The national media are nothing if not predictable, and predictable is exactly how they’ve been on the story of Tara Reade, a former Senate staffer of Joe Biden’s who has accused the presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee of a sexual assault, which she says occurred in 1993.
Reade went public with her allegation March 25. But in contrast with how they covered the unsubstantiated sexual assault allegations against then-Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, It took the New York Times 19 days to file their first report on the story.
The Washington Post’s report came after the Times’. CNN’s came after the Washington Post’s.
All three ran wall-to-wall, non-stop real-time coverage, analyses, and commentary on the allegations against Kavanaugh in 2018. Even their straight news reporting was done in real time as “new information” surfaced about Kavanaugh’s alleged behavior during his college days.
The steady drumbeat at the time was that we must “believe all women.”
Contrast their minute-by-minute coverage of the Kavanaugh allegations with the extraordinary amount of time they took to report on the allegation against Biden. And not just the time it took to report on them, but the sheer volume of reports that were published/aired about Kavanaugh in contrast to the allegation against Biden.
For example, according to an analysis done by The Federalist’s senior editor Mollie Hemingway, CNN published over 700 pieces on Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. As of this past weekend, the number of CNN reports on Reade and Biden stood at one.
CNN’s story framing was predictable. Was it framed as a detailed examination of the facts as we know them so far? No. The story was framed in terms of how Democrats were “grappling” with the allegations. Here’s the headline:
“Democrats grapple with questions about Tara Reade’s sexual assault allegation against Joe Biden.”
In the New York Times coverage, Twitter users noticed stealth edits were made to it without informing readers. This paragraph was what was originally published:
“No other allegation about sexual assault surfaced in the course of our reporting, nor did any former Biden staff corroborate Reade’s allegation. We found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Biden, beyond hugs, kisses and touching that women previously said made them uncomfortable.”
But guess what? The “beyond hugs, kisses and touching that women previously said made them uncomfortable” was taken out. When pressed as to why, the Times’ executive editor Dean Baquet actually admitted it was removed because the Biden campaign complained about it. Here’s what he said:
“Even though a lot of us, including me, had looked at it before the story went into the paper, I think that the campaign thought that the phrasing was awkward and made it look like there were other instances in which he had been accused of sexual misconduct. And that’s not what the sentence was intended to say.”
What made it even worse was there were other instances where Biden had been accused of sexual misconduct. Multiple women, including a former Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor of Nevada, stepped forward last year and accused Biden of inappropriate touching.
The Washington Post’s coverage mirrored the Times’, with the difference being the Post going the “whataboutism” route by noting past allegations against President Trump.
Liberal Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus, who believed Ford’s allegations against Kavanaugh so much that she wrote a book about them, summed it up best by admitting what many of us have known all along about the national media and their “Believe All Women” double standards: “#BelieveAllWomen was a dumb hashtag and a dumber approach to inevitably complex, fact-bound situations.”
In other words, now that a Democrat stands accused, the media must return to the due process standards they did not observe when the accused was a Republican.
Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym Sister Toldjah, and is a regular contributor to RedState and Legal Insurrection.