Two things happened in the press this weekend related to Tara Reade’s recent accusations of sexual assault against Joe Biden, one somewhat less remarkable than the other. The more remarkable event was the fact that the New York Times finally published a story about the allegations. (Keep in mind that Reade originally made the claim on March 25th and it’s now April 13th.) To their credit, they included most of the details of what she was claiming.
In what was probably the less shocking event regarding this story, they quickly moved to edit out one part of a key sentence that painted Biden in a less than flattering light. Fox News has the details.
The New York Times stealth-edited its article on the sexual-assault allegation against Joe Biden by his former Senate staffer Tara Reade just minutes after it was published on Sunday morning, removing all references in a key paragraph to the multiple past accusations by seven women that the former vice president had touched them inappropriately…
According to a copy of the Times’ article saved by the Internet archive Wayback Machine, the Times originally reported: “No other allegation about sexual assault surfaced in the course of reporting, nor did any former Biden staff members corroborate any details of Ms. Reade’s allegation. 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 paragraph now reads: “No other allegation about sexual assault surfaced in the course of reporting, nor did any former Biden staff members corroborate any details of Ms. Reade’s allegation. The Times found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden.”
Perhaps even more embarrassing for the Gray Lady was the fact that they had tweeted out the offending sentence when the article was published. It apparently took others pointing this out on Twitter before the editors rushed to delete the tweet without making any reference to the fact that they were doing so.
When some of us were discussing this turn of events on social media yesterday, I posed the question of what the style guide and editorial standards at the Times have to say about this. Once an article is published, if it is later edited, they’re supposed to include an editor’s note at the bottom indicating what was changed in the original version of the article and why. There is no such note in the current version of the article, so this was a definite and obvious “stealth edit” intended to flush the offensive language down the memory hole.
And what possible, reasonable excuse could be offered for making this change? The offending text read, “beyond the hugs, kisses and touching that women previously said made them uncomfortable.” That can’t be viewed as inaccurate in any way. Even the New York Times has been forced to reluctantly report on these incidents in the past, involving God only knows how many women at this point. Videos of “Creepy Joe Biden” take up a significant slice of entries on YouTube and most media outlets.
That portion of the paragraph that silently vanished was neither inaccurate nor inapplicable to the story being covered. There was absolutely no reason for it to be removed other than a blatant effort to offer cover to Biden and avoid damaging his chances to defeat Donald Trump in November. This shameful behavior by a newspaper that’s supposedly one of the preeminent news sources on the planet would be shocking if we didn’t already know about the liberal bias that overwhelms their newsroom.
Of course, as I pointed out on Twitter last night, we should give some credit to the New York Times. They at least mentioned that Tara Reade is an actual person who exists. Several weeks after the allegations were made, a search of CNN’s website for her name still produces zero results.