Last month, the sexual assault allegations of former Biden staffer Tara Reade against the presumptive Democratic nominee started getting covered in conservative media. The mainstream media ignored it, of course, but conservative outlets were all over it. Why not? They were a few decades old, sure, but after the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation debacle, anything was on the table, right? If a man’s Supreme Court nomination could be nearly thwarted by weak allegations from over thirty years prior, these allegations, regardless of their veracity, deserved to be examined in the public eye. After all, Joe Biden is running for president, and these allegations ought to be scrutinized.
Except at the time, I wasn’t interested. I didn’t want to play that game that liberals so often play: take a weak allegation, assume it’s true and give it as much exposure as possible. I didn’t want to be a part of that. I assumed at the time the allegations were likely not true, and it wasn’t worth possibly contributing to nearly destroying Biden’s life the same way the left and the media nearly did with Brett Kavanaugh.
Of course, the left was less than thrilled with Reade, despite the #MeToo movement and the whole #BelieveWomen thing. Of course, that was to be expected. The left is always skeptical of allegations made against Democrats because they are politically inconvenient. Liberals have a sad history of standing by prominent Democrats accused of sexual misconduct.
I just didn’t want to touch the story until I was convinced that it could be true.
But then, something interesting happened. As much as I’d dismissed the allegations at first and chose not to write about them, I found it harder and harder to dismiss the story as another bogus claim like Christine Blasey Ford’s, or any of the other bogus allegations made against Brett Kavanaugh. The more I learned about Tara Reade’s allegations, the more solid they seemed.
As PJM’s Tyler O’Neil noted, “Reade filed a complaint at the time [of the incident], and told her mother, her brother, and a friend who worked in Sen. Ted Kennedy’s office.” And then there’s the fact that Reade said her mother called in anonymously to the Larry King Live show to get advice on what her daughter could do about a situation involving a prominent U.S. senator without going to the media. This was ultimately corroborated by video archives of the show.
Decades-old allegations are risky business. As I was originally skeptical of the allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, I felt it was appropriate to treat the allegations against Joe Biden with similar skepticism. As time passed, it became clearer that the allegations against Kavanaugh were bogus, but the allegations against Biden have largely held up to scrutiny—so much so that there are some on the left who are starting to come around, and Bernie Sanders supporters appear to be behind an effort to prevent Biden from becoming the nominee. Bernie’s former press secretary claims “there’s all kinds of whispers and rumors about whether or not something might happen at the convention, which might mean Joe Biden isn’t even the nominee.” The Tara Reade allegations were mentioned as part of the reason.
Even CNN finally ended their on-air silence about the allegations—even if they attempted to downplay them. The allegations have become harder for the liberal media to sweep under the rug because they have been buttressed by new information—not refuted. Sure, the Biden campaign denies the allegations, and CNN made an effort to ignore the fact that Reade has corroborating witnesses, but her story is holding up, and that’s before you even take Biden’s well-documented creepy behavior into account.
The double standard of the media is obvious. We didn’t need the Tara Reade story to prove that. But, her story got a significant boost from the Larry King Live recording supporting her original story, and that was clearly enough for CNN to finally address it. Her allegations can’t be swept under the rug forever. The only reason they haven’t faded away is that her claims have only gotten stronger, not weaker, as time has passed.
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis