Speaker Nancy Pelosi went on CNN to praise former Vice President Joe Biden for his response to the sexual assault allegations by former Biden staffer Tara Reade. Biden however has not personally responded to the allegations and continues to refuse to release his Senate documents being kept under key by the University of Delaware. We previously disclosed the glaring disconnect in the positions of Democrats like Pelosi in prior demands that women “must be believed” when the allegations were directed by Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Pelosi also supported Bill Clinton through his various allegations by multiple women ranging from sexual harassment to rape. Update: When confronted on the story, Pelosi snapped “I don’t need a lecture.”
“Well, I have great sympathy for any women who brings forth an allegation; I’m a big strong supporter of the #MeToo movement. I think it’s made a great contribution to our country and I do support Joe Biden. I’m satisfied with how he has responded, I know him, I was proud to endorse him Monday, very proud to endorse him, so I’m satisfied with that.”
Pelosi was praising Biden for his response as even liberal media outlets are running editorials and columns calling for Biden to respond rather than continue his silence. More importantly, Pelosi is not calling upon Biden to release his official papers and the media is not pressing her on these points.
Once again, I have always maintained that women need to be heard and taken seriously in raising these allegations. I have also objected to those who would toss aside due process and simply accept accusations without investigation. Notably, while most are remaining silent and refusing to respond to media inquiries, some Democrats are now adopting that approach for Biden and, rather than saying that Reade must be believed, they are now saying that she must be heard. Biden supporter Alyssa Milano tweeted out “I hear and see you, Tara.” She notably did not say “I believe you,” in sharp contrast with the Ford allegation. During the Kavanaugh hearing, some of us were slammed for not treating the Ford allegations as per se dispositive. Now Pelosi is adopting the same position that accusers deserve to be heard and taken seriously but not categorically believed.
In the meantime, when Chris Hayes asked for a response from Biden on the sexual assault allegation, MSNBC viewers have called for him to be fired. There is nothing more jarring in echo journalism than a dissonant note, even when asking for a simple direct response from a politician accused of rape.