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OPINION

Conclusion of Media About Hunter Indictments: It Is All So Tough on 'The Big Guy'

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

When the Hunter Biden charges were announced and led to the recidivist First Son not having to serve any jail time, it was just a formality that the press would stampede to the defense of all involved. Over the past couple of days, we have heard every implausible explanation offered, from the charges being too steep to this plea deal being right in line with standard sentencing for these types of crimes. 

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There has been no need in the press to attempt reconciling those two opposing positions, they are just allowed to stand. 

I have spotted another uniform reaction across the journalism spectrum – the sympathetic approach to how these crimes and the charges from Hunter have affected President Biden. This is quite a departure for the media, and it goes so very far in cementing the concept that the press in this country operates with two sets of standards. 

After all, it was just one presidency ago when the children of the president were not looked at favorably and did not have journalists looking askance at problems. Instead, the press sought them out with the Trump family, and any perceived violation of norms would be held up as proof of familial corruption. Hell, Ivanka was said to have violated the law when she took a photo with a can of beans. 

The web of Biden family payoffs from international sources and Hunter's lengthy rap sheet has the newsmakers operating in the complete opposite direction. No longer do they see patterns of nefarious behavior. Instead, this is all an unfair witch hunt, and the negative emotional impact on the president is what they consider to be the real story. Just look at the script followed by so many outlets.

At the Associated Press, they could have a somber violin concerto playing in the background if you read their fawning piece on the website. (I double-checked; they don't. I imagined the strings as I read the piece.) They, too, approach this as how those venal Republicans have done this to the president, a man immensely proud of his addicted faux artist of a son.

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That pride has been accompanied by pain, and for the president’s family, both have been on public display. Republicans have worked to use Hunter Biden’s actions — and his acknowledged struggle with addiction — as an anchor to try to drag down his father.

Next, we have CNN describing for us the challenges inside the family dynamic all of this has delivered.

'I'm very proud of my son,' Joe Biden said Tuesday in response to a shouted question from a reporter at an event in California. For the Bidens, Hunter’s expected guilty plea on two tax misdemeanors and his deal with federal prosecutors regarding a felony gun charge amount to an evolution in a troubled stretch that has tested the strength of family ties. And even pieces of Hunter Biden's art were put on the walls in the White House, a sign of the Bidens' deep commitment to family, even amid controversy.

Early on Wednesday, "Good Morning America" addressed the issue, and it was yet another case of underscoring just how tough all of this is on the president. Making it all the more galling was reporter Mark Bruce not only describing the torment for Biden but then framing it as if those soulless Republicans simply did not care what they were doing to the president:

There's no question that this is painful for the President, personally and politically. He is a devoted father who has stood by his son throughout his struggles with addiction, throughout this investigation, adamant that Hunter did absolutely nothing wrong. But it is clear, Republicans are not gonna drop this.

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Politico detailed how so much of this has been weighing on the president:

Several people close to the elder Biden portrayed him as having been deeply anxious for months about his son’s legal fortunes and frustrated at the slow pace of the investigation. Biden had repeatedly barked to confidants that he could not understand why his son was being made to twist in the wind for five years, concerned the legal limbo could create a stress that would trigger his son’s demons, according to those people in the inner circle.

Without much argument, probably the most obsequious example was from The New York Times. In an alleged examination of the plight of President Biden, it is mostly an assessment of how terrible those Republicans are for noticing these legal problems. But in it, there is also some saccharine-level sympathy that would shame most any cognizant reporter. After Peter Barker opens with the headline "The Troubles of His Son Are Personal and Politically Painful," Barker introduces the topic of Hunter and humiliates himself further:

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He is by various accounts a gaping wound in his heart and the most sensitive soft spot in his campaign armor.

Two things emerge with full clarity in these matching reports from the media environment. President Biden has been deeply affected, which means he deserves our sympathy – and those damned heartless Republicans do not seem to care what they are doing to him by pursuing these charges…over crimes Hunter actually committed. 

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