Your level of surprise at how quickly “Believe All Women” became “Believe Some Women” as soon as Tara Reade accused presumptive Democratic Party presidential nominee Joe Biden of sexual assault likely varied based on your political persuasion.
Reade is a longtime Democrat. She’s admittedly skeptical of Republican talking points. And yet, here she is, in the midst of a conspiracy of silence by the mainstream media, which would rather pretend this whole thing didn’t exist.
In short, Reade is now a believer in the idea that our country’s media organs have a distinct bias.
“I used to think that a Republican talking point was to call the mainstream media biased,” Reade told BuzzFeed in a profile about her attempts to get her allegation against Biden heard in the media.
“So I used to think, ‘Oh, that’s just a talking point for them. I don’t believe it.’ But now I’m living it [in] real time, and I see it — like, I see it for what it is. Because I am a Democrat, or I was. But now I’m not anything, really. I’m politically homeless.”
She’s not just being dramatic because it’s her story.
Biden’s appeared all over TV these past few weeks and hosted barren digital events where he answered questions from a selection of the people who bothered showing up.
But, as BuzzFeed noted, he was never asked tough questions about Tara Reade. When he finally was — on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” in an interview took place after the BuzzFeed article was published — the result was painful and indicative of a man who clearly hadn’t actually considered what to say when he was finally asked about it.
And then there’s the fact that numerous prominent Democratic Party politicians quickly came to the defense of Biden because, one suspected, he was their best chance of beating Donald Trump. Reade also noticed that she was given markedly different treatment than the women who accused Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.
“As Democrats came to Biden’s defense this month as an advocate for women — marking a turn for a party that has embraced the notion of ‘believing women’ as a baseline posture in the #MeToo era — Reade said she believes her story has been given short shrift compared to other accusations of sexual abuse against powerful figures,” BuzzFeed reported.
“She named as an example Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who said she was sexually assaulted by Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, then Trump’s nominee to the court. After seeing her story refracted through the lens of Political Twitter, Reade said in a series of interviews this month she’s felt ‘marginalized,’ ‘smeared,’ and ‘discounted’ — betrayed by Democrats she said she once admired.”
“It was really devastating when [Kirsten] Gillibrand and Stacey Abrams and Hillary Clinton, all on the same day, just basically implied my story wasn’t true and they believe Joe Biden. I can’t describe to you what that felt like,” Reade said.
Please listen. https://t.co/6VEumD93cM
— taratweets ( Alexandra Tara Reade) (@ReadeAlexandra) April 30, 2020
But the major issue has been the media coverage. She was able to get some exposure for her story via left-wing outlets like “Democracy Now!” and Katie Halper’s podcast, but it took The New York Times almost three to report on her accusation.
The executive editor of the paper, Dean Baquet, later explained that he was “not sure that doing this sort of straightforward news story would have helped the reader understand. Have all the information he or she needs to think about what to make of this thing.”
The end result of The Times’ investigation included a significant chunk of the story dedicated to sexual misconduct allegations levied against Trump, which was apparently necessary for you to “understand” Reade’s allegation.
This is your media, ladies and gentlemen. This is what conservatives have been saying for ages.
Until Mika Brzezinski (of all people) stepped up and finally asked Biden some uncomfortable questions about Reade, no one bothered to press the presumptive Democratic nominee on the credible sexual assault allegation that’s been levied against him.
BuzzFeed’s sub-headline for the story was this: “Reade, who has alleged Joe Biden assaulted her in 1993, believes the media is applying a double standard to her story and Democrats aren’t taking her seriously.”
I know they’re not exactly on our team, but they should come right out and say it: There’s no “belief” here. This is a double standard, full stop. Anyone who “believes” this is an open question isn’t looking at the facts.
Reade mentioned the three words that prove her case: Christine Blasey Ford.
Ford’s claim that Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her had less corroboration, and her story was far more protean than Reade’s.
Yet while Ford is regularly recognized for her “bravery,” Reade is getting attacked for her political beliefs (her support of Bernie Sanders and an ill-advised piece praising Vladimir Putin which she’s since disavowed).
If Ford had done similar things and Republicans had pointed it out, we’d be castigated to high heaven by the same media functionaries now picking apart Reade’s motives — when they address Reade’s claims at all.
It’s cliché because it’s accurate: If there weren’t double standards in the media, there’d be no standards. Tara Reade is finding that out in the most painful way possible.
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