The NY Times editorial board came up with an interesting proposition yesterday. Instead of having an open source look into Tara Reade’s allegations by multiple media outlets, the Times thinks we’d get a better result by having the Democratic National Committee conduct an investigation. This sounds like something that should have been written by The Onion but apparently they really think this could work:
As is so often the case in such situations, it is all but impossible to be certain of the truth. But the stakes are too high to let the matter fester — or leave it to be investigated by and adjudicated in the media. Mr. Biden is seeking the nation’s highest office.
In 2018, this board advocated strongly for a vigorous inquiry into accusations of sexual misconduct raised against Brett Kavanaugh when he was nominated to a seat on the Supreme Court. Mr. Biden’s pursuit of the presidency requires no less. His campaign, and his party, have a duty to assure the public that the accusations are being taken seriously. The Democratic National Committee should move to investigate the matter swiftly and thoroughly, with the full cooperation of the Biden campaign.
That sounds a bit crazy to me. Would the Times’ editorial board ever recommend that Donald Trump could be fairly investigated by the RNC months before an election? Isn’t there a pretty obvious conflict of interest there?
The Times brings up its past support for an investigation of Brett Kavanaugh. But in that case it was primarily by the media and, secondarily, the FBI doing the investigation. In fact, if we look back at one of the Times’ editorials about Kavanaugh, we see them pushing for the FBI to investigate, not the RNC:
There is no reason the committee needs to hold this vote before the F.B.I. can do a proper investigation, and Mr. Judge and possibly other witnesses can be called to testify under oath. The Senate, and the American people, need to know the truth, or as close an approximation as possible, before deciding whether Judge Kavanaugh should get a lifetime seat on the nation’s highest court. If the committee will not make a more serious effort, the only choice for senators seeking to protect the credibility of the Supreme Court will be to vote no.
Getting back to the editorial on investigating Biden, the editorial board gets more specific about what the DNC could do in this situation. The Times wants the DNC to create an “apolitical” panel to search Biden’s Delaware records:
Mr. Biden’s word is insufficient to dispel the cloud. Any inventory should be strictly limited to information about Ms. Reade and conducted by an unbiased, apolitical panel, put together by the D.N.C. and chosen to foster as much trust in its findings as possible.
The Times’ faith in the DNC’s ability to be apolitical is touching. It’s also absurd. Didn’t we have a fairly serious scandal in 2016 in which top people at the DNC were fired for trying to favor one candidate (Hillary) over the other (Sanders)? Yes, we did. The idea that the DNC can play it straight in an election year is, shall we say, not confirmed by recent evidence.
In fact, the DNC has already proved it has no interest in any investigation of Biden, the party’s presumptive nominee. According to the DNC even suggesting it is “absurd” because Biden has already been fully vetted in 2008.
In response to the NYT editorial board’s suggestion that the DNC assemble an “unbiased, apolitical panel” to inventory Biden’s Senate papers, DNC communications director @XochitlHinojosa calls this an “absurd suggestion on its face” and argues Biden has already been fully vetted. pic.twitter.com/QgrPJT6svh
— Ruby Cramer (@rubycramer) May 2, 2020
She also told me there’s no precedent for the kind of independent DNC panel proposed by the NYT ed board.
— Ruby Cramer (@rubycramer) May 2, 2020
So there you have it. The Times wants the DNC to investigate their own candidate. And of course the DNC has no interest in doing this because even agreeing to it hurts their candidate by suggesting he could be guilty of something. It’s such a weird suggestion that I wonder if the Times is throwing this out there just to make it look like they care about the truth while insuring this goes nowhere. If they really care, why not call for an FBI investigation like they did with Kavanaugh?
But the most embarrassing part of this silly editorial is probably the part where the Times admits this is too important to left to the media. The Times’ own editorial board is basically saying the paper’s reporters aren’t capable of getting this right. I wonder how reporter in newsrooms around the country feel about that vote of no confidence.