New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg, who believed accusations of sexual assault by Christine Blasey Ford against Judge Brett Kavanaugh, set out a pathetic partisan defense of another politician accused of #MeToo missteps on Tuesday: Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden. The defensive strain was captured in the headline, “That Biden Accusation.”
Goldberg previously defended another Democrat credibly accused of harassment, former Sen. Al Franken, who resigned his Minnesota seat after actress Leeann Tweeden accused him of unwanted groping (including photographic evidence). Goldberg was frankly partisan in her reasoning then.
On Tuesday, Goldberg inconveniently had to account for left-wingers (possibly embittered Bernie Sanders supporters?) who had latchws on to the Biden allegations, even while the presumed nominee was defended by the Times: “It would be easier to know what to do with Tara Reade’s accusation that Joe Biden sexually assaulted her if her tale were more solid, or if it were less.”
Goldberg noted Reade’s claim gained severity “in an interview with the left-wing podcast host Katie Halper...claiming that Biden pushed her against a wall and penetrated her with his fingers,” adding:
Since Reade made her latest accusation, people on both the left and the right have been demanding, with a mix of genuine outrage and gotcha glee, that the Democratic Party live up to its #MeToo commitments and #BelieveTaraReade.
Reade seems almost engineered in a lab to inspire skepticism in mainstream Democrats, both because her story keeps changing and because of her bizarre public worship of President Vladimir Putin of Russia.
Reade’s account of giving up a career in politics, like her stories about Biden, has shifted over time....
There were also many reasons to doubt Ford’s vague story of an assault by Kavanaugh, which none of her friends could remember, but that didn't stop Goldberg from assuming his guilt. In September 2018, Goldberg had this take: “Boys Will Be Supreme Court Justices -- Kavanaugh’s accuser is credible. Will it matter?”
Goldberg insisted there was nothing to see here: “No one, looking at what’s been reported about Reade and Biden, can claim to have more than a hunch about what happened, which is why, I suspect, a lot of mainstream feminists haven’t said much about it.”
But that lack of a “hunch” didn’t stop feminists from presuming Brett Kavanaugh’s guilt and insisting that we must “believe women.” She refused to admit to an atom of partisan hypocrisy on the part of the feminist left:
There have been a number of sneering columns accusing liberal feminists of hypocrisy for not championing Reade as fervently as they did Christine Blasey Ford, who claimed, during Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination fight, that he’d sexually assaulted her when they were both in high school. It’s a sly rhetorical move that dares feminists to violate their own ideals by publicly weighing one woman’s credibility against another.
Yet the charge of hypocrisy is wholly valid, as Times columnist Maureen Dowd could have said.