Tara Reade accused former Vice President Joe Biden in March of sexually assaulting her when she was a Senate staffer in the early 1990s, and the allegations were at first widely ignored.
A clip from CNN’s “Larry King Live” surfaced April 24 that had recorded audio, according to Reade, of her mother complaining about her daughter’s problems with a “prominent senator.” At that point, the story finally began to pick up steam. (RELATED: CNN Failed To Uncover Footage From Its Own Archives That Could Back Up Biden Accuser’s Allegations)
Reade’s story does have its inconsistencies, as the Daily Caller previously pointed out. Her allegations against Biden have changed over the past year. Originally, Reade accused Biden of touching her shoulders and neck inappropriately, adding that it was not “sexualization” in April 2019.
Her story changed considerably when she accused Biden of sexual assault in March 2020. (RELATED: Joe Biden Says Tara Reade’s Story ‘Has Changed Repeatedly.’ Here’s Why He’s Right.)
Prominent #MeToo Celebrities Ignore Tara Reade
Numerous celebrities have chosen to dismiss her allegations despite having been prominent in the #MeToo movement in the past.
According to Newsbusters, 95 celebrities who pushed the #MeToo movement during Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations against Brett Kavanaugh have either downplayed or remained silent regarding Reade’s accusation.
These celebrities include Alyssa Milano, who repeatedly defended Ford but remained silent for weeks on Reade’s allegations. Milano finally caved and tweeted her support for Reade April 28, following backlash over her silence.
I’m aware of the new developments in Tara Reade’s accusation against Joe Biden. I want Tara, like every other survivor, to have the space to be heard and seen without being used as fodder. I hear and see you, Tara. #MeToo
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) April 28, 2020
The women at TIME’S UP, an advocacy group founded by celebrities against sexual harassment, also dismissed Reade’s allegation. These celebrity advocates — including Julianne Moore, Reese Witherspoon, Brie Larson, Kerry Washington, Jessica Chastain, America Ferrera and Natalie Portman — were silent on Reade’s story as of Newsbusters’ post May 11.
“Will & Grace” actress Debra Messing reportedly shared, then deleted, a Medium post on Twitter suggesting Reade “stole from” a “non-profit organization.” Messing was bashed for sharing the post, which journalist Katie Halper pointed out included a debunked story. In the past, Messing has been another avid pro-#MeToo celebrity.
Politicians say they believe Biden
Many politicians have openly supported Biden, with some saying that they simply don’t believe Reade.
Women vying to be Biden’s running mate are among those who have come out in support of the former vice president. Former Democratic Georgian gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who has worked to be Biden’s pick, said she believed Biden and not Reade.
“I believe women deserve to be heard,” Abrams told Vice on Tuesday. “I believe their allegations deserve to be vetted. They deserve to have an investigation.” (RELATED: Kamala Harris In April 2019: ‘I Believe’ Joe Biden’s Accusers)
“We are obliged to serve justice to those who have been wronged,” Abrams told Vice. “For me, if I thought that this man had done that, then I could not be in this space.”
Democratic Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota have both praised Biden after being asked about Reade’s allegations as well, according to Politico. Even Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, who has been a vocal #MeToo supporter, said that she backs Biden on April 28.
“No, and I stand by Vice President Biden,” Gillibrand told Politico when asked if there was a double standard at play in the differing treatment of Biden and Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s respective cases. “He’s devoted his life to supporting women, and he has vehemently denied this allegation.”
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also backs Biden. She said April 30 that she’s “satisfied” with Biden’s response to the allegation – although the former vice president had not yet directly responded to it at the time.
“Well, I have great sympathy for any women who bring forth an allegation,” Pelosi said on CNN. “I’m a big, strong supporter of the #MeToo movement. I think it has been a great — made a great contribution to our country.”
“And I do support Joe Biden. I’m satisfied with how he has responded. I know him, I was proud to endorse him on Monday, very proud to endorse him. And so, I’m satisfied with that.”
Other politicians who have voiced support for Biden include Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who suggested Tuesday that it’s time to move on from the allegations. Former President Barack Obama’s ex-press secretary Robert Gibbs dismissed the allegations, as well.
“I’ve heard Joe Biden’s explanation, I think it’s sufficient. I think he will be a great candidate,” Schumer said.
Sen. Chuck Schumer says it is time to move on from the Tara Reade sexual assault allegation against Joe Biden:
“I’ve heard Joe Biden’s explanation, I think it’s sufficient. I think he will be a great candidate.” pic.twitter.com/oiYXCLP9uw
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) May 12, 2020
Media spent weeks underreporting Reade’s allegations
The media, as well, have been a culprit in this story. Many legacy outlets either downplayed or ignored Reade’s allegation until it finally gained steam over a month after she made the sexual assault allegation.
In fact, it took members of the media around five weeks to ask Biden a single question regarding Reade, according to The Free Beacon.
Even now, when outlets are pushing move coverage of the story, there’s a discrepancy. Five Thirty Eight reported on May 5 that “the volume of coverage of the allegation remained low until very recently, and it has gotten more attention from right-leaning outlets, both on television and online.”
Five Thirty Eight noted an uptick in reporting after the New York Times published an investigation into Reade’s story on April 12. The study noted that up until recently, “the mainstream media was less likely than conservative outlets to publish follow-up stories containing new developments in the allegation” in general.
Perhaps the media’s attempts to downplay Reade’s allegation caused Reade to go to an unusual source for her first on-camera interview after Biden directly denied the allegation. Journalist Megyn Kelly, who uses YouTube as her platform, scored the interview with Reade. (RELATED: ‘R-Rated’: Reade Describes Alleged Biden Assault To Megyn Kelly ‘In The Most Graphic Terms Yet’)
“She said she wanted someone who is nonpartisan. Who would ask her tough questions, but who was trauma-informed,” Kelly told The Hill Wednesday. “I think she was just on her heels about some other interviews she has had, on the way people approach discussing sexual assault, and she wants to make sure she’s talking to someone who understood the issues that go along with it.”