Monday, 04 February 2019

Post Spiked Story on Virginia’s Accused Lt. Governor

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If Virginia Governor Ralph Northam resigns because he wore a politically-incorrect costume three decades ago, his replacement will be Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax (shown).

But Fairfax faces his own troubles: a woman who says he forced her to perform oral sex when Fairfax worked on John Kerry’s campaign for president.

The accusation against Fairfax surfaced last night at the conservative Big League Politics website. Fairfax tweeted a response in the wee hours, and the Washington Post, which had the story but spiked it in 2017, followed up with a story today.

So Democrats in Virginia now have two big problems: First, they have a governor who advocated infanticide last week and turned up in an embarrassing photograph. Second, they have a lieutenant governor who, a woman alleged, assaulted her.

The Claim
Fairfax’s public relations nightmare began when Big League Politics published a Facebook post from a professor at Stanford University, Vanessa Tyson, who wrote the following:

Imagine you were sexually assaulted during the DNC convention in Boston in 2004 by a campaign staffer. You spend the next 13 years trying to forget it ever happened. Until one day you find out he’s the Democratic candidate for statewide office in a state some 3,000 miles away, and he wins that election in November, 2017. Then by strange, horrible luck, it seems increasingly likely that he’ll get a VERY BIG promotion.

A tipster, Big League Politics reported, sent the post to the website.

Fairfax called the allegation “false and unsubstantiated,” and said he “has an outstanding and well-earned reputation for treating people with dignity and respect.”

He has never assaulted anyone ever in any way, shape, or form.

The person reported to be making this false allegation first approached the Washington Post — one of the nation's most prominent newspapers — more than a year ago, around the time of the Lieutenant Governor’s historic inauguration. The Post carefully investigated the claim for several months. After being presented with facts consistent with the Lt. Governor's denial of the allegation, the absence of evidence corroborating the allegation, and significant red flags and inconsistencies within the allegation, the Post made the considered decision not to publish the story.

Tellingly, not one other reputable media outlet has seen fit to air this false claim. Only now, at a time of intense media attention surrounding Virginia politics, has this false claim been raised.

That last line was true until today.

Post Story
The Post, which published the unsubstantiated allegations of Christina Blasey Ford against U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, reported that Fairfax’s accuser approached the newspaper after Fairfax was elected lieutenant governor in 2017.

Just as Ford claimed Kavanaugh’s possible elevation to the high court inspired her to contact the Senate Judiciary Committee and the news media, “she had an obligation to speak out.”

The woman and Fairfax first met at the convention, the Post reported, and quickly wound up in Fairfax’s room. Fairfax told the Post their encounter was consensual.

But she “described a sexual encounter that began with consensual kissing and ended with a forced act that left her crying and shaken. She said Fairfax guided her to the bed, where they continued kissing, and then at one point she realized she could not move her neck. She said Fairfax used his strength to force her to perform oral sex.”

The Post “could not find anyone who could corroborate either version. The Post did not find ‘significant red flags and inconsistencies within the allegations,’ as the Fairfax statement incorrectly said.”

But the Post, which adopted the motto “democracy dies in darkness” after the inauguration of President Trump, still spiked the story:

The Washington Post, in phone calls to people who knew Fairfax from college, law school and through political circles, found no similar complaints of sexual misconduct against him. Without that, or the ability to corroborate the woman’s account — in part because she had not told anyone what happened — the Washington Post did not run a story.

The question for Democrats is this: If “we must believe women,” as they claimed when U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was similarly accused without evidence, will they demand that Fairfax resign?

Photo: AP Images

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