The lengths that some conservatives will go to defend Alabama’s GOP Senate candidate and accused child molester Roy Moore reached an absurd new level Monday morning when Joel Pollak, a senior editor at Breitbart News who once angled for a gig as Donald Trump’s speechwriter, used the lyrics of the pop song “You’re Sixteen” to justify Moore’s alleged behavior.
“In 1973, Ringo Starr hit the charts with a song: ‘You’re 16, you’re beautiful, and you’re mine,’” Pollak told CNN’s Chris Cuomo, acknowledging that it was a remake of an earlier song. “He was thirty-something at the time, singing about a 16-year-old. You want to take away Ringo Starr’s achievement.”
“You can’t be serious,” Cuomo repeated twice, before Pollak shot back that same line at him. “Oh, I’m dead serious,” the anchor added. “You think that Ringo Starr’s song is supposed to be a nod to allowing 30-year-old men to prey on teenagers? You don’t believe that, Joel. You’re a parent, you don’t believe that.”
Rather than say whether or not he believes his own nonsense, Pollak pivoted to say that as a parent he also fears the “risks our sons face today,” which is that they “are going to be exposed to accusations that may or may not be true.” While parents have always had to worry about their daughters, Pollak pleaded with Cuomo to think about the sons.
Pollak previously waded into Moore-related controversy when, following the initial Washington Post report on Moore’s sexual predation, the Breitbart editor defended Moore by insisting that “only one” of the described relationships (the only involving a 14-year-old) was “problematic,” while ones involving girls between ages 16 and 18 were not.
As for “You’re Sixteen,” the original 1960 version recorded by rockabilly singer Johnny Burnette is perhaps best known for its appearance on the soundtrack for 1973’s American Graffiti—a coming-of-age movie about high-school students.