Larry O’Connor, Pressure is mounting for former Vice President Joe Biden to finally address the allegations made by Tara Reade, a former staffer when Biden was a senator in the mid-1990s.
Up until now, the legacy media has formed a bit of a barricade around the Democrat’s presumptive nominee for president by simply ignoring the story altogether, a privilege they did not afford now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation process.
As Mollie Hemingway has pointed out at The Federalist, the double standard in how media outlets treated unfounded, uncorroborated allegations against Kavanaugh and their outright denial of the mere existence of the much more credible and detailed allegations against Biden borders on the criminally absurd.
But now that another contemporaneous account has surfaced via Business Insider and the haunting video of a woman believed to be Reade’s mother falling into the “Larry King Live” show on CNN has been revealed (no thanks to CNN, of course) Biden will need to finally address this issue in some way.
And we can have a pretty good idea of how it will play out.
First, it may be instructive to see how this sort of story plays out when the target of the politically damaging narrative is a Republican.
During the Kavanaugh hearings, the media was not just in a bloody frenzy over the unfounded allegations made by Christine Blasey Ford with relentless, wall-to-wall coverage, they also refused to allow any other Republican politician to escape multiple and relentless demands to say whether they believed Ms. Ford (the victim) or whether they stood by Kavanaugh (the accused) in the drama.
This was meant to apply direct and unrelenting pressure not just on Kavanaugh or Trump but every Republican elected official. They were all forced to go on the record and counter the ubiquitous “all women should be believed” narrative that had been created as a weapon to be used against political enemies in the #MeToo era.
Some squirrelly Republicans knuckled-under to the relentless screams and demands of “Justice for Christine.” Just look how former Senator Jeff Flake relinquished his honor by succumbing to paid protesters who forced their way into the Senate elevator until he agreed to throw Kavanaugh to the wolves.
No Republican could engage with the media at any level without a litany of questions all designed to box them into a corner on whether they were going to protect the accused rapist or whether they’d stand up and defend the poor defenseless victim. And, make no mistake, it wasn’t about Ford and Kavanaugh anymore, if you didn’t believe Ford or thought that Kavanaugh deserved the presumption of innocence, you were condemning all rape victims and implying that all women were liars when it came to these matters.
That’s how the media framed it because it served to benefit Democrats and harm Trump and Republicans. That’s what they do.
Meanwhile, Biden has not faced a single question about these allegations for well over a month despite multiple television appearances.
Furthermore, every Democrat has escaped any real questions about Reade and her allegations as well. In fact, this past weekend, the three women thought to be on Biden’s short-list for the vice-presidential nomination appeared on major Sunday news shows. Neither Sen. Amy Klobucher, Sen. Kamala Harris nor former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams was asked about Ms. Reade’s allegations.
Quite a different story, isn’t it?
At some point, sooner rather than later, Biden will have to speak to it. He has to give his fellow Democrats something to go with when, eventually, the questions are asked. He also has to give his defenders in the media something to go with.
Here’s how it will play out.
Biden will grant an exclusive, one-on-one interview with a friendly, female journalist (I mean, there are many to choose from.) The interview will probably be for 60 Minutes (Leslie Stahl, I’m thinking) and the interview will be pre-recorded so the news outlet will have the opportunity to make Biden look his best.
Biden will have well-rehearsed and tested answers to questions about Reade’s allegations. His wife, Jill Biden, will be sitting next to him and she will do much of the heavy lifting. Both Bidens will pretend that this whole ordeal has been such a burden and they will thread the needle of dragging Reade through the slime while still maintaining that women should be believed, just not this woman.
And five to seven minutes later it will be over. And that will be that.
No other news outlet will feel compelled to raise the issue. No other Democrat will need to answer to Ms. Reade’s allegations. They’ll all have the same rehearsed answer. “Joe’s already spoken to these allegations. It’s old news. Nobody cares. Move on.”
And the media will, in fact, move on.
This is how they do it. It’s how they’ve done it in the past. It’s how they’ll do it this time.
As Chris Plante likes to say, “It’s good to be a Democrat.”