The Left has taken their cues on sexual misconduct allegations against Joe Biden from the man himself, proving the hypocrisy of the “believe women” stance that came from the #MeToo movement. The same courtesy was not granted to Bret Kavanaugh during his nomination to the Supreme Court. At that time, the Left pounced on the story after Sen. Diane Feinstein chose to politicize Dr. Christine Blasely Ford’s allegations. The far-reaching calls of “believe women” conveyed true support for the movement.
Response to the Reade Accusation
Recently, Tara Reade, a former staffer to then-Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE), accused him of sexual misconduct. The incident allegedly took place in 1993. Reade’s story is similar to Ford’s in that both cases have no witnesses and many years passed before they chose to go public. Many “believe women” advocates, who supported destroying the livelihood of men on the basis of a mere accusation, were outspoken about Ford yet silent about Reade. The excuses for this silence are as bad as the silence itself. For example, the Center for Reproductive Rights hid behind the excuse that their nonprofit status prohibits them from commenting on the story.
Joe Biden has gone on record in support of the “believe women” movement. In February 2018, Joe Biden tweeted: “We need to believe women like Colbie. We need to recognize the incredible courage it takes for women like her to come forward.” One must wonder how he still supports this viewpoint for his own accuser.
The Women’s March questioned Biden’s “believe women” commitment, tweeting:
Women are looking for leadership. If @joebiden wants to be a candidate that women can support, he needs to address the allegations about his behavior and clarify his policy on sexual assault, harassment, and consent.
Bravo to the Women’s March for taking a tiny step to address the allegation, but is that the best they can do? They have set themselves up as proponents of the “believe women” movement. They even tweeted “Believe Women. Support Survivors, always.” In February 2020, they clarified that their stance on believing women without evidence by saying that they “believe women.” If they really believe women as they claim, why bother asking Biden to defend himself? Is asking the accused to defend themselves providing Tara Reade with support?
Women’s groups chose to not publicly confront Biden after the allegation. According to the New York Times, “several of the women’s groups prepared a public letter that praised Mr. Biden’s work as an ‘outspoken champion for survivors of sexual violence’ but also pushed him to address the allegation from Tara Reade.” This bombshell should have received tremendous coverage. In the Times’s article, a founder of UltraViolet, a social-progressive nonprofit, spoke of the opportunity for Joe Biden to show his leadership. Waiting for leadership shows the women’s groups willingness to defer to the accused in this situation.
At the very least, the women’s groups have treated the allegation with a double standard. At worst, they have given Biden a pass. In this case, the media seems to be proceeding cautiously—in stark contrast to their behavior during the Kavanaugh nomination. Robby Soave, senior editor of Reason, writes:
If the media’s rule is this—We’re going to proceed extremely cautiously when revisiting unverified sexual misconduct allegations that are several decades years old—then fine. But that’s a new rule, isn’t it?
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is a strong supporter of the “believe women” movement. When Al Franken was accused of sexual misconduct, she took a strong stance on his removal. She even said “I had to choose whether to stay silent, or not. If some megadonors have a problem with that, that’s on them.” This seems to not have been applied to Joe Biden as Gillibrand has shared links to his website and affirmed her endorsement. The Spectator released a list of many Biden endorsers’ previous statements on sexual misconduct allegations, which confirms how many flipped their standards.
The Media “Coverage”
The coverage given to this allegation has been abysmal. The Media Research Center, which uncovered the video call from Reade’s mother into CNN’s Larry King Live, tracked the airtime many left-leaning news sources spent discussing Reade’s allegation. They found several left-leaning networks devoted between zero and 15 minutes to the allegation between March 15 and April 27, which compares poorly to the time spent discussing Stormy Daniels. An analysis by the Washington Post on the percentage of airtime spent on the issue, showed CNN and MSNBC gave significant airtime to the Daniels issue. The situations are not so different as to justify such considerable differences in coverage.
Not only has the coverage been lacking, it was ignored. In the month between Reade’s public accusation and Biden addressing it, Biden was interviewed and covered. News personalities such as Chuck Todd and Anderson Cooper even interviewed Biden and failed to address the accusation. While any agreements made with Biden’s staff to secure the interview are unknown, the news media failed in their duty to adequately address the story.
Biden did not publicly deny it until he appeared on Morning Joe to address it. He spoke but did not say that we must believe women. Instead, he used the conservative argument that we must test every accusation. When pressed in the interview, he could not defend his previous statements.
Sexual assault allegations are no laughing matter, and they must be investigated with all seriousness and expediency. However, as the Left now seems to acknowledge, an allegation of sexual misconduct should not damn the accused. Biden’s campaign should not be invalidated by the sexual misconduct allegation.
But the response to the sexual misconduct allegation against Biden proves the Left’s utter hypocrisy over their “believe women” stance and the “#MeToo’ campaign. Many groups rallied around the belief that a sexual misconduct allegation invalidated one from holding office. Conservatives warned that the standard of believing all women used against Kavanaugh was dangerous.
Is the Left Shifting?
Slowly, the Left is acknowledging the startling allegation. However, the hypocrisy will not be soon forgotten. If we are to take the Left at their word, the “believe women” movement meant investigating women’s claims, but never meant believing all women regardless of evidence. When conservatives said as much, the Left did not agree.
Hypocritical Statements About #MeToo
Center for Reproductive Rights
- Then: Thank you Dr. Christine Blasey Ford for bravely coming forward to share your story this morning. #KavanaughHearings https://twitter.com/ReproRights/status/1045450712396812289 “Women have been particularly energized following Trump’s election.” We’re watching you @realDonaldTrump https://twitter.com/ReproRights/status/889485411675930624
- Now: “we do not comment on elections or candidates as we are a non-partisan 501©3.” https://dailycaller.com/2020/04/14/brett-kavanaugh-joe-biden-tara-reade-christine-blasey-ford-womens-groups-silent/
- Then: “It shouldn’t matter your party, we should have fair courts, which requires honest judges, and time after time Kavanaugh’s answers show he is just not being honest. Kavanaugh lied under oath. Full stop. #StopKavanaugh” https://twitter.com/Alyssa_Milano/status/1040247071977000964
- Now: “we have to sort of societally change that mindset to believing women, but that does not mean at the expense of not giving men their due process and investigating situations. It’s got to be fair in both directions.” https://deadline.com/2020/04/alyssa-milano-joe-biden-tara-reade-allegations-guest-column-1202921826/ and I believe women. It is my opinion that you can’t conflate the violent criminal sexual assault described by Dr. Ford and an uncomfortable invasion of personal space & boundaries described by Flores. These 2 things aren’t the same no matter how hard your network tries to spin it. https://twitter.com/Alyssa_Milano/status/1114290637723947008
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who led the fight for Sen. Al Franken to be removed when he was accused.
- Then: “I had to choose whether to stay silent, or not. If some megadonors have a problem with that, that’s on them.”
- Now: On #SOULSaturday, I want to show my deepest gratitude for our frontline workers and first responders. Your heroism and hard work will pull us through this crisis and—as @JoeBiden says—restore the soul of our nation. https://twitter.com/SenGillibrand/status/1254062609965277184
Michael J. Stern
- Then: Well, what Warren, and all other Dems, should be calling for is an FBI investigation into the new allegations. We don’t know how credible they are without the details that have not been released. Based on Ford’s testimony, the new allegations seem plausible, if not likely. https://twitter.com/MichaelJStern1/status/1173361211544670213
- Now: When women make allegations of sexual assault, my default response is to believe them. But as the news media have investigated Reade’s allegations, I’ve become increasingly skeptical. https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2020/04/29/joe-biden-sexual-assault-allegation-tara-reade-column/3046962001/
- Then: It’s probably not possible to prove beyond a reasonable doubt whether or not Judge Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted then-15-year-old Christine Blasey Ford at a high school house party back in 1982. However, that’s not the issue. Kavanaugh’s not being charged with a crime, but with being a creep. https://www.eagletimes.com/opinion/kavanaugh-no-judge-of-character-and-basically-a-total-creep/article_fa57a792-bd3f-11e8-9453-c3cff68e9396.html
- Now: But this thing isn’t going to trial anywhere except Fox News and MSNBC. For that matter, a crime so vaguely described is impossible to investigate. In short, it’s the very definition of a clumsy smear. https://chicago.suntimes.com/columnists/2020/5/7/21249703/gene-lyons-tara-reade-joe-biden-suntimes
- Then: Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is an American hero. https://twitter.com/WeDemandJustice/status/1228816758804373504
- Now: Silence
- Then: It will no doubt resonate that each GOP Senator starts his time by apologizing to Kavanaugh for what he is going through, while none took their time to apologize to Dr Ford what she has been through. https://twitter.com/KatyTurNBC/status/1045437083035324421
- Now: silence
Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post’s “Conservative”
- Then: Kavanaugh’s refusal to ask the FBI to investigate is inexplicable unless he is afraid of what they might find https://twitter.com/JRubinBlogger/status/1045285230318256128
- Now: the burden is always on the prosecutor/claimant. That’s the essence of our system of justice https://twitter.com/JRubinBlogger/status/1257002988071276544
Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE)
- Then: We need to believe women like Colbie. We need to recognize the incredible courage it takes for women like her to come forward. And we need to change the culture so those who live in fear can safely get the support they deserve. https://twitter.com/JoeBiden/status/963755815856459776
- Now: I think women should be believed, they should have an opportunity to have their case and stated ff-, just forthrightly what their case is. https://twitter.com/tomselliott/status/1260174845117190144?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1260174845117190144&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fhannity.com%2Fmedia-room%2Fbiden-on-allegations-i-think-women-should-be-believed-but-this-never-happened%2F
- Biden endorses previous statements on Kavanaugh.
- Then: It terrifies us too. #BelieveWomen #BelieveSurvivors #CancelKavanaugh https://twitter.com/codepink/status/1045332428519342080
- Now: Silence
- Then: We believe women. #DemDebate https://twitter.com/womensmarch/status/1232477361586573317
- Now: Women are looking for leadership. If @joebiden wants to be a candidate that women can support, he needs to address the allegations about his behavior and clarify his policy on sexual assault, harassment, and consent. https://twitter.com/womensmarch/status/1251573860312514560
- Then: Brett Kavanaugh sits on the Supreme Court. But the #MeToo movement is far from over. https://twitter.com/voxdotcom/status/1049698537716535297 and The overwhelming consensus, from across the political spectrum, was that Christine Blasey Ford was a credible and compelling witness. https://twitter.com/voxdotcom/status/1046025564388290560
- Now: Nothing before Biden spoke out and when Vox did they included no mention of #MeToo or #BelieveWomen: “Joe Biden denies Tara Reade’s sexual assault allegation in TV interview: “It never, never happened” https://twitter.com/voxdotcom/status/1256228710883229697 and A sexual assault accusation may not be enough to convince some voters to abandon Biden, new polls show. https://twitter.com/voxdotcom/status/1258360958948446208
- Then: It’s up to the women out there to say sorry. Sorry that you feel uncomfortable, but I’m now paving the way for the next generation. And we as mothers have to think about the path we want to pave for our girls. https://twitter.com/TODAYshow/status/1050362419774676993?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1050362419774676993&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.harpersbazaar.com%2Fcelebrity%2Flatest%2Fa23721662%2Fmichelle-obama-me-too-backlash-response%2F
- Now: Silence
Lizz Winstead, Founder of Lady Parts Justice and Co-creator of the Daily Show.
Called out President Obama and Hillary Clinton over their silence regarding Harvey Weinstein.
- Then: Gonna start referring to Brett Kavanaugh’s high school as Georgetown Perp. #IBelieveChristine https://twitter.com/lizzwinstead/status/1042136723596165124
- Now: …I won’t sit back and let this continue. Fuck you Never Biden people. https://twitter.com/lizzwinstead/status/1249321195276767232
Tony Schwartz, MSNBC Pundit
- Then: Trump’s mantra is never admit to anything, especially when it’s true. The White House will deny, deny, deny that Kavanaugh assaulted Christine Blasey Ford and so will he. Her testimony — and hard to imagine it won’t happen now — will be a #metoo showdown of epic proportions. https://twitter.com/tonyschwartz/status/1041658518863060992
- Now: I truly don’t believe Trump will be reelected. That doesn’t mean we can take anything for granted, or that Biden won’t need every possible vote. Voting has never mattered more. https://twitter.com/tonyschwartz/status/1253809116402855937
Shannon Watts, Writer and Activist
- Then: I believe Christine Blasey Ford. No matter what age you are when you’re assaulted, it changes your life forever. And no matter what age you are when you assault someone – and no matter what decade it was – you’re a predator. #metoo https://twitter.com/shannonrwatts/status/1041497939145908224
- Now: Silence
Holly Figueroa O’Reilly, Writer for Washington Post and Guardian.
- Then: Ford is a goddamn national hero. She’s speaking for all of us who have been silent for years. I don’t know how anyone can listen to Christine Blasey Ford and believe that she’s lying. Thank you, @Alyssa_Milano, for this. #KavanaughHearings #MeToo #IfOnly #BelieveWomen https://twitter.com/AynRandPaulRyan/status/1045345724387352576
- Now: Whether you believe Tara Reade’s story(ies) or not, one thing is clear: this is going to dog Biden until it’s resolved. There are a lot of really smart Twitter sleuths who are on the case. @STEMthebleeding is one of them. https://twitter.com/AynRandPaulRyan/status/1259111990426886144
Caitriona Balfe, Actress
- Then: Brave Christine Blasey Ford ….. you are a shining example of courage and strength. It is heartbreaking to watch you have to relive this horrific moment in your life time and time again in front of the whole world. Thank you for speaking out. #WhyIDidntReport #MeToo https://twitter.com/caitrionambalfe/status/1045355274419073024
- Now: Very active on Twitter, silent on Tara Reid
Symone D. Sanders, Senior Advisor for the Biden Campaign
- Then: https://twitter.com/AmirAminiMD/status/1245067175234285571
- Now: https://twitter.com/kallllisti/status/1244324068351864833
- Apparently deleted her Ford tweets after tweeting a warning at young staffers
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN)
- Then: https://twitter.com/Ilhan/status/1184144877581488132
- Now: Very Active on Twitter, silent on Tara Reid
Krista Vernoff, Showrunner for Grey’s Anatomy
- Then: https://twitter.com/KristaVernoff/status/1044271080091734016
- Now: Very active on Twitter, silent on Tara Reid
- Then: https://twitter.com/TeamPelosi/status/1043944763249053697
- Now: Very active on Twitter, silent on Tara Reid