Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says the mainstream has failed to report on Tara Reade’s sexual assault allegation against presidential hopeful Joe Biden. She’s right.
“The media doesn’t hold anyone accountable,” as my colleague Julie Gunlock, director of IWF’s center for progress and innovation, noted earlier this week. Even actress and #MeToo activist Alyssa Milano, who has repeatedly said we must “believe all women” no matter the circumstances, has failed to acknowledge this claim and continues to support the presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee. In a recent interview, Milano explained that she is standing by Biden because she supports the right of due process for those accused of sexual misconduct:
We really have to sort of societally change that mindset to believing women, but that does not mean at the expense of giving men their due process and investigating situations, and it’s got to be fair in both directions.
I just don’t feel comfortable throwing away a decent man that I’ve known for 15 years in this time of complete chaos without there being a thorough investigation.
I agree with Milano that we must take seriously any and all allegations of sexual misconduct while still upholding fairness and due process. All claims should be evaluated on the basis of the evidence and on the credibility of the accuser and the accused.
However, her timing is problematic. Milano was a vocal opponent of now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh when unsubstantiated charges of misconduct were brought against him during his confirmation to the Supreme Court. It’s good news that Milano now recognizes the importance of due process but her position is hypocritical to say the least. As Julie put it, “it’s too bad she couldn’t afford Kavanaugh any of that same sentiment.”
Now that AOC has spoken out on this troubling double standard, maybe more in the media will actually cover this story. “I think it’s legitimate to talk about these things. And if we want, if we again want to have integrity, you can’t say both believe women, support all of this, until it inconveniences you, until it inconveniences us,” Ocasio-Cortez said.