And It’s Gone: Nets Already Done With Covering Rape Claim Against Biden

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Just four days after the broadcast network evening newscasts finally covered the rape allegation against presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden for the first time, after ignoring it for over a month, ABC, CBS, and NBC had had enough. During their Monday evening newscasts, none of them ran stories on the subject despite developments still breaking over the course of the day. NBC’s Today was the only morning newscast to give the allegations substantial airtime (CBS This Morning on Monday managed 56 seconds), and even then they were batting for Biden.

“Today there are intensifying calls from both sides to search for any complaint that might exist from Joe Biden’s former Senate staffer Tara Reade, who says he assaulted her 27 years ago,” announced senior Washington correspondent and Democratic establishment fan Andrea Mitchell.

That complaint would be another piece of contemporaneous evidence that would back up Reade’s claims. Even though the search was still ongoing, Mitchell declared that “no record of it has been found,” as if the search was exhausted.

Mitchell did all she could to cast doubt on Reade’s allegations:

Reade, who alleges Biden pinned her against a wall and assaulted her in a Senate corridor back in 1993, has previously said she did not mention sexual assault in the complaint. Saying instead, it cited sexual harassment. But this weekend, Reade texting NBC News saying, quote, “I filed a complaint re sexual harassment and retaliation but I am not sure what explicit words on that intake form until we all see it again.” In an interview with the Associated Press, she added, “I know that I was too scared to write about the sexual assault.”

Meanwhile, the liberal media told us that the poor memory of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford wasn’t a problem when she was accusing Justice Brett Kavanaugh of heinous acts.

 

 

Mitchell added that “Biden’s saying neither he nor anyone his former staff recall any such complaint. He has written to the secretary of the Senate asking her to release any records relating to Reade.”

And there was a development in the search for that complaint on Monday. The secretary of the Senate had denied Biden’s request for documents to be released. Neither Mitchell nor the other networks cared to report it, but Judy Woodruff on PBS NewsHour did in a news brief:

JUDY WOODRUFF: Back in this country, the secretary of the U.S. Senate declined Joe Biden's request to release any potential records on file involving a sexual assault allegation. The secretary cited confidentiality rules. Former staffer Tara Reade says that then-Senator Biden assaulted her in 1993, and that she filed a report.

Instead of reporting on this, all three of them pounced on an unofficial, incomplete, draft coronavirus death toll projection that saw the track rising. They also did their routine reports about the search for a vaccine and treatments even though there were no new developments. NBC also rehashed a report from Saturday, sharing a little girl’s message to stay inside to “stay alive.” And CBS rushed to defend China from blame, even though reports say the U.S. intelligence believes the virus came from a Wuhan lab.

If that wasn't enough, Mitchell used comments from possible VP candidate and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) to insist there was no double standard in whose rape allegations they choose to believe. “Whitmer, a sexual assault survivor herself, rejected the idea that there is a double standard among those who believed Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.”

Apparently, not “every claim is equal,” according to Whitmer.

UPDATE: A previous version of incorrectly stated that CBS This Morning didn't cover it on Monday. It did for 56 seconds.

The transcripts are below, click "expand" to read:

NBC’s Today
May 4, 2020
7:15:39 a.m. Eastern

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Other stories we’re following this morning, the latest on the allegation of sexual assault against Joe Biden. An allegation he has categorically denied. NBC’s senior Washington correspondent Andrea Mitchell’s got more on that. Andrea, good morning.

ANDREA MITCHELL: Good morning, Savannah. Today there are intensifying calls from both sides to search for any complaint that might exist from Joe Biden’s former Senate staffer Tara Reade, who says he assaulted her 27 years ago. An allegation that he strongly denies.

[Cuts to video}

This morning, new questions about the compliant former Senate aide Tara Reade says she filed against then-Senator Joe Biden 27 years ago. No record of it has been found.

Reade, who alleges Biden pinned her against a wall and assaulted her in a Senate corridor back in 1993, has previously said she did not mention sexual assault in the complaint. Saying instead, it cited sexual harassment. But this weekend, Reade texting NBC News saying, quote, “I filed a complaint re sexual harassment and retaliation but I am not sure what explicit words on that intake form until we all see it again.” In an interview with the Associated Press, she added, “I know that I was too scared to write about the sexual assault.”

Biden’s saying neither he nor anyone his former staff recall any such complaint. He has written to the secretary of the Senate asking her to release any records relating to Reade.

Over the weekend, Reade cancelling an interview on Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace; she told NBC News over concerns for her own security. Meanwhile, the apparent Democratic nominee is forcefully denying the accusation.

JOE BIDEN: I'm saying unequivocally, it never, never happened.

MITCHELL: Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, one of Biden's possible choices for a running mate, strongly defended him on CNN.

GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER: I don't believe that it's consistent with the Joe Biden I know and I do believe Joe Biden and I support Joe Biden.

MITCHELL: Whitmer, a sexual assault survivor herself, rejected the idea that there is a double standard among those who believed Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

WHITMER: Just because you're a survivor doesn't mean every claim is equal.

MITCHELL: Now, The New York Times editorial board is calling for the Democratic National Committee to launch an independent investigation into the matter. Including examining Senate records Biden donated to the University of Delaware years ago, currently sealed until after he leaves public life. Biden insisting the university has no personnel files.

{Cuts back to live]

The lawyer whose team investigated Joe Biden to be on the ticket with Barack Obama says that he found no misconduct, sexual or otherwise, in a conversation with me. The Trump campaign has been blasting Biden. To spite the fact that multiple women have accused President Trump of far worse before he took office. Charges he denies.

And the President himself has defended Biden saying he understands what it feels like to be falsely accused and that Biden should fight – should fight back. Savannah.

GUTHRIE: All right. Andrea Mitchell in Washington. Andrea, thank you so much.

 

PBS NewsHour
May 4, 2020
7:16:51 p.m. Eastern

JUDY WOODRUFF: Back in this country, the secretary of the U.S. Senate declined Joe Biden's request to release any potential records on file involving a sexual assault allegation. The secretary cited confidentiality rules. Former staffer Tara Reade says that then-Senator Biden assaulted her in 1993, and that she filed a report.

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