So the press has embarked on a scorched earth campaign against Reade, gleefully reporting how she’s had trouble making rent, misrepresented her college career, and may have embellished details about an undeniably violent and abusive relationship. No matter that no one has actually discredited the evidence backing the actual assault claim. The press can paint Reade as a poor, Putin-loving liar, and that’s good enough for them.

In the midst of this environment, Ben Smith came out of nowhere with a piece criticizing Farrow. Some of Smith’s critiques that Farrow failed to properly explicate his sourcing or explain context in his stories were valid, and one point attempting to exonerate Hillary Clinton’s dealings with Weinstein simply made no sense. But most glaring was his refusal to mention Farrow’s most faulty story, the bogus Ramirez allegation.

Whatever prompted the initial report, it can’t hurt Biden to have America’s most well-known reporter on sexual assault allegations against powerful men under fierce scrutiny.