The media and #MeToo mob have been handling accusations of sexual assault against Joe Biden with kid gloves, unlike the battering ram they reserve for Republicans.
Eight women have accused the presumed Democratic Party presidential nominee of inappropriate touching. The public has heard only fleeting and muted mentions about their stories in the scandal-loving media.
There is no 24/7 pity party on our news networks for women who accuse Democrats of sexual assault and unwanted touching. Where are the impassioned cries from Hawaii Democratic Senator Maizie Hirono?
She became a #MeToo hero for leading the public shaming and castigation of then Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in 2018. He was accused by several women of dubious, decades-old, unsubstantiated incidents of sexual assault.
“Guess who is perpetrating all of these kinds of actions? It’s the men in this country,” Hirono said back in September 2018 to much media acclaim. “I just want to say to the men in this country: Just shut up and step up. Do the right thing, for a change,” she said at a press conference to address sexual assault claims of one accuser, Christine Blasey Forde. She was joined by fellow finger pointers Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, and Patty Murray of Washington.
Last April Hirono publicly urged Biden to recognize that his behavior has made some women uncomfortable and to change it, but not with the same virulence with which she attacked Kavanaugh.
“Women are socialized to be very nice and put up with a lot of things,” she told reporters. “I know that Joe Biden is not a sexual harasser. … This kind of behavior is a habit. If someone points out that you have a habit, you can change it.”
Alexandra Tara Reade wrote an article for The Union last April describing how Biden would touch her repeatedly without her consent when she worked in his U.S. Senate office in 1993. The former intern, who was in her mid-twenties at the time, said Biden would “put his hand on my shoulder and run his finger up my neck.”
She escalated her attacks on Wednesday, accusing Biden of sexual assault on a podcast with host Katie Halper. Deane said a superior asked her to take a gym bag to Biden “down towards the capital.” When she got there she was directed towards a “side area” and was greeted by the presidential candidate.
“The gym bag, I don’t know where it went. I handed it to him, and it was gone. And then his hands were on me and underneath my clothes … He went down my skirt and then up inside it, and he penetrated me with his fingers. He was kissing me at the same time,” she said.
She asked for help in January from the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, an anti-sexual violence organization which is administered by the National Women’s Law Center. It was established in the wake of the #MeToo movement. In February the organization told her they could not help because Biden was a candidate for federal office, making her case too political. She was advised that assisting her would jeopardize the organization’s nonprofit status.
A spokeswoman for Time’s Up told The Intercept “Our decision on whether or not to provide certain types of support to an individual should not be interpreted as our validation or doubt of the truthfulness of the person’s statements. Regardless, our support of workers who come forward regarding workplace sexual harassment remains unwavering.”
Last March former Nevada lieutenant governor nominee Lucy Flores alleged that Biden touched her inappropriately and kissed her on the head during a Democratic campaign rally in 2014. He was vice president in the Obama administration at the time. In a published essay she wrote “I wanted nothing more than to get Biden away from me.”
Biden claimed that he had no memory of acting inappropriately,” but would “listen respectfully” if he did something wrong.
A congressional aide for U.S. representative Jim Himes in 2009 accused Biden of touching and rubbing his nose against hers during a political fund-raiser. “It wasn’t sexual, but he did grab me by the head,” Amy Lappos told Hartford Courant on April 1.
“He put his hand around my neck and pulled me in to rub noses with me. When he was pulling me in, I thought he was going to kiss me on the mouth.” After the incident, Lappos didn’t file a formal complaint because, “He was the vice president. I was a nobody.”
Writer D.J. Hill alleged in a New York Times article that he made her “very uncomfortable” at a 2012 fundraising event in Minneapolis when he rested his hand on her shoulder and then started to move it down her back.
The article also featured other Biden accusers, including Caitlyn Caruso. She told the Times that Biden hugged her “just a little bit too long” and laid his hand on her thigh after she shared her story of her sexual assault at a University of Nevada event in 2016.
Last April Ally Coll told the Washington Post that when she was a young Democratic staffer in 2008, Biden squeezed her shoulders at a reception, complimented her smile, and held her “for a beat too long.”
“There’s been a lack of understanding about the way that power can turn something that might seem innocuous into something that can make somebody feel uncomfortable, she told the Post.”
Sofie Karasek also told the Post she felt that Biden violated her personal space in 2016. She was photographed holding hands and touching foreheads with Biden at the Oscars. She was standing alongside 50 other sexual-assault survivors while Lady Gaga paid a musical tribute.
Vail Kohnert-Yount alleged that when she was a White House intern in the spring of 2013, Biden “put his hand on the back of [her] head and pressed his forehead to [her] forehead” when he introduced himself, and that he called her a “pretty girl.” It was “the kind of inappropriate behavior that makes many women feel uncomfortable and unequal in the workplace,” Kohnert-Yount told the Post.
The hands-off attitude of the #MeToo mob toward Biden stands in stark contrast to the avalanche of attacks and media airtime President Donald Trump received when he was running for president in 2016. Accusations of sexual assault poured in and the media reserved copious amounts of time for each one.
When an Access Hollywood tape was released shortly before the 2016 election the media went wild. Trump could be heard engaging in an off-camera, raunchy conversation with host Billy Bush and media hyenas immediately moved in for the kill.
Trump was accused of admitting to sexual assault on the tape and network news bosses dedicated a combined 70 minutes of nightly news coverage during the six weeknights after the leak, according to media analysts.
The tape also became the focal point of the second 2016 presidential debate. CNN’s moderator Anderson Cooper asked Trump about his penchant to “grab them by the p—y.”
“For the record, you’re saying you never did that?” Cooper asked.
The president described his statements on the tape as “locker room talk,” and denied kissing or groping women. “No one has more respect for women than I do,” said Trump. He apologized and went on to win the presidency.
NBC’s Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd erupted in frustration over Trump in an interview with GW Magazine last year.
“What was our ability to get results? We shamed people,” Todd wistfully recalls. “What happened? What did Trump hack? How did he hack the system? By being shameless. If you don’t feel shame for your actions, and the bad press doesn’t bother you or you can live with it or explain it away — that is Trump’s superpower. I don’t know if another politician can pull it off. Every other politician that has tried to be as aggressive as he can be sometimes, denying what is obvious, it has not gone well for them,” said Todd.
Unlike Trump, the #MeToo mob has no desire to shame Biden into ending his presidential pursuit or inflict permanent political damage. Is there any doubt now that the movement’s outrage is mostly weaponized for political purposes instead of principles?