It isn’t uncommon for pop music to be written for a teenage audience, even if the person singing the song isn’t a teenager. But one far-right editor is using that premise in his defense of Roy Moore.
Joel Pollak, a senior editor at Breitbart, cited Ringo Starr’s No. 1 hit about teenage love in his defense of Moore, who has been accused of sexual misconduct in his 30s.
“You know, in 1973 Ringo Starr hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts with the song, ‘You’re 16, You’re Beautiful, (And You’re Mine),’” Pollak said on CNN's "New Day" on Monday morning. “He was 30-something at the time singing about a 16-year-old — you want to take away Ringo Starr’s achievement?”
CNN anchor Chris Cuomo expressed his shock at Pollak’s comparison.
“You can’t be serious,” he said. “You think that Ringo Starr’s song is supposed to be a nod towards allowing 30-year-old men to prey on teenagers?”
CNN gives a platform to Breitbart's Joel Pollack (again), who then cites Ringo Starr (!!) to defend Roy Moore's alleged child molestation: pic.twitter.com/9LZoY2o2ek— Carlos Maza (@gaywonk) November 27, 2017
But even if we go along with Pollak’s line of thinking, does it absolve Moore of his conduct? Absolutely not. Moore is accused of sexually assaulting and undressing a 14-year-old girl, as well as attempting to violently force a woman to perform oral sex, among several other accusations. Ringo Starr sang a song, directed to youth in the 1970s, about a 16-year-old girlfriend.
Starr’s song (originally sung by Johnny Burnette) is ambiguous enough to be a tune reminiscing about young love. Moore, on the other hand, directly sought out younger girls in order to touch them and perform other acts of sexual assault. The comparison couldn’t be more different if you tried to compare Moore’s actions to a song sung by the Mickey Mouse Club.
Pollak is attempting to use “whataboutism” in order to confuse the subject, to make it more complicated so that people have to rebut his premise. But the only one confused about anything here is Pollak himself.