Updated: Jul 2
Trigger Warning* This story contains mention of sexual assault
Its time to talk about Joe Biden. Not his policies or his voting record. No, it is time to talk about the recent allegations of sexual assault. First things first, these are allegations. The allegations though, are serious. They need to be taken that way by the media and fellow politicians, something they have yet to do.
Here is the story: In 1993, Biden’s senate aide Alexandra (then Tara) Reade was tasked with delivering the then Senator from Delaware a gym bag. The events that followed seem all too familiar after the #MeToo movement over the last few years. Reade alleges that Biden had her up against the wall and proceeded to non-consensually penetrate her. Biden then told her “You’re nothing to me” and then assured her she was okay when she looked distressed. Reade told her brother and friend following the assault but was encouraged to keep quiet by her supervisors. Rolling Stone Podcaster Katie Halper confirmed that Reade did indeed tell her brother and friend. Reade stayed quiet though… for a time.
Last spring, a former Nevada congressional candidate Lucy Flores claimed that Biden inappropriately touched her. This was followed up by at least 8 other women coming forward, one of which was Reade. Reade discussed part of her story last year, only to be painted as a Russian asset and was threatened over a multitude of digital platforms.
Instead of fading out though, Reade attempted to build a case against Biden with the help of Times Up’s Legal Defense Fund. According to CBS, the Fund has linked over 4,000 victims of sexual harassment at work with lawyers and raised over 24 million dollars to cover legal fees as of January of this year. Alexandra Reade was not one of those people.
Her request for help from Times Up was rejected. Ryan Grim of The Intercept was told that because the Times Up Legal Fund is a nonprofit, it “ is restricted in how it can spend its funds, including restrictions that pertain to candidates running for election”. The reality of whether Times Up could have taken the case is up in the air, it depends on the intricacies of tax law, something I do not know enough about to confidently discuss here.
What I do know how to discuss is the extreme stupidity in how this is being handled from so many parties. This story is dropping, and I get it, we are in the middle of a pandemic. Other stuff is going on but maybe, and I’m just running with an idea here, we don’t need 24-hour news coverage on the death toll rising and how bad of a job the President is doing. Maybe run a story on how the all but certain nominee for president is now an accused sexual assaulter. Don’t worry, Coronavirus will still be there when you get back, unfortunately. The world is not in standstill even though you can’t tape at the news desk.
The absolute naivety of the mainstream news organizations to not cover this story with their full effort to either prove its validity or not is just baffling. If they don’t think that Fox News will be running propaganda pieces on this, they are dead wrong. Not just that, Trump will absolutely use this to his advantage. Obviously, Trump has been accused of much more but his base won’t care. Democrats do, and with the question of this story’s validity hanging in the air, Democrats, including myself, are going to have trouble voting for Biden in the general. Outside of an electoral politics view on this, the job of the Press is to hold the powerful accountable. If that means Uncle Joe is a sexual assaulter, cover it and let Americans make their decision on if they want him to be their nominee and possibly, the 46th President of the United States.
Alexandra Reade also claims to have contacted the campaigns of Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren about these allegations’ months ago to no avail. Now if this is true, this absolutely could be interpreted like a coverup. The fact that these offices are yet to even release a statement on these accusations, especially when this story blows up will only sow distrust with the American People. When these two candidates who have spoken very strongly in favor of the #MeToo and Times Up movements are suddenly quiet about such a severe accusation, it is a little worrying. Even the Vice Presidency is not worth compromising your values. Biden for his part has not directly addressed these allegations. While it is understandable that a presidential candidate is not directly discussing every story about them, this seems… important. It is not like Biden is super busy on the campaign trail at the moment anyway. His campaign did address the allegations with a swift denial stating “Women have a right to tell their story, and reporters have an obligation to rigorously vet those claims… We encourage them to do so, because these accusations are false”. A strong denial, but this is very cold and will do little to put people’s minds at ease. My plea is that the media puts a strong effort into getting to the bottom of this. If Biden did what he was accused of, he is a monster and has no place in the White House. I cannot vote for him to be there in good conscience. Democrats, think about if these accusations were made against Ted Cruz or Mitch McConnell. The corporate media would be covering this story nonstop and every Democrat would be attacking the alleged assaulter (deservedly so). We cannot compromise our values just because the accused is a party leader. Without our morals, what else do we have?
Reade has some… questionable pieces of published literature, ones that praise Russia and Vladimir Putin. This and her support of Bernie Sanders are two things that fuel most of the attacks against her online. I would counter that by saying that it makes sense she would not support her assaulter. (Reade claims to have originally supported Warren).
I mean, Trump is going to hit Biden on this hard right? He already does on Biden’s objectively creepy interactions with young girls. (Again, Trump is accused of raping an underage girl but the hypocrisy does not matter)
Last year, Biden hired Harvey Weinstein’s PR person, Anita Dunn who helped the Hollywood rapist strategize in the wake of the flood of accusations against him. Maybe Joe, leave the Weinstein corner of the Democratic Party a safe distance away. Sadly, this is not the dumbest decision Biden has ever made regarding an Anita.
I keep seeing pro Biden twitter accounts defending Biden, not because they think he didn’t commit the sex-crime. No, it is because they’d prefer his policies. Kindly fuck off because a rapist is a rapist.