The Twitter Hunter Biden Laptop Censorship Proves Social Media’s Anti-Democracy Slant, And The Media’s Rush To Excuse It Proves Theirs

This was a test of integrity for the mainstream news media, and they, most predictably, flunked it, and outed themselves as the shamelessly unethical propaganda-spewing hacks they are. Depressing, but good to know, as if we didn’t know already.

As an exemplar of the whole, ugly, revolting effort to dismiss evidence that a biased and partisan Twitter staff deliberately buried a news story that might have harmed Joe Biden’s prospects of winning the 2016 election, Phillip Bump’s “analysis” in the Washington Post could hardly be more damning. Its very headline is an unethical rationalization and an appeal to consequentialism: “No, limiting the Hunter Biden laptop story didn’t cost Trump the election.”

Let’s just start with that, okay?

1. How does Bump know that? Nobody knows. If the information had been vetted and investigated as it would have been if the story had been potentially damaging to Donald Trump, if it had been assumed to be accurate like the Democrats’ contrived Russian collusion story—which had no evidence supporting it at all—who knows what its impact on the election might have been?

2. “Limiting”—nice. It wasn’t limited by the social media and mainstream media embargo. It was buried and censored. That’s misinformation by any standard. This is pure deceit by the Post. Yes, censorship is a kind of “limitation.” How despicable.

3. Ethically, it doesn’t matter what the effect of the partisan censorship was. It was wrong. It was a deliberate attempt to keep relevant information from voters, and it did. The fact that it may not have actually won the election for Biden by itself doesn’t mitigate the wrong in any way. It’s like saying that John Hinckley shooting President Reagan was not really significant because Reagan survived. It also proved that social media platforms and the mainstream media are outright enemies of the democratic process. The intent was to distort the election by keeping the public in the dark/

As for the rest of Bump’s flamingly biased attempt to defend the indefensible,

  • Bump uses the increase in Google searches about Hunter to claim that the laptop story got out anyway. Ridiculous and disingenuous. What a google search revealed was that intelligence experts said the laptop story was Russian disinformation, and that the “good” media—you know, WaPo, the Times, NPR, CNN, the networks—were rejecting a dubious story by a conservative tabloid.
  • Bump questions the Media Research Center poll that has been used to show that enough Biden voters would have changed their votes had they known about the laptop’s provenance to change the election results. That’s fine: it was dubious poll using leading questions, but again, so what? The poll doesn’t prove that knowing about the laptop and the emails on it would or would not have changed the election. It is pure hindsight either way, and worthless.
  • Bump laughably closes by writing,

The point of the debate is, instead, to cast “elites” in the media and technology as inherently oppositional to Republican candidates, meaning, in 2020, Trump. This is a visceral argument, not a rational one, so pointing out that there’s no evidentiary basis for the claim is fighting the wrong fight.

Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias! Nah, the Post, the Times, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, NPR and the rest were completely objective in covering the Trump Presidency! Of course their coverage of the campaign, the Russian collusion scam, the two illicit impeachments and so much more were even-handed and unaffected by the virulent opposition to Trump!

The fact that Bump would write such a lie and that the Post would print it demonstrates just how gullible the “elites” think the public is, or, in the alternative, how self-deluded they are.

While we’re on the topic, I’ll briefly chide Mike Masnick of the usually reliable blog TechDirt for falling into the media narrative that Matt Taibbi was simply doing “PR for the world’s richest man” and that what was revealed in his series of tweets was neither new nor alarming. His post is extremely long, too long to fisk adequately, but I’ll make a few comments:

  • Masnick says, as an excuse for why Twitter, Facebook and others banned the laptop story, “The morning the NY Post story came out there was a lot of concern about the validity of the story.” Fine: then let the public read the story and other news organizations investigate it. That would be the only ethical and legitimate way to handle the matter.
  • “Facebook set up a policy to limit certain content from trending in its algorithm until it had been reviewed by fact-checkers. Twitter put in place a “hacked materials” policy, which forbade the sharing of leaked or hacked materials.” Yes, the former policy was obviously prey to partisan bias (“factcheckers” don’t have the resources to independently investigate stories like the laptop, and Facebook uses “factcheckers” like Politifact and Snopes, proven partisan operatives.)The Twitter policy was pure hypocrisy, as it regularly has, did and does permit media stories that were solely based on leaks…when they liked the likely effect of those stories.
  • “Yet, for some reason, the story has persisted for years now that Twitter did something nefarious, engaging in election interference that was possibly at the behest of “the deep state” or the Biden campaign.” It was nefarious. Twitter was overwhelmingly staffed with progressives and Democrats, and however it came to bury the laptop story, doing so was unethical and indefensible. That is not social media’s proper role.
  • The article claims that Twitter didn’t engage in election interference, but rather “handled this in a non-partisan manner consistent with its business objectives.” Bump redux! Twitter only banned conservatives and Republicans; it never censored Democrats or progressives or their news media mouthpieces. “Non-partisan.” The fact that Biden’s Federal Election Commission whitewashed Twitter’s conduct means nothing; TechDirt seems to think its verdict was trustworthy.
  • Masnick appeals to the authority of—Phillip Bump!—to show that the suppression of the laptop story didn’t affect the election.
  • Masnick (and others) relies on the specious argument that since the Biden campaign isn’t technically “the government,” efforts by the campaign to push Twitter to embargo the New York Post’s story was not technically a First Amendment violation. The political parties are so influenced by and controlled by elected and appointed government officials that the claim itself is signature significance: only an enabler of speech suppression for political objectives would stoop to making such an argument.

Well, there’s more, but I’m sick of the deception. Now we know that TechDirt too can be made stupid by bias. And was. And is.

2 thoughts on “The Twitter Hunter Biden Laptop Censorship Proves Social Media’s Anti-Democracy Slant, And The Media’s Rush To Excuse It Proves Theirs

  1. I long ago concluded that the only legitimate use for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram is to share pictures and stories of vacations, birthday parties, dinners, and pets. TIk TOk, however, is useful in clearing the gene pool of stupidity.

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