The New York Times is facing criticism for its apparent effort to paint allegations of sexual misconduct against former Vice President Joe Biden in the best possible light — a sharp contrast from how it treated Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
In reporting claims by former Biden Senate aide Tara Reade, who filed a criminal complaint in Washington, DC, last week over an alleged sexual assault in 1993, the Times concluded in a length report Sunday that there was “no pattern of sexual misconduct by Biden, beyond hugs, kisses and touching that women previously said made them uncomfortable.”
In contrast, the Times went to great lengths to lend credibility to sensational, uncorroborated new claims of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh — who, unlike Biden, never had any history of touching women in the workplace.
In the fall of 2018, the Times joined the rest of the mainstream media in hyping allegations against Kavanaugh suddenly brought forward after decades by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who had been acquainted with him in high school. A Times editorial declared that Kavanaugh, who vigorously protested his innocence, “wasn’t believable” — while Ford was.
The Times also reported that Kavanaugh had been in a bar fight in college — though he was never arrested — to lend credence to uncorroborated claims of drunken behavior. The reporter was an outspoken opponent of Kavanaugh’s nomination.
In September 2019, the Times reported that a new alleged Kavanaugh victim existed — one into whose hands Kavanaugh’s friends had pushed his penis at a drunken party at Yale University. But the story soon fell apart. First, the Times promoted it with an unfortunate tweet that claimed: “Having a penis thrust in your face at a drunken dorm party may seem like harmless fun.”
Then, as Breitbart News’ John Nolte noted, the Times‘ central claim fell apart — after the sensational headlines had already gone around the world: “[W]hat the Times didn’t tell its readers is that the alleged victim of this alleged assault, the very person into whose alleged hand the alleged penis was allegedly thrust, does not recall anything about the penis incident and does not want to talk to the media.” The Times had left that out of its account, and was forced to add a correction.
In contrast, the Times not only went out of its way to find “no pattern” of misconduct by Biden, but edited its reporting to remove evidence of precisely such behavior. Kavanaugh enjoyed no such presumptions of innocence or editorial deference.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.