OK, I Give Up: What IS This?

In an interview with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, Joe Biden said he had no recollection of Reade, but said she “has a right to be heard but then should be vetted, and the truth ultimately matters. And I give you my word, it never ever happened.”

Then O’Donnell asked what he would say to women who were “eager to vote for Joe Biden but this gives them serious pause because they do believe Tara Reade.”

“Well, I think they should vote their heart,” Biden replied. “If they believe Tara Reade, they probably shouldn’t vote for me. I wouldn’t vote for me if I believe Tara Reade.”

What is that? Continue reading

Democrats Now Stand With Bill Maher On Tara Reade And Joe Biden, Which Tells Us All We Need To Know About #MeToo And Democrats

Former actress Rose McGowan, an alleged Harvey Weinstein rape victim, among the most dedicated #MeToo advocates, and a pariah in Hollywood for her penchant for calling out harassers (like Ben Affleck) and grandstanding hypocrites (like Alyssa Milano), directly accused Bill Maher of sexual harassment yesterday in a tweet:

This won’t trouble Maher or presumably his fans and viewers, because Maher has made it crystal clear for his entire, ugly career as a clown nose on/ clown nose off pundit that he doesn’t see anything wrong with sexual harassment. He believes women exist on earth for his convenience and pleasure. He is a pure misogynist, who has repeatedly called women who don’t conform to his ideological cast “cunts” and “twats” (as his audience guffaws). When Bill Clinton was battling through Monica Madness, Maher opined that Clinton should have said, ‘Yeah, I had sex with an intern, and I deserve to, because I’m President!” (Maher wasn’t kidding, just as Clinton  wasn’t kidding when he essentially confirmed Maher’s assumption by writing in his autobiography that he exploited Lewinsky “because he could.”) It goes without saying that Maher also thinks that #MeToo is a crock.

And I guess, based on so many of its vocal  supporters’ words and conduct recently, he must be right.

Do I believe that Maher said what McGowan claims? The former “Scream” star is perpetually furious, but she has also been consistently honest. Maher used (and probably still uses) his panels as a dating bar (Rose was really hot in the 90s), and his quote sounds like something he might say to an attractive  female guest; heck, he’s said worse on the air. Bill hasn’t responded yet; I bet that if he does, he’ll say something like, “Sure, I said it. Why shouldn’t I? It’s true!” And his peanut gallery will cheer.

This brings us to Maher’s pronouncement on his show last week regarding the Tara Reade accusation, which she elaborated on in a graphic interview with former NBC News and Fox News journalist Megyn Kelly last week. Continue reading

Ethics Warm-Up, V-E Day 75th Anniversary Edition

To my father and all the rest…

Thank-you for saving the world.

1. About that Eva Murry story. The last we heard from Eva Murry, she was telling the story of how creepy Joe Biden complimented her on the size of her breasts 12 years ago, when she was 14. Ethics Alarms noted at the time that the woman’s detailed account had no effect on the credibility of Tara Reade’s allegations one way or the other, since we already knew Biden was creepy.  However,earlier this week Fox News reported : 

A past organizer for Delaware’s First State Gridiron Dinner now says Joe Biden did not attend the event in 2008, after a woman recently claimed the former vice president and senator sexually harassed her there, Fox News has learned….

Local news reports from the time said Biden was having sinus surgery earlier that week — to address issues including a deviated septum — and was scheduled to be out of work for the whole week.

At the time, his spokeswoman said that she “anticipates that he’ll be out for the remainder of the week recovering at his home in Wilmington,” according to a report in the News Journal at the time.

Murry’s aunt, Christine O’Donnell (of “I am not a witch” fame) says she remembers Murry talking about the event at the time, and  stood by her viece’s accusation, telling Fox,

“Yes, it could have been another year. So what? She was a teenager when I ran for office. It doesn’t make it okay. It happened when I was running for office against him. If it was 2007, that makes it even worse.”

But it couldn’t have been in 2007 either, because records place him in Iowa that evening.

All anyone can figure out is that young Murry ran into a different creep that she thought was Biden, though that seems unlikely too. What’s going on here? Why would the woman subject herself to national scrutiny and embarrassment by telling her story in such detail when it wasn’t true?

Since the new evidence came to light, she has been notably silent. That’s not right; she made an accusation against Biden, and needs to follow up with either an explanation or an apology. Continue reading

The Education Department Finally Crushes The Obama-Mandated Campus Sexual Assault Kangaroo Courts, And Joe Biden Is Deliberately Trying To Make My Head Explode

Shut up, Tara, I’m talking about how victims of sexual casualty are being silenced here!

This one was so clear that the New York Times decided to play it straight. Let’s see if the Biden campaign makes them change the headline: DeVos’s Rules Bolster Rights of Students Accused of Sexual Misconduct. It begins:

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Wednesday issued final regulations on sexual misconduct in education, delivering colleges and schools firm new rules on how they must deal with one of the biggest issues that have roiled their campuses for decades.

The rules fulfill one of the Trump administration’s major policy goals for Title IX, the 48-year-old federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in programs that receive federal funding, bolstering due-process protections for accused students while relieving schools of some legal liabilities. But Ms. DeVos extended the reach of the law in other ways, establishing dating violence as a sexual misconduct category that must be addressed and mandating supportive measures for alleged victims of assault.

Title IX had become a flash point in recent years after sexual assault cases rocked high-profile universities like Stanford and Duke, and serial sex abuse by staff at the University of Southern California, Michigan State and Ohio State demonstrated how schools had failed to properly investigate complaints. But enforcement of the law has also grown contentious, especially since the Obama administration issued guidance documents in 2011 and 2014 that advised schools to ramp up investigations of misconduct and warned that their failure to do so could bring serious consequences. Critics said schools felt pressured to side with accusers without extending sufficient rights to the accused. And dozens of students have won court cases against their colleges for violating their rights under the Obama-era rules…

The new regulations adopt the Supreme Court’s definition of sexual harassment as “unwelcome conduct that is so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive,” and they require colleges to hold live hearings during which accusers and accused can be cross-examined to challenge their credibility. The rules also limit the complaints that schools are obligated to investigate to only those filed through a formal process and brought to the attention of officials with the authority to take corrective action, not other authority figures like residential advisers.

Exactly. Ethics Alarms has covered many of these episodes, and pointed out the anti-due process aspects of the Education Department’s infamous “Dear Colleague” letter when it was issued. That sop to the militant feminist and anti-male wing of the Democratic Party threatened schools with adverse consequences if those accused of sexual harassment and assault were not presumed guilty, with their reputations and education at risk. The burden of proof was shifted on most campuses, with the accused, rather than the accuser, having the burden of proof. Continue reading

Evening Ethics, 5/5/2020: Women And Hypocrites [CORRECTED]

Sit a spell, Take your shoes off.

1. What does this tell you, Elie? Come on, I know you can figure it out...Elie Mystal, the emotional lawyer turned social justice warrior who used to embarrass “Above the Law” with his unhinged rants (like the time he announced that no black juror should ever vote to convict a black defendant regardless of the evidence) finally ended up where he belonged all along, the far-left Communist-flirting The Nation. He just issued a post that raises a legitimate issue, despite a typical Nation headline ( “The Men Pushing to Open the Economy Clearly Don’t Need Child Care”).

Closing the schools does indeed make it impossible for many Americans to go to work; this was obvious (wasn’t it?) as soon as schools started closing due to the Wuhan virus. His most useful observation: how are we going to send people back to work without addressing the school problem, and doesn’t that have to be addressed in order to open up the economy? Ellie, who is being  Daddy-child care in the division of duties in his family (good for him) writes in part,

As of this writing, 43 states have closed schools through the end of the academic year. …For most families, there is no child care without school. In America, school is pretty much the only free or subsidized child care our government provides. Without reliable, affordable, and Covid-free child care, going back to work is simply not an option for many parents. The school closings only deepen a reoccurring problem most parents face: the summer. In a society that has decided to outsource child care responsibilities to the school system, the fact that this system goes on an annual months-long holiday is already a nightmare for working parents.

After that, Ellie being Ellie and The Nation being The Nation, we get indictments of unfeeling male policy-makers (“I bet if we elected more women, the order of operations for reopening the economy wouldn’t be so ass-backwards”—Did you check how many states with female governors shut down the schools, Elie? I didn’t think so) and, of course, a call for more subsidized child care, because it takes a village to raise a child and because you never let a crisis go to waste.

I bet, if he thinks real hard, Elie can come up with another, less expensive, easier to implement plan that will address the problem, at least for now. Come on, man. Think.

2. Incompetent  #MeToo  Hypocrite Of The Year. I can’t believe I once advocated Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer as the best female VP option for Joe Biden since he has announced that he will be choosing the most female individual rather than the most qualified one. In addition to being one of the elected officials the pandemic has exposed as an aspiring dictator, she’s the state house version of Kamala Harris: ask her a question requiring thought and a clear response, and you get obfuscation and double-talk. Here’s the exchange that won her title,  from last Sunday’s ” State of the Union.with Jake Tapper:

TAPPER:  “You have said that you believe Vice President Biden. I want to compare that to 2018, when you said you believed Dr. Christine Blasey Ford after she accused now Justice Brett Kavanaugh of assault. Kavanaugh also, like Biden, categorically denied that accusation. And Blasey Ford, to be honest, she did not have the contemporaneous accounts of her view of what happened that Tara Reade does. You have spoken movingly about how you’re a survivor — survivor of assault yourself. Why do you believe Biden, and not Kavanaugh? Are they not both entitled to the same presumption of innocence, regardless of their political views?”

WHITMER: “You know, Jake, as a survivor and as a feminist, I will say this. We need to give people an opportunity to tell their story. But then we have a duty to vet it. And just because you’re a survivor doesn’t mean that every claim is equal. It means we give them the ability to make their case, and the other side as well, and then to make a judgment that is informed. I have read a lot about this current allegation. I know Joe Biden, and I have watched his defense. And there’s not a pattern that goes into this. And I think that, for these reasons, I’m very comfortable that Joe Biden is who he says he is. He’s — and you know what? And that’s all I’m going to say about it. I really resent the fact that, every time a case comes up, all of us survivors have to weigh in. It is reopening wounds. And it is — take us at our word, ask us for our opinion, and let’s move on.”

Weasel, hypocrite, coward, dim wit.

To be blunt.

  • She had to know she would be asked this question, and the best she could come up with was, essentially, “How dare you ask such a question–I’m a survivor!” and “move on”? Translation: “I have no answer for that question other than the obvious fact that Biden’s a Democrat and as a Democrat I apply different standard to him than I do to Republicans. And you, as a member of the mainstream media, our party’s ally in defeating the Bad Orange Man, are supposed to have our backs.”
  • But Reade has not been given a chance to make her case. Blasey Ford got a national forum. How has Reade been vetted? Whitmer is just throwing up any excuse she can think of whether it makes sense or not.
  • Oh, no! Pelosi’s “I know Joe Biden” defense? That’s the best she can do? Among other things, Whitmer doesn’t know Joe Biden especially well. There are spouses of serial killers who don’t know what their husbands are capable of, and she’s saying that the accused should be exonerated because their friends and relatives can’t imagine him doing what has been alleged?

Continue reading

No, Eva Murry’s Icky Story About Joe Biden Doesn’t Make Tara Reade’s Accusation More Credible [UPDATED!]

Cool your jets, conservative media.

Two days ago, Law and Crime, usually a partisan website on the Democratic side, posted the detailed allegation of Eva Murry, a 26-year-old woman who is engaged and has two children. The site treated it as a major scoop (“A woman says she was sexually harassed by presumptive Democratic Party Presidential nominee Joe Biden when she was 14 years old”) and the conservative news media picked up the ball and ran for the metaphorical goal-line. Fox News wrote, “A woman related to a former Republican Senate candidate is accusing former Vice President Joe Biden of sexual harassment…The claim comes as Biden is denying a separate allegation made by former staffer Tara Reade that he sexually assaulted her in 1993.” Further down the food chain—much further— the Trump-boosting blog WS sported the headline, “Report: Another Biden Accuser Comes Forward, Says He Sexually Harassed Her When She Was Only 14-Years-Old,” and began, “Yet another Biden accuser has come forward with a disgusting story of sexual harassment.”

Eva Murry’s account has absolutely no relevance to Tara Reade’s allegations of sexual assault. None. It should not be treated as if it does.

In an earlier post, I listed the three reasons why I am dubious of Reade’s accusation. The first is that she took so long to make her accusation public, a problem she shares with Dr. Blasey Ford and Anita Hill, among others. Second, the accusation looks and feels like a politically-motivated attack, another feature redolent of Hill and Ford. Third, such accusations are always suspect when they are alone.

It’s still alone. Murry’s story is the kind of “this guy is a creep” tale that came from all sides at Donald Trump during the Presidential campaign. We know Biden is a creep, or should; it doesn’t provide any reason to believe he is capable of sexual assault no matter how hard his adversaries try to spin it. Continue reading

Most Unethical Biden Defender Yet: New Hampshire Democratic State Representative Richard Komi

(Cross-filed under “Ethics Dunce,” “Unethical Quote of the Month,” “Incompetent Elected Official,” “When Ethics Alarms Don’t Ring,” and “Wow, What An Idiot!”)

I would have thought that both parties would have required briefings for all their elected officials on what constitutes workplace assault and sexual harassment. Apparently not, because this guy apparently seems to think that when your boss, a powerful Senator, demands that you submit to his sexual advances, it ‘s OK as long as you give in. It’s not. Never mind that Komi’s tweet attempts to excuse Biden —and his denials—by blaming the victim.

Oh, the dead ethics alarm started pinging softly once enough colleagues and constituents contacted him to say, “Are you out of your mind??? Take that thing down!” It may have been too late anyway. His own party, as corrupted and hypocritical as it has revealed itself to be during this fiasco, couldn’t that this pass. New Hampshire House Speaker Stephen Shurtleff, also a Democrat,  said in a statement, “I am appalled by Representative Komi’s comments. They were dismissive and hurtful to survivors of sexual assault across the Granite State and across the country. The comments are not fitting for the New Hampshire House of Representatives and immediately upon learning of them, I called him and asked Representative Komi to resign his seat.”

A spokesman for the New Hampshire democratic Party itself also called for his resignation, saying,

Representative Komi’s comment is wrong, inappropriate, and offensive to all Democrats, and does not reflect the values of our party. I applaud Speaker Shurtleff’s swift action, calling for Rep. Komi to resign immediately

And I was just going to write that I wondered which ploy Komi would try to wiggle out of this. My money was going to be on “This doesn’t reflect who I am,” with a touch of the Pazuzu Excuse and the recently resurgent Yoo’s Rationalization, or “It isn’t what it is.”

As I was typing that, the news arrived that the idiot resigned, along with a crummy hybrid between a Level 9 non-apology apology [ “Deceitful apologies, in which the wording of the apology is crafted to appear apologetic when it is not…”] and  a #10 apology [ “An insincere and dishonest apology designed to allow the wrongdoer to escape accountability cheaply, and to deceive his or her victims into forgiveness and trust, so they are vulnerable to future wrongdoing.’]…

“I also want to offer my sincere apologies to anybody whose feelings may have been hurt by the tweets. I am and will continue to be a supporter of victims of sexual and domestic assault. The tweets were very poorly worded and do not reflect who I am and what I stand for. I ask for the forgiveness of all who have been a victim of sexual or any other kind of assault.”

Continue reading

Another Smoking Gun: The Television News Blackout Of Tara Reade

New York Times media reporter Ben Smith bought back a smidgen of the paper’s shredded credibility by authoring a relatively—for the Times—thorough article exploring the phenomenon of TV news shows declining to interview Tara Reade. The problem is that there is good reason to question Smith’s sincerity. His query is like asking why all those supposedly #MeToo-supporting Democratics who condemned Brett Kavanaugh are endorsing Biden. Gee, what a mystery! What could explain it?

Well, not completely. TV networks make their revenue on ratings. That a Reade interview  would attract viewers is no-brainer, so why hasn’t there been a rush to grab her first? The answer to that question, which Smith treats as completely confounding, is clear–res ipsa loquitur, in fact—but it is a topic of widespread denial, rising to the status of gaslighting. Journalists, as well as the organizations they work for, are more committed to allying themselves with the Left than they are to practicing ethical journalism, or even making money. Sherlock Holmes’ formula applies: when you have eliminated every other explanation for a phenomenon, the one remaining, however unlikely, has to be the correct one. Continue reading

Ethics May Day, 2020: Biden, Reade, Planned Parenthood, A Renegade Times Pundit, And The Democrats Get Their Way.

It’s May! It’s May!

1. So Joe Biden went on “Morning Joe” and denied that Tara Reade was telling the truth. So what? What does this tell us? Was there any chance whatsoever that he was going to say, “Yup, I finger-fucked her. I don’t know what came over me!”? No. This is like the Kurt Gödel conundrum about the island where there are only truth-tellers and liars, and there are some questions where they will give exactly the same answers. He picked a screamingly partisan journalist, Mika  Brzezinski, to ensure soft-ball treatment (she actually was a bit tougher than expected), and, to some eyes, looked as if he had rehearsed his statement. Ann Althouse does an extensive analysis here.

I don’t see the point. It’s a pro forma denial, and Biden was pressured into it.

I do think the Post article used some unfortunate phrasing..

“The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee was rebutting Tara Reade’s accusation that he reached under her skirt to penetrate her with his fingers somewhere in the Capitol in 1993. This denial requires him to thread a thin needle.”

2. Showing it has more integrity than most women’s groups, Planned Parenthood, the Daily Beast reports, was the only one among  the major pro-abortion groups in the nation that responded directly to the progressive site’s request for a comment regarding Tara Reade’s allegations. The “Democrat-aligned” groups either “did not respond” or ” replied and did not provide a statement”…except Planned Parenthood.

Its president released a statement saying in part, “We believe survivors—and saying we believe survivors doesn’t mean only when it’s politically convenient…Joe Biden must address this allegation directly.'” Continue reading

Follow-Up: To Be Fair To Alyssa Milano, Some Professional Pundits Aren’t Any More Competent Than She Is

In the previous post, I pointed out that Milano’s recent column on Tara Reade’s allegations about Joe Biden was devoid of effective critical thought, as well as soaked with crippling bias. I feel that I should note that many actual pundits are not much better at coherent analysis than the ex-TV starlet turned social media auteur.

Consider, for example, Bill Palmer, the self-described political journalist who writes The Palmer Report, more or less a left-wing equivilent of The Gateway Pundit which is banned on Ethics Alarms.

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes broke ranks this week by mildly suggesting that “personal admiration for the individual or their work, or political admiration, someone on our ‘side'” should not keep the news media from treating allegations like Tara Reade’s against Joe Biden seriously. The Horror. Hayes’ statement was basically an affirmation of what was once known as “journalism,” but the progressive mob immediately demanded that Hayes be fired. The last time an MSNBC host dared to buck the channel’s agenda, Chris Matthews had a Tara Reade of his own suddenly surface, and he was forced into retirement.

What a coincidence!

Enter Palmer, who wrote a blog post every bit as intellectually lame as Milano’s, and more dishonest. Read it here; I don’t want such junk on the blog. But here are some bottom of the barrel scrapings: Continue reading