A letter expressing disappointment with the NYTimes treatment of a sexual abuse accuser

After reading the NY Times' article about Tara Reade's accusation of sexual assault by Joe Biden in 1993 ("Examining Tara Reade’s Sexual Assault Allegation Against Joe Biden") I was appalled at the shameless use of so many tired tropes to defend Biden. Here is the letter I wrote to their editors:

Dear Editors,

I'm an avid and admiring reader, but found your article, "Examining Tara Reade’s Sexual Assault Allegation Against Joe Biden" slanted to an outrageous degree.

The headline story should be that Biden was accused of a sexual assault, and the surrounding facts are that the victim is credible and that Biden, the sole witness to her claim, denies her charge. His legislative record, the sexual misconduct of his political rival, the political leanings of his accuser, the character testimony by Biden's friends, the inability of the victim to furnish contemporaneous documents given to Senate leadership, or the lack of new allegations in the process of reporting an allegation (nearly three weeks after the story emerged) are not relevant evidence to help readers form their opinion, they're classic techniques of misdirection used consistently to protect the accused. Their prominent presentation before the delivery of her account is even more appalling.

Your newspaper has done enough reporting on the matter to know the high personal cost survivors pay in order to try to hold power to account for abuse. You should examine whether you want to prop up that system with an uncharacteristically shameful article such as this.


Andrew Gross

Los Angeles, CA