Believe Some Women
There’s an old saying in Washington: If the political press corps didn’t have double standards it would have no standards at all. Never has this been more nakedly obvious than in the media’s dismissive treatment of a newly surfaced sexual assault claim against presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden.
Last month, former Biden Senate staffer, Tara Reade, came forward with gruesome accusations that the self-admittedly tactile politician sexually assaulted her in the basement of a Capitol building in the summer of 1993. Biden flatly denies the charge.
It took nearly three weeks for the New York Times to grudgingly report this news. In an interview this week, Dean Baquet, the executive editor, admits applying vastly different and cautious reporting standards to Biden than the paper’s frenzied approach to then-Republican Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Baquet explained that the Grey Lady rushed to publish vicious accusations against Kavanaugh because, “Kavanaugh was already in a public forum in a large way” — unlike, say, the battle for the most powerful elected office in the world?
Most damning, Baquet admits to deleting from its belated coverage a reference to the multiple claims of sexual misconduct against Biden directly at the bidding of the Biden campaign. “[T]he campaign thought that the phrasing was awkward and made it look like there were other instances in which he had been accused of sexual misconduct.” Biden has been accused by seven other women of unwanted touching.
The Times asks in a headline, “What to Do With Tara Reade’s Allegation Against Joe Biden?” What it should have done all along: report the facts.