The progressive magazine Mother Jones included Tara Reade, who accused Joe Biden of sexually assaulting her, in an article published on New Years' Eve titled "Top Ten Lunatics of 2020."
"She insisted that Joe Biden had sexually molested her in some way, but now it appears to have been just a fantasy made up by a habitually unreliable person," wrote contributor Kevin Drum.
Reade, a former staffer for Joe Biden's Senate office, accused Biden of sexually assaulting her on Capitol Hill. Her testimony came under intense scrutiny after she changed details of the alleged assault, and it was later revealed that she had a history of fraud. Critics of the #MeToo movement have argued that the treatment of Tara Reade amounts to a double standard by the media, whereby Republicans and conservatives accused of sexual assault are assumed to be guilty whereas Democrats facing similar accusations are given the benefit of the doubt.
Mother Jones has a history of supporting the #MeToo movement, with Drum himself penning an article in 2018 where he stated his belief that Christine Blasey Ford, who accused then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in their teens, was telling the truth.
"I think it’s obvious that Christine Blasey Ford was telling the truth and that Kavanaugh told a lot of lies," Drum wrote in September of 2018.
While Ford provided emotional testimony which caught the attention of many supporters of the #MeToo movement, she failed to recall multiple details surrounding the night of the alleged assault, leading many to doubt the authenticity of her claims. After an investigation conducted by the FBI found no evidence of the alleged assault, Kavanaugh was confirmed by the Senate to sit on the Supreme Court.
Mother Jones published another article about Kavanaugh and the #MeToo movement the next month criticizing a pro-Kavanaugh advertisement which asserted that the #MeToo movement poses a threat to men and boys who face false accusations of sexual assault. "In reality, false accusations of sexual assault are rare," the article states.
The inclusion of Tara Reade and the perceived hypocrisy of Mother Jones on the issue of sexual assault provoked widespread criticism online.
The article also included a number of Republican figures such as Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump, and Sidney Powell.