On Thursday, Breitbart beat the Washington Post‘s publication of explosive allegations against Alabama GOP Senate hopeful Roy Moore, who reportedly had “relationships” with multiple teens when he was in his 30’s.
The provocative right-wing news site hedged their defense of Moore on his treatment of the young women he “dated” by publishing claims from a 17-year-old girl he dated when he was 34 who said he was “romantic” and that the two never had sex when she was underage.
After publishing their initial article, Breitbart editor-at-large Joel Pollack appeared on MSNBC and doubled down on their defense, saying that technically, only one of the three teenagers Moore had relationships with in his 30’s were underage.
Their defense of Moore, however, came on the heels of their criticism of actor Kevin Spacey, who’s made headlines in recent weeks among the spate of powerful men in the entertainment industry accused of sexually assaulting and harassing various people. Spacey has been accused by multiple men of both coercive and consensual sex with the House of Cards actor.
While many online noted Breitbart’s quick condemnation of Spacey, they also did so with one of their own — controversial writer Milo Yiannopoulos, who resigned amid reported animosity from some staffers after a video resurfaced of him appearing to defend relationships between teenage boys and grown men.
In February, when video of Yiannopoulos claiming some 13-year-old boys are able to consent to sex with adult men resurfaced, reports that Breitbart was considering firing the British provocateur due to pressure from fellow staffers abounded. He resigned soon after.
The accusations against these three men are different and range in severity, and highlight the cultural question of whether young teens can consent to sex with adults — and especially if they can consent to sex with adult men in power. Similar questions were raised after David Bowie died in early 2016, when the stories of the young teenaged “baby groupies” who had sex with him and other rock stars were once again brought to light.