Yesterday I attempted to explore the curious story of how Google Play failed to list the August 11, 1993 episode of Larry King Live where Tara Reade’s mother almost certainly called in to complain about the “problems” her daughter encountered while working for a “prominent senator.” The fact that it’s missing, combined with the knowledge that CNN was literally the last major news outlet to touch on Reade’s allegations against Joe Biden, certainly raised a lot of legitimate questions. Later in the day, however, we learned from CNN’s Head of Strategic Communications, Matt Dornic, that CNN has no distribution deal with Google Play and doesn’t control the episode descriptions listed there.
As far as I’m concerned, that pretty much settles the matter, at least in terms of the Google Play issue. It would be absolutely insane to put out a public statement like that if it were untrue when such a distribution deal could easily be confirmed if it existed. Also, the total blackout on the Tara Reade story at CNN has finally come to an end. A search of CNN’s website now (finally) reveals a few entries about her allegations against Joe Biden. On Saturday, they even played the video clip.
But when it came to the Sunday shows… crickets. Multiple potential Biden running mates and campaign surrogates were interviewed yesterday morning and not once was the name Tara Reade uttered. I would also note that CNN’s coverage in the clip I linked above is still dodgy. They fail to mention that it’s been confirmed that Reade’s mother lived in the location King announces on the call, providing tremendous credibility to the claim that it was really Jeanette Altimus (Reade’s mother) on the phone. I suppose we’ll need to settle for progress in baby steps.
But let’s get back to the original, curious question about that Google Play feed. So it doesn’t look like CNN could have deleted the entry from the index. That brings us back to the other possibilities I was mulling over yesterday. It either had to be some bizarre technical glitch or somebody deleted it. The “glitch” theory still seems like total gibberish. The rest of the entire 1993 season is displayed in chronological order. Also, as noted yesterday, the August 10 and 12 shows are listed with sequential episode numbers rather than showing a gap in the sequence. That smacks of an intentional choice to disappear the episode down the memory hole.
So if this was done intentionally and CNN couldn’t have edited the index, who did? There are only two logical answers. Google Play allegedly mines episode information from Wikipedia. Perhaps that’s true, but if you visit the Wikipedia page for the show there is no list of episodes included nor any link to such a list that I was able to find.
If the omission of the episode in question didn’t come from an external source like Wikipedia, the only remaining answer would seem to be that Google removed it themselves. But if so, why? Was the existence of the episode buried away in a Biden oppo folder, leading his team to seek such a change? Perhaps even more to the point than why it was done… when was it done? If the entry was deleted after the story broke on Friday then you’ve got a clear smoking gun. But we don’t know when this happened. At this point, for all we know, it may have never been on the list.
As of last night, neither Google nor Wikipedia had returned requests for comment from multiple outlets. Between them, they should be able to settle this question pretty quickly. And they might be more willing to cough up an answer if it was CNN asking the question rather than conservative news outlets.