Tara Reade, the woman accusing former Vice President Joe Biden of sexual assault, told Fox News Sunday that she’s “disappointed” in the media — and especially CNN anchor Anderson Cooper — for avoiding asking Biden about her allegations in at least two interviews, calling anchors’ behavior “shocking” and partisan.
Reade made her claims more than a month ago, on a podcast with progressive political commentator Katie Halper. She says Biden sexually assaulted her back in the mid-1990s, when she worked as an aide in his Senate office, and alleges that she was fired when she considered going to authorities to report Biden’s behavior.
Since Reade first went public with her story, “Biden has done nearly a dozen TV interviews with news anchors including NBC News’ Chuck Todd, ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, and twice with Cooper,” Fox News reports, and all of them “failed to ask Biden about [Reade’s] public claim.”
Reade has since filed a criminal complaint with the Washington, D.C., police, even though the statute of limitations on the alleged criminal behavior has long since past, and at least two people have come forward to say that Reade told them about the assault back in the 1990s, providing some evidence of contemporaneous accounts of the attack.
Biden denies the allegations, though he has yet to speak on them publicly. When asked for comment, the Biden campaign refers reporters to a statement issued earlier in April, from Biden’s campaign manager, Kate Bedingfield calling Reade’s claims “untrue.”
Reade’s evidence is thin, but it is more than Dr. Christine Blasey Ford was able to provide in testimony made under oath against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, whom Dr. Ford claims sexually assaulted her during a high school house party when the pair were both teenagers. Dr. Ford’s claims were given far more weight in the media than Reade’s, even though Dr. Ford’s only “witness,” a woman named Leyland Keyser, denied knowing anything about the alleged assault.
According to Reade, the disaprity in treatment of her claims and Dr. Ford’s is evidence of partisanship and protectionism.
“I think it’s shocking that this much time has passed and that he is an actual nominee for president and they’re not asking the questions,” Reade told Fox, exclusively. “He’s been on ‘Anderson Cooper’ at least twice where he was not asked.”
“I guess my question is, if this were Donald Trump, would they treat it the same way? If this were Brett Kavanaugh, did they treat it the same way?” Reade added. “In other words, it’s politics and political agenda playing a role in objective reporting and asking the question.”
Reade says the only reason Biden hasn’t been asked about the sexual assault allegations is because news anchors simply don’t want to bring up a difficult subject for the presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee.
“There are two things happening at once. [Biden] is not making himself accessible to be asked the question,” she said. “And when he does make himself accessible, they are not asking, those anchors. And so that tells there may be a political agenda behind that and that’s gross. … I’m a survivor and I would like the question asked.”
“I really would look to [Cooper] for answers and I would never do that again. I’ve lost total respect,” she added, claiming that Cooper, in particular, is now showing a “blatant bias.”
Anchors may not be able to ignore Reade’s claims much longer, however. On Saturday, it emerged that Reade’s mother called into “Larry King Live” back in the late 1990s to ask the host and his panel how her daughter should handle a claim of “sexual harassment” against a high ranking Washington official.
CNN and others reported the “Larry King Live” interview late Saturday, and using circumstantial evidence, were able to largely substantiate Reade’s claims that her mother was the caller in question.
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