Most Americans loathe digging into the underbelly of someone else’s dysfunctional family. Yet separating the Biden family from its connection to multiple foreign business dealings exposed on Hunter Biden’s laptop is becoming a difficult thing to achieve. With each passing day, another shoe drops from a seemingly endless supply of footwear emanating from an Imelda Marcos-sized closet. Couple this with a media elite reluctant to closely examine this tawdry tale just days before the presidential election, and you have a recipe for a lot of talk but little in the way of understanding.
Thus far, few in the media have exercised their duty as journalists to ask crucial questions during this drip, drip, drip of troubling information oozing from the Hunter Biden laptop. So far, the texts and emails made public have forced only a couple of these legacy media outlets to put their well-heeled toes in the murky waters of this story. And they have done so gingerly and with unusual animus, directly questioning its legitimacy. Some conservative media outlets are frustrated by this but should take heart; it will ultimately be impossible to hold back the tsunami of information forthcoming. The television networks and establishment newspapers will have to cover it.
Enter the “U” Word
It is the duty of a free press to question and scrutinize information of this type. Merely dismissing it as false is not journalism. To date, only three established newspapers have been willing to touch what has become a third rail topic, and two have done so only to discredit the story. Here’s how:
A post-debate article on the front page of the most influential newspaper in the nation’s capital referenced the Hunter Biden laptop information in passing as “unsubstantiated allegations of family corruption.” The official New York Times Twitter page not so coincidentally used almost precisely the same phrase by saying: “President Trump’s allies have promoted unsubstantiated claims of corruption.”
For the few who still care about words, “unsubstantiated” is an absurd choice here as it means “unsupported” and “without foundation.” One can make many assertions about the contents of the laptop. It may be fair game to question its provenance: Why did it sit for so long in the hands of a silent FBI? How did it finally land in Rudy Giuliani’s lap? Does the computer store owner have some sort of agenda? Is Mr. Giuliani’s motive purely political, or does the laptop’s information carry a ring of truth? These are all reasonable queries. Indeed, the trove of material within Hunter’s computer is many things – but “unsubstantiated” is most certainly not one of them.
The computer shop owner is a witness. He has a contract to work on the laptop bearing Hunter Biden’s signature. Subsequently, another witness came forward. Tony Bobulinski has spoken on the record about the information on the laptop. His very presence as an active participant and former ally privy to the business dealing in question removes “unsubstantiated” from any legitimate reportage of this story. Indeed, to ignore Hunter’s former business partner’s public statements – both in print and at a lightly attended press conference – is an egregious violation of long-standing journalistic principles. Unfortunately, placing a lid on and trying to cover up a story of this magnitude behind a veil of illegitimacy, instead of asking reasonable questions, only serves to undermine further the Fourth Estate’s tattered credibility.
Character is the Issue
Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign largely hinges on character. Honesty, integrity, and honor are hallmarks of the Biden for president campaign. Thus, these personal qualities are reasonable topics to pursue in a genuine political debate – and Hunter Biden’s laptop speaks directly to the issue of character.
Sadly, the few media outlets willing to engage with this story have centered their coverage on money flow in the former Biden-Bobulinski partnership. Fox News reported that the former vice president was not listed as a director in this defunct enterprise and received no money. Kimberley Strassel of The Wall Street Journal said much the same in a detailed and well-documented article.* These conclusions echo Joe Biden’s statement on the debate stage when he forcefully asserted: “I have not taken a penny from a foreign source in my life.” It’s safe to say that Mr. Biden is telling the truth based on the WSJ and Fox News reportage.
Credible news organizations should use this conclusion to carefully and thoroughly begin investigating what else lies within this sordid laptop story. In doing so, they will find that the single truth – that the vice president was never “on the books” – only serves to mask a significant, troubling, and sinister pattern of lies and deceit. While working overtime to discredit this evidence or establish a money trail, they miss the elephant in the room.
At the heart of this story is what appears to be a well-oiled Biden family enterprise that traded influence for cash. Former Vice President Biden has not taken any foreign money because the text messages show he used his son to do the dirty work. One message between Biden-the-younger to his daughter Naomi speaks to this with great perspicuity:
The photo below is a screenshot of a text message from Hunter Biden to his daughter, Naomi Biden, on January 3, 2019.
This describes the amount kicked back to the Boss, Joe Biden, as happens in every organized crime group.
— Rudy W. Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) October 15, 2020
This rather pitiful message from Hunter discloses his resentment and bitterness for having to serve as the family “mule” – engaging in money laundering to keep “Pop’s” hands clean.
Character. Honesty. Integrity. Honor. These are the words that Biden-the-candidate uses to describe himself. Such as it is, the information oozing out of his son’s laptop is fair game for anyone wanting to know about whether he lives out these exemplary qualities in life. In other words, does Joe Biden walk the walk, or does he merely talk the talk? This is a tremendous opportunity for the media to ask a pertinent question: What kind of man uses his son in such a manner in order to provide cover for himself?
Do We Really Know Ye?
Joe Biden’s closing words at the final presidential debate in Nashville speaks to the essence of why the media should carefully sift through his son’s computer. The former vice president said: “You know who I am. You know who [Trump] is. You know his character; you know my character …” Considering this substantiated evidence, one must ask whether the American public really does know the character of Joe Biden.
It is more than legitimate to ask these vital questions and every news entity in this country should diligently – and impartially – seek the truth.
*To her credit Strassel did bring up the character issue after this article was filed.
Read more from Leesa K. Donner.