Monday, April 13, 2020

Tara Reade has my support

I believe Tara Reade.  And I believe her even more when the corporate media tries to put a finger on the scale in Joe's favor.  Christina Cauterucci (SLATE) explains:

   On Sunday, the New York Times published its first piece on Tara Reade’s sexual assault allegation against Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. The article includes an unusually frank explanation of the reporting process that went into it. Lisa Lerer and Sydney Ember, who wrote the piece with support from three other colleagues, explain that their reporting began “soon after” Reade told her full story on Katie Halper’s podcast, which was released on March 25. It took nearly three weeks to get a piece to print—Sunday’s article also ran on page 20 of Monday’s New York edition of the paper.

Reade was one of several women who accused Biden last year of giving them unwanted and inappropriate kisses, hugs, and touches. In late March, she told Halper he also digitally penetrated her without her consent when she was a staff assistant in his Senate office in 1993. Biden denies the allegation. The Times reporters spent the weeks since the release of Halper’s podcast interviewing “nearly two dozen” Biden employees from the early 1990s and two of Reade’s friends: One said Reade told her about the alleged assault soon after it happened; the other said Reade shared her story in 2008. Reade’s brother has also confirmed to journalists at Current Affairs and the Intercept that Reade confided in him at the time of the alleged assault, though he didn’t speak to the Times. 
   Despite this corroboration of contemporaneous disclosure from Reade, the Times article registers some notes of skepticism. “No other allegation about sexual assault surfaced in the course of reporting, nor did any former Biden staff members corroborate any details of Ms. Reade’s allegation,” the piece reads. “The Times found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden.” Lerer and Ember’s unusually detailed description of their reporting timeline reads as slightly defensive but is perhaps a response to the criticism the paper has drawn from both ends of the political spectrum for the lapse between Reade’s public airing of her claim and the Times’ first acknowledgment of it.

From a certain perspective, the framing of Reade’s allegation makes sense in the context of the Times’ own role in the #MeToo movement and the broader landscape of contemporary reporting on sexual assault. Each of the paper’s major investigations, which have led to a rapist’s conviction and the end of a serial harasser’s career, turned up several related stories of sexual violence or inappropriate sexual behavior. A “pattern of sexual misconduct”—plus documentation of monetary settlements—helped justify the Times’ reporting on allegations that hadn’t been evaluated in courts of law. Perhaps this helps explain why, instead of reporting on Reade’s allegation on its own terms, Lerer and Ember made a point of indicating the pattern they didn’t find. On the other hand, is that really necessary? If they’d left that qualification out, readers still would have assumed as much: that if the journalists had discovered a pattern of alleged misconduct, they would have reported it. The absence of such reporting indicates a lack of such findings .
 [. . .]
Whether they intend to or not, the explicit framing around the lack of pattern ends up making a statement about Reade’s believability. Not every sexual abuser makes a habit of committing multiple similar assaults in a span of a few years, but in recent years, both readers and reporters have become accustomed to gauging accusers’ credibility by counting their numbers. If an abuser leaves a trail of survivors in his wake, we demand they all make their allegations known to the press if any one of them is to be believed, in defiance of the personal and professional risks. (Reade says she didn’t tell her full story sooner because she was doxed after merely alleging that Biden had harassed her.) We’ve been spoiled, in the worst possible sense of the word, by the proliferation of stories detailing yearslong patterns of sexual violations committed by the likes of Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Roger Ailes, Matt Lauer, Bill O’Reilly, Charlie Rose, and Donald Trump. We’ve come to expect every abuser to come with an entire fleet of women giving the same details. 
Lerer and Ember, as they take pains to make clear, have not exposed Biden as a serial sexual abuser. That doesn’t mean there’s no troubling pattern there. In addition to Reade, several women have accused Biden of treating their bodies as if they were his to touch and acting with complete disregard for their comfort or consent. How might a person who does these things make a sexual advance on a subordinate? With deference and care, or with reckless entitlement? Generally speaking, a man with a healthy regard for women’s bodily autonomy does not make a habit of manhandling and infantilizing them in the course of his job duties. When confronted with his accusers’ versions of events last year, Biden responded by mocking the concept of consent and admitting to nothing more than being a pathologically friendly old-timer. He also tried to erase the gendered aspect of his behavior: “Whether they’re women, men, young, old, it’s the way I’ve always been,” he said in a video response to the initial allegations. (For the record, no men have accused Biden of inappropriate kisses or squeezes.)
At any rate, anyone else who professes certainty about the alleged incident is lying—nobody but Biden and Reade know whether her story is true. This includes deputy Biden campaign manager Kate Bedingfield, who told the Times in a statement, “What is clear about this claim: It is untrue. This absolutely did not happen,” and the interns, whom Reade supervised in Biden’s office, who the Times takes pains to note did not know about the alleged incident. (Imagine confiding in the interns you manage that your boss just sexually abused you.) 

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Monday, April 13, 2020.  In Iraq, in the US, the war against women continues.
Starting in Iraq, Awrah al-Alawi maintains that an arrest warrant has been issued for members of the family that Malak Hayder al-Zubiedi married into.
لا حول ولا قوة الا بالله ، الله ينتقم منهم بنت مواليد 2000 يحرقونها علشان العادات و التقاليد الي ما تمد بالدِّين بأي صلة
( تخلف ) #ملاك_حيدر_الزبيدي
Malak Hayder al-Zubiedi is a 19-year-old woman who was burned -- by her husband? -- and who was not allowed to see her own family for over eight months.  
AL ARABY reports that the burning of Malak became news when her sister posted on FACEBOOK Saturday about what happened.
Smraa Smraa
on Saturday
وين الغياره وين اهل الرحم وين اماره ازبيد هاي شعره شاربكم هذا السوو بالطفلة وفوكاهاا يهدده تقبلون هيج خلي يجي يشوف بنت زبيد بعد ماتفنن بتعذيبه حركها ابن العقيد حميد المياحي
Image may contain: ‎text that says '‎منشور Safa هاي البنية الي موجودة هسة بالطابق السادس خطية والله ذاك اليوم بخفارتي الليل كله تصيح من الألم وما خليت مسكن ما انطيتهيا وما فاد مع الأسف والله بنية بعمر الورد أعجبني رد 10 مصطفى الخفاجي الله يشافيه 7س أعجبني ابو احمد العيساوي الله يشافيه بحق الحسين حسبي الله ونعم الوكيل أعجبني رد س‎'‎
Image may contain: one or more people and closeup
Image may contain: one or more people
Image may contain: one or more people and closeup
Prior to the FACEBOOK post, authorities were saying she had burned herself.  Now, two brothers of her husband have been arrested while authorities insist that they are trying to locate her husband but he is on the run.  Luay al Yassiry, the Governor of Najaf, states that a special team of investigators have been tasked with the case.

If we don't publicize this, in one way or another we're actively promoting a culture of silence. Women in Iraq are still fighting for their simplest rights amid a patriarchal society that always favors and lawfully justifies the actions of these criminals.

For two consecutive election cycles, al-Fadhila Party (or Islamic Virtue Party) has led a campaign targeting women and girls, pushing a bill that makes amendments to Iraq’s Personal Status Law, which governs how religious and civil courts settle disputes related to marriage, divorce, inheritance, and custody. Although unlegislated and rejected by parliament vote, it has been dubbed the “Jafari Law” in an alleged attempt to represent Jafari or Shia “values”. It remains in the Iraqi consciousness as an existing threat to women’s and girls’ rights.
Its most contentious component was the attempt to legislate underage marriage. This received widespread outrage from the public, and especially from Najaf’s Shia seminary, for a variety of reasons, primarily the obvious pedophilic as well as sectarian nature of the bill. In a weak attempt to divide women’s united front against the corrupt patriarchy, lawmakers behind this bill claimed it protects Shia women’s rights when in fact it imposed a threat to all women’s rights.
Some male analysts dismissed the objectification of girls and women as mere political pawns in these attempts to amend the Personal Status Law, calling it a “political stunt”. Others argued that legalizing child marriage could help regulate an already common practice. However, regulation cannot heal the trauma arising from years of child molestation. While the bill sanctions pedophilia, it also feminizes poverty more than already is the case. Global studies have demonstrated a direct link between child marriage and high reproductive rates, poverty, female illiteracy, divorce and suicide rates.
According to UNICEF, approximately 40 percent of Iraqis are under 14 years of age, and one in five girls is married by the age of 18. High child marriage rates arise from poverty, conflict, and patriarchal traditions. With the legalization of child marriage, these rates – and rates of reproduction – could fast increase. Iraq’s population is expected to mushroom from 38 to 50 million in 10 years’ time. This is among the world’s fastest population growths, faced by stunted development in most sectors. It will create immense economic strain, increasing the ratio between state resources and the population. According to the Iraqi Economists Network, over 20 percent of the population are widows and orphans, and over 35 percent of Iraq’s population lives in poverty. These numbers have mushroomed since the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham/Syria (ISIS) entered the scene.
Poverty and conflict expose girls to an increased risk of illiteracy. Sixty percent of girls aged 14 and 18 are not enrolled in secondary school. Among those internally displaced, they are 50 percent less likely than boys to get schooling. When girls are denied education, their well-being, future employment prospects, earning potential, and even relationships are jeopardized.
 The violence against women never ends.
Just walking along, shopping for food
Stepping out of the line of fire when people are rude
Cheap stuff made in China, someone calls it a sale
Somebody's mama, somebody's daughter
Somebody's jail

Beat down in the market, stoned to death in the plaza
Raped on the hillside under the gun from LA to Gaza
A house made of cardboard living close to the rail
Somebody's mama, somebody's daughter
Somebody's jail

And I feel the witch in my veins
I feel the mother in my shoe
I feel the scream in my soul
The blood as I sing the ancient blue
They burned in the millions
I still smell the fire in my grandma's hair
The war against women rages on
Beware of the fairytale
Somebody's mama, somebody's daughter
Somebody's jail

The noise of elections, the promise of change
A grabbing of power at the top, a day at the rifle range
Somebody's in danger, somebody's for sale
Somebody's mama, somebody's daughter
Somebody's jail
-- "Somebody's Jail," written by Holly Near, first appears on her album SHOW UP.
The war against women rages on.  And so many help it.  Ken Olin's never done anything for women -- in fact, his work on thirty-something was anti-woman.  A failed actor, he's turned to producing and directing.  One thing he'll never turn against?  Hating women.  Which is why he wants you to know he doesn't believe Tara Reade.
Tara Reade has stated that, while she worked for then-Senator Joe Biden, he assaulted her.  Katie Halper recaps:
1) #TaraReade accused joe Biden of sexual assault & harassment 2) Biden has not denied it 3) his campaign has 4) but it’s been confirmed that Reade was abruptly demoted 5) and campaign has not said why 6) neither the nor asked Biden campaign why
Katie Halper was the first to do a broadcast interview with Tara.  On Tara's actions, Matt Walsh explains:
Tara Reade: -Told people about the alleged assault when it happened. They corroborate. -Other aspects of story corroborated by witnesses -Remembers every detail -Is accusing a man with a known and recent history of inappropriate physical behavior towards women
As Ava and I noted in "TV: Liars:"

Today, THE NEW YORK TIMES finally reported on the allegations as did NBC NEWS.

Shaun King notes of NYT's report:

independently confirmed that Tara Reade told friends and family members that she was sexually assaulted by
. They also confirmed with Biden interns that she was removed from supervising them right when she reported the assault.

The NYT adds an important bit of reporting: Tara Reade said that in retaliation for her complaint, she was moved off of managing interns. The Times found the interns, and they confirmed she suddenly stopped overseeing them.
Of the NBC NEWS report, Winifred notes:

It was a very straight forward segment. Ali Vitali spoke to 5 of Tara Reade's former colleagues and friends. 2 went on record and corroborated her story. Kasie ended clip with : Important to remember that Trump also denies allegations of rape against him.
A fourth person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Reade told her about the alleged assault at the time. That person, who asked that her name be withheld by NBC News for fear of negatively affecting her business, said she remembers Reade's telling her that she spoke with superiors in Biden's office about harassment but not the assault. She also recalled that Reade told her she filed a formal written complaint with a Senate personnel office at the time.
A fifth person, who also spoke with NBC News anonymously, recalled that Reade told her in the mid-2000s that Biden had been inappropriate and touched her when she worked in his office but that she didn't detail the alleged assault. Reade said that she also told her mother, who has since died, and her brother, who has told The Intercept that he remembers having been told about an incident at the time.

 Last spring, as Biden was preparing to formally enter the presidential race, about a half dozen women came forward with stories of unwanted touching or displays of affection. None alleged sexual assault.
Among them was Lucy Flores, who said that in 2014 the then-vice president touched and kissed the back of her head during her campaign for Nevada’s lieutenant governor.
Biden pledged to be “more respectful of people’s personal space.” But he joked about the criticism two days later, and he has remained physically affectionate during campaign events, where some supporters ask for hugs.
Flores’s story inspired Reade to offer her own account to her local newspaper, the Union, in Nevada County, Calif, Reade said. The details in that article matched the narrative Reade gave The Post the next day in a telephone interview.
[. . .]
The friend who Reade said she told about the incident at the time had interned on Capitol Hill and was in college in Virginia at the time of the alleged assault.
“I still remember that she handed off the gym bag and then she was pinned up against the wall,” Reade’s friend said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because she feared online harassment and professional consequences. “His hands went under her skirt. . . . He pushed his fingers into her, not at her invitation. Not at her request. She was confused about why he thought it was okay to do that.”
Reade’s younger brother, Moulton, said she had told him parts of her experience with Biden but not the alleged sexual assault.
“I heard that there was a gym bag incident . . . and that he was inappropriate,” Moulton said. “I remember her telling me he said she was nothing to him.”
A few days after that interview, Moulton sent the text saying he wanted to clarify his remarks. He wrote that he recalled Reade telling him in the early 1990s that Biden had cornered her and put his hands under her clothes.
Another friend of Reade’s said that in 2006 or 2007 Reade told her Biden had touched her arm and behaved inappropriately. She had no other details, she said, speaking on the condition of anonymity out of concern she might face online attacks.
Claire Lampen (THE CUT) looks at NYT's article and notes:
Many women have accused Biden of inappropriate behavior.
Eight women, including Reade, have recalled instances where Biden inappropriately kissed, hugged, and touched them. In an essay for the Cut last year, attorney Lucy Flores wrote that, when she was running for Nevada’s lieutenant governor in 2014, Biden came up behind her at a campaign rally and smelled her hair before kissing her on the head. Biden then acknowledged that “social norms are changing,” that he needs to “hear what [women] are saying, [and] understand it,” and that he needs to be “more mindful about respecting personal space in the future.”
Speaking to the Times, Flores noted that “Biden is not just a hugger. Biden very clearly was invading women’s spaces without their consent in a way that made them feel uncomfortable. Does he potentially have the capacity to go beyond that? That’s the answer everyone is trying to get at.”
Some in independent media have led on the Tara Reade story -- some.  Others have ignored it.  Outside of independent media, it has been college newspapers that have provided coverage of the accusations while corporate media ignored the story for weeks.  Jake McGowan  (THE DAILY TARGUM) notes:

The issue with Biden’s claim is that the former Vice President is a neoliberal, the breed of politician that most acceptable mainstream sources love. The New York Times, The Washington Post and similar outlets all clamor for their Democratic establishment figures. See how they treated Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) campaign for an example of how they act when somebody messes with their mundane status quo.
So the media will not hold Biden accountable for his actions at any point throughout this election, I can guarantee you that. The New York Times has already gone as far as to “investigate” Reade’s claim against Biden — and promptly dismiss it like the hacks they are.
“No other allegation about sexual assault surfaced in the course of reporting, nor did any former Biden staff members corroborate any details of Ms. Reade’s allegation. The Times found no pattern of sexual misconduct by (Biden),” The New York Times said, outlined in the previously cited article.
And that is where my concern comes in. All candidates, regardless of party, need to be held accountable for their misconduct. If the Democratic Party truly wants to portray itself as champions of women, it would replace Biden as its candidate.
But that change also stems from voters. Do your due diligence and vote for candidates that uphold your personal ethical standards.
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