So for today’s dose of Tara Reade-adjacent hypocrisy on the left, Time’s Up Tina Tchen appeared on MSNBC to praise presumptive Democratic Party presidential nominee Joe Biden.
I suppose it’s curious, if not hypocritical, to see the president of the most prominent anti-sexual harassment organization there is praising a guy who’s been accused by a former aide of committing sexual assault in the nation’s Capitol. The hypocrisy comes in because Time’s Up refused to back Reade because — get this one — the organization said taking a political stance would jeopardize its non-profit status.
The hits just keep on coming, don’t they? Let’s go back to March 24, a few days after the Reade story broke. Unless you paid attention to a few news sources — mostly Bernie boosters on the far left — you really didn’t hear much about it.
The Intercept was one of those sources. Yes, it’s often an echo chamber for those who want to hear about how important, brilliant, awesome, correct, stupendous, humble, decent and unsullied politicians like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former British Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn and especially any member of “the squad” are. However, The Intercept occasionally does journalism that — even if completely slanted and self-serving — no one else will do.
Like, for instance, covering Time’s Up’s refusal to give Reade legal backing.
In that March 24 article, The Intercept reported on how, when Reade wanted to share her story, she reached out to the organization for legal assistance.
The Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, The Intercept pointed out, “is set up as a 501(c)3 nonprofit housed within the National Women’s Law Center. It was launched in December 2017 and was the most successful GoFundMe in the site’s history, raising more than $24 million. Among the accusers backed so far by Time’s Up are some of those assaulted by Harvey Weinstein, as well scores of others with allegations against executives in male-dominated industries. The group has committed more than $10 million toward funding cases.”
Reade told The Intercept she talked to TIme’s Up in January and was encouraged. The group didn’t seem particularly dissuaded by several issues pro-Biden sources have brought up over the past few weeks to attack Reade: That she’d previously come forward and told the story in an incomplete form, saying that Biden had only sexually harassed her; that she’d praised Vladimir Putin in a Medium post; and that she was a Bernie Sanders supporter, which could indicate a political motive.
After a positive note was forwarded to attorneys for the organization, however, things took a turn.
“By February, she learned from a new conversation with Time’s Up, which also involved Director Sharyn Tejani, that no assistance could be provided because the person she was accusing, Biden, was a candidate for federal office, and assisting a case against him could jeopardize the organization’s nonprofit status,” The Intercept reported.
“On February 11, the NWLC program director wrote to Reade that she ‘wanted to let you know that after our conversation I talked further with our Director, Sharyn Tejani, about our ability to offer funding or public relations support in your case. Unfortunately, the Fund’s decision remains the same. … Please know how much I appreciate your courage in speaking out and appreciate what you shared over the phone, that you are speaking out so that your daughter and other young people can start their careers free of harassment.’”
Here’s what Maria Patrick, an NWLC spokeswoman, had to say about the Reade matter: “Our decision on whether or not to provide certain types of support to an individual should not be interpreted as our validation or doubt of the truthfulness of the person’s statements. Regardless, our support of workers who come forward regarding workplace sexual harassment remains unwavering.”
So Time’s Up can’t really take a position on Biden. Unless, you know, the president of the organization is making an appearance on MSNBC and she’s asked to take a position on Biden, in which case she’ll totally praise him for his “transparency.”
Tchen also happens to be a former insider in the Obama administration and even served as Michelle Obama’s chief of staff in the Obama White House before playing a key role in the Jussie Smollet affair in Chicago last year. Readers might recall the Obama administration was the one where Joe Biden was vice president.
“Biden has called for full transparency, he’s called for records to come out — that’s what needs to happen every time these issues come up, and I would suggest that it needs to happen with other candidates who are running for president,” Tchen said in a Friday appearance on the same network where Biden had, for the first time, addressed the allegations against him.
The problem is that Biden hadn’t actually called for complete transparency. In fact, he’d done nothing of the sort.
In one part of the interview that has to be seen to be believed — and may not be believed even then — Biden refused to say he’d open up his senatorial archives, currently housed at the University of Delaware, to permit a search for anything regarding Reade.
Here’s his initial response to that question, which I wish I could quote but I can’t because — well, take a look:
This is how Joe Biden reacted when he was asked if he would allow his University of Delaware papers to be searched for anything relating to Tara Reade and if found, released.
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) May 1, 2020
That wasn’t the Skype delay there.
So that’s the transparency that Tchen is praising. She also denied there was any kind of double standard in the media’s coverage of the allegations against Biden when compared to coverage of the allegations that threatened now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation in 2018.
“I think the media, throughout the movement for the last two years, I have to say, investigative journalism has done an incredible job in digging into claims and believing women and giving them at least a form in which their allegations can be heard and listened to and investigated,” Tchen said.
Right. It took The New York Times — regrettably seen as America’s “newspaper of record” — 19 days after Reade’s allegation to actually report on it.
MSNBC, generally seen as one of the tentpoles of the openly left media sphere, also wasn’t there the moment Reade made the allegation public, so there’s that.
Even now, MSNBC decided not to ask Tchen — a former aide in the Obama White House — about her organization’s decision not to provide legal representation to Reade, because, you know, shrug emoji.
As for Tchen or Time’s Up, let’s face facts here: This is tacitly supporting Joe Biden in the most blatant way possible without vocalizing open allegiance.
Any objective observer — or any subjective one, for that matter, angled toward supporting women who made sexual harassment claims — would have criticized aspects of both his performance that morning as well as the media’s abysmal coverage of Reade’s allegations.
That doesn’t mean that they would crucify Joe Biden, mind you, but this is — well, at least we can safely say all of that stuff about the organization’s nonprofit status was arrant piffle.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.