serious allegations? It adds more uncertainty to the mix. And see the comment below; even the women who are not alleging misconduct feel now that their relationships with Moore were troubling. In that sense, those relationships aren't strictly seen as benign and could imply a pattern. In other words, these women did not come forward to praise Moore or to express positive feelings about what happened. Does that make their stories "accusations?" Maybe. Moore's denials (after acknowledging that he did know the women, which renders either the first or second version of his story a blatant lie) become an important part of the story.
      None of this is a value judgment on Moore's morals. It's part of the body of evidence that surrounds this whole story.

    4. "There are numerous women who have accused Moore of sexually harassing them as teenagers, well documented in various news reports. "

      There are two. That's Bob's point.

      Have people lost all of their analytical skills or something? Or ability to READ?

      Or is almost everyone now just so totally screwed up about sex?

      What's going on with all the lies, exaggerations, and hysteria/outrage?

      Poor Al Franken. It's just plain nuts.

    5. Bob is wrong. Two have accused moore of crimes but many have accused him of harassment of teens in malls and high school events. His own colleagues, mall security staff, varous girls who didn’t date him, etc.

  2. Just for the sake of "anthropology":

    Somerby has his views on Roy Moore's dating of the women mentioned in the WaPo story, (all of whom Moore denies knowing, but I digress). The women in question also have their views, which Somerby has disagreed with, and which Somerby "disappears":

    Here's what the women in question say:
    They now view their relationships with Moore as "episodes they say they found flattering at the time, but troubling as they got older. "
    and "they thought it was important for people to know about their interactions with Moore."

    One of the mothers says: "I’d say, ‘You’re too old for her . . . let’s not rob the cradle,’ ” Brackett recalls telling Moore."

    One of the women (Miller) says she was “flattered by the attention. Now that I’ve gotten older, the idea that a grown man would want to take out a teenager, that’s disgusting to me.” 

    And then there's this:
    "Looking back, I’m glad nothing bad happened,” says Gibson, who now lives in Florida. “As a mother of daughters, I realize that our age difference at that time made our dating inappropriate.”

    You can disagree with these views, but you should "respect" them,....right? (So says TDH in a previous post).
    Especially since the women are Republicans, right? And religious? The Other?

    1. Most older women regret most of their sexual past. It's normal, regressive, often neurotic or religion based, and not necessarily a correct conclusion.

      It's also hypocritical when they try to apply it to others, or others' past.

    2. This is so untrue I don’t know where to begin refuting it, other than it is obviously written by a man. Women don’t regret what they freely choose to do. They are understandably angry about things done to them.

      For example, few women regret the joyof sex with a lover or husband, the creationof their children, the closeness with a cherished spouse into old age. They don’t regret experimentation either, when not forced into it by coercion. And if you’re going to use the words women and neurotic in the same sentence you need to quickly relocate to another county. Most older women regret not living more, not the things they chose to do.

    3. Sorry, but I know many women who were quite enthusiastic about sex and sexual experimentation when they were young, but then repudiate both it and their partners when much older.

      Happens ALL the time, and not always for good or rational reasons.

    4. Maybe they’re just repudiating you. I know I would.

    5. I love how snarky personal attacks (and untrue ones) are the only rebuttal to the claim above that many older women repudiate their earlier lives. And not for always good or valid reasons.

      And, that this colors their version of the past.

      Ever seen btw what happens when people go extreme Christian?

    6. "Ever seen btw what happens when people go extreme Christian?"

      Yes. they become even more intolerable.

  3. "As we wait for Donald J. Trump to launch his nuclear war"

    I hear he just ended a major slaughter in Syria that your 'tribe' initiated and kept going for 5 years, also creating serious hardships for the neighboring states and for the EU.

    Is this what's making you mad and bitter, Bob? You can tell me, I'm your friend...

    1. Well said, Mao. So far, Trump hasn't done the bad things predicted by his enemies. Paul Krugman said the stock market would tank. It has done the opposite. Many asserted that Trump would be a fascist, taking dictatorial powers. Instead he has deferred to the courts, even when they wrongly ruled against his migrant immigration deferrals.

      When will Trump's opponents acknowledge the real Donald Trump?

    2. Once he can figure out when he wants us to take him literally, the assessment can begin.

    3. Utter nonsense from Mao and David, the two most prominent TDH trolls deathlessly disseminating false assertions.

      Trump's only policy change with regard to Syria has been to acquiesce to Putins demand to end the CIA arming of rebels. Contrary to ending anything, deaths are up in Syria:


      Trump rolled over for Putin and got nothing for it, causing many government officials to groan and roll their eyes at his moronic behavior.

      Trump has done the bad things predicted - more deaths in Syria, ending of important protections on the environment and economy, decreased US leverage in the world, etc - here is a list of just one month's worth of damage, but there is so much more:


      Krugman's reactionary post after the election was a mistake; however, Trump has had virtually no bearing on the stock market trend, the economy does not reset when a new president is elected, additionally most average Americans are not invested in the stock market, indeed foreign investors now comprise 35% and growing of those invested in the stock market.

      Trump has ruled instead of governing - endless executive actions, firings for self protection, changing rules for personal enrichment. Trump has not deferred to court rulings, he has fought them in every way possible.

      The real Donald Trump has been acknowledged, here is the result:


    4. “So far, Trump hasn't done the bad things predicted by his enemies”

      Yeah, but let’s be fair, it’s not from lack of effort.

    5. "Trump rolled over for Putin and got nothing for it..."

      Bullshit. Putin told Trump how smart he thought Trump was. Trump got what he wanted, so Trump won that negotiation.

    6. Apparently Comrade DinC has never met a flimflam man before, full of bluster and bullshit and then doing the opposite of what he promised. Apparently Comrade DinC has misplaced his magic LYING SACK OF SHIT decoder ring. I'm still wondering what tRump meant when he said this tax bill will hurt him personally, "Believe me". What the fuck does that really mean, Comrade DinC? We already know we can't take what he says "literally".

      He's committing obstruction of justice in broad daylight and Comrade DinC is bragging because he's not a fascist. You can't make this shit up.

      "Four days after Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin held a big Washington event to tout the Trump administration’s promise to house all homeless vets, the agency did an about-face, telling advocates it was pulling resources from a major housing program."

      "The VA said it was essentially ending a special $460 million program that has dramatically reduced homelessness among chronically sick and vulnerable veterans. Instead, the money would go to local VA hospitals that can use it as they like, as long as they show evidence of dealing with homelessness."

      "Anger exploded on a Dec. 1 call that was arranged by Shulkin’s Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans to explain the move. Advocates for veterans, state officials and even officials from HUD, which co-sponsors the program, attacked the decision, according to five people who were on the call." .....

      It wasn't too long ago when Comrade DinC, s

    7. Silly Boy --Trump has pretty much defeated ISIS in Syria. He caused more deaths there, just as General Eisenhower caused more deaths in Europe.

    8. The only comparison between Eisenhower and Trump, is both currently lack strong brain waves.

    9. David, that is a completely false assertion.

      Trump has had zero effect on defeating ISIS. His single policy change, considered a mistake, has been to end the CIA arming of rebels at the request of Putin. Otherwise, the US impact on ISIS is a result of the continuing policies of the Obama administration. Trump changed nothing. The deaths in Syria are mostly of civilians, largely cause by Syrian forces and Russian forces.

      Your analogy is incoherent.

    10. "Your analogy is incoherent."

      Feature, not bug.

    11. 'Mao's Russian paymasters clearly aren't giving a lowly agent like him all their reports

  4. Salem Village wasn’t fuzzy about basic facts, as Somerby contends. They believed in astral projection and demon possession, which kind of messed up their rules of evidence.

  5. Some future anthropologists might wonder why a liberal media critic never discussed right-wing media and defended Trump against charges of lying and colluding to steal an election.
    They may also wonder why the dating of teenagers by a grown man is one of the few things Somerby has vociferously defended in his blog.
    But then, the limited intellectual skills of mankind may prevent those future anthropologists from recognizing the greatness of Somerby's blog. Perhaps the cockroaches will, though.

    1. Bob hasn't defended it. He just says it is/was common. And Moore doesn't sound very "grown" at the time. Quite immature.

      And, not very sexual with them to boot, according to most of the women. Which the scolds are ignoring in their panic and outrage.

      Maybe that's all he could get in those towns? And maybe the girls went after older men too?

      I know -- the SHOCK of it all.

    2. Maybe he lied anout his age and was really just 18 and maybe they celebrat Xmas twice a year in AL and maybe monkeys will fly out of my butt.

    3. Some future anthropologists might wonder why a liberal media critic never discussed right-wing media...

      Been there, done that [LINK].

    4. "Maybe he lied anout his age and was really just 18 and maybe they celebrat Xmas twice a year in AL and maybe monkeys will fly out of my butt."

      Do they celebrate yearbook signing at one of those Christmases?

      Apparently so!

    5. Roy Moore had to chase teenaged girls. No adult woman would give him a second look. Even 3:16 is intimating that Moore couldn't get laid in a whorehouse with a fist full of $50 bills.

    6. "Even 3:16 is intimating that Moore couldn't get laid in a whorehouse with a fist full of $50 bills"

      Yeah, John 3:16

  6. “Lawrence is nutty; Saletan isn't”

    True. Lawrence often acts nutty: feigns outrage, stretches facts, pontificates, huffs and puffs. Bob will remember this one:

    “But I feel there’s something—it would be kind of a lie if I just didn’t tell you my first name, if I claimed my first name was “Mitt” when it’s “Willard.” It begins there with this guy”

    He’s definitely not the worst of the worst on the left or the right though. There are numerous clowns and bad actors that rarely, if ever, might find their names on this site (try as they might). Saletan generally isn’t nutty either, including in the cited quote. Bob says:

    “But when our species enters a panic, even people who are sane may author accusations like this, in which Saletan would frog-march Moore away for having dared to marry someone conventionally pretty”

    No frog-marching. No accusations authored. In the article, Saletan was addressing Moore’s own talking points, one of which was that he had a long, successful marriage. He made it fair game. Saletan merely pointed out that there is a similar age delta to some of the WaPo article girls and young women. Some people might find that fact corroborative, some might shrug, some might find it gratuitous. I shrugged when I read the article in real time. If Saletan had in any way intimated that there was something wrong or immoral or sleazy in Moore’s marriage, he would have crossed a line that many other journalists routinely cross. Although many pseudo-journalists pretend to be outraged by things like this, most normal humans have no problem with a man marrying a much younger ADULT woman, certainly Moore doesn’t, Charlie Chaplin didn’t, we know Bob doesn’t and neither does William Saletan. And when you think about it, Moore’s wife doesn’t seem to. She was six years an adult and married the frickin’ guy! With the age difference and life expectancies being what they are, she is likely to have a long second life when Moore departs to be with his Lord. Everybody wins. That said, we are being fed a feast of allegations, some of which are disturbing and some largely innocent. Bob’s right that the case would be stronger and clearer if some of these were left unserved.

  7. Mao: Mr Trump has sent F-22, F-35, and B-1 aircraft to Korea. Pretty close to your border!

  8. Somerby also disappears the young women who were uninterested in Moore, including the girl who refused to date him even when he used his authority as Asst DA to pull her out of class to ask her out. That is harassment. Some girls hid from him while at work at the mall. Others asked their bosses to tell him to go away. He made a nuisance of himself, consistent with someone who doesn’t understand no means no, and perhaps thinks waitresses are any body’s.

    People make a big deal about his gentlemanly restraint but that shows a lack of social skills and sexual inadequacy, not respect for women. He pursues teens because he is afraid older women will humiliate and reject his fumbling overtures.

    1. That pulling out story is unbelievable. No school would just do that then or now. If so, people would have been getting pulled out of class all the time for the phone.

      Doesn't happen. Think about your own experiences in high school. The office takes a message and a student aide brings it to your classroom to go up at break or lunch and phone back. At most. No one is EVER called out of class unless it's an immediate family emergency.

      I don't believe that one.

    2. You don’t define reality by your beliefs.

    3. 3:11 - I'll pull you out pal and smack you in the face.

    4. You won't be doing it at school.

      No school now or then ever pulled out a student completely from class just because they got a phone call from the outside.

      If so, the rooms would have been emptied repeatedly!

      Try to refute that, you scolds.

    5. The guy was Asst DA in a small town. He had authority.

    6. Tryi to refute that? You made the claim. "No student ever ..."

      The burden of proof is on you, the claimant. What is your basis and proof for such a sweeping claim?


    7. "The burden of proof is on you, the claimant. What is your basis and proof for such a sweeping claim?"

      Years of both working in and attending schools.

      They don't pull kids out of class just because there's a phone call. They take a message.

      Know what would happen if they did? Constant disruption in class.

      You people, man. And the stupidity and unreasonableness (and lack of sense in general) is everywhere.

    8. That's not a basis or proof. You worked in schools therefore "No school now or then ever pulled out a student completely from class just because they got a phone call from the outside."?? lol. And you call others stupid? Your statement is illogical and idiotic.

    9. Is there any evidence to the contrary? Yeah his point is anecdotal but so is the claim.

  9. Gibson came out again because she thought Moore had lied about knowing people, not because he was a "harasser." Big difference, which of course the media fails to note.

    It also seemed like a pretty one-sided relationship from the documentation. Her! Hardly very "sexual."

    He didn't seem like much of a stud back then. Doesn't that kind of take away from the panic and outrage as well? Apparently not.

    1. Picture this. A kind, gentle man of 34 patiently woos the 16 year old daughter of his landlady. He gives her comics and takes her to Disneyland. She is flattered by his attention and does not realize he has a deadend job and few real interests. They marry and she cannot live up to the role of housekeeping and cooking he expects. Sex seems unromantic to her. Mostly she is bored away from school and her friends. They divorce after 6 monthes.

      When she tries to go back to school she is treated differently. It is hard to fit back in. Boys think her experience is an invitation for casual sex. Girlish concerns seem immature to her. She cannot fit in. She drops out after a few monthes, abandoning any hope of college, perhaps works but feels isolated and lonely and is happy when a drinking or druggie crowd accepts her. You know the rest. Happy ending, right? 90% of teen marriages end in divorce. But what’s the harm as long as Moore was a gentleman?

    2. I would suspect that this teen bride would have dropped out anyway, older hubbie or not, if she was that prone to go to Disneyland and not worry about school.

      How often does this happen? More often the younger girls go after the older guys because they're lots more fun and have their own apartments.

    3. All these young girls. You know they want it. Spoken just like a pedophile.

    4. Do you know what a "pedophile" is?

      We all know of course that teenage girls NEVER have or desire older boyfriends.

      You people lie. And, Bob's right. Your phony, dishonest chickenshit piety is why Dems are losing.

      As a true left-winger, they long lost me. Years ago. What do they stand for now?

    5. An older boyfriend for a 16 year old is 18 or 20, not 34. A 34 year old is a gross old person. Remember “don’t trust anyone over 30”? There is too much social distance. You guys are trying rationalize lust. Leave these kids alone.

    6. No one's rationalizing anything.

      And if you read the details - meaning, paid ATTENTION to the actual stories -- there wasn't much "lust" going on.

      Jesus. What the hell is wrong with people these days? Such phony piety. And it's like you have to MAKE THINGS UP in order to stoke your outrage.

      It's everywhere. No good will come of this.

    7. I'm talking about you and why you argue that young girls are fair game for older men.