Washington Post columnist and author Ruth Marcus, who literally wrote the book on believing allegations of sexual assault leveled against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh by accuser Christine Blasey Ford, now says that the concept of “#BelieveAllWomen” is dumb.
“Reflexive acceptance of any and all allegations of sexual misconduct against any man is not staunch feminism — it is dangerous credulity that risks doing terrible injustice to the accused,” Marcus wrote in Washington Post Op-Ed on Wednesday.
Marcus conceded that “#BelieveAllWomen was a dumb hashtag and a dumber approach to inevitably complex, fact-bound situations.”
The reason for this about-face has to do with the recent allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
According to The New York Times, former Biden aide Tara Reade, who was employed for a short time in his Senate office, alleged during a March 25 podcast interview that Biden pinned her against a wall and sexually assaulted her in 1993.
Marcus’ publication took three weeks to even report on the allegations, and her own lopsided treatment of the accusations against Biden versus those against Kavanaugh remains apparent.
Mollie Hemingway, a senior editor at The Federalist and Fox News contributor who wrote her own book about Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation fight, highlighted the double standard Thursday.
“Ruth Marcus, author of the two dramatically different pieces below, along with an anti-Kavanaugh book, was a major leader of the Washington Post’s all-hands-on-deck effort to destroy Brett Kavanaugh’s life using allegations that were far weaker than Tara Reade’s against Joe Biden,” Hemingway tweeted.
Ruth Marcus, author of the two dramatically different pieces below, along with an anti-Kavanaugh book, was a major leader of the Washington Post’s all-hands-on-deck effort to destroy Brett Kavanaugh’s life using allegations that were far weaker than Tara Reade’s against Joe Biden https://t.co/TCXINh4cJ0
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) April 16, 2020
Hemingway retweeted an image that contrasts the headline for one of Marcus’ pieces on Kavanaugh — “Does it matter what Kavanaugh did in high school? Well, yes.” — juxtaposed with the more meek headline for Wednesday’s Op-Ed on Biden’s accuser: “Assessing Tara Reade’s allegations.”
Marcus even acknowledged Wednesday that “Outrage over misbehavior only by those with whom we have ideological differences is not righteous — it is hypocritical.”
Marcus compared the arguments from Ford and Reade, but only found Reade more credible in one regard — that Reade told others about her claims around the time of the alleged assault. Yet Marcus also made sure to point out that “Ford said she took pains not to let family and friends know about the alleged assault.”
Despite the moment of clarity at the beginning of the piece, Marcus circled back to the conclusion that “The likelihood of definitive proof one way or another seems frustratingly low. My gut says that what Reade alleges did not happen.”
This stands in stark contrast to how she treated the Kavanaugh allegations, with Marcus even conceding that she “wrote a book that concluded [Ford] was telling the truth.”
Although Marcus pointed out that she knows there’s a possibility Reade is telling the truth, she made sure to conclude with this admonishment to Reade’s supporters: “Double standards work in both directions.”
Marcus is not the only pundit to express support for Ford, only to do an about-face when it came to believing Reade’s allegations.
Actress and liberal activist Alyssa Milano was an outspoken supporter of Ford in the midst of the Kavanaugh confirmation process.
Now that Biden, who she has endorsed for president, faces allegations of sexual assault, Milano suddenly wants to talk about the importance of due process for the accused.
“I explained my silence on the allegations against Joe Biden in this clip,” she tweeted earlier this month. “I am still endorsing @JoeBiden. Listen to this clip to find out why.”
I explained my silence on the allegations against Joe Biden in this clip.
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) April 6, 2020
“Really, we have to sort of societally change that mindset to believing women, but that does not mean at the expense of not giving men their due process,” she told talk show host Andy Cohen in the attached clip.
“I just don’t feel comfortable throwing away a decent man that I’ve known for 15 years in this time of complete chaos without there being a thorough investigation.”
It’s nice to see that due process is back in fashion again, but it’s highly questionable whether it will stick around for the next accused conservative.
In her Op-Ed, Marcus reiterated a quote from her book, “Supreme Ambition: Brett Kavanaugh and the Conservative Takeover,” claiming that Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court term “will forever have an asterisk attached.”
Maybe she should reserve the asterisk for #BelieveAllWomen, because despite her current moment of clarity, her past actions demonstrate that the standard only applies to women who accuse men on the political right.
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