When people—like me—say that the 2020 election was stolen, they are not necessarily claiming that mass voter fraud changed the winner. They—and I—are saying that our democracy was not allowed to work because of a de facto conspiracy of the Big Tech firms and the mainstream news media to withhold important information from the voting public that they not only had a need to know, they had a right to know, in order to make an informed decision at the voting booth, or, sadly, the mail box. This was a disinformation campaign of more than four years in duration, but the latest example has proven to be the most infuriating: the suppression, in the closing weeks of the campaign, of the news that suspicious emails pointing to extensive influence peddling by Joe Biden’s black sheep son had been found on a discarded laptop belonging to the younger Biden.
Because there is disinformation about what happened still being peddled in the comments here, I’m going to revisit the issue. It raised its hoary head again after it was announced—by Hunter, a convenient distance from the election— that the Justice Department was investigating him over “tax’ matters. This, it should be said, was more obfuscation and misdirection. The documents published by the NY Post the in the weeks before the election—and subsequently buried and discredited by the rest of the news media— contained information about that, but we now know the investigation has been far broader. We know because now that the election is over, and Biden safely elected, reporters are finally asking questions.
Politico reported Monday night that “The federal investigation into President-elect Joe Biden’s son Hunter has been more extensive than a statement from Hunter Biden indicates,” Specifically, “the securities fraud unit in the Southern District of New York also scrutinized Hunter Biden’s finances”; “investigators in Delaware and Washington were also probing potential money laundering and Hunter Biden’s foreign ties”; and “federal authorities in the Western District of Pennsylvania are conducting a criminal investigation of a hospital business in which Joe Biden’s brother James was involved.” CNNs Shimon Prokupecz reported that “at least one of the matters investigators have examined is a 2017 gift of a 2.8-carat diamond that Hunter Biden received from CEFC [China Energy’]’s founder and former chairman Ye Jianming after a Miami business meeting.”
Incidentally, here is Politico’s stance before November 2:
[Fair warning: the next commenter who writes here that the news media covered the laptop story before the election will have his or her commenting privileges suspended. This is how the story was “covered” by the new media: I was paying attention. You can make arguments and have opinions, but this site will not be used for partisan disinformation.]
The pre- and post-election excuse-making as the mainstream media tries Yoo’s Rationalization, or “It isn’t what it is” would be funny if it weren’t so ominous—and insulting. These outlets clearly think their readers are stupid, and they may well be right.
A prime example was this smoke-screen by NBC four days before the election. No, I’m not going to bother fisking it, though that would be fun; I don’t think my readers are stupid. This line alone is signature significance:
At a meeting in May 2017 in Los Angeles, Bobulinski says Hunter Biden introduced him to the former vice president, saying: “This is Tony, dad, the individual I told you about that’s helping us with the business we are working and the Chinese.” Even if that statement was made, it says very little about how much Joe Biden knew, and nothing about whether he was involved.
What? If the statement was made, it says that Biden knew that his son was using him to engage in influence peddling, and if that was happening, then Joe was involved. Elsewhere in the same article, NBC says that there was no evidence that Joe Biden benefited from Hunter’s cashing-in on his father’s name and position. This is false, and a misrepresentation of conflicts of interest law and ethical principles. If, while Vice President, Biden even passively allowed his son to claim that Biden would use his position to help foreign interests and rake in money as a result, that creates an impermissible appearance of impropriety as well as a conflict that a public official must actively address. There are ethics statutes all over the country that state that a public official using his or her office to benefit themselves or their family members is illegal. Those laws and rules exist because that’s corruption.
This disgraceful piece was written by Ken Dilanian and Tom Winter: mark those names, and never trust anything they write again. The news media, as NBC’s attempted exculpatory article shows, was looking for excuses not to investigate.
Another piece from the article, and then I’ll stop before we all start projectile vomiting like the people in the pie-eating contest from “Stand By Me,” was this:
“Trump, according to the same good government advocates who have criticized Hunter Biden, is ethically challenged when it comes to appearing to use the power of his office to enrich himself and his family. David Farenthold of The Washington Post has used federal and other records to calculate that the federal government has spent at least $2.5 million on food and lodging at Trump properties since Trump took office. Earlier this month, Ben Sasse, a Republican senator from Nebraska who is up for re-election, told supporters that Trump’s family “has treated the presidency like a business opportunity.” Yet stories about Trump’s children and their business dealings are not dominating the news cycle in the days before the election, because they have already been covered, just as the Hunter Biden story has been covered.”
How many rationalizations and logical fallacies are wrapped up in that bit of campaign propaganda? The news media have been blasting headlines about alleged Trump corruption, often implicating his family, for four years. And the Hunter Biden story isn’t about Trump: this is classic misdirection combined with Rationalization #2, “He’s just as bad.” Joe Biden’s argument for election, and he didn’t have many, was that he’s ethical, and Trump isn’t.
Meanwhile, the New York Times tried this approach, impugning the story because one of the reporters wouldn’t put his name on the New York Post piece. This is hilarious coming from the Times, which forced an editor to resign because he allowed a Sen. Tom Cotton op-ed countering the Democratic narrative about the “mostly peaceful George Floyd protests,” aka riots to be published. Gee–why in the world would a reporter in an industry where 95% of those in management have traded in their integrity to ensure Donald Trump’s deceit not want his name on a story that could hurt Joe Biden?
Glenn Greenwald, who ended up resigning from the non-partisan reporting organization he had founded over the news media’s embargo on the laptop story, has earned the right to be an authority on the issue. I’ve subscribed to his news and commentary service in gratitude. Here is his latest explication on what occurred, and he writes there in part,
All of these topics are what the large bulk of the U.S. media, working in concert with the intelligence community and Silicon Valley, suppressed prior to the election. One of the first New York Post articles based on materials from Hunter’s laptop, headlined “Emails reveal how Hunter Biden tried to cash in big on behalf of family with Chinese firm,” described how he “pursued lucrative deals involving China’s largest private energy company — including one that he said would be ‘interesting for me and my family,’” and specifically noted that Hunter “was identified as ‘Chair/Vice Chair depending on agreement with CEFC,’ an apparent reference to the former Shanghai-based conglomerate CEFC China Energy Co.”…
The pre-election article I wrote and was blocked from publishing by The Intercept, which precipitated my departure from that outlet, extensively discussed these documents’ revelations regarding the attempts by Hunter and Biden’s brother Jim to exploit the former Vice President’s influence in China to generate profit for the Biden family. Among other things, the censored article described “the Biden family’s pursuit of business opportunities in China,” referenced “proposals for lucrative business deals in China that traded on his influence with his father,” discussed the possibility suggested by the emails that “Hunter along with Joe Biden’s brother Jim were planning on including the former Vice President in at least one deal in China,” and argued that these documents raise the critical question of “whether Biden ever knew about business proposals in Ukraine or China being pursued by his son and brother in which Biden was a proposed participant.”
All of these vital facts and questions about Hunter’s activities in China were largely suppressed from the voting population by the bulk of the U.S. media, working in tandem with Silicon Valley (which simply prevented the story from being discussed and shared on its key platforms), and the intelligence community. How was this accomplished? Largely through outright propaganda, a blatant two-pronged lie: that these materials should be ignored because they constitute “Russian disinformation.”…
In sum, we have the extraordinary historic disgrace of media outlets collaborating with the intelligence community in the weeks before a presidential election to manufacture and peddle a propagandistic lie to justify censorship of highly relevant materials about the presidential front-runner and his family’s efforts to profit off his name — namely, that the documents were not authentic but rather “Russian disinformation.”
Maybe the suppression of this story cost President Trump the election, and maybe it didn’t. We’ll never know. We do know that the news media and its allies deliberately kept Americans in the dark about what kind of man was running against Trump. That’s bad enough, and Democrats and Republicans should be alarmed about it.