In reaction to Joan Walsh’s article in the Nation, “The Troublesome Tara Reade Story“, a Naked Capitalism Reader, who was once a prosecutor, wrote this:
I have cancelled my recent subscription to The Nation. Joan Walsh’s misogynist attack on Tara Reade has no place in a “left” publication in the 21st Century.
To assert that there is “no evidence” of Ms. Reade’s allegation against Mr. Biden denies Ms. Reade’s agency as a human being and revives Victorian tropes that a man must deposit his “evidence” inside a woman‘s body — the property of another man — before a sexual assault can have taken place. Even that monster Donald Trump’s assertion that “they’ll let you grab them by the pussy” presumes female agency and consent. I have been a lawyer for over 35 years. A woman’s words alone constitute “evidence.”
Walsh then drags out the trope that a woman sharing more detail over time is “changing” her story. Ms. Reade’s reluctance to share details is understandable in light of how people like Mr. Biden himself publicly treated Anita Hill, and the recent public abuse of Christine Blasley Ford. Until Super Tuesday many, myself included, believed that Mr. Biden’s candidacy was going down in flames. Why drag oneself and one’s family through the mud?
Walsh then resorts to the tired “Putin!” meme. Russiagate was an abject failure politically. Mccarthyism also failed 65 years before Russiagate and has no place in contemporary political discourse.
I refuse to support a publication that publishes this sort of scurrilous nonsense.
[A Naked Capitalism Reader]
The Naked Capitalism reader amplifies in correspondence:
One other point: Walsh’s central construction “no evidence that he did; no evidence that he did not,” is false.
Tara Reade’s statement is direct evidence that he did.
A hearsay denial by factotum and proxy who claim no personal knowledge of the incident is not evidence. Thus, there is no evidence that he did not.
Let Biden come forward and personally articulate his denial. Until he does this, Walsh is engaging in a complete fallacy.
And further amplifies:
Katie Halper did a really good job interviewing Tara Reade. Tara comes off as rather guileless, which causes the arc of her choices about to whom and when to make her disclosures ring absolutely true to me as a former prosecutor who has reviewed literally dozens, if not scores, of allegations of sexual assault….
It’s interesting to me how the social standing of the perpetrator and politics warp people’s “woke-ness.” One of my more controversial trials was of a Palo Alto gang rape of an intoxicated teen that became the cover story of the San Jose Mercury News Sunday magazine back in 2000. I also had quite a bit of insider knowledge of the notorious Stanford swimmer case which was prosecuted by my office not long before I retired at the end of 2016. There was quite an interesting spectrum of opinion in “liberal” Palo Alto/Stanford about both of those cases — which became far more controversial than they should have been in a “woke” culture.
Yep. Thanks to our Naked Capitalism Reader for this commentary.
 See Ryan Grim, The Intercept, “Time’s Up Said It Could Not Fund A #Metoo Allegation Against Joe Biden, Citing Its Nonprofit Status and His Presidential Run“, The Katie Halper Show, “I wanted to be a senator; I didn’t want to sleep with one“, Current Affairs, “Tara Reade Tells Her Story,” and Current Affairs, “Evaluating Tara Reade’s Allegation Against Joe Biden.”
Joan Walsh has been like that for a long time. The shocking thing is that The Nation published it.
I’m with the Nation here. Next time someone will accuse Sanders of something like this (or maybe even AOC – who knows) and
Also I don’t like the casuistry about what constitutes evidence. Of course a testimony is evidence, so the Nation’s wording is perhaps not precise, but I think we all understand what was meant. Not defending Biden, I just would prefer the level of proof required to cancel someone was higher than that.
I see your point and only somewhat disagree. The issue, however, involves both the validity of the charge and the attitude of the many Democrats who take such allegations quite seriously when leveled against their opponents but then, like Walsh, find excuses not to do so when one of their own is accused.
I see this as an essential litmus test. As I see it, if you were one of the people (or more politicians) who argued that we needed to hear Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony and needed to grill Brett Kavanaugh about it. Then you are a complete hypocrite if you now are satisfied by simply dismissing Tara Reade. If, on the other hand you did not then you may not be inconsistent but you are still wrong to apply old standards.
The presidency is about character, what kind of decisions does someone make in the dark. We are seeing the operational consequences of that now. Sexual assault or yes “unwanted touching” if it is repetitive, is a sign of that. If it applies to the Supreme Court it damn well applies to the White House.
To my mind Sanders struct the correct tone in saying it deserved a hearing but also declaiming to take a side. As he said he had insufficient information.
Oh dear. The is a complete difference between Accused(R) and Accused(D), if one is a (D).
In the first case, Accused(R) is held to an insta-proof standard. Accused(D) is held to another requires the testimony of three jiving Popes.
It is perfectly just system. (If you believe that, then I assert Donald Trump’s Orange Glow is a perfectly natural sun tan). /s
Oh dear. There is a complete difference between Accused(R) and Accused(D), if one is a (D).
In the first case, Accused(R) is held to an insta-proof standard. Accused(D) is held to another requires the testimony of three jiving Popes.
It is perfectly just system. (If you believe that, then I assert Donald Trump’s Orange Glow is a perfectly natural sun tan).
yes, that’s dual standards at their worst
there are at least two witnesses that she complained about it the time, pretty strong confirmation.
Next question: she claims she filed a complaint with the Senate. Where would that be? The round file?
The fact that she was effectively demoted at approximately the same time as the alleged incident supports her version of the story as well. She had been in a supervisory position over the office interns and several of them corroborate that she had that assignment abruptly taken away.
> Next time someone will accuse Sanders of something like this
If the hypothetical accuser has people with whom they shared their story contemporaneously — unlike Blasey-Ford, a moral panic that went on for months — then indeed that is just what they should do. What is the issue here?
I like the Daily Mail/RT News-type headline, with the all caps. We need more of this at NC.
what’s the “we” bit, carl? In fact. please provide a link to all your comments here at NC so “we” can know you’re seriously concerned.
Having a bad day, friend? Sorry if you didn’t appreciate a bit of whimsy.
Whimsy is not the same as casting aspersions on unrelated news organisations.
The humour – if indeed intended – falls flat.
If noting that those organizations utilize that style of headlines is casting aspersions, then so be it.
Daily Mail headlines are, in fact, brilliant (although the inspiration for this headline was liberal Democrat “cancel culture”). It’s not easy to compress an entire narrative into a headline, but they do it routinely.
As for RT, I don’t follow them. They’re a Russian propaganda outfit, amiright champ, or amiright?
I enjoy reading RT. I like their perspective.
Headline’s a wee bit incendiary, no? Here I was thinking some evil moneybags was shutting the publication down ….
Don’t get me wrong: I’m appalled (tho not surprised) by the reactions to Ms Reade.
The whole Biden candidacy is just insane. Gah! Thank goodness for the lockdown; it’s keeping me from punching my own dad in the face.
My message box and emails fill up with DNC, DSCC and DCC HEADLINES announcing that “Michelle DESTROYS McConnell!” which ledes down to some ambiguous quote about how “ Congress ought to address this problem seriously.”
Equal protection, and all in the family, plenty of similar emails about Barack DEMANDING that I get behind Biden to Destroy TRUMP!
And lots of other headlines like the one atop this post. I found it quite amusing that the author chose that framing and typography, given that we all are now living out some enormous and deadly farce, where the best one can do to try to maintain some kind of sanity and not descend into foaming-mouth obscenities and having our heads spin around spewing green froth like Linda Blair in “The Exorcist.” Especially as the insane political economy we live in, presided over by a group of kleptocrats and vicious stooges in as many flavors as Nancy Pelosi has gelatos in her $24,000 Tone-Deaf Freezer, is spinning down into a vast invitation to give in to futilitarianism, the religion for which I am an increasingly avid evangelist…
Lindsey Graham is L I V I D!
Donald Trump is LAUGHING at us! JTMcPhee, we have bad news!
Donald Trump: ??. ??????? ????? FIRED?! 15,000 signatures needed! [And $25.000, to save the nation!]
I follow carl on this one. And having seen Tara Reade interviewed on The Hill, if I were a juror I would find her testimony completely credible. What kind of people are we, anyway? So partisan that we ignore a long history of Biden touching and sniffing and unwanted manhandling of women, because after all, he is ‘our candidate and needs to be shielded from his history’? Even the NYT acknowledged (before it erased the text in its story on Reade that noted there were no other sexual misconduct charges pending against him other than that long history of assaults and sniffing and hands-on, text removed by the Times at the instance of the Biden campaign staff? Here’s the original text: “ The Times found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden, beyond the hugs, kisses and touching that women previously said made them uncomfortable.” Waiting for the apologists to tell us why the edit to remove the last clause starting “beyond…” is just “Good journalism.”
He and Trump are bad examples of the male part of the species. Nothing to choose that I can see, other than who among the people that revise those bribes to them will be the first in line at the MMT watering hole…
> given that we all are now living out some enormous and deadly farce, where the best one can do to try to maintain some kind of sanity and not descend into foaming-mouth obscenities and having our heads spin around spewing green froth like Linda Blair in “The Exorcist.” Especially as the insane political economy we live in, presided over by a group of kleptocrats and vicious stooges in as many flavors as Nancy Pelosi has gelatos in her $24,000 Tone-Deaf Freezer, is spinning down into a vast invitation to give in to futilitarianism, the religion for which I am an increasingly avid evangelist…
Oh, do I hear you..
i had a lengthy discussion about this with my brother and sil, it came down to her saying I DON’T CARE ABOUT THAT re bidens history of being a ttl letch plus possible rapist and my brother questioning what is obvious discomfort in multiple video evidence. they said defeating trump was paramount to anything against biden. i simply give up at this point.
> Lindsey Graham is L I V I D!
I think you may have subscribed to “Train Democrats,” which is a truly vile operation, though doubtless a cash machine for those who have fallen into its orbit. I subscribe to them for amusement value.
No mention of Brett Kavanaugh or Christine Blasey Ford in the article…
The Heart-Wrenching Trauma of the Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh Hearings
It’s difficult. It hurts. It’s unfair. But women will keep telling our stories.
By Joan Walsh
September 28, 2018
Joan Walsh is a partisan fraud and The Nation’s worst hire since…. forever.
Yes, I never would have thought that usually worthy magazine and Walsh were a fit of any kind.
Lots of partisan hackery and TDS going around in the last few years in once respectable lefty publications. Mother Jones has gone completely to hell rather than raising any, as was once their mission statement. I haven’t read the Nation as much in recent years – I let my subscription lapse a while ago as I found I just couldn’t keep up with reading it. Coincidentally I think that was about the time I started reading NC. The Nation has a history of sheepdogging lefties to rally behind bad Dem candidates, which was another reason I didn’t feel bad letting my subscription go.
I do still have my subscription to Harper’s but they were getting on my nerves quite a bit to the point I considered cancelling them too. Rebecca Solnit wrote some truly cringe-worthy editorials for them after Trump’s election. They seem to have removed her from writing the main editorial so maybe I wasn’t the only one who felt she left a little to be desired. I’m quite fond of the newer woman they have doing editorials, Lionel Shriver. She seems like she’d fit in quite well here!
Katha Pollitt? On balance, you’re right: Walsh is worse.
I left (pun intended) the Nation pub in the dust way back in the 1990’s and buried it post 9/11. Used to be a real good alternative press pub 30-40 years ago. Somewhere along the line it lost it’s way and joined the wishy-washy “gatekeeper’ society of “approved news.”
The day they dumped Alex Cockburn for a double spread of Hitchens.
The Nation was a sanity saviour back in late 70s and through 1980s; then something happened. Not clear when or what, but I know I let my subscription lapse. Tried again later, but it was never the same. It’s mostly unbearable now, except for Stephen Cohen. Walsh has been in the unbearable category for many years now.
Yes, same here, though I let my sub go on a little longer, for Edward Said and
a few lit/ music columns there. I was done by 1990.
said Hitchens did write the somewhat imperishable chapter “Is there a rapist in the oval office?” (on Clinton, in his anti-Clinton polemic), germane to this topic and which holds up very well indeed.
Subscribed to The Nation and The Progressive in 1971. Read and learned for a decade or so, moved on. Also read every Henry George book I could.
I don’t know the law, but I’m fair hand at propaganda and this is classic Joan Walsh. Extremely manipulative, but flagrantly so (the mark of a third-rate propagandist and yes, that was me sniffing condescendingly just now).
Anyone who finds this persuasive clearly wishes to be persuaded.
That so many people on “our side” can not see this sort of writing as the blunt propaganda that it so clearly is disturbs me greatly. Like cable news viewers, I just find it astonishing that people can’t suss this out, but then I remember years ago being one of them and realize that they just haven’t found an outlet or outlets that have been able to penetrate their propaganda bubble yet and my feelings of superiority vanish and I am left humbled yet again and praying that so many others find a way out of the propaganda maze.
That is kinda “it” in a nutshell
Leonard Pitts just had an editorial in my local paper where he opined that even if Biden had sexually assaulted Reade, it didn’t really matter because we had to vote against Trump.
I wrote this in reply:
So Leonard Pitts thinks that Biden’s alleged sexual attack on Tara Reade isn’t disqualifying, even if true. Strange, he didn’t think that way about Brett Kavanagh. I didn’t want to attack the columnist as a hypocrite without being sure, so I looked it up. Here is what he wrote:
“It’s a confluence of facts that speak painfully and pointedly to just how unseriously America takes men’s predations against women. You might disagree, noting that the Senate Judiciary Committee has asked Ford to testify. But if history is any guide, that will prove to be a mere formality – a sop to appearances – before the committee recommends confirmation.”
Looks very much like “Well, It’s excusable when our guys do it.”
Not to me.
( Here is the link to his first opinion piece)
I’ll take NC over The Nation any day.
Concur. I’ve read The Nation, The Progressive, and Naked Capitalism for a *long* time. No contest. NC rocks.
On Yves’ behalf, I will [blush modestly].
To paraphrase Taibbi, we are at a place where Democrats rail only at Republicans and Republicans rail only at Democrats, with no consideration of the objective (such as this can be determined) merit of any case or issue. The MSDNC and FOX business plans, with CNN as a hanger-on.
The late Alexzander Cockburn would be most proud of this take down of joan walsh.
I don’t read the nation and I’m sorry that LP feels that way.
Thanks Lambert and NC
I’ll be voting Green again without Bernie in the race.
It was the Nation that helped wake me politically back in the early 1970s with their reporting on the Chilean coup, and later, the murder of Orlando Letelier, and Ronnie Moffet.
Arguably, the first state-sponsored international terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
It has has since morphed into cat box liner.
Am I wrong to blame Katrina vanden Heuvel?
If you get to DC wander over to Sheridan Circle it’s a short walk west of Dupont. If you walk around the outside edge of the road you will find a little stone commemorating Moffet and Letelier.
another council on foreign relations “capture”…
Everything in their orbit… becomes their system..
Social engineering through information and cultural assimilation for 100 years.
Propaganda wellspring of the right and the left…
the voice of “the establishment”…
cosmopolitan sophisticates…and their champions
I agree with the writer of the letter entirely, but am frustrated by the tantalizing details he drops at the end but doesn’t elaborate on. One of the things that has always troubled me about the Brock Turner rape prosecution and subsequent recall and ostracism of the presiding judge has been the prosecutor’s mystifying decision to throw out the incriminating statements Turner made upon his arrest, allowing Turner’s attorney to twice issue modified and superseding statements. I’ve always wondered about what happened there, since poor defendants trying something like that would get hit with an additional charge of making false statements to the police.
Excuse me if this is a repeat –
See note . Footnotes are there for a reason.
Always had a crush on K v d Heuvel. (How’s that for an opening to a post about misogyny and sexual misconduct)?
But can’t we disqualify Joe! as the craven proponent of the worst neo-lib policies that got us exactly where we are today? Or, in polite company, ask politely whether he is even in a mental state to hand over the keys to the to the family car, let alone the nuclear football?
Let’s take the Id out of IdPol, I don’t care if the candidate has green skin and three eyes if the policies they would enact come within smelling distance of benefiting the 99% (or more precisely in Joe’s case within hair smelling distance).
We can use his personal conduct as a component in our judgement but pleeease can we focus on the stuff that would actually affect our lives. In his case, for the absolute worse.
(Note: I sincerely doubt whether Joe is currently allowed to drive a car, please oh please Mr.God-Yahweh-Mohammed-Buddha-Obama can we not let him drive a nation).
“I can’t do that Dave.” But I agree that KVDH is indeed a cutie all else aside. And her old-man is Stephen F. Cohen whose opinion is worth my time and whose books have been worth the money.
A crush? Seriously? She is an elite that doesn’t have a clue about people who have to work for a living.
I’m reminded of a scene in the movie Adaptation, Nicholas Cage is dying and is talking to his brother:
Nicholas: “I loved Mary Jane Smith”
Brother: “Mary Jane Smith! But she hated your guts!”
Nicholas: “That was her problem, not mine”.
LOL. Thank you, OTPBDHal.
Yeah, we leftward drifters all reach our breaking point with The Nation. For me it was when Alexander Cockburn left. There was a guy who fired with both barrels, and his ammo was inexhaustible. I particularly liked him because his old man was a high-class commie, and one of his ancestors burned Washington in the War of 1812. That is what I call bona fides.
As a criminal lawyer of over 40 years with 5 of them as an assistant state court prosecutor, Walsh’s arguments are very common among criminal defendants and their families and an unknown number of jurors.
As a defense attorney I have had to overcome these misconceptions in pointing out to my client that the government has a provable case and the plea offer, while not perfect, is reasonable considering the risk of going to trial and losing. Additionally as a defense attorney I have cynically made similar arguments to a jury during my closing argument.
As a prosecutor, I have had to overcome these exact same misconceptions in persuading a jury that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt., particularly when the defense attorney has built his entire case on these misconceptions.
What causes this in many people’s mind is the difference between historical cases, which can be years old, and cases where the defendant is caught in the act or at least shortly thereafter. Obviously the weight of the evidence is stronger in the latter. From the POV of defendants and their families, if one is not caught in the act, then there is no evidence of guilt at all.
But it is the law with the exceptions of prosecutions for perjury and treason that the uncorroborated sworn testimony of the complaining witness subjected to cross examination is Evidence and is sufficient evidence to support a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt.
The problem is that Walsh knows this. If she genuinely doesn’t, she is unfit to pontificate on a national media platform. All she is doing is providing cover for Biden supporters to conceal their cravenness and misogyny, which is no different from what happened with Kavanaugh. Regretfully this exact same thing happens in court rooms all over the country involving people whose names are never known.
But when it is done by a defense attorney, it is done out of obligation to defend. When it is done my mainstream media, it is criminal. When done by “left” leaning mainstream media it is the height of hypocrisy.
All the radical rags of the 60s and 70s have since been paid off or taken over Operation Mockingbird style imo. The same thing is happening now with venues such as Democracy Now! and the Intercept, which to my mind functions as a carefully calibrated limited hangout operation. Call me crazy, I guess.
The list of non-limited hangout sites is now very, very short. The Nation™ was one of the first to go down.
I’d post her rumination(s) on Ford v Kavanaugh, but I don’t think it would surprise anyone … cognitive dissonance is a feature, not a bug, of limo liberalism.
This is a story that will not go away. Biden may chose not to respond directly and let his campaign spokesperson categorically deny the allegation as outrageous and false – for a time, but the moment he selects his female running mate (should that really happen) the media will certainly be asking her what she thinks about working for a man who had (has) misogynist tendencies, and maybe committed a criminal sexual assault. The VP pick will have to answer, and Biden will be forced into a corner. Expect ugly pivots ahead. Both candidates may be pussy grabbers. But, does that matter anymore – in this media environment? It’s the squirrel in a tree.
The real power game is happening in the boardrooms and backrooms of the oligarchs. They need this sad ridiculous theater of maximal media diversion to suck all the attention away from the theft and monopolizing they are doing.
Neither Tara Reade’s statements nor her police report are direct evidence of a crime according to Davis v Washington [Sup Ct 2006]. Reade’s statements are testimonial in nature [as opposed to a witness statement]; therefore, the confrontation clause of the 6th amendment requires testimony in court and cross-examination in order to be admissible as evidence. The nature of any evidence can be demonstrative, real, testimonial, or documentary. A deposition from Ms. Reade, even if the text were completely private, would be the minimum required to seek public redress no matter who the accused or accuser happen to be. – The law can be a drag, sometimes.
As a self-experiment, I wanted to see if I could determine where I was on Wednesday, April 21, 1993. — “Informer” by Snow was top of the charts, but Digable Planets’s “Rebirth of Slick” was cool like dat… To my surprise, I nailed the locations throughout the day within an hour, except for 2.5 hours in the late afternoon, where I could have been in one of two locations, that might I be “remembering” from the day before or after.
If your boss punched you in the mouth on April 21,1993 I think your memory would still be strong.
I e-mailed the former prosecutor, who replied:
You are drawing conclusions–in considerable fabricated detail not seen in the decision– from that case that don’t exist.
It deals with the issue whether a 911 call is testimonial in nature and triggers the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment and requires cross-examination, as it would it if the witness testified in court.
In a 9-0 decision authored by Justice Antonin Scalia, the Stoopremes decided it did not.
It has nothing to do with witness testimony, by victim or observer, (not) being direct evidence, because it is, always, and sufficient by itself to convict beyond a reasonable doubt if the trier of fact deems it is.
“Direct evidence supports the truth of an assertion (in criminal law, an assertion of guilt or of innocence) directly, i.e., without an intervening inference.” Full stop.
Are you deliberately misrepresenting here or what?
So where was Tara in 2008? Joe ran for President, dropped out but then Obama picked him for VP. I can’t imagine that he wasn’t vetted then. Was her mom and brother around then? Her friends? Not one of them said hey Tara, that scumbag might be a heartbeat away, let’s nail him for what he did to you! Not a peep? A 15 yr old story might have been the thing the FBI would look into. Or how about in 1996 when he ran for re-election to his Senate seat? Nothing? Or 2004?
At least Ms Reade will use her name in her story, the second “anonymous “ gal wants to hide behind her byline…
Well it’s not like people without power are retaliated against by people with power over such charges using the full might of the state behind them. I’d ask Edward Snowden about that but he is still in hiding in Russia. I would ask Julian Assange too but he is in a British prison on trumped up charges. Come to think of it, look at those women who charged Bill Clinton with assaulting them and they had to face by the full fury of the establishment – led by Hillary Clinton. Wait – did I just disprove your ideas?
Vengeance is best served hot. Biden wasn’t the de facto presidential candidate in 2008. He is currently…
Choosing to ignore the massive stench of hypocrisy is one thing. However, please consider that a victim of sexual harassment (or “gal” as you so respectfully put it) may feel the environment in 2020 far more “conducive” to sharing one’s story. I was sexually harassed repeatedly over 15 years ago. If it happened today, I like to believe I would have found myself more empowered to speak out, file a complaint…but speaking out against a potential VP or Senator seems like a tall order, even in 2020. Unless you have experienced it first hand, you have no idea what it is like, a little empathy goes a long way.
No doubt that sexual harassment and sexual assault are blights on humanity. Especially on us males of the species. As one who has been falsely accused though, I can say that unless you have experienced it first hand, you have no idea what that is like either. This is not a defense of Biden. I have no idea whether he is guilty or innocent. But, after my personal experience, I will never again assume that someone is guilty just because he/she has been accused.
Notice, I reserved judgement of either party. I am sorry you were falsely accused, but you’ve missed the point, which was to refute the lame implication that disclosure years later diminishes credibility.
Unlike Christine Ford, Tara Reade was a “gal” told her story contemporaneously, as with “Her friends?” you imply she did not.
As for “I can’t imagine that he wasn’t vetted then,” well, your failures of imagination are not the issue here. In fact, such lack of vetting is quite common; that is what the sadly instrumental #MeToo movement exposed, after all.
You are out of your mind, as well as a nasty piece of work (and I can make insinuations like that since you feel free to engage in character assaults).
I was sexually harassed at work and only recently have I seen fit to mention it. “Vengeance” is also futile and a motive that backfires.
And vetting? Are you serious? When serial sexual predator Bill Clinton had been president? The message was clear that this sort of thing was a non-issue for Team D.