The strained attempt to explain away the Reade allegation hamstrings the movement initially backed by the left.
At The Daily Beast the attempt was made to finally put an end to the speculation of Joe Biden having to contend with accusations of improper sexual conduct. That this effort is made by writer Molly Jong-Fast should tell you immediately how poorly it was accomplished. What Molly claims to do is ”expose’’ the vacancy of those on the right, but her unsurprising reliance on factual inaccuracies and spurious claims is, also, disqualifying.
It is always handy when a writer invalidates themself within their own piece.
Anyone watching the proceedings involving the grappling going on in the media and with the Democrats regarding the accusations made by former Joseph Biden staffer Tara Reade has witnessed a dichotomy reaction. The struggle for those with a vested interest involves protecting the viability of a presidential candidate all while contending with past positions they also held regarding females with stories of sexual assault. Not to rehash the well-known paradox, but it boils down to those who bleated how we ”must believe all women’’ are now boldly saying of Reade, ”I don’t believe her!’’
It takes little time for Molly to unravel her central concept, which is that conservatives are harping on Tara Reade so stridently because they want to discredit the entire harassment movement. ”This is about destroying the thing that has since its inception been enraging to them: #MeToo.’’ Like many others on our side, I was not aware that we were enraged about it. There have been some words of warnings about taking the charges too far, and this is usually rooted in the call for due process.
Had Jong-Fast, and other Biden backers in the press, actually digested what was being spoken about Brett Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey-Ford, it was not a desire to silence her but a result of actually listening to her claims. Her charges were insufficient and did not hold up to scrutiny. The problem with ”believe all women’’ is that it is not analytical, it is a default. Guilt is assumed, something that runs contrary to legal precepts. It also presents a paradox within the very context of a case.
What has been exposed is that the all-encompassing declaration is in fact extremely selective. We need to believe all, unless we actually like the person accused. Then suddenly the woman can, in fact, have her testimony questioned. Another problem with the MeToo mantra was pointed out by colleague Stacey Lennox, who notes many of these cases have competing voices, so who is being listened to speaks volumes.
Women who have known and worked with these same men for years can vouch for their integrity and professional behavior, but they should not be believed. Even though they are women. That was always a strange quirk in the #MeToo morass.
Now with Reade that script is entirely flipped. She can now be dismissed, partially because they found other women who attest to Biden’s integrity. If only this was the only failure in the screed from MJF. She also seems to display a very curious blindspot to the entire movement. Although she does not use the word ‘’pounce’’ in this passage, she is saying ”pounce’’ in this passage.
But to conservatives, this is about more than Biden. Don’t get me wrong, they’re thrilled that the other guy finally has a sexual misconduct allegation of his own—so thrilled that they’ve let their true motives slip.
Um, ”finally’’?! She actually says the other side has ‘’finally’’ been tripped up in the MeToo snare? It is impossible to attempt to sound authoritative on this issue and at the same time suggest Joe Biden is the first prominent name on the left to be accused. Jong-Fast cannot write this sentence without willfully ignoring the voluminous list of names brought down.
Just go through the many from the entertainment industry, who are notoriously NOT conservative. Then you have those in Molly’s journalism complex, like Charlie Rose, Mark Halperin, Glenn Thrush, and Chris Matthews. And sure, you can say the GOP ‘’finally’’ has a Democrat to accuse…so long as you ignore Al Franken and John Conyers having their issues.
It is unclear how anyone can claim the conservatives have a leftist to finally charge when the entire MeToo movement was kicked off by the exposure of professional sexual predator Harvey Weinstein, who was more than an avowed Democrat. How on earth does one reach a conclusion conservatives would hate a movement that brought down a major fundraising bundler for Barack Obama, and numerous other candidates?
Jong even misses it when she invokes actress Alyssa Milano, whom she credits with launching MeToo into the popular mindset. Yes, we are again served all the sources on the right who pounced on Milano’s blatant hypocrisy in Backing Biden without question, and it is done with intent. To note the eagerness of those outlets allows MJF to avoid looking into Milano’s clear tectonic shift in thinking.
In the Blasey-Ford episode, Milano was trumpeting the need to delve into the matter, extending hearings, calling for FBI involvement, and obtaining yearbooks and journals from decades past to perform forensic studies. This was all done in a quest to discover — something. Now, suddenly, she is incurious and dismissive. Here is the difference: Kavanaugh was charged with decades-old indiscretions as a pre-professional teenager, involving someone unproven to have even met. Biden is accused of this behavior years ago as an acting Senator, with a staffer. The differences in the situations are stark; the reactions to them even starker.
The Daily Beast has attempted to discredit the conservative reaction to Tara Reade, and excuse Biden to usher him forward towards the presidency. Instead what it has proven is that the media and the Democrats are nowhere near close to explaining the monolithic double-standard they hold with MeToo.