"The View" hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin, and Meghan McCain have been sounding off regularly on President Trump's response to the coronavirus outbreak and the race between Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. Yet none of them have weighed in on a disturbing sexual assault allegation facing Biden leveled by his former staffer Tara Reade, who went public with her 1993 claim four weeks ago.
"The View" isn't alone in the blackout. ABC News, which the daytime talk show is a part of, has not covered the controversy on-air and only acknowledged Reade's claim in the republishing of an Associated Press report on its website on April 13, nearly three weeks after Reade came forward.
In addition, the network's chief political anchor George Stephanopoulos failed to ask Biden about the allegation during an interview on ABC's Sunday show "This Week" earlier this month.
"ABC News remains part of the embarrassing medley of news outlets that must still be wishing Americans either don't find out about Reade or they forget about it amidst this global pandemic that it doesn't become a mainstream campaign topic," NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck told Fox News.
The long-running daytime program, however, dedicated substantive coverage of the sexual assault allegations that were leveled against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation in 2018. The show's liberal hosts, Goldberg, Behar, and Hostin, were outspoken in their defense of Kavanaugh's prominent accuser Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
McCain was absent for the majority of the Kavanaugh saga as she took time off to grieve the passing of her father, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
Joy Behar accused GOP lawmakers who were supportive of Kavanaugh of "not protecting women" and deemed the Trump appointee "probably guilty."
She went on to claim that Republicans wanted to "retain white power in this country" by siding with Kavanaugh over Dr. Ford.
Almost from the very beginning, Sunny Hostin declared that Dr. Ford's allegations were "very credible" and "extremely important" ahead of Kavanaugh's lifetime appointment. Following her testimony, Hostin declared that Dr. Ford was "150 percent credible" and that Kavanaugh wasn't nearly credible as his accuser.
In a heated discussion with former co-host Abby Huntsman, Hostin, a former attorney, argued that "you don't need corroborating evidence" to prove a sexual assault in court.
"Testimony is evidence! You don't need corroborating evidence. You don't need a rape kit. You don't need witnesses because oftentimes, guess what? There are no witnesses during rape! When you're talking about evidence, testimonial evidence is the very best in the system!" Hostin exclaimed.
Hostin made similar remarks when she grilled then-Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, who had voted in favor of Kavanaugh's confirmation, and touted her record as a sex crimes prosecutor of winning cases despite a lack of evidence to support the victim.
"As a former sex crimes prosecutor, I've prosecuted many cases with just a woman's testimony because with sex crimes, there typically are no witnesses in the room. And I've convicted every single person based on a woman's testimony," Hostin said.
The hosts were quick to defend Dr. Ford from President Trump, who they blasted for repeatedly attacking the Kavanaugh accuser on Twitter, at the White House, and on the campaign trail.
"The View" even welcomed disgraced anti-Trump lawyer Michael Avenatti by phone to tout his client Julie Swetnick, whose allegation of being gang-raped by Kavanaugh was widely considered as non-credible following extensive vetting of her claim.
Whoopi Goldberg expressed concerns about rushing a "lifetime appointment" and supported the FBI's investigation into the Kavanaugh allegations. She mocked President Trump's praise of Kavanaugh by reading remarks the president made about former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-un, suggesting Trump doesn't have the greatest judgment of character.
The Oscar-winning actress-turned-pundit called on men to "step up" in defense of women who come forward with allegations.
"This is where the men need to step up. The problem has been we have not, as women, we have not taught the men that they need to step up. So when we sort of say, 'Oh no, that's just male behavior,' we've let this stuff go and now we've made a stand and said, 'Look, this is not going to fly anymore," Goldberg said.
Goldberg appeared to have had a change of heart in 2019 when former Nevada Democratic lawmaker Lucy Flores, one of the several women who came forward accusing Biden of inappropriate touching, voiced her concerns about the then-likely presidential candidate. The "View" host defended Biden as a "hands-on kind of guy" and scolded Flores for not telling the then-vice president how she felt at the time.
"That pisses me off... I don't want Joe to stop doing that," Goldberg reacted to the idea of Biden no longer expressing affection towards women.
"I don't either," McCain agreed and then defended Biden's character as a family friend. "Joe Biden is a good, decent man. He has never made me feel uncomfortable once. I've been around him a lot."
While Hostin praised Biden for his "appropriate" response to Flores and his vow to "listen" to his accusers, Behar stressed that the allegations made against him are distant from the ones that triggered the #MeToo movement.
"It's a long way from smelling your hair to grabbing your hoo-ha. I mean, let's tell the truth," Behar said. "I think it would really be unfortunate if we got rid of everybody who is just an affectionate kind of person. Those are nice people too."
The Hill media reporter Joe Concha slammed "The View" for "priding itself on being fearless and candid" while ignoring the Biden allegation.
"You'll never find a more blatant example of bias in broad daylight than when comparing the allegations against Brett Kavanaugh getting unlimited airtime in 2018, with many in media deploying a 'guilty until proven innocent' mantra regarding the coverage and perspective provided," Concha told Fox News. "Biden in 2020, sadly predictably, gets a pass. No questions asked. Literally. It's the most insidious bias of all: The bias of omission. And who gets hurt the most? The true victims of #MeToo, a movement hijacked by political operatives with no regard to the damage they're causing in weaponizing it."
Tom Elliott, the founder and news editor of the media company Grabien, knocked ABC News and "The View" hosts for professing their "#MeToo bona fides" and then "casting those alleged beliefs aside" when it became politically inconvenient.
"For ABC, shouldn’t the focus be on making news? Not just getting Democrats elected?" Elliott asked.
NewsBusters' Houck pointed to the ABC daytime talk show has "the single most rank hypocrisy" when it comes to the weak coverage of Reade's assault claim against Biden.
"'The View' represents perhaps the show with the single most rank hypocrisy when it comes to covering for Joe Biden regarding Tara Reade's allegations but going all-in with ruining the reputation of Brett Kavanaugh, no matter the facts," Houck said.
Even liberal firebrand Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., smells a double standard, saying the Reade allegations are "legitimate to talk about."
"[I]f we want, if we, again, want to have integrity, you can't say, you know — both believe women, support all of this, until it inconveniences you, until it inconveniences us," she said in a conversation with the women's organization The Wing.
ABC News did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.
For nearly three weeks, the mainstream media largely avoided Reade's allegation. The tides began to shift following Rich McHugh's report in Business Insider the Friday before Easter that Reade had filed a criminal complaint against Biden.
The New York Times, The Washington Post and NBC News published their first reports on Easter Sunday. ABC News and CBS News followed suit with their online reports on Monday and Tuesday. CNN waited until Friday to issue its first report about the allegation on its website.
CNN, as well as broadcast networks ABC News and NBC News, have yet to report the allegation on-air.
Reade's story first resurfaced in an article in The Intercept. Podcast host Katie Halper then interviewed Reade, who said that in 1993, a more senior member of Biden's staff asked her to bring the then-senator his gym bag near the Capitol building, which led to the encounter in question.
"He greeted me, he remembered my name, and then we were alone. It was the strangest thing," Reade told Halper. "There was no like, exchange really. He just had me up against the wall."
Reade said she tried to share her story last year, but nobody listened to her. Earlier this month, she filed a criminal complaint against Biden with police in Washington, D.C.
The Biden campaign vehemently denied Reade's allegation.
"Women have a right to tell their story, and reporters have an obligation to rigorously vet those claims. We encourage them to do so, because these accusations are false," Kate Bedingfield, the deputy campaign manager and communications director for the Biden campaign, said in a statement to Fox News.
Fox News' Brooke Singman contributed to this report.