Election 2020

Virtual Blackout: Liberal TV Networks Bury Joe Biden Sex Scandal

Vice President Joe Biden, participates in a Democratic presidential primary debate at CNN Studios, Sunday, March 15, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is facing a growing sexual assault scandal, but Americans who only watch left-leaning TV networks may not have even heard about it. Biden’s former staffer Tara Reade went public with her claims on March 25, and since then new evidence has arisen, making her accusation far more credible than Christine Blasey Ford’s claims against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Yet left-leaning mainstream media outlets have nearly boycotted the story over the past month.

The Media Research Center (MRC) analyzed the news coverage on ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, and PBS between March 25 and April 27. During that month-plus period, these networks devoted a paltry 27 minutes and 31 seconds to Reade’s sexual assault allegations. By contrast, ABC, CBS, and NBC morning and evening news shows dedicated nearly six hours to Ford’s accusations against Kavanaugh in the twelve days after Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) went public that there was an unspecified allegation against the Supreme Court nominee.

ABC and NBC have not even spent one second on the Tara Reade story, however, according to MRC. CBS has devoted a paltry 63 seconds, while PBS gave the story seven minutes. CNN and MSNBC are all-day news networks, so they had more opportunity to cover the story, but they haven’t. MSNBC covered Tara Reade for four and a half minutes in mid-April, and CNN completely ignored the story until Saturday, when it dedicated 14 minutes and 54 seconds to it.

Perhaps these networks are too busy covering the coronavirus crisis to fit in a Joe Biden story? Hardly. Over the past month, ABC, NBC, CNN, and MSNBC all interviewed Biden on live TV, and no interview touched on the allegations. Out of 77 questions posed to the former vice president, not a single one involved Tara Reade’s claims.

CNN finally covered the story after The Intercept reported that Reade’s mother had called in to Larry King Live on August 11, 1993, to ask for advice on how to deal with the sexual assault her daughter allegedly suffered at the hands of Joe Biden. “I remember it being an anonymous call,” Reade told Ryan Grim.

The Media Research Center traced down that call, which confirms that Reade shared her story with her mother at the time of the assault.

When Ford accused Kavanaugh of having attempted to rape her at some vague point in the 1980s, she could not get one person to confirm her accusation — or even to say that Ford had been traumatized at the time. By contrast, Reade’s friend and her brother both confirmed to The Intercept that she had been torn up about Biden’s alleged abuse. Two more witnesses, a neighbor and a former coworker, also confirmed that the alleged victim had confided in them regarding the abuse.

While Ford was a liberal accusing a conservative who had been nominated for a high government position, Reade is a liberal accusing a fellow liberal who will likely be the only viable alternative to Donald Trump for the presidency.

This fact and these witnesses do not come close to proving Biden guilty, but they do add to the plausibility of the accusation. Specifically, Reade alleges that Biden shoved his hand under her skirt and penetrated her with his fingers in a Senate corridor. She filed a report with Washington, D.C., police earlier this month.

Tara Reade’s accusation may or may not be true, but it is a major news story regarding the presumptive nominee of one of America’s two major parties. It is utterly disgraceful for left-leaning news outlets to effectively bury the story. 

The pro-Biden bias at these TV news outlets isn’t exactly a secret. But when the same people who shouted “believe all women” at the top of their lungs during the Kavanaugh hearings are suddenly silent about sexual assault when a woman makes a far more credible claim against Joe Biden, Americans should be outraged.

Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.

Biden Sexual Assault Accuser Files Complaint with D.C. Police