We've gotten to a point where news media outlets are not merely favoring Joe Biden over Donald Trump in subtle-to-overt ways; they're actively suppressing "unhelpful" information. On the Hunter Biden saga -- which has not quite shaped up as the smoking gun that some may have hoped for, and that is unlikely to move many votes, in my opinion -- the biggest scandal is journalists' treatment of the story. One can believe or disbelieve the story of Hunter Biden's business associate, Tony Bobulinski, which he laid out in a lengthy interview with Tucker Carlson this week. At the very least, Bobulinski has provided documentary evidence strongly indicating that Joe Biden has not been telling the truth in his blanket and categorical denials about any involvement in, or knowledge of, his son's foreign financial deals and entanglements. That unto itself seems worthy of further exploration. So does the possibility (I'm not yet convinced by some potential breadcrumbs and theories) that the former vice president may have illicitly received money from at least one of these schemes.
Aside from a handful of news outlets, most of the press has downplayed, blacked out, or attacked this story, with many simply regurgitating -- or not challenging -- the Biden campaign's claim that the whole controversy is a product of Russian disinformation. This assertion has literally zero basis in established fact, yet it's the official position of Team Biden, and has been parroted by journalists. Lefty writer Matthew Taibbi, who has been highly critical of the media in recent years, is aghast:
...The New York Post material hasn’t been conclusively tied to Russia (it has also been denied by the Director of National Intelligence, not that blue-state audiences care). Nonetheless, politicians and pundits alike freely make such accusations...As has been hinted at by several prominent journalists, controversies erupted within newsrooms across New York and Washington in the last week. Editors have been telling charges that any effort to determine whether or not the Biden laptop material is true, or to ask the Biden campaign to confirm or deny the story, will either not be allowed or put through heightened fact-checking procedures. On the other hand, if you want to assert without any evidence at all that the New York Post story is Russian interference, you can essentially go straight into print. Many people on the liberal side of the political aisle don’t have a problem with this, focused as they are on the upcoming Trump-Biden election. But this same press corps might be weeks away from assuming responsibility for challenging a Biden administration. If they’ve already calculated once that a true story may be buried for political reasons because the other “side” is worse, they will surely make that same calculation again.
In his latest piece, Taibbi lists the various ways journalists are repeating the completely unproven "Russian disinformation" allegation -- even as they ignore Bobulinski's accusations, which are at least fortified by some actual evidence. I'll remind you that the Biden campaign has refused to call the emails and text messages he's provided (and on which the New York Post reported) fake or fabrications. They also haven't denied that Biden may have met with people attached to Hunter's international dealings, from Ukraine to China. As another reminder, here is the Democratic presidential nominee's stated position on all of this, from late last year:
Joe Biden was speaking with reporters in Iowa when Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked the relevant question about the controversy over his son’s windfall business dealings while he was Vice President. Doocy asked “How many times have you spoken to your son about his overseas business dealings?” Biden’s response was the second greatest surprise from the press scrum. Biden declared “I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.”...Biden simply attacked Trump and barked at Doocy to “Ask the right questions!” He then continued on with his campaign.
He angrily said he'd never spoken with his son about his international business activity. Bobulinski says that's a brazen lie, and a decent amount of available evidence suggests that Bobulinski is correct about that. That doesn't necessarily make this a big scandal, nor does it prove any illegal conduct took place -- but it does mean that a major party candidate for president very likely isn't telling the truth, and is trying to deflect from that reality by discrediting an American veteran (who has the receipts) as a Kremlin stooge, without any evidence in support of that apparent smear. Rather than confronting Biden on any of this, most of the news media is adopting and amplifying the smear. I'll leave you with this:
Sure looks like trading on his name, in a totally explicit way. https://t.co/QTgXY94pIK— Ben Smith (@benyt) October 27, 2020
By the way, the New York Post has been locked out of its own Twitter account for two weeks, even though its reporting on this matter has not been remotely disproven. If you look at all of the above and think this is healthy or acceptable, even if you really want Joe Biden to win the election, I don't know what to tell you. This should be the near-universal, shouted-from-the-rooftop stance of the entire journalism community. But it's not:
I'd like @twitter to restore the @nypost account and to refrain from censoring the published articles of newspapers and magazines in the future. Journalism isn't perfect, but the truth is best reached via robust criticism of what is published, not suppression and deplatforming.— Conor Friedersdorf (@conor64) October 27, 2020
UPDATE - Even if you're skeptical of this story -- like I am, on some level -- this is just creepy: