Politics Hunter Biden story proves media partisanship
FEC says Twitter acted legally in blocking Hunter Biden laptop stories, pointing to claim of intel warnings about hacking
The Federal Elections Commission said on Wednesday its members unanimously rejected complaints from the Republican National Committee and others that Twitter’s decision to block the sharing of links to articles from the New York Post related to Hunter Biden's laptop constituted an illegal contribution to now-President Joe Biden’s candidacy. © Provided by Washington Examiner In announcing the decision, the FEC pointed to Twitter’s assertion that part of the reason it stopped the spread of the New York Post articles in October was over concerns that foreign actors obtained the salacious materials through hacking.
Oh, the irony.
After four years of hyperbolic claims that Facebook determined the 2016 presidential election, we now know that social media may actually have swayed the 2020 results. This week, Politico reporter Ben Schreckingerfor mainstream audiences what objective political observers have long known: Hunter Biden's emails, which the New York Post published on the eve of last year's election, are genuine.
Thesuggest Hunter was trading access to and influence from his father abroad in return for money. Specifically, they indicate that in 2015, Hunter secured a meeting with his father for a Ukrainian businessman working for the energy firm Burisma, which was paying Hunter $50,000 a month even though he had no energy experience. Then-Vice President Joe Biden subsequently convinced Ukrainian officials to fire a prosecutor investigating the company (in Biden's partial defense, here, the prosecutor is widely believed to have been corrupt).
France recalls ambassadors to US, Australia over submarine deal
The diplomatic row came over a broken contract by Australia to buy French submarines in the wake of a new security pact by Australia, the US and the UK.Philippe Étienne, France's ambassador to the United States, and his counterpart in Australia were recalled to Paris "for consultations" at the request of French President Emmanuel Macron, said Jean-Yves Le Drian, France's minister for Europe and foreign affairs.
Otherfrom 2017 suggest Hunter was involved in a deal with a Chinese energy company known as CEFC that would see Hunter hold a 10% equity stake for his father. Hunter claimed a deal with this Chinese company, which the emails indicate would pay him $10 million per year for "introductions alone," was "interesting to me and my family."
If more Americans knew more about these potential quid pro quo business arrangements, this October surprise could have flipped the sliver of the electorate -in Arizona, Georgia, and Wisconsin - that Trump needed to win a second term.
Yet in an act of brazen political censorship, Facebook and Twitter closed ranks around Democrats immediately after the story broke and restricted distribution of the reporting, impeding theof Americans who get their news from social media from seeing it. Twitter didn't allow the story to be shared - even in direct messages. It the New York Post - one of the nation's oldest and most-read newspapers - out of its account entirely for two weeks.
Biden looks to recapture his political momentum with a full-court press on his domestic agenda
A politically weakened President Joe Biden is looking to spark a turnaround with a renewed focus on his domestic agenda after a month marred by a spike in Covid-19 cases and a messy withdrawal from Afghanistan. © Evan Vucci/AP President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the economy in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, in Washington, DC. Officials tell CNN the President is now determined to recalibrate around his massive economic proposals: a $3.5 trillion budget bill and $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. He hopes to recapture momentum lost over a calamitous August.
This social media censorship gave the mainstream media time to get out ahead of the story bythat the emails were "Russian disinformation" despite no evidence for this narrative.
The Russian disinformation angle allowed the media to pretend it was doing its minimal duty to cover the news without reporting the actual email contents. It succeeded in shifting the story from foreign influence peddling to Russian election interference. The Biden campaign was able to avoid deserved press scrutiny.
Celebrated journalists such as, , , and ignored the emails' contents, citing their supposed lack of verification. Other high-profile mainstream press coverage, including in the , , , and , was supportive of Facebook and Twitter's suppression of the story, highlighting the need to contain Russian disinformation.
New redistricting commissions splinter along partisan lines
When voters in some states created new commissions to handle the politically thorny process of redistricting, the hope was that the bipartisan panelists could work together to draw new voting districts free of partisan gerrymandering. © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2020 file photo, redistricting reform advocate Brian Cannon poses with some of his yard signs and bumper stickers in his office in Richmond, Va. A new voter-approved commission in Ohio that was supposed to reduce partisanship in the once-a-decade process of political map-drawing has already become a flop.
NPR managing editor Terence Samuels released a statement that the public broadcaster wouldn't cover the emails,, "We don't want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories." PBS's Judy Woodruff President Donald Trump's "personal attorney was peddling Russian disinformation." Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald was the Intercept, the publication he co-founded after breaking the Edward Snowden archives, because it refused to publish his reporting that deviated from the party line.
It's impossible to know whether reporting on these emails would have influenced enough voters to change the election's outcome. What is clear, however, is that we can't trust much of the media to put objectivity over partisan interests. In fact, as Greenwald has, the legacy media has ironically become a leading purveyor of political misinformation it claims to oppose. Mainstream journalists are the loudest supporters of more online censorship, ostensibly to curtail misinformation. Yet they are often among the most consequential perpetrators of fake news. Their response to Hunter's emails is merely one example.
This is America: 1961, the year young activists helped change the course of American history
The year 1961 is a masterclass in how vulnerable Black Americans and their allies dared to challenge unjust laws and change U.S. history. This was a statement that Black Americans have intimately understood both then and now given their battle against the horrific nature of American chattel slavery, Jim Crow apartheid laws, mass incarceration and a resurgence of voter suppression laws. They've had to pressure unwilling and often hostile white leaders and lawmakers to enforce their freedoms.
Free independent media, absent any political censorship, is more critical than ever. It is needed to challenge a social and mainstream media-Democratic Party complex that has the power to determine political outcomes.
Jordan Bruneau is a political writer in Los Angeles.
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