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Breitbart aims to discredit Roy Moore's accusers

Screengrab via Breitbart's home page

Steve Bannon has sent two of Breitbart News' top reporters, Matt Boyle and Aaron Klein, to Alabama. Their mission: to discredit the Washington Post's reporting on Roy Moore's alleged sexual misconduct with teenagers.

Bottom line: This story is about to get even uglier, if that's imaginable. I expect more counter-attacks will play out in Breitbart News and other outlets over the coming days.

A story that popped today — splashed over the Breitbart homepage — contains what the website claims is a major hole in the account of Leigh Corfman, who says Alabama Senate candidate, Moore, made sexual advances on her when she was 14 years old.

Klein reports from Birmingham, Alabama: "Speaking by phone to Breitbart News on Saturday, Corfman's mother, Nancy Wells, 71, says that her daughter did not have a phone in her bedroom during the period that Moore is reported to have allegedly called Corfman – purportedly on Corfman's bedroom phone – to arrange at least one encounter."

Why this matters: It's quite a head-scratcher as to why Breitbart thinks this bedroom phone detail matters. As Corfman's mother told Breitbart "the phone in the house could get through to her easily." Wells stands by her daughter's allegations. But the fact Breitbart is running stories like this shows the extremes to which it may go to discredit Moore's accusers.

Another hard truth: Many Alabama voters hold the mainstream media in such low regard that they've dismissed the Washington Post's reporting entirely.

  • For a dose of this reality, check out this man-on-the-street segment from an ABC Alabama affiliate. Political reporter Lauren Walsh said: "Out of all the voters we spoke with Friday in Columbiana, we didn't find one voter who believed the Washington Post report about Moore."
  • And, for more on this theme, read the quotes in this NBC News report from Prattville, Alabama. The most shocking quote: "Inside the store, a man who declined to give his name said, 'This is Republican town, man. (Moore) could have killed Obama, and we wouldn't care.'"
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Zuckerberg admits Facebook "breach of trust"

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg walks wearing a t-shirt, with trees behind him
Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Mark Zuckerberg weighed in on what he called the "Cambridge Analytica situation" today in a Facebook post, saying there was a "a breach of trust between Facebook and the people who share their data with us and expect us to protect it. We need to fix that."

Why it matters: Facebook has been under extraordinary pressure from lawmakers, regulators and Wall Street to respond to the issue.

Haley Britzky 2 hours ago
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Authorities find "confession" from Austin bombing suspect

Police and FBI Agents investigate at the Sunset Valley FedEx store in Austin, Texas, which is linked to the package bomb.
Police and FBI Agents investigate at the Sunset Valley FedEx store in Austin, Texas, which is linked to the package bomb. Photo: Suzanne Cordeiro / AFP / Getty Images

Brian Manley, interim police chief in Austin, Texas, said on Wednesday that authorities found "a 25-minute 'confession'" on Mark Conditt's phone, the Austin bombing suspect, per the Washington Post.

The details: Per Manley, Conditt did not mention terrorism or hatred as his motivation; the phone recording seemed to be "the outcry of a very challenged young man, talking about challenges in his personal life, that led him to this point." Conditt also mentioned all known explosive devices, per the Post.