By Mary Margaret Olohan
Tara Reade condemned the media’s silence regarding her sexual assault allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden in an interview with the Daily Caller News Foundation and demanded equal treatment as “other survivors” like Christine Blasey Ford.
The 56-year-old Reade lamented that her sexual assault accusation has become a “partisan tool,” saying that Republicans have weaponized her and Democrats have both ignored and discredited her.
“It’s inexcusable,” she told the DCNF. “I’m sorry that I’m politically inconvenient but my perpetrator was Joe Biden. And people need to deal with it.”
Reade worked as a Senate staffer for Biden in 1993 and has accused the then-senator of kissing her, touching her, and penetrating her with his fingers without her consent. Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign, which did not respond to a request for comment from the DCNF, has denied the assault and said it “absolutely did not happen.”
Silence and a “Shroud Of Non-Commitment” From the Media
Between March 24, the day when Reade made her allegations public, and Apr. 15, Biden faced over 81 questions and over 20 hours of interviews with media without being asked to comment on the sexual assault accusation, a recent analysis by the Washington Free Beacon found. Though Biden’s former rival Sen. Bernie Sanders was asked about the allegations last week, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee has yet to address the accusations.
Reade told the DCNF that major media outlets treat her with a “shroud of non-commitment” and silence. She compared her treatment to the “hundreds of stories” that were written about Blasey Ford, who accused Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her.
“My question is: Why? Are they being told not to by the campaign?” she said. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Video Shows Anti-Kavanaugh Lawyer Saying Christine Blasey Ford Wanted ‘Asterisk’ by Justice’s Name)
Media outlets probe into every aspect of her life when she interviews with them, Reade told the DCNF. By contrast, she pointed out, stories only publish denials from Biden’s campaign without getting details from the former vice president himself.
“Their campaign didn’t have their hands up my skirt,” Reade told the DCNF. “Their campaign didn’t have their hands underneath my clothes and then arrange for me to be fired.”
Biden’s accuser criticized CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, who has hosted Biden multiple times since her story broke but has not asked him about her allegations. She described how CNN, which did not respond to a request for comment from the DCNF, will call her and ask to interview her, saying they will “consider doing a story” on her allegations.
“Well, get back to me when you know you’re doing a story,” Reade said she tells CNN, “and then I’ll complete the interview.”
According to Reade, ABC News reporter Sasha Pezenik interviewed her immediately after Reade went public with her accusation. But she said Pezenik sat on the story.
“She has never done a story,” Reade said. “When I’ve asked her, she basically just says her producer’s not interested right now.”
Reade Calls Out Women’s Groups for Their Silence
Women’s groups that backed Blasey Ford’s sexual assault accusations against Kavanaugh, including pro-abortion women’s groups like Planned Parenthood, Emily’s List, the National Abortion Right’s Action League, have been silent regarding Reade’s accusations.
Reade said it would have meant “so much” to her to have a women’s movement or platform that supported her during this time. (RELATED: ‘Believe All Women’: Women’s Groupst that Condemned Kavanaugh Silent on Biden Accuser Tara Reade)
“I say back to these women’s organizations, I want the same equal treatment that other survivors have received, no matter who the perpetrator is,” Reade told the DCNF. She singled out Emily’s List and activist Gloria Steinem, both of whom she says she interacted as an “active Democrat.”
“Emily’s List, where are you?” she asked. “Gloria Steinem? Where are you? Where are these people?”
Neither Emily’s List nor Steinem responded to requests for comment from the DCNF.
Multiple organizations said that, as nonprofits, they couldn’t weigh in on partisan topics, including sexual assault accusations against a presidential candidate.
The Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, a 501(c)3 nonprofit administered by the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) and established in the wake of the #MeToo movement, reportedly told Reade in February that it would not support her.
NWLC spokeswoman Maria Patrick said in a statement to the Intercept that the group’s nonprofit status restricts “how it can spend its funds, including restrictions that pertain to candidates running for election.”
A spokeswoman for the Center for Reproductive Rights also told the DCNF in April that CRR does “not comment on elections or candidates as we are a non-partisan 501(c)3.”
Pressed as to why CRR actively commented on Kavanaugh’s confirmation, the spokeswoman said “judicial appointees are not candidates and are not elected,” and added, “[w]e do not and have never commented on candidates for public elections.”
Reade told the DCNF that women’s groups that blame their silence on their nonprofit status do so out of fear.
She speculated that many of these women’s groups rely on funding that comes from the Violence Against Women Act, which Biden introduced in 1990, and believes that these organizations worry they will lose this funding if Biden becomes president and they have spoken ill of him.
“I think there’s all kinds of reasons,” she adds. ” There’s economic, there’s just fear of who he is and how powerful he is. I’m 56 years old, and I’ve kind of pushed beyond fear, I’m getting attacked I am getting harassed. But I think it’s important I stay strong and stay firm.”
“I’m Not Voting in a National Election:” Reade Disowns Her Life-Long Party
Reade recognizes that Biden is a pro-abortion candidate facing President Donald Trump in the upcoming 2020 election — and that many of the women’s groups are anxious to preserve abortion access in the United States. (RELATED: Here’s How Joe Biden Has Evolved on Abortion As He Attempts to Become President)
But Biden has “a pretty sketchy history on reproductive rights,” she said, pointing to the former vice president’s flip-flops on abortion stances throughout his political career. If the Democratic Party marginalizes her or discredits her, she warns, this “lessens the credibility for women to come forward.”
“I’m strongly pro-choice,” she said. “I have no problem saying that. But what I would say is that sexual assault and sexual harassment are equally as important.”
“Joe Biden is like a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” she adds. “He’s championing supposedly women’s rights but in his personal life that is not the way he’s conducted himself.”
She named several Democratic figures who have touched on her allegations against Biden, including Sanders, Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and former 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar. None of these politicians responded to requests for comment from the DCNF.
“Bernie Sanders would have no concept of who I am, of this incident, of who I was in 1993,” she told the DCNF, referring to Sanders discussing her accusations against Biden on CBS This Morning. “He had nothing to do with it. How could he have an opinion when he doesn’t know?”
The Vermont senator has not reached out to her on the matter, she added.
She pointed out that Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, said recently on MSNBC that Reade’s alleged sexual assault had been investigated. Reade said that statement is false and “irresponsible,” noting that her assault has “never been investigated.”
“My case is open and active with the metro D.C. police,” she said. She added that she found it “very upsetting” to hear Klobuchar go on to discuss Biden’s record on domestic violence prevention during that MSNBC hit. (RELATED: Former Biden Staffer Files Criminal Complaint with DC Police)
As for Ocasio-Cortez, Reade noted that the the Democratic congresswoman said April 14 that Reade’s allegations against Biden are “legitimate to talk about.”
“What you’re voicing is so legitimate and real,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “That’s why I find this kind of silencing of all dissent to be a form of gaslighting.”
“I think it’s legitimate to talk about these things,” the congresswoman added. “And if we want, if we again want to have integrity, you can’t say, you know — both believe women, support all of this, until it inconveniences you, until it inconveniences us.”
Though Reade originally thanked Ocasio-Cortez for her initial support, she pointed out to the DCNF Friday that the New York representative proceeded to endorse Biden on April 23.
“She still had to toe the line,” Reade said.
Reade said she is a third generation Democrat with a suffragette grandmother and a Democratic activist mother committed to fighting racism, but she no longer wishes to be associated with the Democratic party. She won’t be voting Republican, either.
“I will never be part of the Democratic Party again,” she told the DCNF.
“I’m not voting in a national election,” Reade added. “There is no democracy for me. I think, in my case, that democracy died in that corridor in 1993.”
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