Rose McGowan, one of the first women to accuse disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, has been one of the lone left-leaning voices in Hollywood to continue to draw attention to Tara Reade’s allegations against presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden – decrying her fellow “Me Too” advocates for their apparent double standard and denouncing the Democratic Party in the process.
In an interview with podcast host Katie Halper in March, Reade said that while she was a member of his staff in 1993, then-Senator Biden pushed her “up against the wall,” “went down my skirt and then up inside it and he penetrated me with his fingers.” After weeks of silence and amid mounting pressure to address the accusation directly, Biden finally denied it in a statement posted on Medium on May 1, saying the allegations that he “engaged in misconduct 27 years ago” simply “aren’t true” and “never happened.” Many on the left have taken Biden at his word, and some media outlets have since produced pieces questioning Reade’s credibility.
In a tweet Sunday, McGowan posted a series of questions she says a New York Times reporter sent to Reade which have since sparked outrage and debate online.
“New York Times ‘journalist’ sent these questions to Joe Biden’s accuser, Tara Reade,” McGowan wrote along with screenshots of the questions. “The public needs to see how [Lisa Lerer] and the [New York Times] plan on twisting their minds. Now you can all see their tactics & how far they will go.”
BREAKING NEWS: New York Times ‘journalist’ sent these questions to Joe Biden’s accuser, Tara Reade. The public needs to see how @llerer and the #NYT plan on twisting their minds. Now you can all see their tactics & how far they will go. pic.twitter.com/wZMnHtWGW5
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) May 24, 2020
Among the questions highlighted in McGowan’s post are multiple Russia-themed questions as well as several questions that appear designed to undermine Reade’s credibility. A few examples of some of the questions, starting with the ones that turned the most heads:
Over the years, you’ve listed a number of reasons for leaving Washington – foreign policy differences over Russia, inability to get hired, going with Ted, your then-boyfriend. Why did you leave for North Dakota?
[S]everal people told me you were dating a Russian man online in the spring of 2019. Is that true? How did you meet and can you tell me about the relationship?
On Quora, you followed three Russian individuals – Andrey Davydov, Dima Vorobiev, and Alex Korolev. How as it that you came to know of them and follow them?
A lot of people are taking your writings online in Medium posts, etc., as autobiographical memoir – is that correct? Or did you take some creative liberties?
Edward Walker – was your boyfriend, right? I remember you filed a complaint against him in April 2011 because he hit your daughter. But then neighbors told me that you moved to Aptos together and kept the radio show going. So what happened there?
Various landlords said you left them owing money and property in disarray – can you respond to that?
We heard that after your car was repossessed friends sold you their vehicle and let you pay it with a no interest loan but that you struggled to make those payments and they took it back. Is that true?
McGowan’s post has sparked both backlash against the Times and defense of the questions.
Among those criticizing the Times for the alleged questions is The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald (h/t John Sexton), who tweeted in response: “This whole thing from the [New York Times] is disgusting but the last questions – involving interrogating Tara Reade about whether she committed the crime of ‘following three Russian individuals on Quora’ and demanding an explanation – is just deranged.”
This whole thing from the @NYTimes is disgusting but the last questions – involving interrogating Tara Reade about whether she committed the crime of "following three Russian individuals on Quora" and demanding an explanation – is just deranged. 🇷🇺🇷🇺🇷🇺🇷🇺 https://t.co/1hL3UQbVaQ
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) May 24, 2020
A few other examples of responses calling foul on the Times (formatting adjusted):
“Every question is designed to catch her in a ‘lie.’ They have info that they think is contradictory and are trying to get her to commit to saying the opposite for some gotcha journalism”
“None of these questions pertain to the sexual assault. None seek to verify the assault. All pertain to irrelevant aspects of her life that can be twisted to assassinate her character. All seem invasive: designed, deposition style, to catch her in lies & defame her.”
“[I]f you cannot see that how Ford was treated compared to Reade, and how Kavanaugh was treated compared to Biden, are not starkly different…”
Others have come to the Times’ defense, maintaining that the questions are legitimate. A few examples:
“These are not ‘tactics.’ These are all solid, investigative questions. She’s accused the presumptive Dem nominee of sexual assault from 30 yrs ago. It’s a he said/she said. So what happens? You investigate the allegation and her character. His character’s been vetted for decades.”
“The question are follow ups. Meaning we are catching the conversation in the middle point. So for me to say these are unfair – I would have to see the entire thread. I am often suspicious of someone editing something for me to see and asking for my outrage.”
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