After spending months spilling ink to delegitimize stories implicating President-elect Joe Biden in his son’s corrupt overseas business dealings, the New York Times has found a new favorite Democrat to protect.
As of this writing Monday morning, the nation’s most influential newspaper — boasting more than 7 million subscribers — has yet to dedicate a single article or news item to the compromising revelations surrounding Democratic House Intelligence Committee member Eric Swalwell cultivating a relationship with a Chinese spy.
The story, first reported by Axios earlier this month, chronicles an alleged relationship between Swalwell and a since-vanished Chinese national named Fang Fang, who placed an intern in Swalwell’s office and helped fundraise for the California congressman’s 2014 re-election campaign. Fang Fang’s influence on the Democratic representative with access to the nation’s top secrets on the Intelligence Committee raised enough alarm within the FBI that in 2015, according to Axios, federal authorities provided Swalwell a “defensive briefing” regarding Fang Fang’s threat.
While federal intelligence officials told Axios that Fang Fang engaged in sexual conduct to manipulate at least two midwestern mayors in the past, the outlet did not report whether Fang Fang had been romantically involved with Swalwell but leaves the likelihood of a romantic relationship an open question. That question, however, has remained unanswered as the Bay Area-representative has refused to disclose such details.
Reporting of Swalwell’s conduct has provoked growing calls from Republicans to remove Swalwell from the House Intelligence Committee. On Friday, Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was given an FBI briefing on the matter alongside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. While Pelosi left the meeting without making comments to reporters, McCarthy left sounding more convinced than ever that Swalwell should be stripped of the assignment.
“He should not be on Intel,” McCarthy said as he left the briefing. “I just think there are definitely 200 other Democrats that I know could fill that place.”
Swalwell, a primary culprit in weaponizing his role on the Intelligence Committee to perpetuate the Russia hoax — alongside California colleague Adam Schiff, who chairs the committee — has continued to deny any wrongdoing and has reverted a favorite Democratic Party narrative of collusion accusing Trump of leaking the story to Axios.
Despite the calls from more than a dozen House lawmakers calling for Swalwell’s removal, including the House minority leader, combined with credible reporting on the scandal from outlets the Times has routinely cited for major stories, the legacy paper has yet to offer a single column to the blockbuster revelations. Given the Times’s relentless four-year coverage of the Russia hoax implicating President Trump as a covert agent of the Kremlin, however, one could easily imagine how the paper might react differently had the representative in Swalwell’s seat held an “R” next to their name.
The refusal of the Times to cover the Swalwell story might also stem from motivation to protect the paper’s Chinese interests as opposed to mere naked partisan activism.
Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, who owns more than 17 percent of the New York Times Company and saved the paper in 2009 with a $250 million dollar loan has also invested millions in Chinese interests. In 2017, Slim’s Giant Motors partnered with China’s JAC Motors to begin manufacturing Chinese-designed and -manufactured vehicles in Mexico to circumvent U.S. trade restrictions.
The Swalwell cover-up is not the first time the American paper has recently illustrated its Chinese influence. In October, the Times published Chinese propaganda glorifying the Chinese Communist Party’s crackdown in Hong Kong.