ANALYSIS: CNN More Interested in 'Sharknado' Actress Than Joe Biden Sexual Assault Accuser

Tara Reid vs. Tara Reade

April 27, 2020

More than a month after Tara Reade publicly accused her former boss, then-senator Joe Biden, of sexually assaulting her in 1993, CNN has published just two news reports on the allegations. By comparison, the network has published more than 10 times as many news items on Tara Reid, the C-list actress best known for her role in the Sharknado franchise.

In addition to publishing several articles musing on whether the "novelty" of the original Sharknado has worn off after five sequels, CNN has featured Reid in a number of slideshows, including "Comic-Con: Selfies with celebrities," "A brief(s) history of wardrobe malfunctions," and another that's just a montage of celebrities wearing Ed Hardy apparel. Tara Reade does not appear in any slideshows on the CNN website.

In the two weeks after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford came forward with her accusation against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, CNN published more than 400 items on its website related to the allegations. By contrast, it didn't publish a single item on the sexual assault accusation against Biden until April 17, more than three weeks after Reade recounted her story in a podcast interview.

Since Reade's allegation was made public, Biden has been interviewed multiple times on major media networks, including twice by CNN's Anderson Cooper. For some reason, the former vice president has yet to be asked about the accusation. Thus far, his only public response has been to deny the allegations via a statement from a campaign official.

CNN's second article on Reade's allegation, published April 25, concerns the existence of potentially corroborating evidence for Reade's claim—a CNN broadcast of Larry King Live from August 1993 in which Reade's mother called into the program to ask for advice on how to handle the "problems" her daughter experienced while "working for a prominent senator." CNN wasn't even the first media outlet to uncover the clip from its own archives.

New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet recently said the existence of such "contemporaneous" conversations should be a key factor in determining the credibility of decades-old sexual assault allegations. In the case of Christine Blasey Ford, no evidence of such conversations existed.

Business Insider on Monday published an interview with a former neighbor of Reade's, Lynda LaCasse, who recalled discussing the details of the alleged assault with Reade at the time."This happened, and I know it did because I remember talking about it," said LaCasse, who supports Biden for president. The outlet also spoke to a former staffer in another senator's office who remembered Reade complaining about being sexually harassed by her boss and ultimately fired after raising concerns with her superiors.

Biden "needs to address the Tara Reade allegations," wrote CNN editor Chris Cillizza on Monday. If only Cillizza worked for a major news network with the capacity to make that happen. Anderson Cooper, who is not named in Cillizza's piece, didn't think Biden needed to address them in either of his interviews. Despite the obvious media angle to the story—namely, the glaring lack of coverage—CNN media reporter Brian Stelter has been too emotional to look into it. At least their colleague Oliver Darcy has been keeping tabs on the stories that matter.