Mainstream media silence over a former staff member’s sexual assault charge against Joe Biden is finally broken: The New York Times covered the Sunday allegations in a widely reported part, “Review of Tara Reade’s Sexual Assault Allegation Against Joe Biden.”

It’s an excruciatingly down-to-earth article, devoid of the emotion and rhetorical flourishes that have often characterized the Times‘past reporting on #MeToo stories. The Times‘An investigative article on Deborah Ramirez, Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser at Yale, was headlined, “Brett Kavanaugh fits in with privileged children. She does not have“The newspaper also published ostensibly objective articles with headlines like”For Christine Blasey Ford, a radical departure from a quiet life in academia” and “With caffeine and determination, Christine Blasey Ford relives her trauma. “These were new articles, but it was not difficult to detect a program: portray the accuser as so sympathetic and likeable that the readers would like to believe her.

There is no such agenda in Reade’s article; journalists appear to be extremely skeptical of it (not without some justification). The paragraph with the hook to this story – which Reade ultimately filed a police report on the incident on Thursday – contains this oddly placed reminder: “Filing of a false police report may be liable to a fine and imprisonment.

The New York Times’ Lisa Lerer and Sydney Ember have spoken to dozens of people, many of whom worked alongside Reade and Biden in 1993, the year she claims Biden digitally penetrated her without her permission while they were alone together, but the only supporting evidence came from second hand accounts from friends and family.

“No other allegation of sexual assault surfaced during the reporting, and no former Biden staff member corroborated the details of Ms. Reade’s allegation,” Lerer and Ember wrote. “The Times found no pattern of sexual misconduct on Mr. Biden’s part beyond the hugs, kisses and touches that the women said made them uncomfortable.” Given how ridiculous this passage seemed to many readers, the editors quickly removed – without acknowledging it – everything that followed. Biden. The Twitter version lasted longer.

The New York Times then deleted the tweet thread on the story.

While the Times’ the rejection of the existence of a model has attracted most of the derision, an earlier point is more clearly flawed. As Ongoing business editor Nathan Robinson points out, it is wrong to say that no member of Biden’s staff corroborated any part of his allegation. Reade alleged that after complaining of sexual harassment, the people at Biden punished her by removing most of her duties, which included supervising interns. The New York Times’ story confirmed with two former interns that Reade “abruptly stopped supervising them in April, before the end of their internships”.

That doesn’t prove at all that Reade is telling the truth – she could have lost her housekeeping duties for a thousand different reasons – but it contradicts the claim elsewhere that there was no corroboration from Biden’s staff. It may be a small thing, but it is something.

It’s good to be skeptical of Reade. (The suspicious timing of his allegations is just one reason. Raison contributor Cathy Young note several others.) And it is more than good, if not laudable, for journalists to research the facts and refrain from making sweeping judgments when there is simply no convincing evidence to establish that a story decades old contains enough water for a reasonable person to consider. the subject is disqualified from the higher function. But the Times and other outlets are proceeding with a level of caution that is inconsistent with how they handled Kavanaugh’s allegations, even though the evidence was equally weak (and the underlying incidents less serious) in this case. One cannot help but suspect that the downside of the allegation against Biden – it could work to the advantage of President Donald Trump’s re-election – might have given the media (and some former activists “believe all the women”) pause.

Tellingly, the Times the story also includes three full paragraphs on the accusations of sexual misconduct against Trump, including his alleged consensual affair with pornographic actress Stormy Daniels and his hot comments on the mic for Access Hollywoodis Billy Bush. “Even so, Mr. Trump sometimes opponents attacked on their treatment of women, ”wrote the Times“reporters.” The president did not mention the allegation by Ms Reade, which circulated on social media and in the liberal and conservative media. “

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