She Was Tara Reade’s Biggest Advocate. Then Tara Reade Destroyed Her
Swedish New Fish starts her podcast on a slightly apologetic note. “I’m recording in my closet because we have a power outage here.”
Her guests clearly do not mind. Bianca de la Rosa, the founder of the online Kamala Harris fan group KHive, is joining the conversation on Zoom from Alaska. Joining Rosa and SNF is a handsome young man with a beard. The mood is comfortable and friendly as Rosa, SNF and the young man chat. It becomes clear that the young man is the focus of Rosa and SNF’s conversation. The young man is a former roommate of Tara Reade, the woman who, in March of 2020, accused Joe Biden of raping her back in 1993. SNF, Rosa and the young man talk about about what life was like living in Reade’s house with Reade’s adult daughter in 2016. “(Reade)was going to try to get (her daughter) to quit from the restaurant that we worked at,” the young man says, “And (Reade) was talking about- and I don’t know if she ever did or not- going to the owners and making up a story about why (her daughter) had to quit.”
Rosa listens wide-eyed from her Zoom window. SNF is quiet, brushing her long blond hair from her face. The young man continues.
“I figured it had to do with potential- I don’t want to say sexual harassment but um… What is that called? ‘Unprofessional conduct’ I guess you could say between (Reade’s daughter) and someone else who worked there. And that she was either going to threaten to sue or get a severance check. And I remember that.”
“How is that illegal?” Rosa asks, “(Reade’s daughter)messing around with someone who works with her?”
“Oh I don’t remember,” the young man said, “Tara wanted to spin it the way Tara wanted to.”
“Because she wanted to make a false allegation,” SNF says flatly. It’s not a question.
SNF, or Swedish New Fish is a self-described “citizen journalist.” She has a name but I am calling her by her twitter handle (@SwedishNewFish or SNF) because she has been threatened in the past allegedly due to her work. SNF works as a nurse during the day at a nursing facility. She also writes articles on the side, usually talking about the many sinister links between the world of modeling and sex trafficking. SNF made the news when her article “F**k Joe Paterno” went viral. The Daily Beast discussed her essay during the Penn State trial of Jerry Sandusky. SNF’s expose “‘We All Knew About the Trafficking’- The Untold Story of Trump Model Management,” was posted on Daily Kos in 2016. Carrie Fisher was an apparent fan of SNF’s writing. Fisher retweeted SNF’s article 10 weeks before Fisher’s sudden death. SNF describes her politics as being liberal. “I supported Bernie over Biden in large part bc I felt he was the more “feminist” candidate,” she tweeted in on June 3rd, 2020. Despite her politics SNF is very non partisan when it comes to her passionate defense of sexual assault accusers. It does not matter if an accuser points to a Democrat or a Republican. SNF will be there to listen and understand. SNF has vigorously researched and advocated for the many women who have accused Donald Trump of sexual assault. SNF also is a defender of Karen Monahan, a former girlfriend of liberal Minnesota AG Keith Ellison. Monahan accused Ellison of physical abuse. Evidence of the abuse Monahan alleges remains shaky but SNF continues to consistently defended Monahan.
When Tara Reade first came forward stating that presidential candidate Joe Biden had raped her with his fingers, SNF did not think twice before believing Reade. SNF wrote a heartbreaking essay on Medium about how distressed she was that the DNC was nominating Joe Biden despite the rape allegation. “I’m asking Biden supporters to give women like me a moment of grace,” she wrote, “I will go wherever the truth leads me, and will make no apologies for that.” SNF has remained true to her word. Her search for the truth with Reade, however, has clearly led her to places that she did not expect to go. SNF’s Twitter timeline is a fascinating glimpse of a woman who goes from stalwart Reade advocate to confused researcher and then finally to enraged journalist as she realizes that the woman she has been defending for weeks is indeed lying. SNF, a true citizen journalist, makes no apologies for going where the truth led her. In the end, however, Tara Reade and her allies, made sure that SNF paid dearly for that truth.
If Tara Reade had been looking for a passionate advocate for her case back when she first accused Joe Biden of rape, she could hardly have done better than SNF. For weeks after Reade’s fateful interview with Katie Halpert, SNF wrote long, emotional articles on Medium about how betrayed she had felt by the Democratic party. “I’ve been a Democrat my entire life, probably as good a Democrat as one can be, and probably a better one than you are, quite frankly,” SNF wrote furiously in her essay “Blue no matter WHO?” that she posted on Medium on April 11, 2020. “So if you are losing me that should scare the shit out of you and maybe, just maybe, force you to do a little moral introspection before allowing the coronation of someone with rape allegations against him and just expecting it all to go away somehow.” It seems so bizarre that a woman who was willing to wash her hands of the Democratic Party because of Reade’s rape allegations back in April is the same woman intent on debunking Reade as a “Professional Victim” by May 12th. What the hell happened during those four short weeks between April and May?
SNF’s Twitter timeline tells a fascinating tale.
Katie Halpert interviewed Tara Reade in late March where Reade described being raped by Joe Biden in 1993. According to Reade, Biden pulled her into a “semi-private alcove” (though she later said there was no alcove, that the rape happened in an “open corridor”), slid his fingers under her dress and penetrated her vagina. Halpert’s interview was greeted by a range of emotion. People on the far left demanded that Biden drop out, clearing the stage for Bernie Sanders to take the nomination. This raised the suspicion of many Biden Democrats who suspected that Reade’s oddly-timed accusation (which was being signal-boosted by Bernie partisans like Katie Halpert and Ryan Grim)was merely an op meant to overturn the will of the voters and supplant Biden with Bernie as the Democratic nominee. Suspicion grew among Biden Democrats when more information emerged that Reade had accused Biden of misconduct in the past…. but her story was substantially different then. In April of 2019 Reade complained that Biden had touched her neck and shoulders during meetings back in 1993 but had done nothing more objectionable. The fact that she suddenly expanded her allegations from neck-touching to rape 11 months later just when it looked like Joe Biden was about to clinch the nomination raised eyebrows. Old tweets of Reade’s emerged, casting suspicion on her motivations. Reade had an odd and loving fascination with Putin, the Russian president who was allegedly behind the illegal hack of the DNC back in 2016.
SNF defended Reade vigorously on Twitter and posted articles on Medium condemning the DNC for not rejecting Biden in the light of Reade’s allegations. When pro-Biden Twitter accounts began to examine Reade more in depth SNF came to her defense.
Within SNF’s defenses of Reade, however, some small crumbs of doubt started to appear by the second week of April. “I don’t know if Tara is telling the truth,” SNF writes on April 10th in her essay “A Plea For Grace,” “But if she’s acting she deserves an Academy Award, because the story she told was compelling enough to make bile rise in my throat and tears spring to my eyes.” SNF’s tweets that same day showed that while she still believed Reade, a few small doubts were starting to rise in her mind.
Cracks in the dam were forming. There did seem to be a LOT of inconsistencies in Reade’s story. On the other hand Reade appeared genuinely traumatized when talking about the assault. On April 13 SNF tweeted that “Biden appears to have a whole closet of rapey skeletons ready to march out…. just in time for the general election.” This tweet is from April 16.
Then, one day later, a mysterious tweet popped up in relation to Tara Reade. A tiny twitter account that belonged to a modest horse sanctuary suddenly blasted out that Tara Reade was a fraud.
Biden Twitter rushed to the spilled tea. The horse sanctuary’s account’s follower count boomed from about 40 followers to over a thousand within days. Twitter investigators found that there was indeed a link between Reade and the horse sanctuary. Multiple old tweets from Reade mentioned her volunteer work at the Pregnant Mare sanctuary. Even more incriminating Reade broke character as brave waif standing up to the Democrats once she heard about the accusations made against her. She started rage-tweeting on Twitter about the animal sanctuary. Reade doxxed the woman running the sanctuary and- bizarrely- tweeted a “cease and desist.”
Reade also, rather unwisely, started accosting reporters on Twitter in ways that reporters clearly found threatening.
SNF still was defending Reade during this period. According to her tweets later, SNF contacted the horse sanctuary owner. “(The owner) said Reade was a habitual liar who stole from her nonprofit sanctuary. …. Then Tara contacted me flipping out about (the owner) saying she needed me to tell HER side of that story. Tara proceeds to lie to me & get her witnesses to lie to me.”
SNF has shared texts backing up that story. Indeed tweets from SNF’s account around the time the horse sanctuary story broke show that her previous passionate advocacy for Tara Reade is starting to crumble. Here is SNF’s tweet from April 24 describing the horse sanctuary story.
It was clear that SNF decided at this time that Tara Reade was not credible. By April 28th, SNF tweeted that she was now unsure about the allegations and was concerned that Reade’s story was being used to attack the #MeToo movement and women who supported Biden. “There are a lot of (ulterior) motives, agendas, and people who are capitalizing (on this) story or just voyeuristically enjoying the displays of trauma.”
I cannot imagine how SNF felt when she realized she had been manipulated. SNF has always been open about being a sexual assault survivor and she had been taking broadsides from the Democratic Party for weeks because she thought she was doing the right thing. SNF did not have long to remain angry, however. Once SNF started publicly expressing doubts about Reade’s story, she became overwhelmed with threats, doxxing, child porn and anti-Semitic slurs. The stress of being doxxed and threatened became so bad that SNF stated she became “debilitated” and had to be hospitalized.
(TRIGGER WARNING: The following images contain anti-Semitic slurs)
The stress was too much. By May 2nd SNF was in the hospital.
SNF was discharged from the hospital on May 8th. At that point she took to Twitter to condemn Tara Reade as a “cruel hoax.”
SNF also revealed some of the details as to why she was in the hospital (TRIGGER WARNING: Graphic and upsetting description)
SNF did not mince words when it came to who she held responsible for the threats, child porn, doxxing and harassment that led to her hospitalization.
By the end of May the Tara Reade story was already starting to leave the news. Vox published a story that showed that one of Reade’s main witnesses had outright lied to reporters at Reade’s request. PBS did an in-depth investigation of Joe Biden’s office staff back 1993. Virtually no one was able to corroborate Reade’s story. Politico investigated Reade’s past and found a surprisingly large amount of people who had felt manipulated or scammed by Reade. One woman even accused Reade of “trying to plant a story” on her concerning Biden. Finally, NBC unearthed that Reade had allegedly lied about her academic credentials concerning Antioch college, where she claimed she had a bachelor’s degree and taught classes. Antioch denied Reade’s assertion that she had a degree there or had ever taught classes. The Monterey DA then opened a case on Reade investigating possible perjury since Reade had been an expert witness in many trials where she had testified that she possessed a degree from Antioch. By the end of May, the Reade story was dead.
Reade, furious, lashed out at everyone on her Twitter account. Reade’s tweets became a constant stream of recrimination, blame and self-pity. Reade growled about how unfairly the media was to her, either covering her not enough or covering her too much and revealing unflattering background information that destroyed her credibility. She whined about the larger news organizations but there was little she could do about their reporting. SNF, however, was not backed by any massive news corporation. SNF was a humble nurse and freelance journalist who was already struggling with fragile health. Clearly SNF was easy prey.
Tara Reade turned her sights on SNF. Reade doxxed SNF on Twitter and demanded her followers expose SNF so Reade could take future legal action. Reade claimed (on no evidence) that SNF offered money to people to smear Reade. Reade’s follower account was, at that time, 85K. SNF’s account had less than 4K followers. With one tap of the tweet button, Tara Reade had deployed her 85 thousand followers to attack a recently-hospitalized health care worker and sexual assault survivor.
SNF to this day continues to be harassed by supporters of Tara Reade. A professor at Columbia University, Anthony Zenkus, blocked her and then posted a screenshot by SNF where SNF talked about Parental Alienation Syndrome. Zenkus then went on to imply (on absolutely no evidence) that SNF was an apologist for child abuse. SNF was unable to defend herself because Zenkus had her blocked.
Despite the constant abuse SNF soldiers on. When a former roommate of Tara Reade’s agreed to be interviewed, SNF found time in her schedule for a group podcast. SNF continues to work her day job at the nursing facility. SNF is still very much online, tweeting about the lack of proper personal protective equipment at her workplace and mourning clients who have succumbed to COVID. She continues to remain in touch with Reade’s former roommate, the young man on her podcast. He has also become a target of Tara Reade and Reade’s adult daughter. Both women have doxxed him and accused him (on no real evidence) of “stalking.” Reade will continue to dox and harass her critics as the election approaches. If Biden loses, Reade becomes irrelevant. If Biden wins Reade may see a future for herself as a willing weapon of the far right, though her very real credibility problems and her lack of impulse control when it comes to anyone questioning her victimhood will be a problem.
SNF has recently been hit with bad news. Her daughter has tested positive for COVID and now she must get tested because she also is possibly symptomatic.
SNF, however, is still here. She is still talking to sexual assault victims and continuing her advocacy for those in our society whose stories are too often unheard. As SNF wrote herself way back in April of 2020, which now feels like five years ago, “We are allowed to mourn. We are allowed to be angry.” And SNF has not forgotten what Reade did to her. Despite all the harassment, doxxing and danger, however, SNF is still here. And she is not going anywhere.