In the #MeToo era, we’re supposed to be better than this. But here we are again, the Democratic establishment and mainstream media doing for Joe Biden what they did for Bill Clinton throughout the ’90s: deflect, deny and defend their guy against a credible sex assault accusation — simply because he’s their guy.
It’s been disgusting and dispiriting to watch the treatment of Tara Reade, a former Biden staffer who alleges that, as a member of his staff in 1993, the senator pinned her against a wall in a quasi-private hallway, stuck his hand underneath her skirt and shoved his fingers inside her.
Reade says that when she pushed back, Biden said, “Aw, man, I heard you liked me,” then put his finger in her face and said, “You’re nothing to me,” before roughing her by the shoulders and telling her. “You’re OK, you’re fine” and walking off.
Four other sources, only one who asked to remain anonymous, have independently confirmed that Reade disclosed the alleged assault to each of them at the time or, in one case, a few years later. One of those sources, a 60-year-old former emergency-room clerk named Lynda LaCasse, told Business Insider that she herself is a Biden supporter.
“I personally am a Democrat, a very strong Democrat,” LaCasse said. “And I’m for Biden regardless. But I still have to come out and say this.”
How many Dems will remain for Joe as the story behind the story unfolds? Note that on Sunday, April 12, Biden’s campaign operatives called up the New York Times and demanded that the paper drop the part of this sentence in bold here: “The Times found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden, beyond the hugs, kisses and touching that women previously said made them uncomfortable.”
And guess what? The Times did! A factual, irrefutably true statement, video and testimonials all over the Web for us to cringe-watch, creepy behavior by a powerful man in public, in front of cameras and often these women’s husbands — yet the New York Times pays fealty to their guy.
In doing so, the Times told women their humiliations don’t matter. The publication that shared a Pulitzer for its #MeToo reporting made it clear that there’s one standard for their side, another for conservatives.
And to address the what-about-ism argument: Yes, Donald Trump has female accusers, too. Guess what? They get the covers of magazines (E. Jean Carroll, New York) or segments on “60 Minutes” with star anchor Anderson Cooper (Stormy Daniels) — to say nothing of the way the media indicted Brett Kavanaugh, before his confirmation hearing, on a much flimsier accusation.
There should be no greater get right now than Tara Reade.
But, on Thursday, Reade told the Times that the only mainstream TV news outlet to reach out has been Fox News, which plans to air their exclusive interview with her this weekend. Her very valid fear: that speaking to a conservative outlet, her only option, will get her further sidelined by a liberal media obsessed with ousting President Trump.
Meanwhile, as of Thursday, according to the Times, CNN was only covering the story online. Reade told the Times that she e-mailed #MeToo warrior Ronan Farrow “like four times to the point of stalking.” (Farrow is now on the story.) Vanity Fair rejected the deep dive by Rich McHugh that gave further credence to Reade’s claims; that story was picked up by Business Insider.
#FireChrisHayes began trending on Twitter last month after the smug MSNBC host dared to say on TV that Reade had become more credible in his view. (Nothing paternalistic about that.) Still, it tells you exactly who MSBNC’s audience is: sanctimonious liberals who insist their team would never — so don’t even mention it.
Credit where it’s due: On Friday, MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski went after Biden, who was clearly hoping for a soft landing at a friendly network. Instead, she pressed him on why Reade would subject herself to national humiliation, why Biden said Christine Blasey Ford should be believed but not Reade, and how Biden can stand by his statement that all women should be believed — just not this one.
“It never, ever happened,” Biden said. Interestingly, he used distancing language when addressing Reade’s claim — he never said, “I didn’t do that,” or “I would never do that,” or “I would never attack a woman.”
Just that “it,” whatever it is, never happened.
If Joe says it’s so, it’s so! And back into the basement he slunk.
Meanwhile, the Dem establishment is marshaling their greatest resource: prominent women willing to defend terrible men for an ostensibly greater good (see: Ted Kennedy, unrepentant killer of Mary Jo Kopechne but fabulous on legislating women’s rights; Bill Clinton, credibly accused rapist and serial sexual harasser, same).
So here comes Nancy Pelosi, “satisfied” with Biden’s non-response response; media darling Stacey Abrams — not that she has an agenda at all, having publicly begged for his VP slot — asserting that “Biden is telling the truth and this did not happen.”
And the party’s ne plus ultra of the traitorous “nuts-and-sluts” defense, Hillary Clinton, came forward with her impeccable combination of excellent timing and feminist empathy to endorse Biden this week as, yes, a champion for women — “exemplifying,” she said, compassion and caring.
Will the mainstream media once again allow a Democratic presidential candidate to shape the narrative, dismiss and disregard an inconvenient woman? Who among the party’s leaders will dare defend Reade as they did Christine Blasey Ford?
Biden has infamously promised his VP slot to a woman. Once a patronizing prize, that slot is now a radioactive cesspit. Any woman who would consider joining this ticket — hired, really, as a human shield — should ask themselves: Is it worth it?
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