Tara Reade, a former Senate staffer, has officially filed a criminal complaint against presumed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
Now, the New York Times and other mainstream news outlets appear to be defending Biden’s previous actions.
The New York Times is under fire for its paragraph that appears to be self-contradictory:
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, beyond the hugs, kisses and touching that women previously said made them uncomfortable.
Try wrapping your head around that mental pretzel.
But things got even more interesting when the Times made a stealth edit, tweaking that same paragraph to be more friendly towards Biden.
More details on the softball reporting of Reade’s accusations compared to the accusations against Justice Brett Kavanaugh below:
Not only did the New York Times stealthily edit that line in their original article, but they also deleted a tweet with the same sentence.
Social media users were quick to notice the Times' unusual editing and tweet deleting.
Fox News has more details on the Times' attempt to edit its reporting in real-time online:
The New York Times stealth-edited its article on the sexual-assault allegation against Joe Biden by his former Senate staffer Tara Reade just minutes after it was published on Sunday morning, removing all references in a key paragraph to the multiple past accusations by seven women that the former vice president had touched them inappropriately.
The Times piece also focuses on unrelated sexual misconduct accusations against President Trump, and largely dismisses Reade's allegations as uncorroborated by her co-workers -- even though the Times notes later in its piece that Reade's claim was contemporaneously corroborated by two of Reade's friends.
According to a copy of the Times' article saved by the Internet archive Wayback Machine, the Times originally reported: "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, beyond the hugs, kisses and touching that women previously said made them uncomfortable."
That paragraph now reads: "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."
The Times' handling of Reade's accusations, conservative commentators and some Democrats said, stood in stark contrast to how the media and several senators handled accusations about Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Reade filed a report with Washington, D.C., police on Thursday concerning her allegation that Biden penetrated her without consent in 1993. Fox News has confirmed with the District’s police department that she filed the criminal complaint, which does not reference Biden by name. The Biden campaign has strongly denied Reade's accusation, although the former vice president has previously acknowledged that he should change his behavior around women.
The Times' piece contained other references to the several women who have said Biden touched them in inappropriate ways, but deleted any mention of them in the section of its article that asserted that Biden had no "pattern" of misconduct.
The Times offered no explanation for the stealth-edit on its website, nor did it respond to Fox News' request for comment. The paper made a similar late edit last September, when it updated a story about a newly resurfaced accusation against Kavanaugh to note that the supposed accuser didn't remember the alleged assault. The update came after virtually all 2020 Democratic presidential candidates cited the story to call for impeaching Kavanaugh.
Many mainstream news organizations including the New York Times were quick to trumpet the sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh.
Reputable reporters even spread the unfounded rumors that Kavanaugh was involved in "rape trains."
However, the same reporters and activists who spearheaded the #MeToo and #BelieveAllWomen movements appear to be strangely silent on Tara Reade's accusations.
It also appears odd, if not a little conspiratorial to some, that the Times would delete its tweets then publicly defend its decision to delete those tweets.
See the following statements from the Times:
There are establishment Democrats who are worried that Joe Biden doesn't generate the same amount of grassroots enthusiasm as Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump.
A sexual assault allegation in the midst of a general election would most definitely be a strain on Biden's floundering campaign, which appears to have survived the Democratic primary based solely on name recognition.
Now, many people are calling out the New York Times and other media outlets for appearing to coverup for Joe Biden's shortfall.
The New York Post editorial board called the New York Times part of the group of #MeToo hypocrites:
Hand it to The New York Times to take up the question of Tara Reade’s sexual-abuse accusations against Joe Biden … on Easter weekend, with its reduced holiday readership, in an article that does its best to minimize her charges.
It’s in stark contrast to the way the Times and its fellows treated the even thinner claims against Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings. And it underlines the hypocrisy of the “believe all women” double standard.
Reade was a Senate staffer for Biden in 1993 when, she says, he pinned her to a wall, reached beneath her clothing and penetrated her with his fingers. One friend from back then recalls Reade telling her of the assault soon after, and another says she got the story a few years later, as does Reade’s brother.
But she only went public with this account late last month — having leveled lesser charges of inappropriate touching against him last year along with seven other women telling similar tales.
The Times “explains” that it took the intervening weeks to check out her story before reporting it. High up in the story, reporters Lisa Lerer and Sydney Ember note that no other Biden ex-staffers confirm Reade’s claims, no other sex-assault charges have turned up against him and “The Times found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden, beyond the hugs, kisses and touching that women previously said made them uncomfortable.”
Just hours after that story went online Sunday, the paper cut the second half of that sentence — “beyond the hugs, kisses and touching that women previously said made them uncomfortable.” It also deleted a tweet that included the passage.
The Washington Examiner also documented the Times' odd stealth editing and defense-tweeting:
However, that paragraph had been changed from a previous version of the story, in which the second sentence 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."
Without an editor's note explaining the situation, the New York Times edited the paragraph to exclude multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against Biden, including the accusation from former Nevada state Assemblywoman Lucy Flores, who was one of several women to speak out against Biden for making them feel uncomfortable by sniffing their hair, hugging them from behind, or otherwise touching them in an unwelcome manner.
A quote from Flores was included in the original story. The New York Times also noted that it had spoken with women who came forward with stories similar to Flores and who said that they believed Reade's accusations against Biden.
Several people condemned the New York Times for both its original language and for editing out a part of the story that could benefit Biden. In response, the newspaper released a statement on Twitter, writing, "We've deleted a tweet in this thread that had some imprecise language that has been changed in the story."
Polling shows that public trust in the U.S. media is at historic lows.
Could this be part of the reason?
Rather than reporting the facts, many media outlets appear more likely to stealth edit their reporting.
While some are openly biased, others only publish negative stories of President Trump, creating an illusion that he does nothing good.
Fortunately, Republicans including the president have been able to use social media to bypass the establishment media.
Getting a message out no longer relies on being able to get through the gatekeepers of television and newspapers.
Now, the internet helps even the playing field for information.