Peter Daou, a former top adviser to Hillary Clinton, ripped some Democrats as "rape apologists" for attacking MSNBC host Chris Hayes over his decision to cover Tara Reade's sexual assault allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden.
"If you think only the GOP is responsible for this topsy turvy world, look no further than #FireChrisHayes trending because @chrislhayes had the journalistic integrity to cover an important #MeToo story against a Democrat," Daou tweeted Thursday. "This level of rape apology from Dems is APPALLING."
Daou's comments came after #FireChrisHayes trended on Twitter in response to his coverage of Reade's allegations.
"There have been moments I think for many of us, all of us, when we have heard about accusations against someone that we find ourselves desperately wanting not to believe -- whether that is because we have some kind of personal admiration for the individual and their work or political admiration, someone on our quote-unquote side," the liberal MSNBC host said on Wendesday.
"But part of the difficult lesson of the #MeToo era is not that every accusation is true and everything should be believed on its face, but that you do have to fight yourself when you feel that impulse."
Hayes reviewed Reade's allegations and noted that three of Biden's aides denied any memory of Reade telling them about the alleged harassment, despite Reade claiming she spoke to them about the issue. He also noted that Biden's campaign has denied the allegations.
Liberal commentator Bill Palmer tweeted that Hayes ran a "dishonest story" about Biden on Wednesday night.
"Hey Chris Hayes, you ran such a dishonest story about Joe Biden tonight, #FireChrisHayes is starting to trend. Let's say we make it trend all the way. Hayes needs to retract the story or go do something else for a living," he said.
However, many on the left defended Hayes. "Not that @chrislhayes needs my support, especially since the TV doesn't even like me anymore, but you #FireChrisHayes people are through the looking glass on this one. Covering sexual assault allegations should not [be] fired. COVERING THEM UP should," liberal commentator Elie Mystal said.
Former MSNBC host Cenk Uygur similarly defended Hayes but bashed his former network in the process.
"Anyone tweeting in support of #FireChrisHayes is saying that they think media should not do the news but should just do propaganda on behalf of the Democratic Party. To be fair, that's exactly what @MSNBC does 98 [percent] of the time, but even a small divergence is not allowed!" he said.
Uygur added that "[t]he people who want Chris fired for not doing 24/7 propaganda for @JoeBiden are the same people pretending to be outraged when Trump attacks the press. You don't want a free press either, you just want compliance to your beloved status quo politicians, right or wrong. Sickening."
MSNBC did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.
The controversy came as media outlets have faced scrutiny over their handling of Reade's accusations.
According to the conservative blog Newsbusters, major media outlets either barely covered the issue or left it untouched from Mar. 25, when the allegation surfaced, until Apr. 27.
"Even the liberal New York Times and Washington Post have published lengthy stories investigating the charges (on April 13), yet ABC and NBC haven't spent even a single second on the story," Newsbusters' Scott Whitlock wrote in an article published Tuesday.
"CBS has devoted a paltry 63 seconds, while PBS gave it a mere seven minutes. The all-day news networks CNN and MSNBC should have posted significantly higher totals, but they haven't: MSNBC managed only four and a half minutes in mid-April, while CNN only ended its complete blackout after we posted their own video from 1993, which validated a key claim from Reade."
ABC's "The View" finally did a segment on the issue Thursday after weeks of ignoring it.