Liberal Media Managing Biden Narrative
Ross Douthat writes about how the media have ignored the Hunter Biden corruption stories. He says it’s a meta-story about media power concentrated in the hands of a few people who care more about controlling the Narrative than reporting the news. Excerpt:
On the one hand, the new information is not the Biden-slaying blockbuster suggested by the New York Post headlines and some Trump supporters. But neither does it fit the description offered by NPR’s managing editor for news last week, explaining why they were only covering it as a media story: “We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want to waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just pure distractions.”
Oh yeah, NPR. I turned it on Sunday morning while driving. Guess what they were talking about? Race! Guess what they are always talking about? Race! Guess how many different opinions about race they offer? One! NPR is so deep in the ideological tank that they actually invited Comrade Ibram X. Kendi on last week to record a 17-minute interview on — ta-daah! — antiracism.
How many times has Kendi appeared, or has his name come up, on a NPR program in the past year? According to a search of NPR.org, fourteen times. How many times has the black conservative Shelby Steele’s name come up (he made national news in some outlets when Amazon initially refused to stream his documentary about Ferguson)? Zero. How about John McWhorter — not a black conservative, but a black intellectual who has had critical things to say about progressive discourse on race? Once. How about prominent black conservative intellectual Glenn Loury, who often podcasts with McWhorter? Zero.
You get the idea.
Anyway, back to Douthat and Hunter Biden:
In fact, it’s not a distraction to have new insight into a potential First Son’s business dealings — especially given that the saga of the younger Biden is a prime example in how a milder-than-Trump form of corruption pervaded the American elite long before Trump came along, with important people and their families constantly finding ways to get rich in the shadow of the Pax Americana without ever taking anything so crass as a bribe.
It is not a coincidence, as some of my Times colleagues note in their story, that “the countries that Hunter Biden, James Biden and their associates planned to target for deals overlapped with nations where Joe Biden had previously been involved as vice president.” Nor is it a coincidence that the areas of Hunter Biden’s particular interest, China’s and Russia’s near abroad, were particularly important foreign policy zones under recent Democratic presidents. And given that pre-Trump American foreign policy in these regions was a conspicuous failure — with China tilting totalitarian and Vladimir Putin outmaneuvering the West — the fact that Biden’s nearest relative was trying to influence-peddle in both places is a useful reminder of why the establishment that’s likely to reclaim the White House next week lost power in the first place.
More specifically, Bobulinski’s story and the email evidence both suggest that Joe Biden took at least enough interest in his son’s dealings to have a meeting during the Trump presidency with his business partners. This isn’t proof that he partnered with Hunter or profited in any way, but it seems like evidence that he wasn’t particularly worried about keeping his son’s sketchy salesmanship at arm’s length. That seems like information worth knowing: not a scandal on a par with some of Trump’s, not a front-page bold-type screaming headline, but something that belongs in the pages of a newspaper, because it’s interesting news.
Read the whole column. I was out in a local restaurant picking up take-out for lunch, and ran into an old friend. We talked about the election while we waited for our food. We talked about how much we both despised the media, and how they are all in the tank for Biden. He’s a Trump guy, and I’m not, but we agree on how rotten the media are — and how this is going to get worse, no matter who wins next week.
Speaking of media management, there were Black Lives Matter riots in Philadelphia last night after police shot a black man who was coming at them with a knife. A protester ran over a Philly cop last night and broke his leg. Here’s how the front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer looks right now:
They’re managing the story because Pennsylvania is a swing state, and talking about race riots and protesters breaking the legs of cops is not a story that helps Joe Biden.
UPDATE: Oh look, Biden voters self-deliver Social Justice™ reparations in Philadelphia:
A store that was looted during rioting back in May was looted once again last night in West Philly.
The store had just restocked and reopened a mere 3 weeks ago in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas; and now will be forced to close again.
Very unfortunate news. https://t.co/BChWCsYMLJ
— Shane B. Murphy (@shanermurph) October 27, 2020