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Why Are the Mainstream Media Ignoring Tara Reade’s Sexual Assault Accusation Against Joe Biden? (Reason)

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Why Are the Mainstream Media Ignoring Tara Reade’s Sexual Assault Accusation Against Joe Biden? – By Robby Soave (Reason) / March 30 2020

So far, it’s been silence from The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, and others.

On September 14, 2018, The New York Times reported the existence of an unverified sexual misconduct allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The story cited three people who had read a letter sent by the accuser—Christine Blasey Ford—to Sen. Diane Feinstein (D–Calif.). Ford was not interviewed for the story; indeed, she wasn’t named.

Unconfirmed reports of a teenaged Kavanaugh assaulting a teenaged Ford evidently merited coverage from The Times. This prompts an obvious question: Why is the paper of record now declining to publicize a very troubling allegation against former Vice President Joe Biden?

The Times is hardly alone in this regard. The mainstream media have remained bafflingly silent about Tara Reade, a former member of then-Senator Biden’s staff who claims that he sexually assaulted her in 1993. Reade’s name has only appeared twice in The Washington Post, and both were quick asides: A news roundup from April of last year briefly acknowledged an earlier, milder version of Reade’s accusation, and a recent rapid-fire Q&A asked a Post political reporter to weigh-in on the political ramifications “of the Tara Reade bombshell.” (The nature of the bombshell is not described.)

And while the coronavirus pandemic is obviously dominating news coverage, CNN has made plenty of time for Biden. Chris Cillizza is still ranking Biden’s potential veep choices, and the network conducted a virtual townhall event with the candidate last Friday. Reade’s name didn’t come up, and it has never appeared at CNN.com. At NBC, it’s the same story: Chuck Todd interviewed Biden but didn’t ask about the allegation.

Reade’s story has garnered some coverage elsewhere, most noticeably from The Hill and The Intercept. Some left-leaning news sites—The Huffington Post, Vox—have written about it, and of course conservative media are all over the story. But the biggest mainstream print and TV outlets are, at present, silent.

I am not the only one to notice this. The Columbia Journalism Review notes that “media outlets on both the left and the right have covered Reade’s claim, yet mainstream news organizations have mostly avoided it.” That article links to a piece in The Guardian—part of a recurring feature called “The Week in Patriarchy”—that suggests the media may be ignoring the story because Reade’s accusations will be “difficult to prove.” To its credit, the Guardian piece acknowledges that this would be inconsistent with how the Kavanaugh accusation was handled.

Continue to article: https://reason.com/2020/03/30/joe-biden-tara-reade-sexual-assault-media/

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