A reporter from Alabama just went on live television and compared sexual assault to stealing a lawnmower. Thankfully, CNN's Brooke Baldwin wasn't having it.
The growing sexual abuse scandal surrounding Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore has dragged some seriously appalling defense and excuses out of the woodwork.
But Brandon Moseley of the Alabama Political Reporter may have just offered the most patently ludicrous one yet.
Last week, the Washington Post published a bombshell report containing allegations from four women that Moore had preyed on them sexually when they were young teens and he was in his 30s.
Moore himself has admitted to dating "a lot of young ladies" — though "dating" is a gross misinterpretation of what he stands accused of doing — and a whole lot of his pals have been twisting themselves into moral pretzels to try to make it okay to support a candidate with potential pedophiliac predilections.
But Moseley went one step further in both the "repugnant" and "ridiculous" categories of defense, by comparing what Moore is accused of to stealing a lawnmower.
Yes, a lawnmower.
Speaking to CNN's Brooke Baldwin Monday, Moseley tried to defend Moore by claiming that if the allegations were "serious," he would have heard of them in the 20+ years that he has known Moore.
He repeatedly cited the length of time between the alleged acts and the women choosing to come forward to try to cast doubt on their veracity.
And he kept claiming that, at the time, what Moore did would only have been a "misdemeanor" under Alabama law — something he said wasn't as bad as Bill Clinton and Barack Obama remaining on their respective ballots when there were reports of them dabbling in drug use in their younger years.
Baldwin cut him off there, demanding to "function in a factual world."
"Sexual consent in Alabama 16," she noted.
"You make this argument that there wasn't a law against sexual abuse in Alabama back in the 70s," Baldwin continued. "Are you saying that because there wouldn't have been a law ... that that would have made it okay back then?"
Moseley insisted he wasn't, saying that if Moore "committed a sin, that's a sin and that's not good."
Baldwin called out his ahistorical understanding of the law, reading off the facts of the statute which would have made Moore's predation on a 14-year-old a crime in the 70s.
Moseley's response? That was "a misdemeanor in Alabama." And then he went on to offer his utterly repulsive comparison:
As Baldwin noted sharply: "Sexual abuse, stealing a lawnmower — let's not even go there."
Indeed, it is more than a little gobsmacking that a grown man needs to be told that a teenage girl is not a lawnmower, and that there is a moral difference between pedophilia and petty theft.
If these are the kind of friends and defenders that Moore has in his corner, he ought to stop listening to them, and instead heed the advice of his colleague, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to step down from the race and save us from hearing any further repulsive excuses for his patently inexcusable acts.