Tara Reade is telling the truth.
But The New York Times would rather please Joe Biden than tell the truth.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Easter Sunday, THE NEW YORK TIMES covered Tara Reade's allegation that Joe Biden assaulted her. They were quickly followed by THE WASHINGTON POST and AP. On RISING, Krystal Ball took on the coverage of THE TIMES.
Emily Jashinsky (THE FEDERALIST) compares and contrasts the way THE TIMES covers women who claim assault:
When The New York Times finally published an investigation into Reade’s account, it was in the form of a meta-story headlined: “Examining Tara Reade’s Sexual Assault Allegation Against Joe Biden.” The Times’ original Ford story was straight news, headlined, “Kavanaugh’s Nomination in Turmoil as Accuser Says He Assaulted Her Decades Ago.” The paper’s story on absurd gang rape allegations made by Julie Swetnick against Kavanaugh was headlined, “Julie Swetnick Is Third Woman to Accuse Brett Kavanaugh of Sexual Misconduct.”
The Times story on Reade is appropriately rigorous, but tellingly involves a higher standard of skepticism than the one applied to Ford. The headline is Example One, framing the story as an examination rather than a report.
By the story’s third paragraph, the Times noted, “In interviews, several people who worked in the Senate office with Ms. Reade said they did not recall any talk of such an incident or similar behavior by Mr. Biden toward her or any women. Two office interns who worked directly with Ms. Reade said they were unaware of the allegation or any treatment that troubled her.” Oddly enough, the next sentence mentioned, “Last year, Ms. Reade and seven other women came forward to accuse Mr. Biden of kissing, hugging or touching them in ways that made them feel uncomfortable,” despite reporting no pattern of “similar” behavior by Biden.
Later, the Times added, “No other allegation about sexual assault surfaced in the course of reporting, nor did any former Biden staff members corroborate any details of Ms. Reade’s allegation. The Times found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden.” That, of course, depends on how “misconduct” is defined. The word would seem to include unwanted “kissing, hugging or touching.”
The Times was less insistent on Kavanaugh’s character testimonies. The original Times story on Ford included brief mention of a letter from 65 female classmates of Kavanaugh testifying to his character, along with a quote from the justice’s good friend, Mark Judge, whom Ford counted as a witness, denying her account and defending Kavanaugh. (The paper’s story on Swetnick’s allegation was better, although it probably should never have been published.)
The Times contextualized Ford’s allegation by placing it within the framework of a Democratic narrative about “Kavanaugh’s truthfulness,” writing, “Ms. Ford’s account comes as Democrats are already raising questions about Judge Kavanaugh’s truthfulness during his confirmation hearings this month. They have accused him of dissembling on a range of issues from his time in the George W. Bush White House, including a breach of secret Democratic files on judicial nominations and discussions about detainee policy and torture.”
But, again, the paper dubiously emphasized that Biden allegedly has no “pattern of sexual misconduct.” Why frame Kavanaugh’s denial with news that Democrats are raising concerns about his honesty and not frame Biden’s denial in the context of the allegations of inappropriate touching? Those allegations are mentioned twice in the story, and briefly. The Washington Post’s story on Reade went into much greater detail on them.
This is how media bias works. Sometimes it’s outright, but often it’s done more subtly through framing. While I would hardly call this contrast subtle, it’s certainly true the Times emphasized different elements of the story to frame Reade’s allegation more skeptically, starting right away with the headline. It’s about what you include and what you leave out.
Joe Biden can't speak publicly about the allegations but he can whine to NYT about them noting his pattern of harassment and getting it pulled from the article. Nando notes:
Ryan Grim also notes the shameful deletion.
Shameful is also racist Amanda Marcotte who we've already dealt with weeks ago. She's now trying to pimp her bad scribbles by doing an interview. Where does she go?
POD SAVE AMERICA.
A feminist outlet? No. A sexist and shameful outlet. They have three hosts. Here's Jon Favreau showing how he treats female politicians when around his friends.
Jon did not get fired from Barack's 2008 campaign for that photo. He's a pig who got away with being a pig which means he continues to be a pig. Any program that would choose to have someone like that as a host will never be a program that addresses women's issues seriously.
I'm not remembering Amanda Marcotte calling the above photo out. But then a faux feminist wouldn't call it out.
She's clearly aware of the photo which is how she knew POD SAVE AMERICA was just the place to go to attack a woman with anti-feminist language.
Katie Halper covers the trashing Amanda took part in with the thread below:
#2. I interviewed Reade on my own podcast, the Katie Halper Show. (2/?)
#3. Also, she worked for him not just "in 1993" but in 1992 and 1993. (3/?)
#4. Marcotte says, "her discussing that didn't really rise to anyone's attention. It was covered in a local newspaper in California." In fact, it was covered by
It's just kind of incredible something so disprovable would be said. #5. She says Reade made an allegation that "Biden pushed her up against a wall and digitally penetrated her. That's kind of the sum of it. There's not a whole lot more to the accusation." In fact, there is (5/?)
actual errors and mis-representations, as opposed to bias. I won't count that one. So, back to #7. Marcotte outrageously says "She claimed that she complained about it to multiple people. I got a hold of 2 of them and they said no." Who did Marcotte get a hold of? It sure (8/?)
as hell wasn't the people Tara said she told bc Marcotte complains that she wasn't able to reach them. She should ask the several other reporters who somehow did reach them. Imagine if someone told me they told people about an incident, told me the people they had told, I (9/?)
tried to reach them and then reached out to other random people whose identities I didn't even disclose and then tried to suggest the person who said this wasn't on the up and up? #11. Marcotte says Reade didn't tell the whole story of what happened to her bc she "got (10/?)
scared." Kind of weird to omit that she was upset bc she was almost immediately smeared as a Russian agent. Especially weird bc Marcotte repeats these smears in her piece. (11/?)
#12. Marcotte says Reade told her she complained to her supervisors about the harassment "so that I felt like precluded a paper trail. And we didn't really talk about a paper trail." If Marcotte listened to my interview with Reade, which she would have if she cared about (12/?)
her subject, she would've learned that Reade told me she both spoke to people and filed a paper in an office. #13. Vietor takes the time to quote the NY Times, which said, "The Times found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden." Somehow, neither Marcotte nor Vietor (13/?)
followed this story enough to know that the Times, embarrassingly enough,stealth edited piece, which 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." (14/?)
Anyone paying attention to this story saw the side by side screenshots of how the Times rewrote it. #14 Vietor says he spoke to journalists who were working on the story for a year. Those journalists STOPPED working on this story until Grim wrote his piece & I interviewed (15/?)
her. In fact, some of the places that spoke to Tara last year have assigned new reporters to the story. That's how not working on her story the reporters were. Some reporters were "mad" that Tara hadn't told them everything & some felt guilty they had stopped working on it (16/?)
Vietor asks Marcotte "can you tell us why it took so long" to cover this story. This is the question everyone is asking but they're not actually asking it. They're offering it so people like Marcotte can say "it totally makes sense that they didn't cover it." She & others (17/?)
are trying to justify media's silence bc it's been so deafening people have to be given an answer. Marcotte answers that the reason she was able to cover this story more quickly than the major outlets was "perversely bc Salon doesn't have a lot of resources. It's just me (18/?)
and my editors. I don't have a research assistant. And what I quickly released after talking to Tara, after talking to the folks at Times Up, and the Biden campaign, it became pretty clear that the chances of us finding out what happened to her especially with our limited (19/?)
resources were pretty low..." Pause here. This framing of Salon being a scrappy operation with Marcotte doing all the phone calls herself, as she says during this Pod Save interview, is pretty different from how the piece is presented in her actual article at Salon where (20/?)
she refers to "Salon" in 3rd person. So, in the sub-headline (right above the correction Marcotte had to issue) it reads, "Salon untangles fact from fiction in the politicized fall-out," not "I untangle." The piece determines "in light of these details, Salon concludes..." (21/?)
as if she's working with the investigative reporting team featured in Spotlight. This isn't really a mistake in the way the other things, so we don't have to count it. So, we're back at #14. So #14. Marcotte claims that given the limited resources at Salon, she refocused (22/?)
on "how much I could debunk the conspiracy theories that Biden supporters and Sanders supporters were pushing." As Krystal Ball points out. Marcotte uses false equivalencies when it comes to conspiracy theories. She equates the claim that "Time's Up refuse[d] to help... (23/?)
Reade as a political favor to Biden," with the claim that Reade is a Russian agent and with the claim that Reade is a woman in a Dr. Phil video she is absolutely not. Marcotte doesn't debunk the claim abt Times Up. She misrepresents them. They told Reade & Grim on the (24/?)
record that they wouldn't take on Reade bc she was accusing Biden. Marcotte claimed it had something to do with Reade's support of Bernie (who, by the way, she didn't initially support. She supported Warren and then went with the guy who wasn't her alleged sexual assaulter (25/?)
) which just contradicts what TimesUp said so either Times Up is wrong and Marcotte is right or Times Up is lying or Marcotte is. #15. Marcotte claims that WaPo & NY Times, though they have more resources than she does, kept hitting their heads up with the fact that "it's (26/?)
very difficult to figure out what happened in 1993 between Reade and BIden and I think what happened is that they spent more & more time trying to get all the facts in order & do all the interviews... to see if there was anything that could tell us the truth one way or (27/?)
double standard when it comes to truth between Reade and Biden and truth between Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh. (To be clear, Kavanaugh should not be on the Supreme Court & is an odious person on a political & personal level while Biden is not a monster through & through (29/?)
FOIA request takes several months and in the middle of a pandemic, more. So that's no excuse. #16. If this were about responsible and thorough journalism, the NY Times and WaPo and anyone else would have asked the one question that anyone interested in the truth would ask (31/?)
which is DO YOU DENY THAT, AS THE TWO THEN INTERNS HAVE SAID, READE WAS STRIPPED OF HER DUTIES ABRUPTLY? If they say no, we don't deny that, then you ask WHY WAS SHE STRIPPED OF HER DUTIES? If they say why, you report that. If they don't deny it or don't respond or say no (32/?)
comment, you report that. #17. Marcotte then asks Vietor, "Does that make sense?" to which he responds (after a few moments) "yeah that makes total sense. I think that just speaks to how challenging it is to figure out anything that happened a long time ago. The challenge (33?/?)
of reporting generally, takes a lot of time. People were being conscientious." I don't even know what to say about this except that it sounds like it comes from a Mayor Pete speech and, again, this isn't conscientious reporting. This is agenda-driven reporting or people (24/?)
would be asking Biden campaign things like "why isn't Biden denying this himself?" and "why was she stripped of her duties?" But then, the moment we've all been waiting for.. AND NOW I HAVE TO PAUSE TO EAT DINNER. I'M SORRY. THE AUDIO I WAS LISTENING TO WAS 20 MINUTES (25/?)
LONG. BUT I STILL HAVE 6 MINUTES. FOR NOW, YOU CAN ENJOY THE 16 THINGS I'VE FOUND SO FAR.
#18. The moment we've all been waiting for... Vietor says, just like everyone else except the Krassenstein brothers because they don't get that red-baiting is embarrassing, that he, of course, doesn't care about Reade's Russia statements but then spends tons of time on them...
One thing Katie forgets in the above is that NEWSWEEK covered Tara's story with a March 27 article by Chantal Da Silva. Liar Marcotte claims only a southern California newspaper covered the story. But in addition to the outlets Katie Halper notes, NEWSWEEK reported on it. Over 18 days ago, they reported on it, not on Easter Sunday.
Turning to Iraq and the topic of Malak Hayder al-Zubiedi. Two English language outlets in the Middle East covered the story yesterday afternoon. Linah Alsaafin (ALJAZEERA) notes:
The alleged burning and abuse of a young Iraqi woman at the hands of her husband and his family has caused outrage on social media, with activists and commentators calling for laws to protect women from domestic violence.
Videos circulated of Malak Haider al-Zubaidi, 20, bedridden in a hospital in the holy city of Najaf and screaming in pain, her face swollen from burns and her entire body bandaged.Al-Mayahli, a police officer, wrote on his Facebook page that al-Zubeidi has a mental illness and had set herself on fire.
"She burned herself with petrol and accused me and my family," he wrote. "There are sponsored accounts that are posting these lies just to slander my family."
Activists reacted with scorn to his words, and some shared an unverified statement from his family, saying that as sons of an important colonel in the army, the law cannot touch them.
Mina Aldroubi (THE NATIONAL) adds:
Campaigners have been pressuring the government since 2011 to pass a draft law to prevent violence against women and to change the penal code, Iraqi women’s rights activist Suhaila Al Assam told The National.
“A parliamentary session was held on it a few years ago but parliamentarians have blocked its passing as they say it goes against Islamic beliefs,” Ms Al Assam said.
She said what had happened to Ms Al Zubaidi was a crime against women and the perpetrators must be held accountable.
“This is due to negligence from the government,” Ms Al Assam said.
She said politicians should show responsibility by passing laws to protect women from domestic abuse.
Measures to control the spread of the coronavirus also have a devastating impact on Iraqi families, Ms Al Assam said.
“Iraq’s deteriorating economic situation along with the current lockdown has meant that many people are out of jobs, without money and are sitting at home,” she said.
But this “should not lead to men conducting criminal acts such as killing or raping their wives”.
Ms Al Assam said the Iraqi Women’s Association, of which she is a member, would persist in its battle to ensure that victims received justice.
Riham Darwish (ALBAWABA) notes, "Concerns have risen worldwide regarding a spike in domestic violent attacks against women in several countries, where the outbreak of COVID-19 has hindered police ability to protect vulnerable members of the society."
RT reports on the ongoing Iraq War.
The following sites updated: