I continue to be somewhat stunned by the NY Times’ glaring hypocrisy over the sexual assault allegation against Joe Biden. Today, National Review published a piece titled “The New York Times Knows Nobody Believes It about Biden, Kavanaugh, and Sexual Assault” which highlights some additional reasons everyone should be upset (if not quite surprised) by the Times’ behavior. Author Dan McLaughlin points out that it wasn’t just the news division of the Times that pushed the allegations against Kavanaugh to the forefront, it was also the paper’s editorial page:
Kavanaugh-allegation coverage led the Times reporting for weeks after Ford’s charges, from poll analysis to Senate nose-counting to complaints about not having a more extensive FBI investigation to collecting reader suggestions on what questions Kavanaugh should answer. The Times editorial board ran editorials pushing Ford’s allegations and demanding a full airing on September 17, September 19, and September 27. Other opinion contributors piled on in droves.
Here are some highlights from the Times editorial on Sep. 17:
As in the case of so many he-said/she-said scenarios, there’s much we don’t know and probably never will with certainty. But there are two things we do know.
First, there is no upside for women who come forward with stories of sexual harassment or assault, especially when the accused is a famous or powerful man. It doesn’t matter how credible the story is. Simply by telling it, a woman can expect to be pilloried in the press and suffer far worse on social media, if not in real life…
Judge Kavanaugh’s defenders have already launched a fusillade of victim-blaming counterattacks, from the predictable to the preposterous:
She’s making it up. (If so, she doesn’t fit the profile of a false accuser.)…
The bottom line is that Brett Kavanaugh is up for a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land, and there is now a credible accusation of sexual assault against him.
Yes, and Joe Biden is up for the biggest job in the world and there is now a credible accusation of sexual assault against him. Moving on, here’s a bit from the Times’ editorial on Sep. 19:
What matters is that Dr. Blasey has made a serious, specific and credible allegation. Sure, Democrats may want to investigate that claim fully. But so should anyone concerned about protecting the Supreme Court’s integrity, not to mention the reputations of both Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Blasey…
Certainly there’s no statute of limitations preventing the committee from weighing allegations of attempted rape against a nominee to a lifetime seat on the highest court in the land. Besides, since Judge Kavanaugh has flatly denied the accusation, his honesty now — not as a teenager — is at issue.
Yes, and Joe Biden’s campaign has flatly denied the accusation against him, presumably at his direction. So his honestly now is at issue. And finally, here’s an excerpt from the Times’ editorial on Sep. 27 which was titled “Why Brett Kavanaugh Wasn’t Believable. And why Christine Blasey Ford was.”
Dr. Blasey bolstered her credibility not only by describing in harrowing detail what she did remember, but by being honest about what she didn’t — like the exact date of the gathering, or the address of the house where it occurred. As she pointed out, the precise details of a trauma get burned into the brain and stay there long after less relevant details fade away.
She was also honest about her ambivalence in coming forward. “I am terrified,” she told the senators in her opening remarks. And then there’s the fact that she gains nothing by coming forward. She is in hiding now with her family in the face of death threats.
For the Times, even the things Dr. Ford couldn’t remember further proved she was telling the truth. As for Dr. Ford having nothing to gain in coming forward, Ford’s attorney Deborah Katz later told a feminist legal theory conference, “When he takes a scalpel to Roe v. Wade, we will know who he is, we know his character, and we know what motivates him, and that is important; it is important that we know, and that is part of what motivated Christine.”
Having reviewed how the Times treated Dr. Ford and how it treated Brett Kavanaugh, now have another look at Baquet’s incredibly lame excuse for why the paper needed 19 days to cover the Tara Reade allegation:
I’ve been looking at The Times’s coverage of Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh. I want to focus particularly on the Julie Swetnick allegations. She was the one who was represented by Michael Avenatti and who suggested that Kavanaugh had been involved in frat house rapes, and then appeared to walk back elements of her allegations. The Times wrote that story the same day she made the allegation, noting that “none of Ms. Swetnick’s claims could be independently corroborated.”
Why was Kavanaugh treated differently?
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. So I thought in that case, if The New York Times was going to introduce this to readers, we needed to introduce it with some reporting and perspective. Kavanaugh was in a very different situation. It was a live, ongoing story that had become the biggest political story in the country. It was just a different news judgment moment.
This excuse is garbage for a number of reasons, starting with the fact that Biden is obviously the public figure in the Biden-Reade story. He is far better known than Judge Kavanaugh was at the time of his confirmation hearing. And it was a big story in no small part because the Times gave it a full court press with both news articles and editorials.
So where is the equivalent treatment for Biden and Tara Reade? Where is the editorial stating she has made a specific and credible allegation? Where is the statement that she gains nothing by coming forward? Where is the statement from the paper suggesting Biden’s election to the highest office in the land should be considered in light of this allegation? Where is the denunciation of suggestions Reade might be making this up? Where is the paper’s call for everyone who cares about the integrity of the White House to join in taking this seriously? Where is the statement that Biden’s denial puts his currently credibility at stake? In short, where is the treatment the Times gave Christine Blasey Ford?
It’s not here obviously, and given the 19 days it took the Times’ news division to even mention the allegation in print and the spin from some of its own columnists, it’s probably not coming anytime soon.