Monday, April 20, 2020

Truest statement of the week

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the leading candidate for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2020, has been accused by a former staffer of sexually assaulting her. Tara Reade alleges the incident occurred in 1993 when Biden was a senator from Delaware. There were no witnesses, Reade never filed a complaint and the statute of limitations for such an offense, if it occurred, has long since expired.
Reade told Newsweek that she went public with her claims in late March, according to the magazine, “to ensure that ‘powerful men’ are held to account.”
The reluctance of the New York Times and the Washington Post to report Reade’s allegations—neither covered the story until a few days ago—reveals, first of all, their rank hypocrisy.
[. . .]
In an interview published by the Times April 13, its executive editor Dean Baquet resorted to sophistry to explain the newspaper’s tardy coverage of the Biden-Reade story. Baquet asserted that “what The New York Times could offer and should try to offer was the reporting to help people understand what to make of a fairly serious allegation against a guy who had been a vice president of the United States and was knocking on the door of being his party’s nominee.”
In other words, Biden deserved special treatment, as he received from the editors even after the April 12 piece was published. One of the latter’s sentences originally read, “The Times found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden, beyond the hugs, kisses and touching that women previously said made them uncomfortable.” As amended, the sentence simply read, “The Times found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden.”
Asked about the deletion, Baquet referred to pressure from the former vice president’s forces, indicating that “the [Biden] campaign thought that the phrasing was awkward and made it look like there were other instances in which he had been accused of sexual misconduct. And that’s not what the sentence was intended to say.”

-- David Walsh, "When it comes to Joe Biden, New York Times abandons 'Believe women'" (WSWS).

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