The revelation Wednesday that Hunter Biden is under investigation for tax violations relating to his foreign business affairs confirms that the media/Big Tech censorship of stories during the election about his laptop and emails was entirely without merit.
When the New York Post reported on October 14 that Hunter Biden had introduced an official from the corrupt Ukrainian energy company Burisma to then-Vice President Joe Biden — contrary to the latter’s denials that he had ever spoken to his family about their businesses — Facebook announced that it would be suppressing the story, and Twitter prevented people from sharing it. Those who dared were suspended; the Post itself was locked out of its account for more than two weeks.
When the Post followed up with reporting that Hunter Biden had launched a joint venture in 2017 with the CEFC China Energy Co., and that he had reserved 10% for the “big guy,” the media deliberately ignored the story. Never mind that the intended CEO of the new company, Tony Bobulinski, corroborated the story. Never mind that Breitbart News reported independent emails that showed Hunter Biden’s associates bringing Chinese bigwigs to the Obama-Biden White House.
In the final presidential debate, Joe Biden called the story a “Russian plant,” citing a letter by 50 former intelligence officials, including some who spread the “Russia collusion” hoax. Biden lied to to America, as Big Tech and the media applauded.
Now, after the election, we are learning that the laptop is central to the case against Hunter Biden. CNN — which spiked the story in October — reported Wednesday that the tax inquiry included questions about a gift from Ye Jianming, CEFC’s founder. Fox News reported that the laptop, seized by the FBI last year, was central to the investigation against Hunter Biden.
Instead of investigating the story, Silicon Valley and the mainstream media censored it. Here are some major examples:
Facebook announced that it would be suppressing the story, pending review by its “third-party fact checking partners.” It labeled the story “misinformation.” That move set the tone for the rest of Silicon Valley, and for the mainstream media.
This is part of our standard process to reduce the spread of misinformation. We temporarily reduce distribution pending fact-checker review. https://t.co/vf3CBvLmjj
— Andy Stone (@andymstone) October 14, 2020
Twitter shut down all links to the Post story, and locked the Post out of its own account. It also suspended the accounts of people who tried to share the story — even White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany. Twitter’s justification for the censorship kept changing, from claiming that the story was dangerous, to claiming that it involved hacked materials. CEO Jack Dorsey eventually admitted the company had been wrong, but kept the Post account locked for more than two weeks.
The Biden campaign would cite Twitter and Facebook’s censorship as reason enough to treat the story as misinformation.
3. Washington Post
The Post suggested that the story was Russian disinformation, since Rudy Giuliani was one of the sources. It reported that “President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani was the target of an influence operation by Russian intelligence.” One article in the Post advised readers to treat the Hunter Biden emails as foreign intelligence “even if they probably aren’t.”
The Internet’s go-to source for common knowledge decided to censor the story. As Breitbart News reported: “Editors recently deemed the [New York] Post an ‘unreliable source’ on Wikipedia and cited this as a reason to exclude mention of the story.” Later, Wikipedia continued to suppress the story, calling it “Russian interference” and claiming that it had been “debunked.”
5. CBS News
CBS said the story was about “a laptop allegedly full of [Hunter Biden’s] old e-mails. It’s a story raising concerns about whether it’s real or just designed to sow confusion in the final weeks of the election.” It compared the story to Wikileaks. Leslie Stahl, interviewing President Donald Trump, said the laptop could not be verified — because “it can’t be verified.”
6. Fox News
While Fox did some reporting on the story, Chris Wallace — who had moderated the first presidential debate — poured scorn on the story, calling it “completely unverified” and adding that “Rudy Giuliani is not the most reliable source anymore.”
MSNBC treated the Hunter Biden laptop story as if it were disinformation — to the extent the network covered it at all. Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough called it “false,” saying it was “one of the stupidest October surprises I’ve ever seen.”
8. New York Times
The Times tried to discredit the story by reporting that staff at the New York Post doubted the authenticity of the story. As Breitbart News’ John Nolte pointed out, the Times never bothered to dispute the facts that the Post had actually reported.
Politico reported the letter from intelligence officials who called the Post story Russian “disinformation.” It also reported that the Biden campaign could not deny that a meeting with the Burisma executive may have happened, but it buried the lede. Later, after the election, Politico gloated that the Hunter Biden laptop story had “fizzled,” calling it a distraction.
Axios media reporter Sara Fischer praised the censorship of the Post story, saying that the “defense systems” had worked. She credited intelligence agencies who had worked with Big Tech to identify materials that had possibly been hacked.
CNN deliberately spiked the story, and media reporter Brian Stelter demanded more censorship from Silicon Valley. He defended the media’s “ethics” on the story and dismissed it as “a classic example of the right-wing media machine.”
12. National Public Radio
Taxpayer-funded NPR ignored the story, explaining to the public: “We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want to waste listeners’ and readers’ time on that stories that are just pure distractions.”
— NPR Public Editor (@NPRpubliceditor) October 22, 2020
13. ABC News
During a 90-minute town hall meeting with Joe Biden, ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos failed to ask the candidate a single question about Hunter Biden, or about the Post story on the laptop, which had come out just the day before.
14. NBC News
NBC tried to debunk the Hunter Biden laptop story with a story titled “How a fake persona laid the groundwork for a Hunter Biden conspiracy deluge.” It claimed Trump associates were sharing a 64-page document full of falsehoods about Biden.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News