“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.” Galileo Galilei.
When the NY Post first broke the story about Hunter Biden’s laptop in October 2020, I read about it first in the NY Times, who claimed then that the story was Russian disinformation, as did the Washington Post. At that time I discounted the NY Post story given that then President Trump began using it as the grounds for his campaign accusations of corruption against Joe Biden. The only excuse for what is now an obvious error by many, including myself, is that you could not trust what Trump said given his record of deceitful rants.
However, the story simply would not die. It was soon learned that Hunter Biden, in his state of drug and alcoholic abuse, had in fact simply forgotten that he had left his laptop in a repair shop; it eventually wound up in the hands of the FBI. We were then treated to brain numbing by a thousand micro-fact releases until the NY Times in March 2022, and the Washington Post in April 2022 both confirmed that the NY Post story was true as the information on the laptop confirmed the activities of Hunter and the involvement of his father.
How did such legacy newspapers like the NY Times and Washington Post not only fail to get the story right to begin with, outdone by a tabloid sheet like the NY Post, but why did they trash the story as nothing more than Russian disinformation? I admit that I was fooled at the time, and failed to consider that if the NY Post story was based on the information found in the laptop, we are talking about verifiable data, not “disinformation”. Apparently I was not alone as many Americans were also skeptical of a tabloid’s reporting and a known liar’s election campaign rants. It was a clear case of what John Adams said that “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”
The story keeps getting worse as more facts come out. There are emails and other documents on the laptop that address what can only be characterized as influence peddling. With Hunter’s reference to the “Big Guy”, this is no longer just a Hunter Biden story as much as it is more a Joe Biden story. What makes it all the more concerning is who was after the influence, and we get such disreputable players like Ukraine, a notoriously corrupt player locked in a never ending conflict with Russia, and for whom the US is involved in a proxy war sending them billions in arms. There are other countries like China and Saudi Arabia, not exactly friends of democracy.
The story does not end with the laptop. We are now inundated daily by legacy journalism, the administration and much of social media having a meltdown over Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter; the ostensible reason for this is Elon’s avowed policy to cease the censorship of the prior ownership, as if free speech is now a danger to democracy. As the new Twitter team digs through the past, it comes to light that there was a collusion to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story on that platform by none other than the FBI, who was tasked to advise Twitter to suppress any posts in reference to it.
Elon had the related files sent to Matt Taibbi, an independent journalist, who then released them. Elon did so because he was skeptical of how the major media outlets would handle the files based on prior performance; his concerns were confirmed justified given the outrage by mass media and politicians in both parties, who denounced the release as “unethical” and a “distraction”; curious comments considering the historical behavior of those institutions regarding this story. Given the mast head slogans of the NY Times, “All the news that’s fit to print.”, and the Washington Post, “Democracy dies in darkness.”, and the midterm election claim by the Biden Administration that the vote was about saving democracy, the hypocrisy of such reactions is astounding.
It is uncertain where all of this will lead, other than providing a political fire storm; surely there will be hearings, but I think Will Rogers will again be proven right about how congressional hearings are a sure way to get things out of the public’s mind. However, there is another dimension here that is far more important than another case of executive misconduct; we now have the FBI joining the list of politicized agencies like the NSA and CIA, representing a clear and present danger to liberty in America. Hopefully the fact that the top police agency in the US colluded to suppress the facts about this misconduct will not be glossed over in the paper chase of Senate or House investigations.
So now we have all the threats to Elon Musk and Twitter by both the political and media powers. While it’s hard to imagine that the Disinformation Governance Board would be put back in operation, based on the reaction to what will infamously be known now as the “Twitter Files”, the possibility can’t be discounted. The fact that the NY Times and the Washington Post performed so badly regarding this story is just a continuation of why Journalism in the US is rated so poorly by the Reuters Institute:
“The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford’s 2021 survey of trust in media ranked the US last among 49countries with a media trust of only 29%. The majority of Americans surveyed responded that they found that the media has embraced advocacy journalism resulting in a quasi-state media where journalists are more bound to the government’s embrace of ideology rather than independent and objective reporting, and anyone questioning that trend risks instant cancellation. They consider current media as an echo chamber rather than a reliable information source.”
How can our “free press” have fallen so low given the role of the very same Washington Post in the Watergate scandal with the disclosure in 1972 of Nixon’s paranoid activities against the DNC, or the NY Times admission and disclosure that the Bush administration’s claim of WMD to justify the invasion of Iraq was false? There’s another story here as it is becoming ever more apparent that the culture of American society is fractured with most increasingly distrustful of its institutions, and some more receptive of its repression of liberty. Not too long ago there was a president who spoke to this issue:
“Freedom of information is a fundamental human right; for a nation that is afraid to let its people to judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.” JFK