The NY Times is in full election mode.

On the one hand, the Times is devoting enormous resources toward blaming Trump for the Wuhan coronavirus damage, as if Trump declaring a national lockdown in February, as the impeachment trial was coming to a close, would have been feasible politically or justified based on what was known at the time.

When Trump did restrict travel from China on January 31, he was called racist and xenophobic by a media and Democratic Party downplaying the virus threat. Can you imagine the howls from the NY Times and other media about ‘Trump the dictator’ if he took any of those steps just after his impeachment trial acquittal?

On the other hand, the Times is running cover for Joe Biden. In a move reminiscent of how The Boston Globe tried repeatedly to exonerate Elizabeth Warren of her Native American deception, the Times tries to exonerate Biden of the allegations of sexual assault made by Tara Reade. We covered those allegation previously.

The Times approach to the Reade allegations stands in stark contrast to the presumption of guilt heaped on Brett Kavanaugh based on allegations without substantiation.

Robbie Soave at Reason recalls some of that Times coverage of Kavanaugh and contrasts it with the Times report on Reade’s allegations against Biden:

The mainstream media’s silence regarding a former staffer’s sexual assault accusation against Joe Biden is finally broken: The New York Times covered the allegations on Sunday in an extensively reported piece, “Examining Tara Reade’s Sexual Assault Allegation Against Joe Biden.”

It’s an excruciatingly matter-of-fact article, bereft of the emotion and rhetorical flourishes that have often characterized the Times‘ past reporting on #MeToo stories. The Times‘ investigative piece on Deborah Ramirez, Brett Kavanaugh’s Yale accuser, was headlined, “Brett Kavanaugh Fit in With the Privileged Kids. She Did Not.” The paper also ran ostensibly objective pieces with headlines like “For Christine Blasey Ford, a Drastic Turn From a Quiet Life in Academia” and “With Caffeine and Determination, Christine Blasey Ford Relives Her Trauma.” These were news articles, but it was not hard to detect an agenda: portray the accuser as so likable and sympathetic that readers would want to believe her.

There is no such agenda in the Reade article; the reporters come across as extremely skeptical of her (not without some justification). The paragraph containing the news hook for this story—that Reade finally, on Thursday, filed a police report about the incident—contains this oddly placed reminder: “Filing a false police report may be punishable by a fine and imprisonment.

There was some damaging material in the Times’ report, particlarly that Reade told a friend about the alleged assault at the time. That doesn’t make it true, it’s called a prior consistent statement which is generally not admissible, except to rebut an allegation of recent fabrication. Since recent fabrication seems to be an allegation against Reade — that she’s a Bernie supporter and made the claim to help Bernie — the fact that she told someone at the time does rebut the claim of recent fabrication.

A friend said that Ms. Reade told her about the alleged assault at the time, in 1993. A second friend recalled Ms. Reade telling her in 2008 that Mr. Biden had touched her inappropriately and that she’d had a traumatic experience while working in his office. Both friends agreed to speak to The Times on the condition of anonymity to protect the privacy of their families and their self-owned businesses.

Ms. Reade said she also told her brother, who has confirmed parts of her account publicly but who did not speak to The Times, and her mother, who has since died.

Yet there was a giveaway that calls into question the Times’ motive. The original Times article (archive here) contained this sentence:

No other allegation about sexual assault surfaced in the course of reporting, nor did any former Biden staff members corroborate any details of Ms. Reade’s allegation. The Times found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden, beyond the hugs, kisses and touching that women previously said made them uncomfortable.

The Times also tweeted that language (screenshot):

That highly quotable language defeated the purpose of the Times’ investigation, to exonerate Biden not only of the Reade allegation, but of the public perception of him as a creeper who has a problem with women and girls that is well-documented on video and in allegations by seven women who have come forward.

It also stood in contrast to the weakness of the claims against Kavanaugh trumpeted by the Times.

So, guess what the Times did? It stealth edited the article to take out that wording and deleted the tweet:

The New York Times stealth-edited its article on the sexual-assault allegation against Joe Biden by his former Senate staffer Tara Reade just minutes after it was published on Sunday morning, removing all references in a key paragraph to the multiple past accusations by seven women that the former vice president had touched them inappropriately….

That paragraph now reads: “No other allegation about sexual assault surfaced in the course of reporting, nor did any former Biden staff members corroborate any details of Ms. Reade’s allegation. The Times found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden.” …

The New York Times subsequently deleted the tweet from the thread about the story.

Numerous Twitter users called out the Times.

The Times issued this explanation, which isn’t much of an explanation.

To say that this is a bad look for the Times is an understatement. Just like all the Russia-collusion conspiracy reporting, and the current virus reporting, the Times goal of getting Trump (or helping Biden) ends up failing.


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