“Buzzfeed reported on the existence of talking points being circulated by the Biden campaign that inaccurately suggest a New York Times investigation found that Tara Reade’s allegation ‘did not happen.’ Our investigation made no conclusion either way.”
A BuzzFeed News report on Tuesday found that presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s campaign has circulated talking points when it comes to Tara Reade. She accused him of sexual assault in 1993.
The talking points used information from a New York Times investigation, but the publication said the campaign is “inaccurately” describing the information.
Biden’s campaign has addressed and denied Reade’s allegations. No one has actually asked Biden about the allegations.
From the supposed talking points (emphasis mine):
“Biden believes that all women have the right to be heard and to have their claims thoroughly reviewed,” the talking points read, according to a copy sent to two Democratic operatives. “In this case, a thorough review by the New York Times has led to the truth: this incident did not happen.”
“Here’s the bottom line,” they read. “Vice President Joe Biden has spent over 40 years in public life: 36 years in the Senate; 7 Senate campaigns, 2 previous presidential runs, two vice presidential campaigns, and 8 years in the White House. There has never been a complaint, allegation, hint or rumor of any impropriety or inappropriate conduct like this regarding him — ever.”
The NYT said its investigation did not say that nothing happened:
“Buzzfeed reported on the existence of talking points being circulated by the Biden campaign that inaccurately suggest a New York Times investigation found that Tara Reade’s allegation ‘did not happen.’ Our investigation made no conclusion either way,” a spokesperson for the Times said in a statement. “As Buzzfeed correctly reported, our story found three former Senate aides whom Reade said she complained to contemporaneously, all of whom either did not remember the incident or said that it did not happen.”
The spokesperson continued, “The story also included former interns who remembered Reade suddenly changing roles and no longer overseeing them, which took place during the same time period that Reade said she was abruptly reassigned. The Times also spoke to a friend who said Reade told her the details of the allegation at the time; another friend and Reade’s brother say she told them of a traumatic sexual incident involving Biden.”
However, we must not forget that the NYT changed a few things in the report because Biden’s campaign whined to the editors.
The NYT originally wrote: “The Times found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden, beyond the hugs, kisses and touching that women previously said made them uncomfortable.”
NYT executive editor Dean Baquet told NYT media columnist Ben Smith “that the campaign thought that the phrasing was awkward and made it look like there were other instances in which he had been accused of sexual misconduct, and that’s not what the sentence was intended to say.”
Smith asked why the paper did not explain that. Baquet insisted the editors “didn’t think it was a factual mistake.” He personally “thought it was an awkward phrasing issue that could be read different ways and that it wasn’t something factual we were correcting.”DONATE
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