by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Mollie Hemingway of the Federalist explains why the Washington Post faces a challenge as it tries to bury coverage of sexual assault claims against Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. That challenge is tied to the Post’s own actions in recent political history.
The Washington Post has a problem. The newspaper led the massive effort against the nomination of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh by publishing and relentlessly hyping a completely unsubstantiated allegation of sexual assault against him.
Now, the paper is leading Democrats’ efforts to bury a similar, if stronger, allegation of sexual assault against Joe Biden. To accomplish this dramatic turnabout, the paper is collectively trying to rewrite history, pretending the allegation against Kavanaugh had more basis than it did while also pretending that the allegation against Biden has less basis than it does.
The Post’s anti-Kavanaugh operation had powerful divisions in both the news and opinion departments. …
… As Kavanaugh’s nomination seemed inevitable, the desperate paper dramatically rolled out and sympathetically handled an unsubstantiated allegation against Kavanaugh from Christine Blasey Ford. Although she never had any evidence in support of her allegation — in fact she didn’t even have evidence she had ever met Kavanaugh, much less that he had tried to rape her — the Post’s legitimizing of the claim set off one of American journalism’s most devastating feeding frenzies. …
… Compare the approach the Post took for Tara Reade’s allegation against her former employer, Biden. Far from breaking the story, the Post was finally forced to cover the allegation against Biden after a 19-day blackout when The New York Times ended their own blackout by finally covering it on Easter Sunday. (Easter Sunday is not known as a major news day, even when it doesn’t occur in the middle of a global pandemic.)
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