I Don’t Think The Mainstream Media Can Get Away With This: The Tara Reade Blackout

Today’s coverage of the sexual assault allegations against Joe Biden.

None of the major Sunday morning news talk shows mentioned Tara Reade’s increasingly credible allegations against presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden today, April 26. CNN’s “State of the Union,” NBC’s “Meet the Press,” ABC’s “This Week,” CBS’s “Face the Nation” and, yes, even Fox’s “Fox News Sunday”—See? It’s trustworthy after all!— all gave their audiences the impression that Reade did not exist, or that her claim that Joe Biden—who has stated that all female accusers should be presumed credible and have their accusations taken seriously—harassed, assaulted her and, indeed, raped her while he was a U.S. Senator, wasn’t newsworthy. 

This, even though there were new developments regarding her more than month-old claim. A transcript obtained by The Intercept, as well as a video uncovered by the Media Research Center two days ago, showed that someone from Reade’s mother’s city called into CNN in 1993 and asked for advice about her daughter’s problems with a “prominent senator.” Even CNN ignored the story today.

How can anyone justify this, or explain it except as a flagrant, partisan, stunningly unethical effort by the networks to keep the public in the dark to serve a political agenda?

Come on, I’m calling you out, media bias deniers and enablers! Give me a single good reason why I should  say, “Oh! Of course! This isn’t part of the continuing effort to manipulate facts, distort the news and strangle our democracy with ignorance! Silly me! They all behaved responsibly and ethically, like the first-rate, objective journalists they are!” Give me a reason that isn’t spin or a rationalization, and I’ll admit my error here, and stark naked in the middle of the National Mall with a bullhorn, wearing my facemask of course.

The shows had a great opportunity and many reasons to ask about Reade. Former Democratic Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams,  Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar,  and Michigan Dictator Gretchen Whitmer, all women, all feminists, all #MeToo supporters, and all reportedly being considering as a potential running-mate for Biden,  appeared on  NBC’s Meet the Press, CNN’s “State of the Union,” and /or ABC’s This Week With George Stephanopoulos.” None were asked about their thoughts on Reade.

That’s funny, because I’d be very interested in their comments on that topic. Wouldn’t you? I’d even assume that whatever they said would be considered headline worthy, unlike what they did talk about. How odd. These shows usually want to make headlines. What possible explanation could there be for not asking about Reade? It has to have been an oversight, right? And a coincidence that all of the shows made the same oversight, of course.

The networks, so far, have not responded to requests for an explanation.

But we know what the explanation is. The mainstream media is increasingly brazen about its partisan strategy, and apparently unconcerned about its transparent rejection of fundamental journalism ethics. It assumes that its audience, or the part of it they care about, is now corrupt and complicit in the destruction of basic democratic institutions, and will let this continue.

Thus we have  another integrity test. Not for the news media; it has flunked so many integrity tests over the past decade or more that another is superfluous. The integrity test is for the public, and honest, fair pundits, professionals, elected officials and others the public respects. Will they allow the news media, and obviously the Democratic Party, which must be pulling its strings, to get away with this?

Political orientation and party affiliation shouldn’t make a difference, should it? Don’t all Americans have the same stake in having news sources report important news rather than burying the facts and events  that are inconvenient for their favorite politicians? Isn’t there universal agreement on basic principles, that lawyers should represent their clients, that judges should be impartial, that doctors should do no harm, that the police should enforce the law, and that journalists should inform the public of the news they have the right to know? Every member of the public, progressive, conservative or otherwise, Republican or Democrats, should object to what the news shows did today with equal fervor.

If we allow the news media to get away with this, we’ve abandoned our commitment to democracy.

45 thoughts on “I Don’t Think The Mainstream Media Can Get Away With This: The Tara Reade Blackout

  1. “I Don’t Think The Mainstream Media Can Get Away With This:”
    Hah! Jack, you must actually think they can because they have and they will. I think you mean they should not.
    We are in a period of extreme confirmation bias. I’d like to say, ‘such as we have not seen recently’ (recently being within the last couple of decades), but, I’m not so sure. It has been with us for quite some time.
    That such confirmation bias works for the media is (or should be) without dispute. Viewership, let’s say between Fox and MSNBC, for example (I’m making an assumption here, and Mrs. Q caught me out one previously) is extremely polarized. Newspaper and magazine readership may be a bit less so. But, a great many people choose media with which they agree. And, those publications continue to feed their readers what they want.
    I regularly encourage people to look at a variety of news sources, to employ just a bit of skepticism with the media they favor, to burnish their BS detectors. You can imagine the success I’ve had, but, alas, confirmation bias always presents (somehow) the stronger argument.

    • That episode of “Larry King Live” no longer exists. It has been removed from the streaming services. It never existed, in fact. Anyone who says it existed is lying. The clips are fabricated. There was no Aug 11, 1993 episode because August 10 is episode 154 and August 12 is Episode 155. See, an airtight case according to Google.

      https://www.foxnews.com/media/cnn-larry-king-episode-featuring-biden-accusers-mother-disappears-from-google-play-catalog

      https://pjmedia.com/trending/google-playlist-disappears-larry-king-episode-with-tara-reades-mother-call-in/

    • “Viewership, let’s say between Fox and MSNBC, for example […] is extremely polarized.”

      DISCLOSURE: I watch neither; however…

      ​From the bedrock Conservative HuffPo: MSNBC Almost Entirely Dominated By Opinion: Pew Study

      News Content: FoxNews 45 % MSNBC 15 %
      Opinion Content: FoxNews 55 % MSNBC 85 %.

      Et tu, HuffPo?

      MSNBC has 55 % more Opinion content and a mere 1/3 the News content of FoxNews.

    • Unfortunately, they can. This operates on the same principle as a lot of the internet did before the advent of social media, when a lot of the communication was based on boards, usually privately owned by one person or a few people. That person or those people had complete control of the board. They could decide what could and couldn’t be posted, who could and couldn’t post, edit posts by others, and ban anyone they disagreed with. That’s why right-wing sites like freerepublic could “zot” liberals and lefty sites like democraticunderground could “tombstone” conservatives. That’s also why sites dedicated to entertainers could filter out everything except mindless “he’s/she’s/they’re the greatest” posts.

      However, this also led to a skewed view of reality by the readers. That’s why the freerepublic folks were shocked at the complete flip of Congress in 2006 (it wasn’t that bad and the public wasn’t really that angry at the GOP) and the democratic underground people lost their minds at the election of Trump (everything was pointing to Hillary being a shoe-in, there must have been some dirty dealings). That’s also why Celtic Woman’s fans all screamed that they were robbed when they were nominated for a Grammy in 2016 that a niche PBS Irish music group pretty much unknown outside PBS circles never had a prayer in the world of winning, and the few remaining Charlotte Church Charlaholics are still scratching their heads as to why the pop incarnation of Charlotte isn’t bigger than Madonna, after all, she herself said she would be. A lot of this faded with the advent of social media, where the site administrators can’t silence everyone who disagrees with them and act like the count in Chocolat.

      Well, the media outlets HAVE kept up with the digital world, and they are everywhere, with their manufactured legitimacy, keeping out anything and everything that doesn’t agree with the publishers’ view on the way things ought to be. They decide what stories hit the equivalent of the front page, what stories get on the inside pages, and what stories never get reported on at all. Most people look at the headlines, if it never gets there, it never enters their thoughts. The media also encourage the “pro wrestling” mentality in readers where they will always cheer the designated “faces” and boo the “heels,” no matter if they do the same exact things. Let’s also remember, it was in living memory that Terry Giles said that women should get out their presidential kneepads and be prepared to do Bill Clinton, because, lecher or not, he was ok with abortion. The same people that attacked Brett Kavanaugh viciously for what at worst might have been a teenage overreach now will bury any accusation of Biden doing anything. The same people who said to believe Christine Ford’s vague recollections of something no one else did, delivered in a quavering whisper after every delaying tactic in the book in the hopes that Kavanaugh or the president would fold, will be the same ones imposing a news blackout and calling Tara Reade either a slut or a nut. There is a very good chance here to get Trump out of the White House and capture the Senate, poising the Democratic Party to finish the work Obama started, and a good chance for the media to go back on holiday for at least four years. They are going to do it, whatever it takes, be it lying, be it coverups, be it duplicity, be it dealing with the devil himself.

  2. Those who wish to undo the US Constitution and criminalize those who disagree with them have stupidly allowed their candidates to be winnowed to one very flawed guy. He’s their only horse in this race and, by God, they’re going to ride him to victory; the truth be damned. Trump stands in the way and he must be removed, even if it is by Biden.

    • Adimagejim wrote, “Those who wish to undo the US Constitution and criminalize those who disagree with them have stupidly allowed their candidates to be winnowed to one very flawed guy. He’s their only horse in this race and, by God, they’re going to ride him to victory; the truth be damned. Trump stands in the way and he must be removed, even if it is by Biden.”

      More simply put, the ends justifies the means.

  3. A further example of how the news media can and do get away with false reporting: in the press conference, Trump (stupidly) QUESTIONED whether disinfectants could be injected under the care of a doctor to treat COVID-19. Many publications then reported that Trump SUGGESTED injecting disinfectants. To most of us, asking a question and suggesting are two different things. Not to much of the media, always looking for a way to make Trump look stupid or evil. Snopes rated it true that Trump suggested injecting disinfectants. CNN, not to be outdone and not to be bothered with the truth, has this headline: “Fact check: Trump dangerously suggests sunlight and ingesting disinfectants could help cure coronavirus”. INGESTING!
    Now, media are reporting an uptick in calls to poison control centers about disinfectant poisoning and tying that to Trump’s question (or suggestion). In fact, those calls started increasing back in March when we all were told to use disinfectants in cleaning to combat the virus.
    No one should wonder if they can get away with protecting Biden when they can and do get away with this stuff.
    The evil part of my brain, which sometimes is the dominant part, speculates that some of the media do this kind of thing in hopes that there will be deaths and that Trump will be blamed, as he was for the consumption of fish tank cleaner which the media equated to hydroxychloroquine.

  4. If we allow the news media to get away with this, we’ve abandoned our commitment to democracy.

    What fascinates me when I read a *declaration* of this sort is how very true it is. But there is another dimension and it is troubling: what appears to be a lack of recognition that this ‘commitment to democracy’ had long ago been violated by the press in America. I have cited examples — clear, obvious, within the historical record — that were evident during the Spanish American War. In essence, because to seek imperialistic ambitions directly contradicted the Constitutional values of ‘liberty’, it became necessary to lie about the nature of those ambitions, and to deceive the populace. It is just about *that simple*.

    Why is this so hard to see and understand?

    And it was right at that time that the ‘public relations industry’ — essentially an extension of the press and the communications industry — became a core mediator in the constant an ineluctable conflict (a game of deception and manipulation) between Power on one hand and Liberty on the other.

    I do not know how else to put this except to say that if the concern about ‘democracy’ were genuine then the entire focus of a person would be on investigating how it is that ‘democracy’ had been undermined, and about the ‘tricks’ of powerful interests manage to side-step it.

    It actually seems to me that the issue at hand is not how to ‘preserve democracy’, since everyone knows that the term ‘democracy’ is a rhetorical term, and the actual and verifiable truth is that Power has found hundreds and thousands of ways to avoid being in service to ‘democracy’, but rather to become capable of seeing, understanding and explaining how ‘democracy’ has been subverted.

    Though what I am saying here — the concern I outline, and noting that the essential issue is that of a struggle between Power and Liberty (and these concerns runs through all of the philosophy of those who ideologically conceived of revolution), is taken here as disloyalty and disrespect and subversion! That amazes me.

    If one were really & truly concerned for ‘democracy’, and if the media were actually concerned for reporting truth — the sort of truth that is essential to a functional Republic as conceived a few centuries back — the entire intellectual focus of the Nation, and its denizens, would be radically different. Not only that but it would be a different nation.

    In our present it looks as though military and police power — state power in its brutal and open forms — is showing itself. That is, one catches a glimpse of the machinery behind an elaborate and deceiving curtain. Trust me, I am not the one who is noting this. It is being noticed. And people here — those who seem to see the world through a thin crack in the wall — seem on the verge of understanding *what is going on*. Yet they can’t quite say it! Or they don’t have the language and the conceptual structure to say it. But they can, and they do, channel hatred & contempt to ‘the Democrats’.

    Projection.

    It will become inevitable that the critical analysis of ‘power & power’s machinations’ will have to take place in a serious and concerted manner.

    Adimagejim, I want you to lead the research project. Steve Weatherspoon, will you lend a hand? 😉 Dust of your Machiavelli . . .

    You will lay the foundation for a New America when finally the New Normal takes shape! Be sure to wear your N95 masks . . .

    • Here’s a news flash for you, the non-US participant in the Spanish American war were centuries long imperialists all over the globe, thus battles in the Philippines and Cuba among other places.

      Did the US end up acting as imperialists? You bet. How long did our act of empire last? Less than 100 years. Why? Because in the end our lust for power is a helluvalot less than virtually any nation of consequence in history.

      Ask the Cubans or the Philippinos if they’d take US control over the self-governance they have now. Betcha I know the answer.

      Now get back to rubbing Noam’s shoulders.

      • If you ever become capable of understanding things I say, you will understand that I am not necessarily condemning what I refer to. I could just as easily present a view or an argument more similar to Victor Davis Hanson and the way he understands American power. It is not my endeavor or my point to condemn. My object (I have always stated this) is to understand.

        [Though I do have strong feelings and thoughts about the destructiveness of America’s recent wars which are, in the end, destructive to American power, though the harm done to others is also very real].

        What I object to is lying & misrepresentation. There are a whole wide group of objectives pursued by *power* that necessarily involve disguise & concealment: deception.

        I recognize that predatorial disguise (appearing to be something you are not) is part of the game of life and I don’t have a problem understanding this. But if one accepts that as activity one is comfortable with, one also has to accept the consequence when it is done to one. And what I try to point out is that we are in a time in which power-machinations become highly visible to us. That is, we see the degree that we are ‘manipulated prey’.

        What you do ends up being done to you. That’s what “The chickens have come home to roost” meant.

        There are some political theorists who do not lie about American power (and that America has and manages an ’empire’. I can work with their ideas and to varying degrees I can accept them.

        But I do continually draw your-plural attention to the fact of ‘the lie’; the fact of disguise’ the fact of concealment & deception. Stop concealing the raw facts under saccharine lies. You’ll get more respect from me.

        My problem, my dear lost boy, is as I have said it is: that of Thrasymachus. And it is a Christian problem.

    • I’ve seen the occasional article creep in lately.

      The post was about the Sunday news shows, which are supposed to cover the major stories of the week, and the interviews of female VP candidates, so what CNN put on its website isn’t really germane. Right?

      • See, this is an example where you give in to bias. What you cite doesn’t change anything I wrote. So as a man of integrity (I’m assuming you’re a man; I know that you could be a dog), you shouldn’t default to “But…but!” and should immediately say, “You’re right. There’s no excuse for this.”

        • I was just giving a FWIW example that was specific to your comment that “Even CNN ignored the story today.” Maybe you were exclusively talking about TV, but to me a media blackout encompasses everything.

          While the story is gaining momentum, and this new tape that has surfaced adds and interesting new dimension, there’s nothing in this story that I would call major yet. The tape itself leaves out almost all of the specifics of who’s calling, who the senator in question is, and what specifically happened. Is it her mom commenting specifically on her daughter’s story of sexual harassment? Sure, it could be, but so far there’s no proof that it is (that I’ve seen). If those things are proven, does that make the allegations themselves true? No, but it certainly could support the credibility of the argument. But thus far, there isn’t any “grab them by the pussy” audio, there isn’t any photos of Biden pretending to grab a woman’s breasts with a big shit-eating smile on his face, and there aren’t any additional accusers of sexual misconduct to lend weight to this accusation. If those things start to come out, this story will start to get more coverage. Just as the uncovering of this tape has upped the amount of exposure the accusation has received.

          We’re also in the midst of the biggest news story in the last, I don’t know, 50 years? Almost anything non-Coronavirus related is getting short shrift in the media right now. In the past week or so we’ve also had one of the deadliest shooting rampages in Canadian history and speculation that one of the world’s most notorious leaders may be brain dead. When you have the biggest news story and several other big news stories, you have to pick & choose. You’re opinion on whether this is a news story vs. REALLY BIG news story obviously differs. Is that my bias at work? Maybe, but I don’t think so.

          And for the record, I am not a dog.

          • Good. I thought not. (That was a reference to a famous New Yorker cartoon that probably precedes your birth.)

            If you’ll review the post, it could not be clearer that it was about Sunday’s news shows. However, compared to comparable stories of the past, it is a blackout, as I have noted in earlier posts. The Times too three weeks to mention it at all, and then couldn’t coherently explain why.

            While the story is gaining momentum, and this new tape that has surfaced adds and interesting new dimension, there’s nothing in this story that I would call major yet. The tape itself leaves out almost all of the specifics of who’s calling, who the senator in question is, and what specifically happened. Is it her mom commenting specifically on her daughter’s story of sexual harassment? Sure, it could be, but so far there’s no proof that it is (that I’ve seen). If those things are proven, does that make the allegations themselves true? No, but it certainly could support the credibility of the argument. But thus far, there isn’t any “grab them by the pussy” audio, there isn’t any photos of Biden pretending to grab a woman’s breasts with a big shit-eating smile on his face, and there aren’t any additional accusers of sexual misconduct to lend weight to this accusation. If those things start to come out, this story will start to get more coverage. Just as the uncovering of this tape has upped the amount of exposure the accusation has received.

            I want to take you at your word that you make a good faith effort to be objective, but you’ll have to do a lot better than that paragraph.For two years, accusations no stronger than Reade’s and in many cases much weaker have been immediate news stories, prompting CEOs to step down and Congress members to resign or retire. A much less credible accusation was hyped by the same media minimizing Reade’s because it was made against a nominated SCOTUS justice, and this accusation is against a Presidential nominee. Herman Cain, when he was running for the nomination in 2012, was driven from the field by anonymous, unsupported accusations of harassment taht were far less serious in nature than Reade’s—and that was before #MeToo, and before the Democrats declared themselves as “the party pf women.” Cain had not, like Biden, said that all women should be believed. Come on.

            The “grab them by the pussy” tape wasn’t evidence of any crime or misconduct, it wasn’t a confession, it was nothing but proof that Trump was a crude guy prone to boasting. It was not as big a story as an actual accusation, like Reade’s. The photo of Franken, like the video of Trump, involved non-elected officials at the time. Biden’s accusation involved conduct while he was a Senator. MUCH bigger deal, and clearly so.Seriously, how can you seriously argue otherwise? As for no previous sexual misconduct, even the Times (before it stealth edited it out) admitted that Biden groping, sniffing, kissing and hugging women in photo ops was sexual misconduct, and it is. It is sexual harassment, and any CEO who did the same would be sued and fired.

            Bias makes us stupid, Joey. You got to fight it.

            • “The “grab them by the pussy” tape wasn’t evidence of any crime or misconduct, it wasn’t a confession, it was nothing but proof that Trump was a crude guy prone to boasting”

              True, it wasn’t “proof” of anything, but it came out amidst a flurry of women making sexual misconduct allegations and much like this video, gave credibility to them. But the accused being caught on tape making crude remarks that directly support the types of things he was being accused of is a much bigger story than a woman’s mother being caught on tape saying her daughter had problems with a senator. If you want to minimize the importance of a man saying “And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything” when several women has accused him of groping their breasts, butt or genitals – then you should check your own biases.

              “As for no previous sexual misconduct, even the Times (before it stealth edited it out) admitted that Biden groping, sniffing, kissing and hugging women in photo ops was sexual misconduct, and it is”

              This is fair – I guess in my own mind what is now lumped into the “sexual misconduct” category has degrees. Unwanted touching is not appropriate, especially in the workplace, but I do not buy into the cancel culture’s narrative that any touching should destroy a person’s life or career, and that grace should be extended whenever possible as norms swiftly change. So old dudes placing their hands on thighs or rubbing a woman’s back does not concern me as much as overt sexual touching – much as my grandma making inappropriate generalizations about “the blacks” doesn’t concern me as much as people screaming “Jews will not replace us” does.

              Should this be getting more coverage? Yes – as someone who has a very strong preference towards Biden, I would prefer more scrutiny of this story so we can hopefully get closer to the truth sooner than later. Again, my point was that this is a news story with no big Aha! moment yet (maybe one’s coming?) at a time when just about everything is getting swallowed by Coronavirus coverage. I don’t buy that there was a coordinated conscious effort keep this off the Sunday shows when it seems more likely that this is just not currently as big of a news story as everything else that is going on. If I’m wrong, let me be the first one to welcome Fox News to the resistance.

                • I will remain a bit dubious myself until there are more accusers. It simply makes no sense that Biden would do something that egregious with one staffer and no others. In my experience, this literally never happens, and it’s a big leap from sniffing an appointee’s wife to actually finger-rape.

              • No, that “flurry” came afterwards, and unlike the CNN tape, it didn’t relate to anything specific, at all. And again, what Trump did as a mogul or celebrity is not in the same category as sexual misconduct by an elected official. The same goes for Franken. He was making a sexist gag photo when he was a comedian.

                “Unwanted touching is not appropriate, especially in the workplace, but I do not buy into the cancel culture’s narrative that any touching should destroy a person’s life or career, and that grace should be extended whenever possible as norms swiftly change.”

                I agree completely, but that’s a straw man here. Nobody’s saying Biden should be cancelled, but I’ve been saying, writing and teaching that it is astounding hypocrisy for “The Party Of Women” and #MeToo to be nominating a repeat harasser like Biden, who has been excused with the “Oh, that’s just him, he doesn’t mean anything by it” excuse. I was involved in a major association scandal involving a nice old guy ” who didn’t mean anything by it”—and he ruined lives and careers. If feminists excuse Biden, then they undermine their legitimate mission (as they did by excusing Bill Clinton for so long.) The rules changed on Joe decades ago—he just decided they didn’t apply to him.

                • I will agree that the #metoo movement, while seemingly good intentioned at the outset, completely went off the rails and now has mountains of hypocrisy embedded within it. It’s one of many examples of our country’s tendency to see a need for change, and then completely over correct for it.

                  And thanks for pointing out my timeline flaw – I was misremembering specifics, and after checking again I see that most (but not all) of the allegations surfaced quickly after the tape was made public.

                  As Coronavirus news eventually wanes (hopefully) and campaign news picks back up, I would expect and hope to see this story get more attention.

                  I guess I’m left a little confused though – on one hand you say that the accusations against Biden are suspect and that he shouldn’t be canceled (whatever that means in this context), yet you also brand him a serial harasser and are angry that there isn’t more media coverage of this story. So are you more upset about the coverage because you think that the accusations against him are serious and credible enough that they should cause people to think twice about voting for him, or because other, less serious allegations have been covered more rigorously in the past? In other words, in a perfect world, how do you think accusations like this, which will almost always be some variation of he said/she said will some evidence to support and some evidence to contradict, SHOULD be reported? At what point does corroboration reach the point where one should say, okay, we need to get on this story with vigor, and who decides?

                  • Why is that inconsistent? He is a serial harasser, and the msm has largely let him skate, which helped put the Democrats in their current dilemma. Not a single question or point was made about that during the debates, and the photos are evidence. The accusation—did you see the post when it was first made?—is suspicious as a political hit, because #MeToo has turned into a sword rather than a shield, etc. But it easily passes prior check points for newsworthiness, especially given Biden’s lip service to “believe all women” and the handling of the Kavanaugh claims—or even the original accusations against Roger Ailes It doesn’t have to be true to be news. An accusation by an on the record staffer is immediately newsworthy.

                    • So getting back to basics – your original argument was that this accusation is not only newsworthy (and I won’t argue with that), but newsworthy enough that it should have been covered in the ~40-45 minutes of allocated time on all of the Sunday news shows – again despite the fact that we are in the midst of one of the largest news story to ever be covered, and that there are several other major stories happening int he world right now as well. And that the story’s exclusion is a textbook case of media bias.

                      But you also say that you don’t think the Biden accusation passes the smell test, not yet anyway. And you seem to be of the mind that the #MeToo movement has been too quick to support suspect allegations, and that generally the “believe all women” push is misguided (also agreed). So I take your general position to be that accusations of sexual misconduct should not be elevated absent sufficient corroboration.

                      Would you not also agree that the amount and credibility of the corroboration should inform the degree to which the accusation gets covered in the media? Christine Balsey Ford also had corroborating evidence. You would presumably argue that the credibility and volume of the corroborating evidence she cited did not warrant the way in which the media elevated the story. So my question was about your opinion on how these degrees of corroboration should impact the degrees of reporting. This story is getting reported, but you are arguing it is not being properly elevated to the level of importance it deserves, while also saying that your personal opinion for now is that you’re not convinced the story is true.

                      I’m wondering what should be, in your opinion, sufficient evidence to elevate a claim like this to Sunday morning coverage level importance – not using past accusations as a guidepost since you argue those were wrong. What should be the gold standard? Not trying to play gotcha here – I’m legitimately curious about your opinion on when an accusation has enough there there that it would be irresponsible not to elevate it, despite the implications for those involved. I don’t have a good answer myself. I certainly think we are much closer today than we were yesterday i this particular case.

                      I agree that being an on the record staffer makes this newsworthy, but that along is only one corroborating data point. Biden’s past comments regarding “believe all women” certainly makes this that much more awkward for him, and illuminates the foolishness of that stance, but it doesn’t make this accusation any more credible – which to me, should be the only thing considered when deciding whether to give it prominent coverage. If her story hasn’t convinced you yet, why should it have convinced major media networks to give it Sunday morning prominence?

                    • I apologize for taking so long…I’ve been trying to get the time to answer your thoughtful comment here and not do it off the top of my head, which leads to rash statements, mistakes and typos.

                      So getting back to basics – your original argument was that this accusation is not only newsworthy (and I won’t argue with that), but newsworthy enough that it should have been covered in the ~40-45 minutes of allocated time on all of the Sunday news shows – again despite the fact that we are in the midst of one of the largest news story to ever be covered, and that there are several other major stories happening int he world right now as well. And that the story’s exclusion is a textbook case of media bias.

                      Correct. The fact that none of the Sunday shows touched on it, and none of the round table participants, is so inexplicable as to suggest collusion, or something. Those shows are desperate for something other than the virus to discuss. But also, the topic is unquestionably relevant for the three supposed VP hopefuls, all women, all feminists, and all apparently ready to run with a guy currently accused of sexual abuse under exactly the same kinds of circumstances their party and gender has attacked other politicians. No questions at all.

                      But you also say that you don’t think the Biden accusation passes the smell test, not yet anyway. And you seem to be of the mind that the #MeToo movement has been too quick to support suspect allegations, and that generally the “believe all women” push is misguided (also agreed). So I take your general position to be that accusations of sexual misconduct should not be elevated absent sufficient corroboration.

                      On the CNN show, Jake Tapper had time to ask Stacey Abrams about Biden’s view that Trump will use the Post Office to delay the election, a pure conspiracy theory by Biden, a Big Lie essentially, with no evidence or corroboration at all—it’s not even a rumor. How would this be news, and a real accusation by a named staffer where there was a supporting development that week not qualify?

                      Would you not also agree that the amount and credibility of the corroboration should inform the degree to which the accusation gets covered in the media?

                      No, because I hold the news media to its previously established standards. I mentioned Herman Cain, who was driven out of the GOP race by news reports of anonymous accusations. Kavanaugh is the obvious comp—go back and read the Times’ editors hopeless excuse for treating the two situations differently. Plus there is Biden’s own embrace of the “beleive all women” standard, as asinine as that is. That alone elevates the story. Meanwhile, some of the same journalists who ignored Reade on Sunday, including Tapper had been tweeting about her that same week, and about how the Democrats were “grappling” with how to handle Reade allegations. If the Democrats “grappling” was enough to justify multiple tweets, didn’t that make it a news story all by itself?

                      Christine Blasey Ford also had corroborating evidence.

                      Well, barely. She didn’t report the incident at the time. It was based on a recovered memory, so her claim that she passed a polygraph test is useless, since recovered memories are often false memories that the individual believes, and polygraphs aren’t acceptable as evidence, as you know. Moreover, Blasey-Ford’a accusation was against a teenager, really not even the same person up for the Court. Reade’s involved a mature U.S. Senator in a workplace setting. Far more serious, and far more credible.

                      You would presumably argue that the credibility and volume of the corroborating evidence she cited did not warrant the way in which the media elevated the story.

                      No. I’d argue that her story, as weak and suspiciously timed as it was, warranted news coverage. It just didn’t warrant a place in the hearing….especially since it involved a juvenile at a party (that she couldn’t place.) But it was immediately treated by the media as a big deal. Reade’s accusation is at least as big a deal, and her story has held up better than Blasey-Ford’s did.

                      So my question was about your opinion on how these degrees of corroboration should impact the degrees of reporting?

                      Both Reade and Ford had met a minimum level of credibility to make it a substantial news story. If Kavanaugh’s accuser regarding a teenaged incident that she told no one about at the time warranted immediate and substantial coverage, then Biden’s accuser involving a more serious assault, not by a peer but by a boss, indeed a powerful Senator, that she did tell others about at the time, warrants at least as thorough coverage.

                      This story is getting reported, but you are arguing it is not being properly elevated to the level of importance it deserves, while also saying that your personal opinion for now is that you’re not convinced the story is true.

                      Nobody should be convinced it is true. Nobody should ever be convinced such accusations are true. Those who said “I believe Anita Hill” were taking sides based on politics (and Anita Hill also had less credibility than Reade, as well as a less serious accusation.)

                      I’m wondering what should be, in your opinion, sufficient evidence to elevate a claim like this to Sunday morning coverage level importance – not using past accusations as a guidepost since you argue those were wrong.

                      You misunderstood me somewhere, Joey. Accusations that are on the record with sufficient corroboration for a prima facie case should be covered, just as they should be investigated.

                      What should be the gold standard? Not trying to play gotcha here – I’m legitimately curious about your opinion on when an accusation has enough there there that it would be irresponsible not to elevate it, despite the implications for those involved.

                      Factors: 1. On the record. 2. Evidence of some contemporaneous complaint. 3. The importance and prominence of the accused. 4. Other complaints or evidence of a predilection for misconduct. Example: Bill Clinton. But my standard doesn’t matter. What I object to, always, is double standards, particularly those determined by party, gender, race and ideology. The news media her in Virginia buried Gov. Northam’s blackface scandal because he’s a Democrat. His Lt. Governor, Justin Fairfax, was accused or rape by one woman and sexual assault by another, and that story died quickly too—because he is a Democrat AND black.

                      I don’t have a good answer myself. I certainly think we are much closer today than we were yesterday in this particular case.

                      Agreed!

                      I agree that being an on the record staffer makes this newsworthy, but that along is only one corroborating data point. Biden’s past comments regarding “believe all women” certainly makes this that much more awkward for him, and illuminates the foolishness of that stance, but it doesn’t make this accusation any more credible – which to me, should be the only thing considered when deciding whether to give it prominent coverage. If her story hasn’t convinced you yet, why should it have convinced major media networks to give it Sunday morning prominence?

                      I think I answered that last question already. As for Biden, it is an integrity test, and a bullshit test. It’s the media’s job to focus on the dishonesty and hypocrisy of Democratic candidate, as they have almost daily, and on far more trivial matters, with the President.

                    • Thanks for the thorough answer – I appreciate you taking the time and it does help illuminate your stance. As usual, I have a mix of disagreement, counerpoints, and additional questions bouncing around in my head. But in the interest moving on from this particular conversation, I’ll just agree to disagree for now.

          • A side point, since you bring it up. I’ve found it fascinating that there’s been virtually no coverage in the U.S. about the twenty plus mass shooting in Canada. Why is that, eh? Is it because mass shootings are only supposed to occur in the nasty, redneck, NRA dominated United States and not in the highly regulated, civilized, non-gun-obsessed, superior and polite Canada? A remarkable cover-up in my book worthy of being noticed.

    • Well, then that takes care of it. Did the CNN story include the word “grapple?” Why should CNN ask any Democratic party leaders where they stand on the story when CNN has already done a story? They’d have ignored it if the allegations involved a Republican? Remember Michael Avenetti? The guy appeared on something like over fifty shows. There was an absolute feeding frenzy. There should be a feeding frenzy about this story and there’s not.

  5. This blackout it really no different than any of the other “ends justifies the means” bull shit tactics that the political left has used since 2016, it just more of the same nailing the edges of the coffin and sealing logic and critical thinking away to permanently bury it in the quaint anecdotes of history.

    Since 2016, the political left has shown us ad nauseam that they really don’t give a damn about much of anything except removing President Trump from the White House their primary tools of choice are fear mongering, lies by omission and outright lies; the political left has shown us that they will sic their social justice warriors on anyone that doesn’t fall in line with their social justice PC bull shit and their primary tools of choice are fear mongering, lies by omission and outright lies; and if all that inanity that weren’t enough, the public is currently being dumbed-down into believing that any totalitarian method used by the government in an effort to “protect public health” is acceptable and their primary tool of choice is fear mongering.

    Many generations of Earth’s inhabitants have suffered under totalitarian rule and that’s exactly where we are headed. It’s now been shown to the political left that fear mongering propaganda works. The left now knows that the sheep will fall inline when it’s to protect public health, the political left has a new-found power over the masses and the political left has the political will to wield it – the United States Constitution be damned. There once was a battle cry that inspired many thousands of people to arms, it was “Remember the Alamo”, well folks we now have a new cry to inspire people to cower in their homes in fear, it’s “Remember COVID-19”, I wonder how the political left will choose to wield it?

    A Side Note:
    Does anyone remember me writing what’s below in August 2019, I also copied and pasted it again when talking about Big Lie #5: “Everything is Terrible”

    “I’m sure we’ve all heard it; prominent lefties are actively hoping for a recession so the President can’t run on a good economy. They are saying that a recession won’t really hurt us and we’ll survive it just fine. They have been projecting their intent, is anyone paying attention to their actions?

    Since those statements from prominent lefties have emerged, I’ve been noticing some developing trends from the political left trying to say the economy is already in a down turn heading towards a recession. Based on the morally bankrupt behavior of the political left since November 2016, I think it’s a fair prediction that the political left is going to be ramping this up to a fever pitch causing actual fear in people, causing people to stop or greatly slow their spending which will cause the stock market to start declining and all of this will put of people out of work which will drag things down even quicker thus actually creating the recession they desire and all in less than a year.”

    Somehow the Democrats got their destroyed economy!

    Hmmmmm…

    Everything really IS terrible!

    Hmmmmm…

    Want to get a real conspiracy theory bouncing off the inside walls of that cranium of yours, think about that for a while.

    • • The Democrats wanted a destroyed economy, they got it.

      • The Democrats want to push totalitarian policies, they’re doing it.

      • The Democrats want something new about every month or two to smear President Trump, they got it.

      • The Democrats wanted something to make the public fearful, they got it.

      There’s about six and a half months left until the election; with all the things the Democrats have done over the last 3+ years what the heck will the Democrats last-ditch effort, their 11th hour attack on President Trump be just before election day – I expect a real dozy!

  6. The integrity test is for the public, and honest, fair pundits, professionals, elected officials and others the public respects. Will they allow the news media, and obviously the Democratic Party, which must be pulling its strings, to get away with this?

    Is this a rhetorical question? The answer is, “Of course they will, you silly man, you.” The media have been getting away with this since early in the morning of November 9, 2016 (and some even began during the campaign, eg. the NYT). It’s been nothing but “unseat Trump” for his entire presidency. How can Biden defeat Trump if this story, or the Ukraine story or the China corruption story are given any legs? Sexual assault allegations? What sexual assault allegations.

    • You know, the constant “we’re doomed” cynicism is both tiresome and unhelpful, Bill. In fact, we have to go no further back than the 2016 election to see that the news media does not always prevail, and not far back in history to see many, many other cases where destructive trends–McCarthyism, for example—that seemed insuperable were stopped by the right messenger at the right time. I will happen again. Saying that it can’t and won’t just makes it take longer.

      • I don’t think “we’re doomed,” I think the media has always been reprehensible. I’d say the media’s doomed but that’s ridiculous. They will survive just fine. But people have to read the papers and the internet with a jaundiced eye. I just don’t think the media will ever be, or have ever been, an unbiased reporter of facts. They’ve always had any number of axes to grind and favorites to prop up. They’re not a disinterested party. They are for-profit businesses. All they care about is making payroll, or holy grail of holy grails, having a liquidity event. They’re not “The Fourth Estate.” They’re ink stained wretches pretending to be noble, much the same as Hollywood denizens are just self-interested actors and movie producers posing as superior human beings. We’re not all doomed, it’s always been this way. I’m more an Old Testament guy. Humankind just keeps making the same mistakes over and over. Humankind is not improving year after year. The arc of history isn’t an arc. It’s a flat line, or better yet, a circle.

        Will the media ever function along ethical lines? I wouldn’t bet on it.

        • Jack and Alizia, I’m a massive William Faulkner fan. Maybe his Nobel prize acceptance speech should be somewhere in the EA stash of memorable ethics speeches. One of my favorite passages:

          I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance.

          https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/literature/1949/faulkner/speech/

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