The mainstream media has largely ignored the sexual assault claims of Tara Reade against Joe Biden. After Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination was nearly thwarted by 36-year-old allegations of sexual assault, the silence over 26-year-old allegations has been troubling. Every argument made to justify the coverage of Ford’s claims has been ignored regarding Reade’s claims. It was important to cover Ford’s claims because of the powerful position Kavanaugh was up for. Well, Joe Biden is up for the most powerful position in the country, so it stands to reason that the public deserves to know everything about Tara Reade’s allegations so they can be properly scrutinized.
The problem is that as time has passed, we’ve seen more evidence (circumstantial or otherwise) that Reade’s claims are credible than we ever had for Christine Blasey Ford’s claims. This makes the media’s refusal to give her claims any air time much more troubling.
To back up my point, here are five reasons Tara Reade’s claims against Joe Biden are more credible than Christine Blasey Ford’s claims against Brett Kavanaugh.
5. Reade a Democrat, accusing another Democrat
Christine Blasey Ford was a Democrat who came forward about a conservative judge nominated by the most hated man by Democrats for the highest court in the land. Almost everything about how she came forward was tainted by politics. Ford’s attorney, Deborah Katz, even admitted that they were motivated by Kavanaugh’s position on abortion and the power his vote would have in overturning Roe v. Wade.
Tara Reade was a former Democrat staffer. She’s not a Republican operative trying to take down the Democratic nominee. It’s safe to say that she aligns more politically with Joe Biden than Donald Trump, but here she is, coming forward with her allegations anyway. Unlike Christine Blasey Ford, she won’t be given celebrity status or win the ACLU’s “Courage” Award, or make the cover of TIME magazine.
Tara Reade won’t be making friends in high places over her allegations the way Christine Blasey Ford did. Reade knows this and came forward anyway. If Reade was a diehard Republican/Trump supporter making these claims there would be ample reason to be suspicious of them.
4. Reade worked for Biden, but there was no evidence Ford and Kavanaugh ever met
As Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino, authors of Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court wrote in The Federalist, “Apart from Ford’s claim, no evidence was ever provided that Ford and Kavanaugh had ever met, much less that the party she described had occurred, much less that the assault she described occurred.” They didn’t go to the same school, and no witnesses ever came forth saying they were ever at the same party.
Tara Reade, however, worked in Biden’s office between December 1992 and August 1993. This is not in doubt. There is far more evidence to support the fact that Reade had contact with Biden than Ford had contact with Kavanaugh.
3. Ford’s story changed, Reade’s has not
Christine Blasey Ford’s story seemed to evolve over time. Originally, she claimed that the assault she experienced happened in the mid-1980s, before changing it to the early 80s, to finally the summer of 1982.
She initially stated that the event occurred in the “mid-1980s” when texting The Washington Post hotline, then she told Sen. Dianne Feinstein that it occurred in the “early 80s,” and then finally she settled on the specific summer of 1982. According to her therapist’s notes, Ford said she was in her late teens when she was assaulted, which would have meant that Kavanaugh was in college at the time of the assault. Her story was changed, it seems, in order to make her story more plausible. It is even possible that the details were changed to reflect information described in the memoir of Kavanaugh’s high school friend Mark Judge.
2. Corroborating witnesses
Christine Blasey Ford named three witnesses she said could corroborate her story, but none of them did. All three of them submitted statements to the Senate Judiciary Committee denying any memory of the party or the alleged assault.
One of the alleged witnesses was her friend Leland Keyser, who said she was pressured by Christine Blasey Ford’s allies to change her story. Ford was unable to produce a single witness to back up her claim. She even claimed in her testimony that someone drove her home from the party, but she couldn’t say who that person was, and no one ever came forward saying they had driven her home. It’s reasonable to assume that Ford changed the timeline of the assault from the mid-80s to 1982 in order for the alleged assault to have taken place while Kavanaugh was in still in high school, but in doing so, that meant she wasn’t old enough to drive at the time, leaving a huge hole in her story.
Reade, however, told her mother, her brother, and two friends. Her mother passed away in 2016, but the rest verified being told by Reade about the incident, though one friend described it as sexual harassment, not assault. Reade also says she filed a sexual harassment claim at the time of the incident. She told Democracy Now! last month “I actually tried to tell the story to some extent in 1993, in the sense that I wanted to talk about it, but I was too afraid. My mother had encouraged me to file a police report, and I did not, and I should have. So I filed a sexual harassment claim, where just I filled out a paper and then did not hear back.”
1. The Larry King Live Tape
As time passed, Christine Blasey Ford’s story lost credibility. Between her changing story, the lack of corroborating witnesses, even huge holes in her testimony, it just felt more and more like a big whopper of a story.
The same cannot be said of Tara Reade’s story. Part of Reade’s story was that her mother called in to Larry King Live after the incident to ask for advice, and the Media Research Center quickly found a clip of the call verifying her claim and thus giving her entire story a significant boost in credibility.
The Larry King Live tape is almost the equivalent of the calenders that Brett Kavanaugh provided showing that he didn’t go to the party Christine Blasey Ford claims she was assaulted at. Kavanaugh said he wasn’t there and was able to provide evidence backing it up.
Even CNN had to finally acknowledge the Tara Reade story after that tape.
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