In the epic 1969 novel The Godfather, the hot-headed acting head of the family, Sonny Corleone, tells consigliere Tom Hagan that “it’s all-out war, we go to the mattresses.” This means the family’s street soldiers will rent apartments and stock them with mattresses so they can fight a guerilla war in the city without being seen coming and going. It’s a term that implies blood will be spilled and that war has been declared. And it seems the media has declared its own war on behalf of President Joe Biden’s 2024 campaign.
Whether through sins of omission, willful context dodging, or “burying the lede,” the nation’s left-leaning legacy press is waging a full-scale assault not only on Biden’s potential competitors but also on the truth.
Operation 2024 – Bury the Lede
One of the nation’s most respected newspapers yesterday, June 27, released an absolute bombshell of a claim that made precisely zero impact. It was not – as is usually the case – a report from a more right-leaning entity that was ignored, but rather a disclosure from one of the paragons of media virtue that seemingly proves Joe Biden’s Department of Justice actively tried to kill charges against a notable family member.
The recent guilty plea of first son Hunter Biden to a number of low-level charges was covered widely in the press. Many critics of the Biden family and administration suggested the investigation and subsequent prosecution by Delaware US Attorney David Weiss ignored or dismissed a number of alleged crimes. Then two IRS whistleblowers – a 14-year veteran of the agency, Gary Shapley, and an unidentified agent – came forward alleging that Mr. Weiss was blocked from pursuing other charges and avenues of inquiry by the DOJ, as well as being refused special counsel status.
Naturally, interference of any kind has been denied by the White House and Attorney General Merrick Garland. The media has so far treated the testimony with some disdain, and more than a few subtle hints that the whistleblowers are partisan actors.
According to testimony from the two agents, Weiss sought to expand his investigation beyond just Delaware and was rebuffed by the chief federal prosecutor in Washington, Matthew Graves, and by prosecutors in central California, meaning he could not pursue other charges. Surely it would be a major scoop for any national media outlet to either corroborate or contradict the whistleblower statements that the GOP House investigations rely upon so heavily.
In fact, The New York Times claims to have independently corroborated the testimony – it just seems the paper of record would rather not blow its own trumpet. Buried 21 paragraphs deep in a 2,000-word article, after describing the refusals by top prosecutors to allow Weiss to bring charges in their jurisdictions, comes this sentence: “That episode was confirmed independently to The New York Times by a person with knowledge of the situation.”
So outside of the IRS agents’ testimony, the Times has managed to verify that Weiss was, indeed, made to back off further charges? Why would this not be the biggest story of the week?
No Room for Context?
It is an oft-cited fact that the majority of people only read the headline. This does not mean that the readership is ignorant and only seeking skin-deep analysis, but rather that independent consumers can discern precisely the stories they want to read. But what happens when the headlines are purposely contrived to mislead at first glance?
“Trump allies outraged after McCarthy says ‘I don’t know’ if Trump is strongest 2024 candidate,” reads CNN. “McCarthy Questions Strength of Trump’s Candidacy, Then Quickly Backtracks,” says The New York Times. “Trump may not be the strongest GOP presidential candidate, Kevin McCarthy says,” writes CNBC. What do these headlines have in common? Well, they all suggest that Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has doubts about former President Donald Trump going into battle against Joe Biden.
The only issue is, that’s not quite what he said.
The key sentence being tossed around the internet goes, “Is he the strongest to win the election? I don’t know that answer.” This is what McCarthy said during a CNBC interview. Taken alone, the quote does indicate the headlines are justified. But when the surrounding verbiage is added, it paints quite a different picture.
“Can Trump beat Biden?” McCarthy reiterated. “Yeah, he can beat Biden.” When asked whether it would be a good thing for the Republican Party if Trump were the 2024 presidential nominee, he said, “Republicans get to select their nominee. I think if you want to go sheer policy to policy, it’s not what’s good for Republicans; it’s what’s good for America. Trump’s policies are better, straightforward, than Biden’s policies.”
He then went on to describe how Trump’s legal woes have pushed his polling up not down. “Can he win an election? Yeah,” McCarthy said. “The question is, is he the strongest to win the election? I don’t know that answer. But, can somebody—can anybody—beat Biden? Yeah, anybody can beat Biden. Can Biden beat other people? Yeah, Biden can beat them. It’s on any given day.”
The selective headlining by the legacy media appears to be yet another attempt to sway the public rather than inform.
Omission – Plausible Deniability
And then comes the sin of omission. It’s not what you say, but what you don’t say that really matters. Choosing which stories to cover and which to avoid defines an outlet. Partisans on the left ignore anything negative about their chosen candidate and hype stories about their foe. It’s the same on the partisan right. This is where reader discernment becomes important. But surely no outlet would ignore something of historical importance. Would they?
A recent NBC poll revealed, “Vice President Kamala Harris’ net-negative rating (-17) is the lowest for any vice president in the poll’s history.” Talk about a historic first from the VP. With many believing that a vote for Joe Biden in 2024 leads directly to a President Harris during that four-year term, the question of Harris’ popularity is of significant importance. But where were the stories?
Well, they were not on CNN, and neither can they be found on the pages of Washington DC’s most prominent paper. In fact, it seems that news of the VP’s latest historic achievement is not to be discussed in polite circles.
An Offer They Can’t Refuse?
Burying the lede, cherry-picking sentences, and flat-out ignoring pivotal news stories are all just weapons in the Fourth Estate arsenal as it wages its war for the Democrats and Joe Biden in the run-up to 2024. But does such unwavering support come with a price?
Speaking to an aggrieved father in the beginning of The Godfather, Don Vito Corleone lets him know that there is always a cost for his personal justice. “Some day, and that day may never come, I will call on you to do a service for me,” he says. What is the demand the Fourth Estate will make? And will it be a price too high for any president to pay?
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