The last time there was an off-cycle Senate election, investigative reporting was the decisive factor in the race.
The enterprising work of the Washington Post, among others, revealed that the former Alabama Supreme Court justice turned Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore had repeatedly engaged in inappropriate behavior with teenage girls. A trio of Post reporters tracked down four of those women, who attested on-the-record to Moore’s revolting behavior.
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Fast forward three years to a Senate race in which another set of lurid allegations has surfaced, this time involving Democratic candidate Raphael Warnock.
The difference: their political affiliation.
Like Moore, the allegations against Warnock involve the abuse of underage children decades ago. They center on a Maryland church camp where a young Warnock served in a senior role, and where he was arrested in 2002 for obstructing a police investigation into alleged abuses taking place on camp grounds.
Moore’s misdeeds received wall-to-wall coverage from the national news media. Republicans were pressed to disavow him.
The news media so determined to reveal Moore’s scandalous behavior have been lethargic, to say the least, when it comes to Warnock: The Democrat has been allowed to wave away the arrest as the "overzealous actions of a few police officers."
But what was going on at the camp that brought the police there in the first place? And what was Warnock’s role in those incidents? The press hasn’t exhibited the slightest curiosity about events that speak directly to Warnock’s management abilities and judgment.
We now know, thanks to the intrepid reporting of the Free Beacon’s Alana Goodman, that state officials revoked the camp’s authorization to operate, citing unreported incidents of child abuse and a bevy of health and safety violations. One of Warnock’s campers, Anthony Washington, has now come forward, telling Goodman that as a 12-year-old, counselors tossed urine on him and forced him to sleep outside.
Try to find a mention of those details in the New York Times, the Washington Post, or Georgia’s most prominent local broadsheet, the Atlantic Journal-Constitution, which has said it ignored the story because one of Warnock’s rivals in the Democratic primary was pushing it, "but the candidate declined to come forward publicly as the source, so the reporters passed on the story."
No stopping these fearless investigators!
The mainstream media have approached allegations from Warnock’s ex-wife, Ouleye Ndoye, with the same level of interest.
Ndoye alleged that Warnock ran over her foot in March in a fit of pique. Body camera footage from police responding to her call shows a teary woman telling police, "I’ve been trying to be very quiet about the way that he is for the sake of my kids and his reputation, I’ve tried to keep the way that he acts under wraps for a long time, and today he crossed the line."
Democracy dies in darkness, we were told. They forgot the asterisk: Except when shining a light threatens to undermine the Democrat in a pivotal race.