Essential Addendum To “From The ‘Res Ipsa Loquitur’ Files: Rob Reiner Provides A ‘Bias Makes You Stupid’ Case Study” [Link Fixed!]

Lest this post mislead you into the dangerous conclusion that snide comic and would-be pundit Bill Maher has suddenly developed integrity, some perspective may be necessary.

You will recall that in said post, I recalled Maher’s previous approval on another installment of his HBO show of using any means necessary to bring down Trump, rendering his apparent current condemnation of a media “conspiracy” to defeat him in the 2020 election less than convincing:

Maher is, of course, right, but he’s ethically estopped from making this argument. Before he decided that exposing the Left’s unethical plots to take out Trump would get his show some publicity, Maher had said on his show, during Trump’s Presidency, that crashing the economy to defeat Trump was “worth it.”

Conservative blogger Don Surber has a better memory than I do: he recalls how Maher treated the Hunter Biden laptop story ten days before the election:

“It’s getting so crazy. The ‘October surprise’ that the Trump people have now… have you seen this? It’s Hunter Biden’s laptop. Joe Biden’s ne’er-do-well son, Hunter, has this laptop which apparently had incriminating evidence—maybe stuff about influence-peddling on it—that was contained in his emails. And apparently, according to this, Hunter was trading on his name, selling access to his father, accepting money for nothing—what Don Jr. calls living the dream….Here’s the part that gets a little swirly about the story. How do we know about these emails? Well, apparently Hunter took his computer—which wasn’t working—to a computer repair shop, as we all do in 2020… and left it there and forgot about it, because, says Rudy Giuliani… he was drunk. And the computer repairman is blind. I’m not making that part of the story up. So, how did the blind man know Hunter was drunk? How you repair a computer if you’re blind? I don’t know about that either. But in the process of repairing Hunter’s computer blindly, he read Hunter’s emails and turned it over to the FBI. Is that how you fix a laptop nowadays? You read somebody’s emails? It’s like a plumber saying, ‘Well, the problem with your pipes is that you have cocaine in your underwear drawer.’”

That Bill! Anything for a laugh! The ethical time to question the deliberate blocking of the Biden influence-peddling evidence raised by the laptop was before the election, of course. But Maher went along with the conspiracy he’s attacking now, because those involved in it are his ideological allies most of the time, not that Maher can be trusted by friend or foe. Now Maher thinks it’s advantageous to pose as a truth-teller, so he’s temporarily turning on the metaphorical hands that feed him, like poor, addled Rob Reiner.

Bill Maher is a Machiavellian, unethical, dishonest and unprincipled asshole. There are many such creatures in today’s popular media, but he is one of the most pernicious. Don’t let him fool you.

The New York Times Scandal Regarding The Mainstream Media’s Cover-Up Of The Hunter Biden Laptop Story Is Bigger Than The Laptop Story Itself

And, dammit, I don’t have the energy or clarity of mind to cover it properly right now.

I hate using clips and cuts from other sources to examine ethics stories, though it is a common technique around the web, perhaps the most common technique. I can do better, but as I have noted here several times of late, I’m shot full of pain-killers and antibiotics, and have approximately the mental acuity of Joe Biden along with the energy deficits of the United States, so I’m reduced to something less than my preferred methodology. Still, attention must be paid. As recently as last week, several counter-“echo chamber warriors were still making the absurd claim that the New York Times was not the outrageously biased Democratic Party propaganda organ it so clearly is, an assertion that literally requires that one stick fingers in both ears and hum like mic having a feedback crisis.

On March 17, the New York Times admitted that the Hunter Biden laptop report was accurate and genuine, more than a year after it allowed the Biden disinformation machine to falsely claim it was all “Russian disinformation.” This prompted a rare (but delicious editorial by the New York Post, which broke the story on October 14, 2020, while the 2020 Presidential election was up for grabs and got itself banned from social media for printing the truth. The Post’s victory lap said in part,

Forgive the profanity, but you have got to be s–tting us.

First, the New York Times decides more than a year later that Hunter Biden’s business woes are worthy of a story. Then, deep in the piece, in passing, it notes that Hunter’s laptop is legitimate.

“People familiar with the investigation said prosecutors had examined emails between Mr. Biden, Mr. Archer and others about Burisma and other foreign business activity,” the Times writes. “Those emails were obtained by The New York Times from a cache of files that appears to have come from a laptop abandoned by Mr. Biden in a Delaware repair shop. The email and others in the cache were authenticated by people familiar with them and with the investigation.”

Authenticated!!! You don’t say. You mean, when a newspaper actually does reporting on a topic and doesn’t just try to whitewash coverage for Joe Biden, it discovers it’s actually true?

But wait, it doesn’t end there. In October 2020, the Times cast doubt that there was a meeting between Joe Biden and an official from Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company for which Hunter was a board member.  “A Biden campaign spokesman said Mr. Biden’s official schedules did not show a meeting between the two men,” the Times wrote, acting as a perfect stenographer. Yet in the latest report, published Wednesday night, the Times said the meeting likely did happen. Biden had attended the dinner in question. Funny how this works when you don’t just take someone’s word for it.

In the heat of the presidential race of 2020, the Times never missed a chance to cast doubt on the laptop, saying the information was “purported” and quoting a letter from former Democratic officials who claimed — with no evidence — that it was Russian disinformation. As recently as September 2021, the Times called the laptop “unsubstantiated” in a news story.

Why was it unsubstantiated? Because of willful ignorance and the Times’ curious lack of curiosity. Hunter’s business partner Tony Bobulinski came forward immediately after The Post’s reports and confirmed that the emails bearing his name were legitimate. The Bidens didn’t even deny it was true! They just deflected, with the media’s help, saying it was a dirty trick or not a story. Mostly, the press just ignored it.Now we’re 16 months away from the 2020 election, Joe Biden’s safely in the White House, and the Times finally decides to report on the news rather than carry the Biden campaign’s water. And they find that hey, Hunter Biden’s business interests benefited from Joe Biden’s political status to a suspicious degree. Perhaps this is a topic worthy of examination.

How did the Times “authenticate” the laptop? It doesn’t say. Unlike The Post’s reporting, which detailed exactly how we got the files and where they came from, the Times does a hand wave to anonymous sources. No facts have changed since fall 2020. They knew the laptop was real from the start. They just didn’t want to say so….

Twitter banned us for supposedly publishing “hacked materials” that weren’t hacked. The company’s CEO apologized, but by that point, they had accomplished what they wanted. Like the Times, they cast enough doubt to avoid making their preferred candidate look bad.

Readers of the Times have discovered in March 2022 that Hunter Biden pursued business deals in Europe and Asia, and may have leveraged his father’s position as vice president to do it. Hunter also may not have properly registered with the government or declared all his income. All legitimate topics of discussion about a presidential candidate’s family, no?

The NY Post’s obvious bitterness should be matched by that of fair, civically competent, objective citizens who don’t like the idea of elections being stolen and the public having the metaphorical wool pulled over its eyes. Continue reading

More Evidence Of How The Presidency May Have Been Stolen. More Is Surely On The Way…

President Trump was wrong to keep claiming that voter fraud was responsible for his 2020 election loss; indeed he was wrong to be the one to question the fairness of election at all. However, the constant mantra in the mainstream news media that his complaints that the election was “stolen,” “rigged” or “fixed” are “false” meets the classic standard for “protesting too much.”

The 2020 election was rigged, as I explained here. The rigging by the mainstream media began from the second Donald Trump was elected, causing Democrats, progressives and especially journalists to abandon tradition, sound democratic principles, fairness, responsibility and ethics to do everything in their power to undermine the elected President of the United States, because they didn’t vote for him, didn’t like him, and refused to accept Hillary Clinton’s well-earned defeat. Out of this, what I have (correctly) termed the worst ethics breach in our society since at least the Second World War, we got the succession of Big Lies and the series of plots to remove Trump from office, including two unjustified and unethical impeachments.

I doubt that any President in our history could have overcome the deliberately biased news coverage and the barrage of fake negative news Donald Trump was attacked with for four straight years. It’s impossible to say, since no elected President, not even Richard Nixon, was subjected to anything similar. It is also impossible to say, it must be emphasized, that the despicable and unethical journalism used to undermine Trump actually caused his loss. This is, however approximately the same argument the defense in the Derek Chauvin trial is making. The media’s knee was on the President’s neck, but there were other things that might have killed his Presidency. It does not make the news media’s conduct any less wrong.

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Waning 2020 Ethics Warm-Up

hour_glass

A reader reports that he can’t pull up Ethics Alarms on Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge. Is anyone else having this problem?

Wasn’t it nice when we naively assumed that such things were just technical glitches and not part of Big Tech’s increasingly intrusive alliance with the totalitarian-minded forces of the extreme Left?

1. Embrace the narrative. “Louisiana Congressman-elect Luke Letlow dies with COVID-19” is just one of many headlines announcing that the 41-year-old Representative-elect died from the Wuhan virus. So far, every headline I’ve seen is some version of this. Letlow died of a heart attack, in fact, during some un-named procedure related to his treatment for the virus. People die of unexpected heart attacks with some frequency during hospital procedures for other problems, and the cause of death is usually listed as “heart attack.” Maybe the virus caused his death and maybe it didn’t, but the headlines stating this as fact is more pandemic fearmongering, and. yes, fake news.

2. Good. You will recall that Twitter censored The New York Post’s account of the incriminating Hunter Biden laptop being found because it claimed that the business memos, photos of a Hunter using illegal drugs, and other disturbing photos came from a “hacker,” when Twitter’s real objective was, it seems fair to conclude, to keep as many people as possible from learning about matters that might cause them not to vote for Hunter’s father. Now the computer repair company’s owner is  suing Twitter for $500,000,000.00 for libel, defamation, and ruining his business, claiming that the social media giant disparaged him.

3. One more reason to distrust the election results: President Donald Trump topped former President Barack Obama for the title of most admired man in America in Gallup’s 2020 survey. Trump had tied with Obama in 2019 while Obama beat him in 2017 and 2018. President Joe Biden came in third. Obama had been #1 since 2008.

Don’t you find this strange?

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Christmas Week Ethics Warm-Up, 12/21/2020: Clogging, Lying And Spinning

fireplace Xmas

Has anyone come up with a convincing theory about why there are more outside home decorations and Christmas lights than we have seen in a long while, if ever? Another trend, at least in my neighborhood: a welcome return to multi-colored lights after the (cold, boring) white lights appeared to take over years ago.

1. I finally figured out what’s been bothering me about that GEICO “clogging” ad. It’s racist. (In addition to being, you know, stupid.) I guess GEICO thinks that as long as it sticks an inter-racial couple in their ads, nobody will notice (Though according to Madison Avenue, almost every couple in America is inter-racial.)

Here’s the ad, if somehow you’ve missed it:

Ah, those weird white people and their weird activities! Now imagine if the noisy family upstairs was an African-American clan practicing their break-dancing. Or doing authentic African tribal dances.

2. Boy, those college administrators are quick. CNN was reporting this morning that a handful of colleges are finally reducing tuition. “A Princeton spokesperson said that the Covid conditions have “diminished the college experience.” Really? Not being on or near a campus, being isolated from classmates, not participating in clubs, social activities and late night “bull sessions,” not to mention only seeing one’s professors through a screen, isn’t as valuable as actually attending college?

I’m only speaking for myself, but I would have regarded my own college experience as little better than a correspondence course under today’s conditions. All colleges were ethically obligated to cut tuition substantially. They got away with not doing so because they are selling degrees, not education or personal growth.

3. With all the legitimate questions being raised about Hunter Biden, his apparent influence peddling abroad, and what his father’s role was, the Biden team allows him to be interviewed by…Stephen Colbert. Are even the most impenetrable Biden supporters not troubled by this? If not, do they even have ethics alarms any more? Even with a journalistic establishment filled with shameless pro-Democrat hacks, the toughest interview the President Elect was allowed to brave was by a comedian?

And not just any comedian, but a comedian who dedicated himself to anti-Trump, anti-Republican propganda for four years. Thus here is the type of question Joe had to answer—one that was phrased with the assumption that the Hunter Biden laptop matter was just another conservative conspiracy theory:

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The Hunter Biden Laptop Story Suppression

Hunter and Joe

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:

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The Smoking Gun: This is How The Election Was “Rigged,” And This Is Why The News Media Will Not Be Trusted Again, Unless It’s Trusted By Totalitarian-Minded Progressives To Support Single Party Power.

statue-of-liberty-crying

Harsh? Not at all.

I wrote about this here, in general terms, but the almost complete media embargo and denial of the Hunter Biden laptop story in the days approaching the election was the latest and, arguably, the final and most effective embodiment of the degree to which the deck was unethically stacked against President Trump.

Yesterday, the proverbial other shoe— a big, noisy, smelly one with fecal matter all over the sole and stuck in the ridges so you have to dig it out while trying not to gag—dropped, as anyone honest, conscious and not in denial knew it would.

CNN reported,

After pausing in the months before the election, federal authorities are now actively investigating the business dealings of Hunter Biden, a person with knowledge of the probe said. His father, President-elect Joe Biden, is not implicated.

The last sentence is classic CNN partisan cover. Biden is implicated in lying about his son, what he knew about his soon, and enabling his son. Whether he will be implicated in actual crimes has yet to be seen.

Neo points to earlier CNN reporting of Crossfire Hurricane:

“The investigation was officially opened on July 31, 2016, initially due to information on Trump campaign member George Papadopoulos’s early assertions of Russians having damaging material on Donald Trump’s rival candidate Hillary Clinton. From late July to November 2016, the joint effort between the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the National Security Agency (NSA) examined evidence of Russian meddling in the 2016 United States presidential election. The FBI’s team enjoyed a large degree of autonomy within the broader interagency probe.”

Neo comments ruefully, “The FBI was busy investigating Trump’s campaign associates, based on things they knew to be lies, falsifying evidence in order to obtain surveillance warrants from FISA, and leaking like a sieve to the media, all in the fall of 2016 in order to destroy Trump. No pre-election pause for Trump; au contraire.

More of yesterday’s delayed revelations about Hunter:

Investigators have been examining multiple financial issues, including whether Hunter Biden and his associates violated tax and money laundering laws in business dealings in foreign countries, principally China, according to two people briefed on the probe.

Some of those transactions involved people who the FBI believe sparked counterintelligence concerns, a common issue when dealing with Chinese business, according to another source.

The investigation began as early as 2018, predating the arrival of William Barr as US attorney general, two people briefed on the investigation said. The existence of the probe will present an immediate test of Biden’s promise to maintain the independence of the Justice Department.

Sinclair Broadcast Group reported in October that the FBI had opened a criminal investigation into Hunter Biden. CNN has learned new details about the scope of the probe, including that it is focused on China.

Neo helpfully points us to links here, here, here, and here.

Piers Morgan, a CNN alumnus and certified Trump-hater, properly and neatly puts this in perspective:

Imagine if Trump had actually won fair and square and was now preparing to be inaugurated for his second term of office?

Then imagine that his victory was quite narrow, like Biden’s, and came down to a few thousand votes in the swing states?

And then imagine that just before the election, a major US newspaper had published an explosive story about his son Donald Trump Jr. based around the contents of his personal laptop that revealed extensive dodgy dealings with people from foreign countries, some very unfriendly to the United States, and which even suggested his father may have been involved in some of those dealings?

Now imagine that in this eventuality, and with none of the key elements of the story denied by the Trumps, 90% of America’s mainstream media deliberately refused to cover the story, and social media giants like Twitter and Facebook actively suppressed it altogether?

Finally, imagine waking up today to hear that rather than Hunter Biden being formally investigated by federal authorities from the Justice Department over his financial affairs, as is the case, it was Donald Trump Jr. And that the investigation has been ongoing since 2018 but was ‘paused’ in case it affected the election.And that it has looked at allegations of potential criminal violations of tax and money laundering laws. And that it is now in front of a Delaware Grand Jury with a view to indictment.

By now, some of you might be screaming that the election was ‘rigged’ and ‘stolen’ from Joe Biden, right?…who knows how damaging it might have been if this federal investigation into Hunter Biden’s finances had been revealed before the election, and the mainstream media had given it the full Hillary Clinton email treatment that many believe cost her the 2016 election?

I said at the time that the media’s abject failure to properly report the New York Post’s scoop about Hunter was a shameful dereliction of journalistic duty driven by the inherent liberal bias of much of the US media – and I said it as a liberal myself. Predictably, and equally shamefully, the media responded by then trying to censor me too: I was dropped from an appearance on Brian Stelter’s CNN media show after going on Fox News and lambasting news organisations like my former CNN employers for refusing to follow up the Post’s Biden exposé.

Well of course Morgan was dropped, because CNN’s “media watchdog” Brian Stelter is, and has been, and has been thoroughly exposed as being, a pro-mainstream media bias lapdog. Similarly, law professor, blogger and columnist Glenn Reynolds had his column “The Disgraceful Hunter Biden Cover-Up” spiked before the election, leading to his resignation from USA Today’s op-ed staff.

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Halloween Ethics Shocks, 10/31/2020: Boo!

1. There is absolutely no good reason to kill Halloween this year because of the Wuhan virus, but that appears to be what the fear-mongered flock is going to do. Children as well should know by now, are at about as much risk from this virus as any other, everyone is wearing masks anyway, and how hard is it to find ways to drop candy in bags?

Mark this down as one more little joy young lives are losing out on due to a) adult hysteria and b) partisan scaremanship. We never get many Trick-or-Treaters anyway, but I hereby announce that any costumed kids that drop by 2707 Westminster Place in Alexandria, Virginia will receive extra-generous treats for their spirit of adventure.

2. Not that they haven’t been trying to scare kids out of the tradition long before thisHere, for example, is an article that gratuitously warns us that “marijuana edibles” can look a lot like candy, so parents should be extra vigilant—never mind that pot treats are about ten times more expensive than candy, and the likelihood of any stoners slipping those into the TOT bags instead of peanut butter cups are about the same as the odd of my voting for Joe Biden next week. Poisoned Halloween candy is a hoary urban legend: there are no recorded cases of its, except the monstrous father who poisoned his own son’s Halloween haul to collect on an insurance policy. (That doesn’t count.)

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Rueful Points, Updates and Observations On The Hunter Biden Emails Scandal, Part 2

Part 1 is here.

Ten Points, updates and observations:

  1. Both the FBI and the Department of Justice agree that Hunter Biden’s laptop and its emails are not some foreign effort at disinformation, which means that the media treatment of the New York Post as lepers for seeking to inform the public was disgusting. The FBI is indeed in possession of the laptop with Hunter’s emails, and they appear genuine. Yesterday, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told reporters that his staff has independently verified their authenticity. “Our staff has had conversations that authenticate that the fact that these emails are real, and that as reported I believe by Mike Emmanuel as well, that the Big Guy is a reference [to] the former vice president,” he said.

2. Meanwhile, Biden and his campaign did not and do not have plausible denials for what the evidence appears to show. Instead, the candidate’s response has been to attack the messengers, including the rare reporter who dared to pose the kind of question that must be asked. When a Wisconsin reporter asked Biden this week if there was “any legitimacy” to claims that Hunter Biden “profited off the Biden name,” Joe snapped, ”None whatsoever! This is the same garbage Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s henchman, it’s a last-ditch effort in this desperate campaign to smear me and my family.”

Biden then cited 50 former intelligence officials who, shamefully, signed a purely partisan letter vouching for Biden’s innocence, though they are currently out of the loop and can have no basis to support Biden, other than the fact that they support Biden.

3. Biden continues to insist that he had no involvement in his son’s use of the Biden name as a meal-ticket. Who believes that? Hunter Biden received a high-paid position on the board of a Ukrainian energy company despite having zero experience in the energy sector or in Ukraine! Gee, what a lucky kid. He must have found a genie or something.

4. Recently we learned that Hunter Biden’s signature appeared on documents from “The Mac Shop” in Wilmington, Del., where the laptop was dropped off, and that his name appears in the “bill to” section for a cost of $85. John Paul Mac Isaac, the shop’s owner, has worked with the FBI on the case. Isaac also received a subpoena to testify before a U.S. District Court in Delaware on December 9, 2019. One page on the FBI documents appears to show serial numbers for a laptop and hard drive. Yup, the New York Posy was publishing rumors, all right.

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Rueful Points, Updates and Observations On The Hunter Biden Emails Scandal, Part I

NPR screenshot

It is not as if anyone with integrity and respect for the democratic process should need more reasons to vote against Joe Biden, the party he represents, and the attack on American values and institutions his party represents.

Biden alone, without the implications of the s-l-o-w-l-y emerging scandal, is obviously unfit to be President as a matter of health, character, and history. He is, to begin with, too old to be President (as is Donald Trump); he is also, unlike the President, suffering from obvious cognitive decline. Biden is a proven sexual harasser and accused of sexual assault: by the vigorously stated principles of his own party and the smug Woke and crusading feminists it purports to support, he should be not merely disqualified as the party’s candidate but targeted as its enemy.

Biden’s sole argument for his candidacy once was that he was one of the few non-crazies among the Donkeys, but he has obliterated that excuse by embracing almost every radical position the worst elements of his party have put forth. Biden has shown that he has no integrity, and that his past positions and stated values are now, as they used to say in the Nixon administration, non-operable. The sole argument for Biden personally was, if you were really gullible, that he was a decent man (and obviously Donald Trump isn’t). Now that this fantasy has been stripped away, Biden is revealed almost literally as a human “none of the above” carton past an expiration date. The Democratic Party did not even have the respect for the public and the Republic to nominate someone who could be trusted to do the job.

As spoiled frosting on the cake, it appended to Joe an unqualified and generally despicable understudy chosen solely because of her color—not even her race, since she isn’t African American—and her lady parts. When given the chance to support Kamala Harris for any more substantive reasons, party primary voters held their noses, which unlike their consciences, apparently still work.

We knew, absent denial or stupidity, that Hunter Biden was engaged in influence peddling, and that Joe Biden’s fevered lies were just that. The Democrats even went to the extreme length of contriving an impeachment because the President took steps to investigate the disturbing evidence that a Vice President of the United States had acted against the interests of his country to assist his surviving, addict, loser son. Now the truth is dripping out, and, in what is for me the best reason of all to make certain the Democrats and their corrupt allies lose, the mainstream media and social media is actually , actively, traitorously burying the story.

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