“…an unpalatable situation”
By Andrea Germanos
Common Dreams (4/28/20)
Former Vice President Joe Biden is facing a growing demand to address the credible sexual assault allegation made by former Senate staffer Tara Reade as the Democratic Party itself faces accusations of hypocrisy in terms of the #MeToo movement.
“We have reached a point where it is journalistic malpractice for anyone interviewing Biden to refuse to ask him about Tara Reade’s allegations, the mounting supporting evidence in her case and the numerous other allegations of his misconduct toward women,” author and The Intercept co-founder Jeremy Scahill tweeted on Tuesday.
The increased pressure on Biden and his party comes as new reporting this week and last further corroborated Reade’s account of the alleged 1993 attack, which Reade first detailed in full on journalist Katie Halper’s podcast last month.
While Biden’s presidential campaign has said the accusations are false, the deeper scrutiny into the case has made the silence of the candidate himself and many of his supporters all the more problematic for those in Democratic Party circles who in recent years have championed the #MeToo movement, which has as one of its central tenets the responsibility to take seriously such accusations by women against powerful men.
“This happened, and I know it did because I remember talking about it,” Lynda LaCasse told Business Insider of the alleged attack.
LaCasse was Reade’s neighbor in the mid 1990s and told the Insider that Reade shared details of the event in question with her in 1995 or ’96.
“I remember her saying, here was this person that she was working for and she idolized him,” LaCasse told the outlet. “And he kind of put her up against a wall. And he put his hand up her skirt and he put his fingers inside her. She felt like she was assaulted, and she really didn’t feel there was anything she could do.”
Lorraine Sanchez, a former legislative staffer in Sen. Jack O’Connell’s office, also backed up Reade’s accusation.
“[Reade said] she had been sexually harassed by her former boss while she was in DC,” Sanchez told Insider, “and as a result of her voicing her concerns to her supervisors, she was let go, fired.”
Audio that resurfaced last week also backs up Reade’s claim. As Ryan Grim reported at The Intercept, Reade’s mother called in to “Larry King Live” on August 11, 1993 to talk about how her daughter had suffered at the hands of a powerful boss and had no recourse other than the press.
“My daughter has just left there, after working for a prominent senator, and could not get through with her problems at all, and the only thing she could have done was go to the press, and she chose not to do it out of respect for him,” said the anonymous woman, whom Reade confirmed to Grim was her mother.
Major obstacle for Democrats
With Biden now the presumptive nominee, the accusations have exposed a major obstacle for Democrats eager to defeat President Donald Trump—himself accused by dozens of women of sexual harassment and assault.
Writing for The Cut, journalist Rebecca Traister said the entire situation is a “grievous mess,” one that has put Democratic women and other feminists in a nearly impossible position.
“Now that he is the presumptive choice, [Biden] may in fact be the only presidential bulwark against Donald Trump, who is both murderous and incompetent and whose reelection would lead to further cataclysmic collapse of our environment, health-care system, courts, and democracy, with fatal results that will redound more negatively to women than to men and most negatively of all to women with the fewest resources. In the fight to prevent this, Biden and his campaign will be calling on women — especially the women who have challenged him in the past, including on feminist grounds—to help him build support by rallying other women around him. That rallying will now have to entail somehow papering over the disgust and dismay provoked by multiple allegations of inappropriate touching and alleged assault made against yet another would-be president.”
Traister specifically tackles the issue of what the accusations will mean for Biden’s pick for vice president—who he said will be a woman—but others said the implications go beyond that for the Democratic presumptive nominee …
Journalists Need to Do their Job: Tara Reade Deserves To Be Heard
In the dozen media events (including a town hall) since the story broke, not a single reporter has asked him about it.
By Katie Halper
The Guardian (4/24/20)
Critics of Tara Reade – the woman who has accused Joe Biden of sexually assaulting her in 1993, when she was a staff assistant in his Senate office – claim that if her story were credible she would have told it sooner; and the mainstream media would have covered it. In fact, as her tweets and emails to reporters, media outlets, politicians and organizations demonstrate, Reade has been trying to tell her story for nearly a year, but was ignored or turned away. That is why she wound up telling her story publicly for the first time to me on my podcast.
Americans will be asked to choose between two candidates, both of whom face credible allegations of sexual assault. Nobody is more upset about this than Tara Reade: “I tried so hard to be heard when there were 20 Democrats running.”
I’m an independent writer and podcaster. I don’t hide my politics, nor am I an “objective” investigative reporter with the resources of a legacy publication. But in March, a friend, herself a sexual assault survivor, said she’d spoken to a woman named Tara Reade, who had told her a credible story about being sexually assaulted by Joe Biden and asked me to speak with her. I agreed to speak to Reade and the people she said she’d told about the alleged assault at the time, and if her story seemed credible, I’d do my best to put her in touch with a journalist who could do her story justice. I spoke to Reade and her confidants, and reviewed documents. There seemed much to Reade’s story, and I moved ahead to find her help.
The Intercept’s Ryan Grim, who broke the Christine Blasey Ford allegation against Brett Kavanaugh, was already working on a piece on Reade focused on Time’s Up – the not-for-profit founded to support women in telling their #MeToo stories – and its refusal to help her. I reached out to mainstream reporters but no one bit. Rightwing reporters were showing interest in the story, but neither I nor Reade, a lifelong Democrat who identifies as a progressive feminist, wanted her story and the #MeToo movement weaponized to help Trump. Because I believed Reade – and because no one else she had reached out to had agreed to interview her – I released my interview a day after Grim published his article.
In her own words
You can hear and read Reade’s heart-wrenching account yourself, but to summarize her claims: she says she brought Joe Biden his gym bag as she’d been instructed. The two of them were alone and that is when she says “he just had me up against the wall and his hands were on me and underneath my clothes. And then he went down my skirt, but then up inside it and he penetrated me with his fingers … Everything shattered in that moment.” …
- Our Favorite Media Screw-Ups With Katie Halper: Media Dismisses Tara Reade — Krystal and Saagar look back at this week’s media missteps with Host of The Katie Halper Show Podcast, Katie Halper. Highlights include the mainstream media’s coverage of Tara Reade, and The View’s defense of Nancy Pelosi’s ice cream fiasco. Link To 11-Minute Video
How Democrats Blew Up #MeToo
It’s worth noting that what Biden is accused of is, if anything, even worse than the Kavanaugh story.
By Ryan Cooper
The Week (4/27/20)
The #MeToo movement has brought to light a quiet epidemic of sexual harassment and assault going back generations. Movie moguls, famous celebrities, and politicians have seen their careers go up in flames after credible accusations of sexual misconduct. It has been a painful, long-overdue reckoning, and perhaps the dawning of a more just age.
Now Democrats are set to blow a hole in the movement with their probable nomination of former Vice President Joe Biden for president. Biden faces a credible accusation of serious sexual assault, but Democrats are plowing ahead regardless. If he actually is nominated, a tremendous amount of the work of #MeToo will be undone. …