The debacle over Tara Reade’s allegations of sexual misconduct against former Vice President Joe Biden took a turn on Wednesday night. Mainstream media outlets have run interference for the former vice president, as Democrats turn a blind eye to Reade’s claims. The Washington Post was at the center of the Biden damage control effort:
Developments in allegations against Biden amplify efforts to question his behavior https://t.co/OWXvnKzvvN— Post Politics (@postpolitics) April 28, 2020
WaPo’s editorial board pivoted from the paper’s original tone toward Reade’s allegations, and now calls on the former vice president to directly address Reade’s claims. Thus far, Biden’s campaign has categorically denied the charges, while Biden’s confidants keep the former vice president hidden from scrutiny. Also hidden is the entirety of then-Senator Biden’s records related to his career in the upper chamber, which totaled 36 years; information confirming Reade’s story, or proving it to be false, could be present in the records, as WaPo notes:
“These could contain confirmation of any complaint Ms. Reade made, either through official congressional channels or to the three other employees she claims she informed not specifically of the alleged assault but more generally of harassment. They could also contain nothing of the sort. Insisting on an inventory doesn’t mean one believes Ms. Reade or doesn’t believe her. It signals only a desire for the public to know all that’s able to be known, which ought to be in everyone’s interest,” the editorial board writes.
The board also addressed Biden’s silence in particular; the candidate himself has not said a word, or been asked a single question about, Reade’s claims, despite claiming to believe and respect women who make such allegations:
“Mr. Biden may have little to say besides what his campaign has already said — that he did not do this, and that this is not something he ever would do. Yet the way to signal he takes Ms. Reade’s case seriously, and the cases of women like her seriously, is to go before the media and the public ready to listen and to reply.”
The Biden campaign sent another set of instructive talking points to campaign surrogates, after the first set was published on Monday.
The Biden campaign sent another set of talking points on Tara Reade to surrogates this week as new details emerged and Dems grapple with how to handle the accusations. Campaign says Larry King video “does not corroborate” assault claim. https://t.co/OUlushSozo pic.twitter.com/JprSwYgFFJ— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) April 29, 2020
The former vice president’s advisors tell allies to insist that major news organizations, including WaPo and The New York Times, have deemed Biden innocent, but NYT refutes the Biden campaign’s claim that the newspaper exonerated him:
A New York Times spokesperson says Biden campaign talking points “inaccurately” suggest that the Times investigation found that Tara Reade’s allegation “did not happen.” Response to this scoop from @rubycramer @RosieGray https://t.co/ZUD6f2WSEE pic.twitter.com/LNaHvH0ZxF— Jonathan Easley (@JonEasley) April 29, 2020
The former vice president cannot hide from these allegations until November, and given his previous rhetoric on this issue and commitment to believing women, Biden should address Reade’s claim directly.
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