Some remember Fleetwood Mac’s 1987 hit, “Little Lies.” Lyrics include “tell me lies, sweet little lies, tell me, tell me lies,” in one stanza, “I’ll settle for one day to believe in you, tell me lies, tell me, tell me lies.” Are we there again? National media – neatly divided – tell us lies, and too many want the lies.
The latest lie? Somehow, in the swirl of a world determined to stir just the right mix of misinformation – the right tilt to sell shows, podcasts, and digital papers – we learn that a major story spiked by the liberal media in 2020, was exactly right. More than right, it could well have swung the 2020 election.
What story? As one-time liberal television host Bill Maher noted this week, a story that we now refer to as the “Hunter Biden laptop” story. See, e.g., Bill Maher: The ‘left-wing media’ buried the Hunter Biden scandal because ‘it wasn’t part of their narrative’.
What is this? A salacious tale about a onetime vice-president, who is now president, and his “ne’er do well” son, borrowing Maher’s phrase. The story was neatly ignored by all but one or two conservative outlets in 2020, as facts – verifiable than, now tending toward potential indictment – carried a punch. See, e.g., The media avoided the ties between Joe Biden and Hunter’s laptop.
If true, facts found on a computer laptop presidential son Hunter Biden left with a repair shop, could have summarily ended Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. The laptop was apparently in law enforcement hands, and has now become the centerpiece of a serious, albeit slow-moving investigation.
Why is this laptop – and the story unfolding now – so important? Three reasons, and they should matter to all Americans.
First, the “real evidence,” as lawyers call it, appears to be verified and points to criminal behavior by a presidential son, at a time when his father was vice president. If so, a reasonable expectation is that a grand jury is studying that evidence. See, e.g., Washington Post joins New York Times in finally admitting emails from Hunter Biden laptop are real;
Second, based on what is already known, the potential information trove is not just about the presidential son’s sexual predilections, offensive and potentially criminal behavior in that sphere. It goes beyond the idea that we have another presidential relative who wanders widely and wildly.
This is about the veracity – when all is said and done – of the vice president, now president, since much of the swirl around Hunter Biden has to do with Joe Biden seeming to clear the way for highly profitable deals that are highly questionable between his son and Communist China, Ukraine, and other places. See, e.g., Smoking-gun email reveals how Hunter Biden introduced Ukrainian businessman to VP dad; The Washington Post Finally Gets Around to Confirming the Hunter Biden Laptop Story.
Put differently, there would be no prospect of a strangely wealthy, politically connected, arguably politically corrupt first son … without the hub of the wheel, Joe Biden. Compounding the mystery and seriousness of recent revelations, claims by the senior Biden to know nothing, are slowly eroding.
How could the senior Biden have known nothing of his son’s actions and collections in China and Ukraine, when he facilitated the son’s activities, travels, and perhaps became a beneficiary? How could the sitting president not have known what his son was doing, in view of what is known of the laptop?
Other questions swirl, and are so far unanswered but worth asking. When did the FBI come into possession of this laptop, verify it, and know what it contained? Why did that not become public faster, that is – in 2020 when it might have swung centrist voters away from Biden?
When did the major media know – and they chose willful ignorance, why? If the laptop is a reservoir of information tied to foreign engagements if they necessarily implicate the former vice president, are there other issues at work? Are there national security concerns that have yet to see the light of day?
Third, perhaps most important, this issue should now concern all Americans because it looks like it will get more serious, not less. As Bill Maher noted last week, in his own unique and incomparable way, what does this say about the integrity of major news outlets?
The real issue raised by willful suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story in 2020, and lately the admission by major outlets that the facts are real, material, serious, and could have affected the 2020 election – could now affect the sitting president and his family – is why we’re known facts suppressed?
In truth, we know the answer. It is a powerful indictment – not criminal but public and scathing – of the integrity of today’s leading media organizations. Public trust in mass media is low to start, but this may be the “coup de grace,” a turning point in what people allow themselves to believe.
Maybe we are getting to a point where, instead of being content with media lies, we are increasingly concerned that the lies hurt. Fleetwood Mac’s number one hit “Little Lies,” imagines that some consolation attends the idea that you will “tell me lies, sweet little lies …” rather than truth.
Sometimes, the “sweet little lies” we get from our favorite media become too much, intolerable, and no longer comforting, but fundamentally undermining trust in people and institutions on which the nation – and the nation’s future – depends. That looks like where we are headed. We will see.
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