The New York Times apparently gave in to pressure from the Biden campaign to edit a story that ran over the weekend detailing the sexual assault allegations by Tara Reade against then-Senator Biden in 1993.
The story, which ran Easter Sunday on page A20 of the front section, originally said, “The Times found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden, beyond the hugs, kisses and touching that women previously said made them uncomfortable.” That sentence was deleted, as was a tweet saying the same thing, and the sentence, “The Times found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden.”
Executive Editor Dean Baquet gave a curious defense of the edits.
“Even though a lot of us, including me, had looked at it before the story went into the paper, I think that the campaign thought that the phrasing was awkward and made it look like there were other instances in which he had been accused of sexual misconduct,” he explained. “And that’s not what the sentence was intended to say.”
He added, “We didn’t think it was a factual mistake. I thought it was an awkward phrasing issue that could be read different ways and that it wasn’t something factual we were correcting. So I didn’t think that was necessary [to explain].”
Is he kidding? Many women have complained about Biden’s roaming hands and while it may not be “sexual assault” it’s certainly “sexual harassment.” Some men have been fired for less.
It should be noted that the Times covered the Tara Reade story for the first time over the weekend after every other major media outlet had already looked into it. They, too, gave the allegations short shrift — at least compared to the coverage of the Brett Kavanaugh allegations.
How about that, Mr. Baquet?
In explaining the editorial decisions that were put into the New York Times’s coverage of Reade’s allegations, the outlet also addressed comparisons to the newspaper’s treatment of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s accusers. Baquet said the paper published allegations against Kavanaugh the day they were made because the larger story of sexual assault was already present with previous accusations from Christine Blasey Ford.
“Kavanaugh was already in a public forum in a large way. Kavanaugh’s status as a Supreme Court justice was in question because of a very serious allegation. And when I say in a public way, I don’t mean in the public way of Tara Reade’s. If you ask the average person in America, they didn’t know about the Tara Reade case,” Baquet explained.
So the press gives little or no coverage to Tara Reade’s story and Baquet uses that absence of publicity to blandly claim that the American people don’t know about it!
Sating that “Kavanaugh was already in a public forum in a large way” is indescribably obtuse. I know Joe Biden is darn near invisible these days but wasn’t he already in a public forum by being the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democratic Party?
The Times report noted blandly that “the seven other women who had complained about Mr. Biden told the Times this month that they did not have any new information about their experiences to add, but several said they believed Ms. Reade’s account.” No further statements were elicited, in contrast to the lurid efforts to get supporting quotes for Ford from people who had never even met Kavanaugh. In fact, unlike Reade (for whom the Times was easily able to confirm her employment in Biden’s office), there was never any corroborating evidence produced that Ford had ever met Kavanaugh.
The Times asked Reade about “medium posts and tweets, several of which are now deleted, she had written praising President Vladimir Putin.” Its reporting was never similarly curious about why Ford had purged her social-media accounts. Nor did the Times ever report that Ford’s own lawyer admitted after the hearings that “part of what motivated Christine” was wanting to put “an asterisk next to his name.”
In order to have double standards, you have to have a standard in the first place. The New York Times has been biased in the past. But any stories that appear on the campaign from now on should be considered “in-kind” contributions to the Biden campaign.
If they’re calling the shots on what goes in the paper and what stays out, the Times has become a paid adjunct to the Biden for President campaign.