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Hullabaloo


Saturday, July 31, 2010

 
Reprieve

by digby


I didn't cover the Al Gore "inappropriate sexual touching" allegations because between the National Enquirer and Talking Points Memo, I figured all of my readers had access to every juicy, lurid details they could possibly want. I tend to withhold judgment of these things until there's more evidence. There's reason to be skeptical of women who come forward late asking for money from publications but refuse to press charges and powerful men who can manipulate the legal system when they need to. I rarely feel confident making proclamations about guilt in these cases --- they're fraught with peril. Just as you can't just take men's word for it and you mu to take women seriously in these matters, it's also a mistake to assume that men are always lying or that women who make inconsistent charges are simply traumatized. (I find that a little bit demeaning, actually. Some women may be traumatized, but to behave as if women don't have agency and can't be held to a legal standard for truthfulness is to treat them as children in my book.)

In any case, this one appears to be over. The prosecutor has closed the inquiry issuing the following reasons:

1. Ms. Hagerty, who has red hair, states she called Mr. Gore immediately following the alleged incident and told him to "dream of redheaded women" seemingly in contradiction to her assertions that she was terrified of Mr. Gore. Two days after the alleged incident Ms. Hagerty also sent an email to the Hotel Lucia stating that she appreciated the business referrals she received from the hotel. She did not mention any problem with Mr. Gore;

2. Witnesses at the hotel where the alleged incident occurred state they do not remember seeing or hearing anything unusual---directly contradicting Ms. Hagerty's published claim in the July 12, 2010 of the National Enquirer that she was "shaking and in shock" and "rushed down the hall and to the lobby where the front desk clerk noticed she was upset was asked if she was OK";

3. Forensic testing of pants retained by Ms. Hagerty as possible evidence are negative for the presence of seminal fluid;

4. Ms. Hagerty has not provided as repeatedly requested medical records she claims are
related to the case;

5. Ms. Hagerty has also failed to provide other records related to the case;

6. Ms. Hagerty failed a polygraph examination;

7. It appears Ms. Hagerty was paid by the National Enquirer for her story; and

8. Mr. Gore voluntarily met with detectives and denied all of the allegations.




I'm sure there will always be some people who believe he did it, unfortunately. But the mainstream press managed to more or less restrain themselves from forming a full fledged witch hunt so it never reached the sort of critical mass it might have. I'm curious as to why they managed to hold back this time. It's not like they ever gave Gore a break in the past.


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