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Almost three weeks after Tara Reade went on the record with her sexual assault allegations against Joe Biden, The New York Times and The Washington Post have issued their own investigative reports on her.

Reade briefly worked for then-Sen. Biden on Capitol Hill from 1992 to 1993. She claimed Biden penetrated her with his fingers. There were no eyewitnesses. You couldn’t build a case in court with this. What you could do is put a dent in someone’s political appeal, especially someone who boasts of having passed the Violence Against Women Act.

When asked by New York Times media columnist Ben Smith about whether the delay in reporting was out of concern for Biden’s electoral chances, Times executive editor Dean Baquet protested energetically.

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“I can’t make that calculation. I won’t. I won’t let my head or my heart go there,” Baquet proclaimed. “I think once you start making those kinds of calculations, you are not a journalist anymore. You’re some sort of political actor.”

Come on. Every time journalists are painted as heroes in the movies for stories they broke, such as Watergate and the Pentagon Papers, they are made political actors.

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