Here’s an incredible story that features two women — one, a seemingly tragic figure, who’s apparently doing a major disservice to the cause of women everywhere, and another, a dogged news reporter, who’s not only relentlessly in search of the truth, but solidifying the reasons to trust the news media in what has become a hyper-toxic media environment.
In an apparent attempt to discredit at least nine women who have accused the Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual harassment or assault, a woman apparently pretended to be a victim of Moore’s, and tried to get The Washington Post to take the bait and tell her sensations story. The Post did not publish the woman’s unsubstantiated account that Moore impregnated her as a teenager and then took her to get an abortion after reporters and researchers looking into the woman’s background discovered irregularities about her story. Eventually, Post reporters discovered that the woman may work for Project Veritas, a controversial organization that uses false names and identities to expose what the group claims to be liberal media bias.
Jaime T. Phillips first contacted the post only hours after the paper first published allegations that Moore, then in his 30s, stripped then 14-year-old Leigh Corman to her underwear and fondled her. Corman is one of five teenage girls who said that Moore molested them several decades ago. In multiple interviews, Phillips reportedly claimed that Moore impregnated her when she was 15 and forced her to get an abortion. In her discussions with Post reporter Beth Reinhard, who was one of the reporters who broke the initial story on Moore, Phillips asked Reinhard to assure her that coming forward would torpedo Moore’s candidacy. When Reinhard told her that she could not predict the impact her claims would have on the election’s outcome and added that she would have to fact-check her claims before any story would be published, Phillips said she would no longer speak to her and asked to talk to Reinhard’s co-author on the Corfman piece, Stephanie McCrummen, instead.
But as Reinhard and Alice Crites, a Post researcher, fact-checked Phillips’ story, they discovered not only inconsistencies but a GoFundMe page under Phillips’ name, asking for money to fund a move to New York, where she could pursue a job working “in the conservative media movement to combat the lies and deceipt of the liberal MSM (sic).” Video reporters for The Post would later spot Phillips walking into Project Veritas’ New York offices.
The Post also described the hilarious, and disturbing, reaction Phillips had when her story spectacularly unraveled after McCrummen agreed to meet with her, and then confronted her with a printout of the GoFundMe page.
The Moore campaign has previously claimed that the accusations against him were a smear by the liberal media, or even by Mitch McConnell. Moore, who had previously admitted to knowing at least two of his accusers, said on Monday that he actually did not “know any of [the women].” The Post has also been accused by conservative website Gateway Pundit and by an Alabama pastor of paying women “to make damaging remarks” about Moore. The Post has denied the accusations, noting that like most legitimate news organizations, they actually have a strict policy against such behavior.
Watch video recorded by the Post below as McCrummen turned the tables on Project Veritas, putting one of its apparent operatives under serious scrutiny and, simultaneously, demonstrating the rigorous approach of a conscientious and professional journalist. It’s actually rather fascinating to witness.
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Read the full story at The Washington Post.