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Discourse

Did mainstream journalists actually believe suppressing Hunter Biden story was the moral thing to do?

Mainstream media and big tech invoked their own moral authority in determining to suppress the Hunter Biden revelations dropped by the New York Post only weeks before election day.
Libby Emmons
Libby Emmons Brooklyn, NY

This article was published more than 1 year ago, information might not be up to date.

Reporting emerged from the New York Post in October that there were concerns over Hunter Biden's foreign business dealings. Emails surfaced that the Biden family was involved in profiting off of Joe Biden's name and position, but the mainstream media ignored it purposefully, even going so far as to report on why they wouldn't report on it.

CNN dismissed it as Russian disinformation, despite any proof of that. NPR and The New York Times explained outright that they would not cover the story because they just didn't think it was worthwhile, even though they thought it was worthwhile to report on why they wouldn't report it.

The story was so big, in fact, that mainstream media's lack of reporting on it became the story. And the lack of reporting had to be explained away somehow. And the way they explained it was by assuming a moral authority over American politics, the American people, and reality itself.

Mainstream media and big tech invoked their own moral authority in determining to suppress the Hunter Biden revelations dropped by the New York Post only weeks before election day. But on what basis is this morality constructed? Where do they think they got this authority?

Collectively, outlets like CNN, The New York Times, and the Washington Post decided to treat the allegations that Hunter Biden used his father's influence, with his father's knowledge, to gain status and money in foreign business deals, as a non story.

In a tape of a phone call of an Oct. 14 CNN editorial meeting released by Project Veritas, the network's political director David Chalian said Obviously, we're not going with the New York Post story right now on Hunter Biden. He said that the story was giving its marching orders to the rightwing echo chamber about what to talk about today.

Obviously, Hunter Biden's lawyer is quoted in the New York Post piece, Chalian said, and we'll just continue to report out this is the very stuff that the president was impeached over, this is the stuff that Senate Committees looked at and found nothing wrong in Joe Biden's interactions with Ukrainians and now having an email that perhaps there was a meeting with someone from Burisma it seems. Rudy Giuliani's sort of 'dream-o-vision' of how to throw stuff at the wall in these closing days of the campaign.

They assumed outright that the information was false, they discredited the story not with facts or evidence but with what they felt to be true. Because they felt that the story was false, they believed that it was their obligation to suppress it, that suppressing it was the right thing to do. We know this because they said so.

Suppressing a story that could have had a great impact on the election had anyone known about it was something mainstream media believed was their obligation to do. They withheld a truth that would have directly changed how Americans would vote, and they did it intentionally to prevent those Americans from changing their votes.

The editors at these outlets, each of which is a major player in telling the nation what constitutes reality, decided not to engage with the story. They made up excuses, saying that the laptop was part of some kind of Russian hoax, or that the material the New York Post reported came from an unlawful hack, but the truth is that they didn't report on the story because they thought that glossing it over or ignoring it completely was the right thing to do.

They believed that their moral imperative was to assume that the Biden family was incapable of the things they'd been accused of. They believed that the Trump supporters and Trump administration would manufacture evidence in order to influence the election in their favor. And so, they didn't report on it. Now that their suppression has done its work, and Biden will likely be installed in the White House, they are issuing reporting on the matter.

When Jack Dorsey's Twitter censored and suppressed the reporting, when Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook did the same, and when mainstream media outlets refused to engage the reporting, they all did so with the same demeanor a parent would take with a petulant teenager. The assumed, fully, that the New York Post was posturing on behalf of the Trump campaign, and that there was no conceivable way the Biden's could be up to no good.

This is the attitude they have taken with so many things over the past few years, they have assumed, as have progressive politicians across the board, that Trump is such a monstrous evil that anything that opposes him must be a moral positive. It has led to a media myopia that allowed consequential information about a favored candidate to be effectively removed from public discourse just because it didn't have the smack of truthiness to them.

Media outlets decide what to cover, and these are editorial decisions that matter. But The New York Times, CNN, the Washington Post, and the other outlets who simply believed that the story was untrue because they wanted it to be untrue are not serving their readership, the nation, or the democracy. Instead, they are serving their own sense of righteousness, which is based in nothing more than orange man bad, and everything that opposes him is right.

Now they will be forced to reckon with their mistakes, even if it means undertaking vast hypocrisy to do it.

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