The Washington Post on Tuesday buried the latest on the growing controversy swirling around Joe Biden and a sex abuse claim. The paper demoted the story in the print edition to page A-22. The headline looks like a variation of the old “Republicans pounce” take: “Biden critics point to news about assault claim.”
Another way of making this story really boring could be found in the Twitter headline: “Developments in allegations against Biden amplify efforts to question his behavior.”
Well, what about the actual accusations and the facts themselves? Post journalist Matt Viser essentially conceded that his fellow reporters don’t care about getting to the bottom of Tara Reade’s claims. In paragraph 11, he casually admitted, “Biden has done several interviews since the assault allegations emerged but has yet to be asked about them.”
In this story that the Post doesn’t care much about, Viser detailed the new corroborating evidence that has arisen:
Some allies of President Trump pointed Monday to new claims by a woman who said she was told about sexual assault allegations against Joe Biden decades ago, renewing attention to questions about the past behavior of the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
Apparent corroboration surfaced this week for elements of two accusations made by Biden’s former Senate aide Tara Reade, one involving harassment and the second a sexual assault. Biden has not commented on the allegations, but his campaign has denied them and pointed to his record on women’s rights and promotion of women in his offices.
Lynda LaCasse, who was one of Reade’s neighbors in California, where Reade moved after working for Biden, said in an interview with Business Insider published Monday that Reade told her in the mid-1990s that Biden had “put his hand up her skirt and he put his fingers inside her.”
Lorraine Sanchez, a former colleague of Reade’s in the office of a California state senator, also told the news outlet that Reade told her in the mid-1990s that she “had been sexually harassed by her former boss while she was in DC and as a result of her voicing her concerns to her supervisors, she was let go, fired.” Sanchez did not recall whether Reade mentioned Biden specifically, or whether she provided further details about the allegation.
On April 13, the Post finally broke its embargo of the Reade story and covered it on the front-page. As I noted at the time, the story was defensive of Biden:
The headline on the front page of the print edition read: “Woman accuses Biden of sex assault,” as if it just happened. (The allegation broke on March 25.) The sub-headline began the skeptical tone that Tara Reade would endure. It announced, “[Biden's] campaign denies allegation from former Senate staffer.” Inside the paper, the A-14 headline offered another assist to the 2020 Democrat: “Then-supervisors say they heard nothing about an assault.”
The paper also tried to justify ignoring the story for three weeks: “The Washington Post has been examining Tara Reade’s allegation over the past three weeks, since she said on a podcast that Biden had pinned her against a wall, reached under her skirt and pushed his fingers inside her. At the time, she was a 29-year-old staff assistant.”
According to a new Media Research Center study, ABC and NBC STILL haven’t covered the allegations at all.