I’m looking through the conservative websites for any evidence of Tara Reade. What happened? There are dozens and dozens of links on redstate.com. Not one mentions her name. Over on drudgereoprt.com there are literally hundreds of stories linked and none of them are about her. FoxNews.com has one story linked to the front page, but it’s from three days ago. Trump’s new favorite, the OAN network, has nothing about her on its front page right now. How did all the air come out of the balloon so quickly?
I never thought of Tara Reade as just being part of Trump’s campaign strategy. We’re talking about a human being and a victim of sexual assault. I assumed that the heightened attention paid to her story resulted from new allegations, new evidence, and the fact that Biden had sewn up the nomination.
I mentioned before that, from a purely strategic point of view, Reade needed to get on TV in order to keep supporting her side of the story. It was my understanding that Reade had an offer to go on FoxNews with Chris Wallace, who maintains some decent credibility by keeping his distance from Hannity and Tucker Carlson. For some reason, that didn’t happen and the interview went to Megyn Kelly, who is not currently associated with any major network.
The practical result of going with Kelly was that no one has seen the interview. I can’t even find a link to the entire event. There are just excerpts scattered around. One of the most vital parts of this controversy is the public evaluation of credibility. It is a cruel reality that continues to stifle women from coming forward, especially in high profile cases of sexual abuse and assault.
By going on the independent Megyn Kelly network (is that even a thing?), Reade effectively silenced herself. I don’t know why the big news networks aren’t running the clips, either Fox if they’re bad for Biden or MSNBC if the clips help him. Perhaps Kelly thought to maintain some kind of copyright control over the interview footage, but that is, of course, a double edged sword. As we are now some time since the interview aired, it looks like Kelly’s decision to favor control over exposure was not a good one.
And now Trump plays his Obamagate card, a sizzling performance touched off by AG Barr’s shocking move to drop the Michael Flynn case. It definitely feels like Trump’s brand of scripted reality TV. He’s trying to open a new season with a bang. I guess the Death Star is still trying to figure out how Tara Reade fits into the “Transition to Greatness.”
I have a sneaking suspicion that she doesn’t. She’s not from central casting (I guess…). She seems to want to keep a low profile. Trump was always in a bad position to play this card because of his own checkered past. That the surrogates are not continuing to push the story signals to me that it’s not effective, doesn’t move the needle, and will be abandoned.
Invariably, this brings me back to the place we should always start. What this woman says happened to her is ghastly. If Biden inflicted such trauma, then he cannot serve and should not be running. We’ve been traumatized enough by Trump already. And if Tara Reade is nothing more than a weapon deployed for political gain and discarded when found to be ineffective, then we have yet another instance of shame and degradation in the seemingly endless documentation of our rape culture.