A lot of powerful people have a lot to be embarrassed about.
Last week, President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team released a statement acknowledging the existence of an investigation under the Delaware U.S. attorney’s office probing Hunter Biden’s tax affairs. The investigation joins a broader probe examining Hunter’s finances underway by the securities fraud unit in the Southern District of New York, reported by Politico, and another targeting James Biden, Joe Biden’s brother, in Pennsylvania related to a series of hospital deals.
The existence of ongoing federal investigations targeting Hunter Biden was first reported in October, days before the November election. Content surfaced on an abandoned Delaware laptop implicating Joe Biden in his son’s potentially criminal overseas business dealings.
Democrats dismissed the revelations as pure Russian disinformation, offering their allies in the corporate media an excuse to ignore the news they’re responsible for reporting when not delegitimizing the idea of Biden family corruption altogether.
The irony of the Hunter Biden saga is rich, considering the same media perpetuated a four-year conspiracy with no end indicting President Donald Trump in the press as a Kremlin agent, laying the roots for a baseless narrative to attack any reporting they simply don’t like, including the blockbuster revelations on Hunter Biden.
Now that Hunter Biden has acknowledged an ongoing investigation probing his finances from the Department of Justice, legacy outlets finally offering coverage after forgoing any attention to a story that became even more important following the election. But don’t hold your breath for coverage to be fair.
If it wasn’t clear before — and it was given statements from the FBI, the Department of Justice, the director of national intelligence, and the Department of State — it’s undeniably clear now that stories unearthing incriminating details on Hunter Biden did not stem from some Russian plot to interfere in the November election. Public knowledge of not one, but three federal investigations targeting the Biden family with an on-the-record whistleblower and a laptop hard drive authenticated with forensic analysis also obtained by federal authorities help make that clear.
Yet two months after legacy media declined to take the Hunter Biden story seriously for potentially undermining their preferred presidential candidate, there’s a lot of people who engaged in interference with no shame and no accountability. The stories that surfaced in October ought to embarrass a lot of people. Here’s a short list.
Above all, former Vice President Biden remains at the heart of the controversy, caught in a web of lies covering for his son’s overseas business ventures that emails show sought to enrich the entire family, including the president-elect himself.
The first bombshell to drop in the New York Post’s series of October exposés caught Joe Biden lying throughout the entire campaign when repeatedly denying ever discussing business with his son, “or with anyone else.” Indeed, 2015 emails show Joe Biden personally met with a senior advisor for Burisma, the Ukrainian energy firm showering the vice president’s son with upwards of $50,000 a month in excess compensation while Joe Biden served as the “public face” of Obama administration policy on Ukraine.
Biden, however, even fat-shamed an Iowa voter for bringing the Ukraine scandal up.
New emails published by Fox News Wednesday offer greater insight into a $10 million deal, likely the same as that reported by the New York Post in its story on Hunter Biden’s laptop. Documents, Fox News reported, revealed Hunter Biden offering Chinese business partners with deep ties to the Chinese Communist Party his “best wishes from the entire Biden family” while requesting $10 million.
Emails published by the New York Post dated a month later show the same Chinese business partners offering Hunter Biden a $10 million a year contract for “introductions alone,” explicitly setting aside a sizable portion for Joe Biden funneled through Hunter.
During the presidential debate in October, however, Biden accused Trump of peddling Russian disinformation for pointing out this story.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey
The Hunter Biden saga is just as much a scandal for big tech as it is big media. Moments after the first New York Post story went live, Twitter began blocking its URL on the platform and disabled the paper’s account.
Twitter later explained it had blocked sharing because the article included “hacked” content, a frivolous explanation capitalizing on rules clearly selectively enforced to suppress the biggest story of the 2020 election.
Despite an apology from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s censorship continued, blocking the URL of the Post’s second story documenting Hunter Biden’s $10 million deal with Chinese business partners.
TODAY, blocking links to ANOTHER NYPost story alleging Hunter Biden sold access to communist China for millions. I just tried to share that story. Here’s Twitter’s response 👇 pic.twitter.com/NZpw4gmcb2
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) October 15, 2020
Twitter eventually backed down from its censorship and allowed the stories to be shared following backlash over its overt election interference. The New York Post however, the nation’s oldest newspaper, remained locked out of tweeting to its nearly two million followers for two weeks during some of the most critical days of the election.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
As Twitter suppressed the New York Post’s reporting on its platform, Facebook followed suit, announcing through a company spokesperson and former Democratic staffer the company would be preemptively censoring the Post’s blockbuster reporting until it underwent review from its third-party fact-checkers.
While I will intentionally not link to the New York Post, I want be clear that this story is eligible to be fact checked by Facebook's third-party fact checking partners. In the meantime, we are reducing its distribution on our platform.
— Andy Stone (@andymstone) October 14, 2020
After the reveal of federal investigations, an on-the-record whistleblower, forensic analysis, a statement from Hunter Biden himself, and lack of dispute over the emails’ authenticity from the Biden campaign, questions remain surrounding Facebook’s selective censorship.
Did the fact-checkers at Facebook ever make their findings public? Have they retracted or altered their checks after last week’s statement from Hunter Biden that he is under an ongoing FBI investigation? Will these entities remain fact-checking partners going forward?
Has Facebook detailed which of its paid Fact Check partners were the basis for it suspending the Hunter Biden story's spread? Have these partners retracted or altered their checks? Will they remain Fact Check partners going forward given such obvious inaccuracy?
— Ben Domenech (@bdomenech) December 11, 2020
Facebook declined The Federalist’s request for answers on these questions.
CBS’s Lesley Stahl
CBS’s “60 Minutes” aired its 2020 election special featuring each of the major-party candidates and their running mates on the legacy program Oct. 25. The broadcast garnered almost 17 million viewers hearing correspondent Lesley Stahl flat-out denying Joe Biden was facing a scandal at all.
“He’s in the midst of a scandal,” Trump said in the interview after complaining about reporters asking Biden what kind of ice cream he purchased on a campaign stop as opposed to the blockbuster reporting just two days before from the New York Post.
“He’s not,” Stahl interrupted to shut down the president. “He’s not. No.”
Stahl also lied in claiming there was no evidence to support Trump’s complaint that the Obama-Biden administration spied on the Trump campaign. Find the evidence here.
CNN’s Christiane Amanpour
CNN’s Chief International Anchor Christiane Amanpour self-righteously declared herself a “journalist” who “follows the facts” by regurgitating Democratic talking points yet she dismissed the Hunter Biden laptop as Russian interference during an interview with RNC spokeswoman Elizabeth Harrington.
Amanpour responded by claiming that reporting means ignoring on-the-record statements from all the nation’s top intelligence agencies to float unsubstantiated conspiracy theories.
“I’m a journalist, and a reporter, and I follow the facts. And there has never been any issues in terms of corruption,” Amanpour said of the Biden family.
“How do you know that?” Harrington challenged after citing the FBI investigation into the Hunter Biden laptop.
“I’m talking about reporting, and any evidence,” Amanpour said.
When Harrington called on Amanpour and the rest of the media to start doing journalism by engaging in rigorous digging and verification, Amanpour scoffed.
“No! We’re not going to do your work for you.”
Amanpour proved in the interview then she is not in fact a journalist. She is an activist, which is okay, as long as she starts being honest about it. We all know she won’t.
The week after the New York Post began publishing its series on Hunter Biden’s laptop, the editors at the taxpayer-funded National Public Radio (NPR) explained to readers why it hadn’t bothered to report on the blockbuster revelations.
“We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories,” the editors wrote.
Shot and chaser. pic.twitter.com/4O4RIPHYPg
— Courtney Shadegg (@CShadegg) December 10, 2020
CNN’s Brian Stelter
When searching for leftist reporters masquerading as dignified journalists, CNN’s Brian Stelter has become the most reliable culprit of the Trump era.
In October, Stelter was roasted by the Washington Examiner’s Susan Ferrechio for downplaying the Hunter Biden story after leading the media’s crusade to characterize the incumbent Republican president as a Russian operative.
“The bottom line is this deserves scrutiny by all media outlets, and if they pick and choose this and decide it’s not worth their time, I think that’s showing real bias,” Ferrechio said on a panel hosted by BBC.
.@BrianStelter: "Don't you dare. Don't you dare act like newsrooms didn't have ethics in 2017 & 2018."@SusanFerrechio: "You can 'don't dare' me all you want, Brian, I've been doing this for 30 years."
Susan and Brian clash over the Hunter Biden story vs Steele Dossier. pic.twitter.com/JSxwxyRK4b
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) October 22, 2020
Characteristically defensive of legacy media, Stelter shot back when Ferrechio pointed out the double-standard over CNN’s exhaustive coverage of the Mueller investigation while ignoring the Biden scandal.
“Don’t you dare, don’t you dare act like newsrooms didn’t have ethics in 2017 and 2018,” Stelter said.
“You can’t ‘don’t dare’ me all you want, Brian,” Ferrechio shot back. “I’ve been doing this for 30 years, so say whatever you want. It’s my view, and I have a right to say it.”
To this day, Stelter is still complaining about other outlets offering substantive coverage of the Biden scandals, charging Fox News of destroying its credibility when it leads with news about Hunter Biden.
Politico’s Jake Sherman
Politico’s Jake Sherman apologized for doing journalism by linking to a bombshell New York Post story and bowed to the Twitter overlords who temporarily suspended him from the platform for amplifying content its executives didn’t approve.
I tweeted a link to the NYP story right after it dropped yesterday morning. I immediately reached out to the Biden campaign to see if they had any answer. I wish i had given the story a closer read before tweeting it. @twitter suspended me pic.twitter.com/Lk3c2Vd7d2
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) October 15, 2020
Washington Post’s Max Boot
In October, the Washington Post’s Max Boot wrote on Twitter, “We don’t know if the Hunter Biden emails are genuine. But even if they are, they aren’t a scandal.” What is a scandal then, according to Max Boot?
We don’t know if the Hunter Biden emails are genuine. But even if they are, they aren’t a scandal.
The Ukrainian prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, was not investigating Burisma. Joe Biden demanded his firing precisely because he was complicit in corruption. https://t.co/sbF7RHW6wJ
— Max Boot (@MaxBoot) October 17, 2020
The rest of these tweets speak for themselves, calling the Hunter Biden allegations “conspiracies” and “disinformation.”
The @nypost story about Hunter Biden is false–and quite possibly part of a Russian disinformation campaign.
The Ukrainian prosecutor wasn’t actually investigating Burisma. He was, in fact, complicit in corruption—which is why Biden demanded he be fired.https://t.co/cXuaQwc4LC
— Max Boot (@MaxBoot) October 14, 2020
Even if all the Hunter Biden emails are true, they don’t establish a scandal. But we have no way of knowing if these emails were hacked or whether they are genuine—or perhaps a mixture of fake and real.
— Max Boot (@MaxBoot) October 16, 2020
Fact don’t matter in the Hunter Biden conspiracy theories any more than in the “unmasking” story.
— Max Boot (@MaxBoot) October 14, 2020
.@nypost is publishing a series of smears of Hunter Biden which have all the hallmarks of Russian disinformation.
Like I said: As one of Trump’s conspiracy theories bites the dust, he moves on to new pseudo-scandals.
— Max Boot (@MaxBoot) October 15, 2020
MSNBC’s Ben Rhodes
MSNBC contributor and former deputy national security advisor in the Obama White House Ben Rhodes is no exception to the long line of those billing the Hunter Biden scandal as Russian disinformation.
The Republican freak out over not being able to spread disinformation unchecked demonstrates why you should not be able to spread disinformation unchecked. They know they have no political viability without the capacity to spread lies.
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) October 15, 2020
When one reporter asked Biden on the tarmac about the scandals involving family business deals, Rhodes condemned the journalist as “acting as the far end of a Russian disinformation operation.”
Maybe because Bo is acting as the far end of a Russian disinformation operation. https://t.co/oGUPOin3R0
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) October 17, 2020
Rhodes’s arrogance earned him a spot on this list.
The Atlantic Magazine’s David Frum
Fox News pointed out last week that Atlantic Magazine Staff Writer David Frum still hasn’t updated this viral October tweet dubbing the New York Post’s Hunter Biden reporting as “obviously bogus.”
The people on far right and far left who publicized the obviously bogus @nypost story were not dupes. They were accomplices. The story could not have been more obviously fake if it had been wearing dollar-store spectacles and attached plastic mustache.
— David Frum (@davidfrum) October 18, 2020