Reporter Beth Reinhard Bribed Woman to Accuse Roy Moore of Sexual Assault-Reported as Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
Washington Post reporter Beth Reinhard bribed women to accuse Roy Moore of sexual assault or molestation, offering them $1,000 to bring false allegations.
There’s no evidence to support claims that Beth Reinhard bribed women to accuse Roy Moore of sexual assault or molestation.
Those accusations surfaced following reports that GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore had sexually assaulted underaged girls in Alabama. The Washington Post broke the story, and claims that reporter Beth Reinhard bribed women to accuse Moore surfaced almost immediately.
Beth Reinhard was one of three Post reporters who broke the story on November 9, 2017. The report states that a woman accused Roy Moore of initiating a sexual encounter when she was 14 and he was 32. The report also cites accusations from additional unnamed women. Rumors that the women were paid were fueled by this excerpt explaining how the story was reported:
Neither Corfman nor any of the other women sought out The Post. While reporting a story in Alabama about supporters of Moore’s Senate campaign, a Post reporter heard that Moore allegedly had sought relationships with teenage girls. Over the ensuing three weeks, two Post reporters contacted and interviewed the four women. All were initially reluctant to speak publicly but chose to do so after multiple interviews, saying they thought it was important for people to know about their interactions with Moore. The women say they don’t know one another.
The idea that the Post reporters contacted the women gave rise to the idea that reporters persuaded — or paid — Roy Moore’s accusers to sway Alabama’s Senate race. However, there’s no evidence that Beth Reinhard paid Roy Moore’s accusers to come forward.
Evolution of “Beth Reinhard Pays Accusers” Rumors
The fallout from the Washington Post story was immediate. GOP leaders walked back support for Roy Moore. Alabama’s Senate race tightened. And critics of the Post went to great lengths to prove that the story was a hit job.
First, robocalls from an alleged Washington Post reporter named “Bernie Bernstein” were placed throughout Alabama in early November. The recording claimed that the Post was offering $10,000 for women to accuse Roy Moore of assault. However, it was part of an unnamed group’s campaign to smear and discredit the Post.
No reporters named Bernie Bernstein work at the Post. And Marty Baron, the Post’s executive editor, said in a statement that, “The call’s description of our reporting methods bears no relationship to reality. We are shocked and appalled that anyone would stoop to this level to discredit real journalism.”
Beth Reinhard Bribes Accusers: Another Twist
Rumors that Beth Reinhard bribed women to accuse Roy Moore of sexual assault next took an even more unusual turn. A woman working for “Project Veritas,” a non-profit funded by right-wing groups to investigate and expose liberal bias in news and government agencies, approached the Post.
The woman falsely claimed that she’d been sexually assaulted by Roy Moore as a teenager. She also falsely claimed that Moore impregnated her and forced her to have an abortion. Beth Reinhard maintained contact with the woman for months, but the paper never published her allegations. Key elements of the women’s stories didn’t check out in its fact-checking process. After more investigation, the woman was revealed to be a Project Veritas plant making false accusations.
In the end, there’s no proof that Beth Reinhard paid women to accuse Roy Moore of sexual assault.