Martin Tolchin, a self-described founder of Politico, and a former New York Times correspondent in Washington, DC, published a letter to the editor of the Times Tuesday calling for a Joe Biden “coronation” regardless of claims of sexual assault.
The letter came in response to a recent Times editorial calling for the Democratic National Committee to investigate claims by Tara Reade, a former Senate staffer, who claims Biden assaulted her in 1993.
Tolchin wrote that he did not want Reade’s claims investigated — or anything else about Biden — because all he wanted was to see Trump defeated in November.
The original letter, in full, follows (original emphasis):
I totally disagree with this editorial. I don’t want an investigation. I want a coronation of Joe Biden. Would he make a great president? Unlikely. Would he make a good president? Good enough. Would he make a better president than the present occupant? Absolutely. 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.
Suppose an investigation reveals damaging information concerning his relationship with Tara Reade or something else, and Mr. Biden loses the nomination to Senator Bernie Sanders or someone else with a minimal chance of defeating Mr. Trump. Should we really risk the possibility?
The writer is a former member of The Times’s Washington bureau and a founder of Politico.
(Update: After publication of Mr. Tolchin’s op-ed, the Times removed from Mr. Tolchin’s ID line that he was a “founder of Politico” and changed his ID line to: “The writer is a former reporter for The New York Times, a founder and editor in chief of The Hill, and was an adviser during the pre-launch phase of Politico. His views are his own.” After publication of our article, Politico reached out to us with the following statement: “Robert Allbritton is the founder of POLITICO. Mr. Tolchin was a consultant who was instrumental in founding the Capitol Leader (the working name of the publication before launch). Jim Vandehei and John Harris were hired before the publication launched, and it was renamed POLITICO after they took over from Mr. Tolchin.” The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway has since published a detailed history of the many times Mr. Tolchin has referred to himself and/or has been referred to as a founder of Politico, including by Politico itself.)
The Democratic National Committee rejected the Times‘ suggestion, calling it “absurd on its face.”
Critics noted that Tolchin’s attitude confirmed public suspicion of the Beltway media as hopelessly partisan and uninterested in the truth.
David Martosko, a White House correspondent for the Daily Mail, tweeted that Tolchin’s letter was “Exhibit A demonstrating why less than 1/3 of Americans trust the news media.”
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.