On Wednesday, Mike LaChance wrote a post at Legal Insurrection discussing the shocking letter to the NY Times written by long-time journalist Martin Tolchin saying that Tara Reade’s accusations against Joe Biden should not be investigated:  “I don’t want justice, whatever that may be. I want a win, the removal of Donald Trump from office, and Mr. Biden is our best chance.”

As extreme as the letter is, I believe there’s a tactical method in Tolchin’s madness, and a reason the Times published it.

Here’s the content of Tolchin’s letter, in case you’re not familiar with it:

This is Trump Derangement Syndrome of an intense variety and an “ends justify the means” philosophy that has long been popular on the left. But it is usually kept more hidden, especially by journalists themselves. The fact that a journalist who had been in the business for over half a century will now admit publicly to advocating this approach is a symptom of how far it’s gone and how acceptable such a sentiment is thought to be right now. Tolchin – and the Times – may actually be assuming that many thoughtful Democrats will come to share his opinion and applaud it.

Here is Tolchin’s bio, from an article in The Hill written last December and promoting a book of his:

A veteran journalist — who counts The Hill among the news organizations he helped found — has some advice for today’s reporters: “Be courageous.”

Martin Tolchin worked his way up from a copy boy making $41.50 a week at The New York Times to a 40-year career at the Gray Lady. After founding The Hill in 1994 with Jerry Finkelstein, he helped launch Politico.

Now, at 91, he’s adding to his résumé yet again, with a new book called “Politics, Journalism and the Way Things Were: My Life at the Times, The Hill and Politico.”

In the memoir…he details his decades-long experience in journalism, how the industry has changed and laughs and memorable moments from along the way.

Tolchin is 91 years old. Perhaps age has lowered his customary inhibitions and he’s letting it all hang out. Or perhaps he considers his current stance an example of his charge to “Be courageous” and is counseling other Democrats to do likewise.

Also from that December interview:

President Trump, Tolchin says, has inspired some “very good reporting.”

“There’s nothing like adversity to get fearless,” Tolchin says of how reporting has changed in the Trump age, “and Trump has done that.”

In addition, the Times seems to have thought there was nothing in Tolchin’s letter that shouldn’t be revealed in a former longtime and highly-respected reporter of theirs, nothing that would reflect badly on them. They do not appear to be at all ashamed. Sometimes the Resistance has to do dirty things to fight Trump/Hitler, including the “coronation” of Joe Biden.

Tara Reade’s accusations against Biden have presented the Democrats with a serious dilemma when they can least afford one. At first glance, it seems that if they wish to be consistent they must choose either a “believe all women” position – which would mean they have to jettison Biden – or a “due process” position, which would mean they have to disavow their dreadful treatment of Kavanaugh. Of course, they wish to do neither, yet they probably don’t want to risk being exposed as principle-discarding hypocrites, especially with the potentially angry #MeToo crowd.

Tolchin offers a third way, and the Times spreads the word by publishing his letter. Tolchin’s letter cuts the Gordian knot and proudly embraces the contradiction through claiming allegiance to the highest principle of all in the minds of the left: getting rid of the enemy Trump. His message is the necessity of discarding abstract principles, because the only allegiance is to victory at any cost.

And to Tolchin, that is true no matter what Biden’s shortcomings or even crimes may be. Biden’s not Trump, and if that’s good enough for a formerly-respected journalist such as Tolchin, the Times is letting its readers know that it should be good enough for them, too.

[Neo is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at the new neo.]


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