Content warning: Sexual assault
In the US, there are a sufficient number of anti-establishment progressives and opportunistic Republicans to force this information out into the mainstream, despite efforts to contain it, but not in Australia, and it’s something we should know about – not only because this is the presumptive Democrat nominee for the US presidency, but because it reveals just how cynical and bankrupt mass media is.
Joe Biden has faced numerous allegations of sexual assault, many women have spoken of inappropriate touching, and just a few weeks ago Rolling Stone’s Katie Halper interviewed one of Biden’s accusers, Tara Reade, where she alleged Biden forced her up against a wall and penetrated her with his fingers in 1993. She told her mum and brother at the time, and it’s not entirely clear, but a story in the Intercept seems to suggest she reported at the time also.
Adding to the accounts of these women is loads of footage on YouTube of Biden making women and girls cringe, squirm and recoil with his touching. Biden’s defence has been that “social norms have changed”, but making people visibly freak out by your behaviour has never been in.
In such cases, it’s typical that the accused and their defenders can cast doubt on the accusers’ word by arguing how much “out of character” the allegations are… in Biden’s case, there’s the footage to corroborate the accounts. But establishment media isn’t interested.
None of these women are receiving the institutional support that others in similar positions have when it’s been politically convenient. On the contrary, some have been attacked, for instance by those paragons of wisdom on the View, who questioned the accusers’ motives and suggested they should have told Biden to stop. Even more pathetically, Tara Reade has been accused of being a Russian operative.
Time’s Up, the organisation established in the wake of #MeToo to provide institutional and legal support to abuse victims of particularly men in powerful positions, was approached by Tara Reade to pursue charges against Biden. The organisation declined, citing complications over their non-profit status and the fact that Biden is running for election.
The Intercept consulted a legal expert who rejected this explanation; the Intercept also did some digging and found that the managing director of the public relations firm that works on behalf of Time’s Up is a senior adviser to Biden’s presidential campaign.
Time’s Up has received something like $25 million in donations in the last few years to advocate for women exactly like Tara Reade, women who didn’t have the resources to go after their abusers. It turns out Time’s Up is yet another institution built to protect abusers in powerful positions from being held to account, unless you’re a mean right-winger with bad skin and a leer like Harvey Weinstein or Roy Moore, then you might get help from Time’s Up.
Mainstream media outlets in the US have grudgingly been forced to do some reporting on all this because it just couldn’t be fully contained, but not so in Australia, where gushing accounts of Biden’s primary victory have been appearing across all mainstream outlets, including from the ostensible champions of woke politics in Australia: the ABC, (formerly) Fairfax publications and Crikey, with Crikey disgracefully reporting that Biden will “restore decency and dignity to the presidency.” Yeah right.
If you’re thinking this cover-up is probably designed to increase Biden’s electability and just get Trump out of the White House at any cost, a tactic which you may or may not agree with under the circumstances – this might look like the play, but it’s not. The main reason was to stop Bernie and the progressive movement.
Most progressive political strategists in the US believed Bernie Sanders had the best shot of all Democrat contenders at beating Trump. This sent the establishment in a panic and beating Bernie at any cost during the Democratic primaries became the single-minded objective of the political and media elite. This meant covering up for Biden while facing off with Bernie.
Whoever wins now between Biden and Trump, the political and economic elite don’t really care.
And when this 2020 (or 2021?) election starts to heat up, Trump is going to throw all this radioactive material at Biden, and probably destroy him with it.
So basically what we’re seeing in Australian media is complete capitulation to the shady dynamics of US politics. This has to be called out, and it should make us reflect on the fact that our media will only hold the powerful to account when its politically agreeable, which in this case meant getting Bernie Sanders out of the race, and most likely, keeping Trump in the White House.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.