Matt Gaetz, a Republican Representative from Florida, has found himself being sucked out into the ocean by riptides of public opinion and possible evil intentions. Recently, CNN reported that the popular lawmaker was the focus of several anonymous sources claiming that he was into sex trafficking, lewd and lurid sexual exploits with consenting women, and a slew of unseemly and illegal activities unbecoming of a rising political star. If true, Gaetz would be wise to bow out of the public arena and hire a good lawyer. Therein lies the problem: where’s the proof?
Allegations include having inappropriate sexual encounters with a 17-year-old girl and paying women recruited online for sex: The latter being accomplished by former Seminole County, Florida tax collector Joel Greenberg. Other anonymous sources say Gaetz shared photos of said sexual conquests with other legislators at cocktail parties, including a nude female hula-hooping video.
Gaetz has responded openly on Twitter:
“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.”
Mr. Gaetz’s father has been wearing a wire for the FBI, claims the legislator, adding: “No part of the allegations against me are true, and the people pushing these lies are targets of the ongoing extortion investigation.”
Oops, My Bad
The now much-diluted #MeToo movement created an arsenal of potential career-ending accounts of sexual assaults brought back from the dead. Stories now publicized – some, years past the actual statute of limitations to punish – have taken down Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Matt Lauer – and so many others. The activist media salivated for information on President Trump after he was caught on tape engaged in what some call “locker room” talk.
But that same in-depth coverage does not seem to apply to Democrat politicians. Let’s take the case of New York’s embattled governor Andrew Cuomo: Nine women have come forward on the record to accuse Cuomo of groping and sexual harassment. And lo and behold, they all have publicized names and verifiable dates, and accounts that merit bringing charges against a sitting governor. So far, hearsay, whispers, and rumors are keeping Mr. Gaetz in the headlines as the media continues to reword and rehash other activist media reports of anonymous sourcing. Why the double standard of reporting?
Depravity or Slanderous Weapon of Choice?
Some speculate that Gaetz is becoming the next America First Trump progeny: for the left, that kind of power must not come to fruition. Would political enemies knowingly and wrongly accuse a man of human sex trafficking, sex with a minor, pay for play – a clothesline of depraved dirty laundry, flapping in the breeze – to retain power? You bet your sweet ass they would and have.
And collateral damage is nearly as destructive. The communications director for Gaetz resigned from the stalled-out rising star. Luke Ball worked in that position for Gaetz since November 2019. No one who hopes to retain a career in the Swamp wants that kind of stain on a resume.
Gaetz may be a victim of a slanderous campaign by political foes to sideline his political rise. He may be a criminal who has done what he is accused of and perhaps more. Still, until there is a legitimate source with verifiable information, the drive-by media would do well to wait until a story with named sources is beyond doubt. Just the facts, ma’am.
Read more from Sarah Cowgill