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Tipsheet

Less Than Two Years After Attempting to Derail Kavanaugh's Confirmation, NYT Declares Biden Innocent

AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File

The New York Times published a lengthy assessment of the sexual assault allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden Sunday morning made by his former Senate aide Tara Reade; NYT and other mainstream outlets had thus far remained silent on Reade’s claims.

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The extensive write-up was nothing more than a lengthy cover for the presumed Democratic nominee. The NYT concluded that Biden’s accuser is not credible on the grounds that Biden’s campaign denied the claim and that former colleagues from then-Senator Biden’s office were unaware of Reade’s alleged experience.

"The Times interviewed Ms. Reade on multiple days over hours, as well as those she told about Mr. Biden’s behavior and other friends. The Times has also interviewed lawyers who spoke to Ms. Reade about her allegation; nearly two dozen people who worked with Mr. Biden during the early 1990s, including many who worked with Ms. Reade; and the other seven women who criticized Mr. Biden last year, to discuss their experiences with him...No other allegation about sexual assault surfaced in the course of reporting, nor did any former Biden staff members corroborate any details of Ms. Reade’s allegation. The Times found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden," the article reads.

The NYT’s assessment could not be more staunchly different from the same newspaper’s handling of the allegations launched against then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation to the Supreme Court. Absent any nuance or regard for due process, The Times ran with the claims against Kavanaugh at the first sign of controversy. On account of vigorously defending himself and his stellar record of public service while testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, The NYT declared Kavanaugh “not believable."

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"Judge Kavanaugh’s defiant fury might be understandable coming from someone who believes himself innocent of the grotesque charges he’s facing. Yet it was also evidence of an unsettling temperament in a man trying to persuade the nation of his judicial demeanor," The NYT wrote in a September 2018 editorial.

The NYT also irresponsibly ran with allegations that followed Dr. Ford’s claims, championed by ultra-credible, attention-seeking Michael Avenatti, who was eventually indicted on extortion charges. Any reasonable person paying attention to the confirmation could conclude that these charges, including "gang rape" on a boat, were part of a politically motivated scheme spearheaded by Avenatti in an attempt to torpedo Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Due process is not a political pawn to be used at convenience, but rather a fundamental tenet of the American judicial system. The accused have the benefit of presumed innocence until proven otherwise, regardless of ideology; likewise, those who come forward and make claims deserve to be heard. The NYT gets this basic legal procedure wrong in the cases of Kavanaugh and Biden. The once-objective newspaper presumed Kavanaugh’s guilt and the one hundred percent credibility of the allegations against him and then did a 180-degree spin for the handling of similar allegations against Biden. Both men deserved the presumption of innocence, while the claims merited investigation; in the peak of partisanship, only the public official who identifies as a Democrat was given the presumption of innocence. Indeed, The NYT and others covering for Biden also do a disservice to Tara Reade, who brought her story, and therefore herself, into the public spotlight. As Senate Republicans granted Dr. Ford in the fall of 2018, Reade deserves to tell her story without fear or repercussions. Her claims should be weighed with evidence and corroboration, just as Senate Republicans treated the claims against Kavanaugh before eventually concluding that the severe lack of evidentiary support and corroboration was not sufficient enough to torpedo Kavanaugh's confirmation, who boasted an otherwise pristine record of public service. Unlike the claims against Kavanaugh, Reade’s allegation against Biden is corroborated by family members, while the charges against Kavanaugh could not be substantiated at all, even by those allegedly present in the situation. 

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The Times was blatantly running interference for Democrats in the Senate in the fall of 2018, joining the attempt to keep a well-qualified conservative jurist off of the bench of the highest court. Less than two years later, The NYT is still doing damage control for Democrats, as the assumed nominee for president faces graphic allegations of the very sexual misconduct crimes he claims to be so opposed to.

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