Monday, March 30, 2020

Did Joe Biden assault staffer Tara Reade

Arwa Mahdawi (GUARDIAN) observes:

"Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has been accused of sexual assault by a former staffer. Tara Reade, who worked with Biden when he was a Delaware senator, alleges he inappropriately touched her and penetrated her with his fingers without consent in 1993."

Last week, the charges surfaced. In a community roundtable, this was noted by Mike:

First, to reply to four e-mails I got today, no, it's not the actress Tara Reid.  Tara Reade is a different person.  Among other things, she worked for Joe Biden's office in the 90s when he was a US Senator.  He is currently running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  This week, Tara Reade became an issue for Joe when Ryan Grimm reported on her allegations for THE INTERCEPT and noted that TimesUp! refused to help her.  He then discussed that on THE HILL's RISING with Krystal BallKatie Halper interviewed Tara about her story.  Those late to the party can refer to my "Tara Reade was assaulted by Joe Biden" and "Joe Biden assaulted Tara Reade" and C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot," "Iraq snapshot" and "Iraq snapshot."  Anna North (VOX) explains, "Reade says Biden sexually assaulted her, pushing her against a wall and penetrating her with his fingers. When she pulled away, she says, he said he thought she 'liked' him."  The corporate media has been reluctant to cover the issue all week.

That roundtable was done early Saturday morning. Somehow what the community knew and grasped Chuck Todd couldn't. Joe Biden appeared Sunday on NBC's MEEK THE PRESS and meek Chuck refused to ask him about that.

Right there we should all stop a minute.

Remember this?

not us gals

Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "The Not Us Gals love Charlie Rose" was covering how, in a debate, Senator Elizabeth Warren raised the issue -- documented by THE WASHINGTON POST among other publications -- of Michael Bloomberg's workplace hostility towards women. Instead of allowing her to explore this, the moderators Gayle King and Norah O'Donnell shut it down.


We need to be asking.

Gayle and Norah looked the other way for years while Charlie Rose harassed other women. Are they enablers? Is Chuck Todd enabling harassment at NBC -- or is he himself a harasser?

When so-called journalists refuse to raise this very serious issue, we all have a right to wonder why that is. And maybe the conclusion is that those who are part of the harassment are the ones who don't want to raise the issue.

Libby Emmons (THE POST MILENNIAL) notes how Times Up! and Senator Kamala Harris have refused to help Tara Reade:

The Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, part of the Women’s Law Center, endeavors to connect women who have been victimized by the patriarchy to attorneys who can represent them. They declined, however, to help Reade out, claiming that as a not-for-profit they couldn’t get involved due to the political nature of her case, and the Internal Revenue Service restrictions on not-for-profits making political statements.
“Time’s Up argued that the case was too political considering that Biden was a candidate for president,” wrote Tristan Justice in The Federalist, “and it didn’t want to jeopardize its status housed with the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) as a 501(c)(3) non-profit with the Internal Revenue Service, which allows the organization to be exempt from certain taxes.”
One wonders how connecting an abuse victim with an attorney constitutes political involvement, or making a political statement. They probably believe Reade and everything, they just don’t think they can do anything about it. A shame their hands are tied and they can’t make a giant case against such a hugely powerful individual such as Joe Biden. Serial predator Harvey Weinstein was one thing, but what serious damage could be done to the standing patriarchy by eliminating a top presidential contender. Then we’d all really know the chicks are getting serious.
Reade reached out to Kamala Harris’ office. This was a great bet, since Harris was a vocal proponent of Brett Kavanaugh’s condemnation as a sexual predator despite the lack of evidence. But Harris, who has endorsed Biden, has not reached back out. Probably she has super good reasons for not jumping on the bandwagon with Tara Reade. Maybe she needs more evidence or something.
As said of Harris by Brad Polumbo in the Washington Examiner, “If she does not immediately denounce [Biden] in light of this accusation, all her emotional condemnations of Kavanaugh were clearly simply the partisan theatrics of a deeply cynical, conniving politician willing to disregard due process for her political opponents, but not her allies.”

If the first-hand account posed by Tara Reade on Soundcloud, before God and everyone, aren’t enough to get the support of the whole Me Too and Time’s Up contingent, if it’s not enough to take down a man who has other allegations against him, or to even damage this man of power, this upholder of patriarchal privilege, then it’s over. That’s the only take away.

What does it say about our media when so much of it refuses to even acknowledge Tara Reade? What message does that send? And how much hypocrisy will the American people be expected to swallow?

Brammhi Balarajan (THE EMORY WHEEL) concludes:

What should we conclude about our democratic process if it forces us to choose our next president from two men accused of sexual assault? The lack of coverage and failure to address these issues suggests that the Democratic Party values control of the White House over justice and accountability. Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, we all need to take these allegations seriously. The recent Twitter controversy surrounding Reade’s accusation isn’t just warranted — it’s necessary.

We more than agree.

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