In an interview with Fox News Radio on Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell criticized the media’s coverage of the sexual assault allegations against Democratic candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden. The interviewer asked McConnell to compare the media’s coverage of the allegations against Biden to the media’s coverage of the allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. McConnell’s response indicated his belief that there’s a double standard in the way the media covers these kinds of allegations.
McConnell recalled the media frenzy that took place during Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings when several women came forward and accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault. He then pointed out that the media isn’t in such a frenzy about the accusations against Biden. McConnell went on to say that he thinks that these accusations should be handled the same way by the media regardless of who is being accused, implying that Biden isn’t being held to the same standard by the media as Kavanaugh.
“Well, at the very least it’s pretty obvious that the same people who were outraged about allegations — unproven allegations against Justice Kavanaugh when he was in high school seemed to have little or no interest, or certainly not as much interest and suggestions of improper behavior by an adult who’s in the Senate. I think if — these things ought to be dealt with symmetrically no matter who the accuser is and no matter who the accused is.”
McConnell went on to say that he imagined the allegations would come up during the Presidential campaign, adding that the media should be as interested in reporting on these allegations as they were to report on the allegations against Kavanaugh.
According to The Hill, Biden has not directly responded to the accusation made by Tara Reade, a former Senate staffer. Reade has claimed that Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993 while she worked for his Senate office. Biden’s campaign denied the allegations and said that Biden has stressed how important it is to listen to women who make allegations of sexual assault and harassment.
Though Biden hasn’t made a public statement about the allegation, several public figures who have endorsed him have spoken to the media. Former Democratic candidates Amy Klobuchar and Bernie Sanders both echoed the Biden campaign’s official statement, saying that women deserve to be heard and believed. Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez made a similar statement earlier in April when the allegations became public.
Per The Hill, McConnell’s sentiment that the Biden accusation isn’t being covered by the media in the same way the Kavanaugh allegations were, is a sentiment shared by many Republicans.