After suffering a series of defeats to Democrats in several gubernatorial and mayoral races across the country last week, the sexual assault scandal that continues to plague Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore is not going away. Today, a fifth woman, Beverly Young Nelson, came forward accusing the former state judge of sexual misconduct when she was 16 years old.
Defendants of Moore, including various pundits on Fox News, are vehemently upset about the allegations and have so far refused to denounce him. But instead of trying to right the ship by listening and believing woman who have come forward, they’ve decided to smash coffee machines instead.
In what has become one of the strangest political protests in recent memory, conservatives supporting Moore are destroying their Keurig coffee makers—either by throwing them out windows or bashing them with blunt objects—after the coffee company pulled its advertising from Sean Hannity’s namesake program on Fox News. The boycott began after Twitter users and media watchdog group Media Matters for America called out Keurig for advertising on Hannity after the anchor interviewed Moore in the wake of the allegations that he had non-censual sexual contact with a minor when he was in his thirties.
Hannit, one of the most brazen and influential mouthpieces for the Trump administration on Fox, first came to Moore’s defense last week on his radio show, justifying the candidate’s alleged sexual encounters because according to him, they were “consensual.” Of course, 14-year-olds are not legally allowed to give consent and Hannity was forced to apologize on Twitter: “I apologize when I misspoke and was not totally clear earlier today,” he tweeted.
But Hannity has continued to defend Moore and even had him as a guest on his show despite calls from Republicans like Mitt Romney and Mitch McConnell for Moore to remove himself from the senate race. (Donald Trump said he believes Moore should withdraw from the race if “the allegations are true.“) Even as public pressure to denounce Moore mounts on Hannity and advertisers like realtor.com, Nature’s Bounty, fashion label Eloquii and the genetic testing company 23 and Me pull commercials from his show, the anchor shows no signs of changing course.
In fact, Hannity seems to be delighted by the Keurig boycott despite condemning it on his radio show. “I am a believer of freedom of speech,” he said on Monday. “I’m not going to support a boycott of Keurig.” But Hannity has gleefully retweeted some of the videos of people destroying their machines on social media and even offered to give away coffee makers to his fans.
Protesting Keurig is far more insidious than the usual partisan tug-of-war. Hannity is taking sides with a man who has been accused of sexual contact with a minor. Any defense of him is in essence a non-rebuke of Moore’s pedophilia. This is lost on those supporting Moore, including 50 Alabama pastors who signed a letter in support of him. If you find yourself in this camp, it might be time to take a long, hard look in the mirror. And you know what goes great with a long hard session of a soul-searching? A piping hot cup of coffee.