It isn’t particularly unusual that a New York Times reader, in response to the paper’s rather lenient editorial request to have the Democratic National Committee investigate Tara Reade’s allegation of sexual assault against presumptive Democratic Party presidential nominee Joe Biden, might write a letter to the editor which includes the line, “I don’t want an investigation. I want a coronation of Joe Biden.”
It’s a bit more unusual when that reader’s letter is printed.
The New York Times still has standards. They’re entirely backward standards — standards which would have the paper operate under the utterly misguided assumption that the DNC could effectively investigate its own nominee and vouchsafe to us there was nothing to the charges.
They’re still standards, though, and they’re the kind of standards that wouldn’t usually let a letter to the editor get published which essentially said the Democratic Party might be nominating a sexual predator, but it’s a sexual predator we can all get behind.
It’s incredibly unusual — and telling — when that New York Times reader is a former New York Times reporter.
Martin Tolchin apparently isn’t very happy something might spoil Biden’s path to the White House, including a former aide’s allegation that Biden sexually assaulted her.
“I totally disagree with this editorial. I don’t want an investigation. I want a coronation of Joe Biden,” Tolchin wrote in a letter published Monday.
“Would he make a great president? Unlikely. Would he make a good president? Good enough. Would he make a better president than the present occupant? Absolutely,” it continued.
Yes, but the accusation here is that, in 1993, Biden pushed Reade up against a wall and digitally penetrated her against her will. One would think that an investigation would be the slightest bit of justice we could do the allegation.
That’s not terribly a concern for Tolchin, though.
“I don’t want justice, whatever that may be. I want a win, the removal of Donald Trump from office, and Mr. Biden is our best chance,” the letter continued.
This isn’t, by the way, because of the fact he doesn’t think there’s any possibility Reade’s allegation is true. In fact, he’s afraid it is: “Suppose an investigation reveals damaging information concerning his relationship with Tara Reade or something else, and Mr. Biden loses the nomination to Senator Bernie Sanders or someone else with a minimal chance of defeating Mr. Trump. Should we really risk the possibility?”
So yes, it’s a sad state of affairs when Mr. Tolchin’s letter finds its way into the august pages of The New York Times. As it turns out, he’s a bit of an insider on the Hill — so much so that he literally helped found the news outlet The Hill after he left The Times.
Here was the disclosure note after Tolchin’s letter: “The writer is a former reporter for The New York Times, a founder and editor in chief of The Hill, and was an adviser during the pre-launch phase of Politico. His views are his own.”
Yes, one would hope so. By publishing it, The Times has made me more than a bit uncertain.
Is The New York Times exposing an ugly strand of thinking by publishing a thoroughly ugly letter? I somewhat doubt it, particularly in a paper not known for leaving a whole lot to morality in the Trump era.
Is its editorial board thoroughly unaware of its profound ugliness? By at least presenting this letter to us as a viable reaction to their editorial, one more than suspects that.
To be fair, The Times would have done Tolchin an enormous kindness by keeping this out of their pages in more ways than one: Tolchin is 91, which is perhaps past the age when he should have his letters to the editor automatically published no matter what the contents might be.
If they’re assuming he’s still in compos mentis, then, what are we also assuming about what Tolchin — and indeed, the slice of the left that found this entirely rational enough to pass along to their readers, even if they found it ugly — had to say?
For over four years, from the moment the man who would become our president came down the escalator at Trump Tower, the right was told it must disown President Trump because of his personal failings.
This, mind you, was before the “Access Hollywood” video and accusations of sexual misconduct came along. If you were conservative — and especially Christian and conservative — you had to vote against your interests if Trump became the nominee simply because of the man who Trump was.
For that period, the left has patted itself on the back for its moral rectitude. The right had no place to talk anymore, even if they personally disapproved of Trump’s lifestyle choices or disbelieved the accusations against him.
Now it’s not even a matter of disbelieving Reade’s accusations. Tolchin is afraid we might find something that could make him believe them — or, perhaps more importantly, make other people believe them. To Tolchin, it doesn’t make a bit of difference whether or not Reade is telling the truth.
In other words, the left is using the same logic they think Christian conservatives use to unethically stomach Trump to actually unethically stomach Biden, all because he would “make a better president than the present occupant.” And they’ll pat themselves on the back for doing so.
“Believe all women,” indeed. The left doesn’t care about women. All it does is care about politics.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.