Features Australia

The room where it happened

How the media covered up the Hunter Biden laptop story

26 March 2022

9:00 AM

26 March 2022

9:00 AM

The New York Post is one of a tiny (yes, tiny) number of conservative newspapers in the United States. It also has something of a grand history. It was founded in 1801, making it the oldest continuously published paper in America. It was established by none other than Alexander Hamilton – the founding father killed in a duel by Aaron Burr and subject of the recent hit musical – as an outlet for federalist views. Oh, and the Post today has the fourth-largest circulation of US newspapers. So despite the fact many on the left will sneer (as they do) because it is these days owned by Voldemort, sorry by Rupert Murdoch, this is no Johnny-come-lately internet publication.

I bring up the NY Post because it was the newspaper that broke the Hunter Biden laptop story not long before – let me emphasise before – the 2020 US presidential election.  The material on that laptop was damning to Joe Biden, for various reasons including because it contained one email showing what the Post characterised as a meeting between Joe Biden and the Ukrainian gas company Burisma which paid a fortune to Hunter Biden to be on its board despite his having no obvious skills at all (not the Ukrainian language, no knowledge of the oil business, nothing really other than a certain chromosomal set of advantages) and another email with Hunter complaining to his daughter about how Joe takes half his income from him. Let’s just say that if the laptop were authentic the material could have ruined Mr Biden’s presidential run. Or put differently, had the laptop been the property of one of Donald Trump’s children, and contained the exact same contents, it would have received 24- hour coverage every day up to the election by all the usual suspects including the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, ABC news, CBS news, the woke, lefty sports network ESPN, and let’s be honest by ‘our’ ABC here in Australia most of all.

Instead, these usual suspects, along with the entirety of Big Tech, kicked into gear and acted as the protection arm of the Democratic party. And no, that is not an unfair description of what happened. To start, Big Tech blocked the NY Post, so it could not circulate this story online. Then they pulled out the big guns. They claimed this laptop story was Russian disinformation and even got dozens and dozens of US intelligence and ex-intelligence officials to sign a letter declaring that this looked to them like a Russian disinformation campaign. Anyone broaching the story was ridiculed, attacked and preferably silenced.

But just last week the NY Times conceded the laptop was real and it was Hunter’s laptop. The NY Post has been scathing about its cross-town rival which as we all know is beloved by all the wokerati chattering classes. One Post headline read ‘All the news that’s fit to print… once Biden is elected’ (a play on the NY Times’ sanctimonious motto).The questions this raises are myriad and most of us can guess most of the answers.  When did the NY Times realise this was a real story and not disinformation? Before or after the election? How could some 50-odd US intelligence officers claim this was Russian disinformation? Is the deep state really that much in the back pocket of the Democrats? And note that Miranda Devine, now with the Post, has contacted all the senior ex-intelligence officers who signed the ‘nothing to see here folks’ letter before the election. Not one apologised. Most refused to comment.

So can we now expect these organs of the Democrat party (oops, I mean the wholly impartial mainstream media outlets above) to look into the truth of what the Hunter Biden laptop contained? Will they check out the email where Hunter’s business partner writes that he moves money between Hunter’s and Joe’s chequing accounts? Or the one above where Hunter complains to his daughter that his dad is creaming fifty per cent of his Ukraine monies off the top?  Well, to ask is to know isn’t it? Joe will be protected as long as that is in the best interests of the Left. This is why so many average Americans have next to no trust in the media and in journalists generally. This is why Donald Trump’s brutal description of the fourth estate as ‘fake news’ was and is far more right than wrong. And this is why any conservative politician who wants actually to do something – to achieve real change in a conservative direction be it with respect to the schools and universities, the economy, the culture wars, taking on the lawyerly and doctorly castes, free speech, anything really – has to be prepared to take on the press and its feral left-leaning bias. That willingness to fight is what drove some, not all, of its hatred of Trump. That is what drives the legacy media crazy about Ron DeSantis, Governor of Florida. These rare sort of conservative politicians call out the bias of the journalists. And they hate it.

Which leaves me a few words tangentially related to the above. I refer to last weekend’s election in South Australia. There are two strategies for right-of-centre political parties. One is to stand and fight and differentiate themselves on matters of principle from the Left. The second is to become a pale imitation of the Left, but promise to remain a fraction of a smidgen of a soupçon to the right of the other guys. This was the view that prevailed inside the Libs’ party room when it opted to defenestrate Tony Abbott in favour of Turnbull. This is how Team Marshall governed in South Australia. This describes the NSW Liberal government to a tee. And let’s all be brutally honest. This is how Scott Morrison has governed. I have long said it’s a loser strategy if you have any goal other than winning a couple of elections. If you want to bring about outcomes you purport to care about this doesn’t work.

Take the pandemic. If you fall in line behind policies that amount to the worst erosions of our civil liberties ever, and you empower a public health clerisy, later on trying to argue ‘we were an eensy-weensy bit less despotic than they would be’ won’t help you. Some voters will opt for the Labor real thing. And some will abandon you for your abandoning all principle. You lose.

This my friends is the tragedy of every state Liberal operation. And this is why I’ve been predicting a Morrison loss ever since he sold us out on the moronic ‘net zero’ pledge in Glasgow. Nine years of Coalition government and other than stopping the boats they have delivered what any fair observer would call across-the-board Labor outcomes. Now they’re having to pretend we really have four per cent unemployment (see Terry McCrann for a stinging rejoinder) and that they’ve done a splendid job, really splendid. A NY Post headline might read ‘All for conservative stuff… until we’re elected.’

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