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Politics Hunter Biden story proves media partisanship

14:50  25 september  2021
14:50  25 september  2021 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

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Oh, the irony.

Hunter Biden wearing a suit and tie © Provided by Washington Examiner

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 Schreckinger confirmed for 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.

The emails suggest 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).

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Other emails from 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 - a mere 44,000 votes 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 the roughly half of 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 locked the New York Post - one of the nation's oldest and most-read newspapers - out of its account entirely for two weeks.

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This social media censorship gave the mainstream media time to get out ahead of the story by promoting the deep state fiction that 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 Christiane Amanpour, Wolf Blitzer, Ken Dilanian, and Leslie Stahl ignored the emails' contents, citing their supposed lack of verification. Other high-profile mainstream press coverage, including in the Associated Press, New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times, was supportive of Facebook and Twitter's suppression of the story, highlighting the need to contain Russian disinformation.

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NPR managing editor Terence Samuels released a statement that the public broadcaster wouldn't cover the emails, claiming, "We don't want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories." PBS's Judy Woodruff suggested President Donald Trump's "personal attorney was peddling Russian disinformation." Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald was forced to quit 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 argued, 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

  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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Tags: Opinion, Beltway Confidential, Blog Contributors, Hunter Biden, Ukraine, 2020 Elections

Original Author: Jordan Bruneau

Original Location: Hunter Biden story proves media partisanship

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usr: 1
This is interesting!