I realize the task of checking bias at CNN is a Sisyphian one, but moderator Anderson Cooper kicked off the Democratic primary debate on Tuesday with a particularly laughable sleight of hand.
Setting up a question to Joe Biden, Cooper said, “President Trump has falsely accused your son of doing something wrong while serving on a company board in Ukraine. I want to point out there is no evidence of wrongdoing by either one of you.”
CNN’s Anderson Cooper runs interference for the Democrats, claims that Trump “falsely” accused Biden of corruption
Biden responds by lying, falsely claims that he never talk to his son about business. Even his son said that he did. pic.twitter.com/jxeVoHTSIU
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) October 16, 2019
Cooper effectively vindicated both Bidens before even asking the question. Perhaps he thought it was clever to say Trump falsely accused the junior Biden of wrongdoing “while serving” on the board. Serving on the board was, of course, the wrongdoing in and of itself. You don’t have to be a “Hannity” viewer to agree—both The Intercept and The New Republic have criticized Biden’s time with Burisma.
As Tim Carney pointed out in the Washington Examiner on Tuesday, “getting $50,000 a month from a Ukrainian oil company when your only qualification is being the son of the vice president is, in fact, corrupt.”
“Not only is it corrupt,” Carney added, “but it’s exactly the sort of corruption that spurred a populist revolt in 2016.”
Is Trump trafficking in some misinformation about Hunter Biden? Sure. That has nothing to do with whether the Burisma relationship amounts to wrongdoing, on either Hunter or Joe’s part. It was wrong for Hunter to take the position. It was arguably wrong for his father, who was aware of the set-up, not to stop it.
Cooper’s casual vindication of the Bidens is telling. Much of the media (not all of it) has covered the Burisma story primarily as a story about Trump’s reaction, or as a 2020 horserace narrative—despite the legitimate questions it raises about what a Biden presidency might look like.
Stating is as an unimpeachable fact that “no evidence of wrongdoing” exists to implicate Hunter or Joe Biden is wrong. It’s really wrong coming from the purportedly objective moderator of a presidential debate.