Patterico's Pontifications


Yeah, About That Twitter Account That Alleged Bribery in the Roy Moore Scandal…

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:00 am

Last night, I criticized a story in the New Yorker attacking Roy Moore based on nothing but rumor and innuendo. But some Moore defenders also need to be reminded that rumor is not news. There is a sick irony here: some of the same people who whine about Big Media and “hearsay” love to breathlessly repeat literally any damned stupid thing they see on the Internet. And one of the damned stupid charges thrown around by the more partisan and careless Internet Moore Defenders was the charge that Washington Post reporters bribed witnesses.

These rumors had a traceable source: an anonymous Twitter account called @umpire43 aka “Doug Lewis #MAGA,” which tweeted last week: “A family friend in Alabama just told my wife that a WAPO reporter named Beth offered her 1000$ to accuse Roy Moore???” Because it was a stupid and unverified rumor, it was only natural that it would be touted by the fact-challenged Gateway Pundit with the classic statement: “Of course this is HUGE news if true.”

When you read a story that confirms your pre-existing biases but is based on unverified rumor and innuendo, the low-IQ thing to do is to spread that puppy as far and wide as your little typing fingers can work, and that’s what some shameless Moore defenders did. In comments at my own site, the Doug Lewis #MAGA narrative was spread by avowed Trumpers who didn’t bother to link their sources. (You know who you are and you should be ashamed.)

Thing is, the Twitter guy who first leveled the “bribery!” Inflatable Pub Price accusation had a . . . questionable personal back story, to put it mildly. When you added up the various assertions in his narrative, he would have had to join the Navy at age 5 for it all to be true:

And he couldn’t remember whether he had two Purple Hearts, or three, or four:

The editor of a news site for vets started asking Doug Lewis #MAGA some pointed questions, and next thing you know . . . Doug Lewis #MAGA’s tweets were gone. Gizmodo:

[A]fter Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel and Task and Purpose editor Adam Weinstein challenged inconsistencies in the account’s military backstory—like whether he had earned 2, 3, or 4 Purple Hearts—@umpire43 registered for a tweet deletion service and cleared out their account on Monday.

We’re talking tweets going back years:

What is Doug Lewis #MAGA trying to hide? Obviously, more clues that he is a fake.

Especially if you’re going to set yourself up as some kind of arbiter over what is good journalism or not, if you’re denouncing first-person corroborated accounts as “hearsay” while repeating crap like this, you are the problem. If you get your “news” from sites like Gateway Pundit or Conservative Treehouse or other fever swamps, you are the problem. If you’re screaming #FAKENEWS while retweeting Doug Lewis #MAGA, you are the problem.

This concludes today’s public service announcement.

UPDATE: Wow. The Daily Beast just rakes Doug Lewis #MAGA and Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit over the coals. Read it all. It’s a thing of beauty.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

49 Responses to “Yeah, About That Twitter Account That Alleged Bribery in the Roy Moore Scandal…”

  1. Mrs. Moore said they’re gathering evidence of some kind of payment to supposed witnesses.
    Be interesting if Lewis heard the gist and added unnecessary detail.

    Richard Aubrey (0d7df4)

  2. Let’s pretend weigel was not a member of the kournolist.

    narciso (d1f714)

  3. @Richard Aubrey

    More probably whoever told “Doug Louis” to tweet that is also spreading the same story (maybe a variant of it) to Kayla Moore or the Moore campaign.

    Doug Louis deleted ALL of his tweets because now we could all read them in reverse and obtain a list of fake news. (for anything doubtful. I mean if he tweeted who won a election, that;’s probably accurate)

    He was probably being paid.

    Sammy Finkelman (8e756e)

  4. @narcisco:Let’s pretend weigel was not a member of the journolist.

    Just because Weigel’s Journolist emails reveal what he thinks about Republicans and conservatives and his role in spinning the news to hurt them, doesn’t mean he’s not correct to point out what’s wrong with someone else’s tweets. A true thing is true no matter who said it.

    And Weigel’s exposure lead to the end of Journolist, after all, since Ezra Klein was complaining that the Journolist archives had been “weaponized”.

    Frederick (64d4e1)

  5. Wife has become more honest, no the nournolist just grew into the rizzotto press.

    narciso (d1f714)

  6. But Obama!

    But Hillary!

    Dave (5860c8)

  7. Mrs. Moore said they’re gathering evidence of some kind of payment to supposed witnesses.

    Mrs. Moore says a lot of things that aren’t true. Like look at all these pastors who still support us even after the scandal (citing a letter written before the scandal). Like look this restaurant wasn’t even open when Allred’s client said it was (but it was).

    It would be interesting if Moore was banned from the Gadsden mall. That will not make me treat unfounded rumors to that effect as if they were true.

    Because I am not a partisan hack.

    Patterico (bd1cdd)

  8. tweets is no good

    happyfeet (048778)

  9. I visited the guy’s twitter a day or two before he deleted everything, and he’d moved on to an extensive argument that John McCain was actually about to be executed for treason until Nixon pardoned him. Basically this bit of wingnuttery:

    The guy is grade A kook and lol at anyone who took him seriously.

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  10. Weigel (automistake is indeed strange) yes snopes whose founder was caught in a porn scandal, lets go with them.

    narciso (e39588)

  11. Hi ropelight!

    Patterico (bd1cdd)

  12. Unfortunately the top minds at conservativetreehouse haven’t weighed in on the issue.

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  13. I’m waiting for a Weigel retweet. That’ll make his day!

    Colonel Haiku (993483)

  14. Like the folks that have Louis mensch an op ed column, lol.

    narciso (e39588)

  15. “Unfortunately the top minds at conservativetreehouse haven’t weighed in on the issue.”

    Their gram scale is on the fritz.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  16. Is it possible that people like Michelle Goldberg are cynically rewriting history for political purposes?

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  17. Patterico (bd1cdd) — 11/14/2017 @ 1:10 pm

    Mrs. Moore says a lot of things that aren’t true.

    Well, Slate says that’s the case:

    She sad pastors supported him, but that was from before these allegations came. Besides that, she seems to be reposting anything that was scraped from the Internet that indicates accusations are false, regardless of its quality. This may just be inexperience.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)



    The quality of witness is not strained;
    It is still full of solid waste from the toilet.

    nk (dbc370)

  19. Are you saying the bloom is off the Rose?

    There was speculation that Britney Spears shaved her hair off because drug testing. Hmmm. I’m sure the TSA would’t find real small bags of coke in your bra or Bare Minerals.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  20. Rose…Rose, who are you wearing tonight?

    Larry Lavin

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  21. He;s called Umpire43 because originally the account was about baseball “responding to beat reporters about MLB trade rumors and armchair umpiring on-field calls” then it went dormant in August, 2014 and started again in May 2015, and was a completely different account. This reminds me of something abut the Weiner case sockpuppets. Wasn’t one of those accounts aparently taken over and used for another purpose?

    Sammy Finkelman (8e756e)

  22. Larry Lavin teh Coke Dentist?!?!

    Colonel Haiku (993483)

  23. “Because I am not a partisan hack.“

    No one can accuse him of being partisan, that is true.

    Colonel Haiku (993483)

  24. @23

    yeah that was my thought as well, but then why would someone using a hijacked account delete all of the posting history?

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  25. That is highlarious PandP… I read a book on that whole deal… unbelievable how that dentist got away with it for as long as he did… caught on a Double-Dutch Bus.

    Colonel Haiku (993483)

  26. My people are as repressed and harassed as any others

    The Drunk Scotsman NSFW maybe

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  27. I would be far more likely to believe this story if ANY of this had come out in the primary where a lot of money was spent and it was hotly contested.

    Instead, a couple of days after the deadline to add a new candidate, the WaPo of George Allen fame comes out with a story that has no evidence.

    The yearbook might be but only of his presence and acquaintance with the accuser, who was a waitress.

    Why no documents for the period in question ? Why, if “it was common knowledge” did the matter not come up in the primary ?

    Sorry. Ted Stevens and I are suspicious.

    Mike K (b3dd19)

  28. After your hilarious links (BTW, baiting the wildlife is unsportsmanlike, and illegal in most places), I don’t want to ruin the mood with a mean remark, not even about Rose McGowan, Pinandpuller.

    nk (dbc370)

  29. Zombie Ted stevens, but its fine how 30 years of struggling against the establishment is dismissed in a series of key strokes

    narciso (d1f714)

  30. OMG Mr nk

    I forgot to tell you about all the YouTube videos I saw last night of women getting their hair pulled off by mixers and drills. I’d almost say that maybe women should play with trucks once in a while but the wheels would probably snatch them bald headed like poor Rose McGowan.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  31. You take Sally and I’ll take Rose
    Teh gal with teh red and runny nose
    Cocaine, running all ’round her brain
    Headin’ down Sunset, turnin’ up Main
    Looking for that dude who sells cocaine
    Cocaine, runnin’ all ’round her brain
    Mmmm Harvey come here quick,
    Yo fat-ass body ’bout to make her sick
    Cocaine, runnin’ all ’round her brain
    Late last night about a quarter past four
    TMZ come knockin’ down her hotel room door
    “Where’s teh cocaine?”
    It’s runnin’ all ’round her brain

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  32. I suspect it was like Trump, Mike K. No one thought Moore could win until it was too late to do anything about it.

    DRJ (15874d)

  33. That ignored his real history, nit the narrative they are creating now:

    narciso (d1f714)

  34. Sort of related to Moore I guess. My dad said back in the day two guys would go to pick up two girls in like a two door Oldsmobile 440. The guy riding would get out. The guy driving would size up the girls and if he didn’t like the first one he would flip the seat up and put her in the back. If he liked her she got in and he flipped the seat for the other girl and the buddy to get in back.

    I never heard of this guy before today but I bet CH and Mr nk will love this

    Paul Thorn It’s a Great Day to Whup Sombody’s A**

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  35. A Deputy DA is one letter away from being a dentist.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  36. People who voted for Trump thought he could win. And he did.

    So much for your group “no one.”

    BuDuh (fe4258)

  37. UPDATE: Wow. The Daily Beast just rakes Doug Lewis #MAGA and Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit over the coals. Read it all. It’s a thing of beauty.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  38. Well, there’s a whole lotta lyin’ going on, but the upshot is that Moore will stay in the election. Whether or not he wins (and what happens the day after) is anybody’s guess, Jumpin’ Jim Hoft, Doug Lewis, or the Missus Moore.

    It’s just part of the Crazy Times.

    Patricia (5fc097)

  39. WOOT!!

    Umpire43, also known as Doug Lewis or DJ Lewis, has repeatedly invented stories in the past—particularly about his own background. Lewis said he was a 22-year veteran of the Navy, a pollster at Ipsos/Reuters, an expert on rigging voting machines, a source who was feet away from Reince Preibus, a man who speaks six languages, a beleaguered soul who needed time off after the 9/11 attacks when he saw Muslims “dancing on rooftops,” the owner of a polling company who claimed Trump had a sustained lead in California, and an actual baseball umpire with 50 years experience. Oh, and he worked at the American consulate in Calgary, where he claimed to obtain proof of a forged birth certificate for Ted Cruz’s father.

    Ben burn (d9eacb)

  40. #11, Patterico, dittos, just read the post and assumed I was the ‘avowed Trumper’ you referenced. Sorry I didn’t see it sooner.

    I’ll respond with the best explanation I can muster later his afternoon or early evening. I’m pressed for time this morning: doctor appointment and some paperwork issues that can’t wait.

    PS: Chagrined yes, ashamed no.

    ropelight (10f39e)


    Moore’s wife, Kayla, has been pushing the easily debunked lie that the four women who initially came forward had sought out the Washington Post.

    The reality is that the Washington Post sought them out, and pushed them quite persistently to tell their stories

    She must really really be stupid.

    What makes the accusations a hit job is that the women did NOT seek out the Washington Post – so how did the Washintgon Post know about them??

    A long involved chain of coincidences, no doubt.

    It wasn’t the Washngton Post that engineered this story.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  42. The NEw York Times adds this today to the “common knowledge” argument:

    Delores Abney, 63, a retired domestic violence counselor, said she and her husband had heard things about Roy Moore and his interest in younger women for years.

    On Monday night, Ms. Abney said she recalled Mr. Moore, the embattled Republican Senate candidate, being a regular presence in the mid-1980s at the Y.M.C.A. There, she said, he was often talking to much younger women — women that “appeared to be high school on up,” she said — in an exercise class she was enrolled in. “I’m not saying he was trying to pick them up. It just did not look appropriate.”

    So he wasn’t even trying to pick them up really.

    And this refers to dating – not trying to get them to have sex (as with the 14 yeasr old) or trying to rape someone..

    What I’m wondering is if someone is Washington is spreading stories, which haven’t surfaced in the news, that Moore may not even be aware of, that this has been going on much more recently.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  43. Better late than never. Yes, Patterico, you are correct to point out that I repeated an unconfirmed Internet narrative on your site and failed to include proper attribution. The offending comment was sent from my cell phone and I didn’t link the source because I don’t know how.

    I did however hint at a sourse by employing the introductory “It has been reported” red-flag, a phrase sure to attract the attention of cautious readers.

    I also took note, but did not mention, that two of the writers you praised for exposing the checkered background of umpire/Doug Lewis were notorious Journalistas: one of which recommended using scurrilous made-up racist accusations against Republicans.

    So, that said, I apologize for my ignorance, and I shall endeavor to persevere.

    ropelight (119b8f)

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