Aretha Franklin sang about it, the Reverend Al Sharpton couldn’t spell it, and, much like comedy genius Rodney Dangerfield, Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) can’t get any of it from the should-be-embarrassed drive-by media. Respect: the little shibboleth that eludes conservatives and constitutionalists at every turn.
Gaetz was accused of serious crimes including sex trafficking, paying young girls for sex, and taking drugs with the girls in hotel rooms. He was also rumored to have paid travel expenses for an underage girl whom he was also accused of abusing. These allegations – if proven true – could have resulted in 30 years behind bars and a certain end to his political career. The charges were leveled by a Mr. Stephen Alford who recently pled guilty to wire fraud and organizing an extortion scheme designed to bleed money from Gaetz’ wealthy father.
The media coverage of the allegations was extensive and lurid, but with the recent admission by Alford, the Fourth Estate became eerily quiet. One might think this a juicy story with layers of plot twists: a protagonist wrongly accused, a rat in the ranks of law enforcement, terrorists, sex, and the good guys (yes, the Department of Justice) resetting the scales of righteousness to perfect literary balance for all Americans. The stuff of Pulitzers. So, where is the latest coverage?
How have we not heard-tell of Alford changing his plea from not guilty to guilty? That’s a biggie in legal cases. A lesser charge of tampering with evidence, stemming from Alford destroying a cell phone, was dismissed. So all that is left to figure out is the number of years in the pokey for the serial fraudster.
A Slanderous Weapon of Choice
During the petering out of the #MeToo movement that uncovered a lot of naughty misdeeds of the liberal left, a rumor was begun that rising political star, Matt Gaetz, was a lewd, lascivious cad, treating women and girls like chattel. It was a chance to label a Trump conservative – which sent shivers of dread among the progressives – as a skeevy perv his own mother would disavow. In a nutshell, Gaetz was the latest Republican to be declared guilty of all sorts of nefarious crimes against nature by the rabid, activist media. But not one outlet would name a source.
The press reported that Gaetz was involved in “drug-fueled orgies,” that he was “in serious trouble” and was reaching out to Jeffrey Epstein’s lawyer. Quotes were asked for and given by “sugar daddy” websites and experts in child trafficking. Each carefully worded accusation was designed to insinuate that although the claims were alleged, experts believed them to follow a pattern of guilt.
Gaetz denied every claim, every media assumption, and stuck to the story. As Liberty Nation reported:
“Over the past several weeks, my family and I have been victims of an organized criminal extortion involving a former DOJ official seeking $25 million while threatening to smear my name. We have been cooperating with federal authorities in this matter.”
And it turns out he was right. The DOJ finally got around to getting their perp, and the story of Matt Gaetz was forever scuttled to the lost-and-found files at places like MSNBC, CNN, and the major dailies still being printed.
No follow-up to say, “Gee, we got that wrong.” Or “Hey, man, our bad.” Nope, nothing along the lines of setting their erroneous record straight. But Alford will certainly sing a few more bars at his sentencing hearing on Feb. 16, 2022. You see, he faces 20 years in prison as a third-time-is-a-charm kind of criminal. He’s done it before, but it seems this time he picked on the wrong family to intimidate. Doesn’t the table of contents in the how to be a big player handbook start with chapter one, “Know Your Mark”?
It really is past time for folks to be accountable for what they publish. Perhaps the Gaetz family should go on the road demanding retractions and expressions of regret. Hey, activist media, just apologize already. Or take a line out of Sharpton’s political etiquette book: As he said of his late friend Aretha Franklin on MSNBC, “show some R E S P I C T.” But spellcheck that first.
~ Read more from Sarah Cowgill.