What a difference a year makes when it comes to the treatment of public officials accused of sexually inappropriate behavior.
It hasn’t been quite a year since Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was first nominated by President Trump, the media explosion that took place after Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., dropped the Christine Blasey Ford sexual misconduct bomb pales in comparison to the relative silence over a more credible charge leveled against 2020 presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
The Washington Post went to work to elevate the accusations against Kavanaugh, and the newspaper is now under fire for a very different approach to the allegations made by former Biden staffer Tara Reade.
Last month, Reade accused then-Sen. Biden of sexual assault in 1993, when she was on his staff.
The allegation took on more credibility Friday, when a 1993 “Larry King Live” clip featured what is said to be Reade’s mother calling into the show anonymously to talk about her daughter’s “problems” with a “prominent senator.”
A former neighbor and a former colleague have also come forward to corroborate the allegations Reade has made against Biden.
The former neighbor, Lynda LaCasse, spoke with Business Insider.
“I remember [Reade] saying, here was this person that she was working for and she idolized him,” LaCasse said. “And he kind of put her up against a wall. And he put his hand up her skirt and he put his fingers inside her. She felt like she was assaulted, and she really didn’t feel there was anything she could do.”
Even more damning for Biden, LaCasse is an avid Democrat who supports him for president.
“I personally am a Democrat, a very strong Democrat,” LaCasse said. “I’m for Biden, regardless. But still, I have to come out and say this.”
The initial headline of a Washington Post story on these developments was changed from the “word salad” seen in the tweet below to, “Trump allies highlight new claims regarding allegations against Biden.”
Developments in allegations against Biden amplify efforts to question his behavior https://t.co/OWXvnKzvvN
— Post Politics (@postpolitics) April 28, 2020
“Some allies of President Trump pointed Monday to new claims by a woman who said she was told about sexual assault allegations against Joe Biden decades ago, renewing attention to questions about the past behavior of the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee,” Post reporter Matt Viser wrote.
“Apparent corroboration surfaced this week for elements of two accusations made by Biden’s former Senate aide Tara Reade, one involving harassment and the second a sexual assault,” he continued.
As for the “allies,” the newspaper cited the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., along with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who said the Biden allegations should be scrutinized on the same level as those made against Kavanaugh.
Washington Examiner executive editor Seth Mandel took to Twitter to react to the Post story: “As an editor, I regard this headline as a hate crime and I will be pressing charges first thing in the morning.”
As an editor, I regard this headline as a hate crime and I will be pressing charges first thing in the morning https://t.co/ds101kIatr
— Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) April 28, 2020
And that’s just the beginning of the outcry over the journalist malpractice on display here.
Here’s a sampling of responses from Twitter:
Oh cook your totally news hungry audience found *that* headline too offensive still so y’all had to change it to this: pic.twitter.com/5jh9T3uIvF
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) April 28, 2020
😂 The double standard is so egregious as to be performance art at this point. https://t.co/QeFVXoJdvs
— Mary Katharine Ham (@mkhammer) April 28, 2020
I was just saying to my wife this morning how much I hate it when developments in allegations amplify efforts to question. https://t.co/7m0aoyGwrh
— StephenHerreid (@StephenHerreid) April 28, 2020
What a joke of a headline – what are your suggestions ? https://t.co/aH1zU13QvT
— Sara A. Carter (@SaraCarterDC) April 28, 2020
This is the media
Just unbelievable https://t.co/e9GdLm1KfJ
— Comfortably Smug (@ComfortablySmug) April 28, 2020
genuinely impressive to be able to write a headline this inscrutable even for people who know exactly what you’re talking about https://t.co/OGj3SxgNwp
— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) April 28, 2020
Jfc, just go back to “conservatives pounce” instead of this word salad. https://t.co/mXQkWtJzTw
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) April 28, 2020
Translation: The woman accusing Joe Biden has way more corroborative evidence than the woman from the Kavanaugh hearing and MAN we really don’t want to talk about it https://t.co/jWx83UvgYF
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) April 28, 2020
— jordan (@JordanUhl) April 28, 2020
Developments in lack of lightness in room amplify efforts to question whether democracy could potentially not be alive maybe https://t.co/PBvorFdrzK
— David Rutz (@DavidRutz) April 28, 2020
Someone tell me that this is not the most tortured headline every written. This is words in a line that mean nothing, presented on purpose to avoid actually informing the public. It’s damning for national media https://t.co/QDbVoPTT7c
— Michael Rentiers (@michaelrentiers) April 28, 2020
This tweet is a masterclass in ignoring the fact Biden’s accused of sexual assault. https://t.co/DrakFMVP4S
— Benedict Gomez (@BenedictGomez) April 28, 2020
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