It quickly became apparent that two social media giants were gasping for breath in their attempts to strangle the story of Hunter Biden.
Twitter and Facebook took important steps to suppress the New York Post piece, but paid far more attention to it than if they hadn’t done anything and let their millions of users share it freely.
For Twitter, in particular, if you had to work out a plan to heighten conservative complaints about its liberal bias, you couldn’t do better than if the tech giant banned the Trump campaign. Not to mention press officer Kayleigh McEnany.
In fact, Twitter boss Jack Dorsey admitted in a tweet that the company̵
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Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook was only slightly more cautious and restricted the distribution of the post story through its secret algorithm while he passed it on to an outside fact checker – whose results are not yet available. Um, how many negative stories about Trump have both companies tried to silence no matter what the procurement is?
No wonder President Trump told a rally in North Carolina yesterday that “the Bidens got rich while America was being robbed … Big Tech is censoring these stories in an attempt to get Biden out of this impossible traffic jam.”
It was a gift from the social media gods.
And do you know who else is obscuring the story? CNN and MSNBC, except for a couple of mentions in brackets and Joe Scarborough, who briefly berated the two tech companies for blocking the story.
The Post story itself is strange.
First, let me say that the business Hunter Biden did or tried in Ukraine and elsewhere while his father was a Vice President was an embarrassment. He benefited from a family connection that is common in Washington but no less shabby. He admitted a mistake months ago in a “GMA” interview while insisting that he had done nothing unethical.
But this aired pretty much in full during the Trump impeachment saga, and I think much of the public concluded that Joe Biden didn’t take any explicit steps to help his son (yes, he has this prosecutor for his alleged anti-corruption policy dismissed drive) but probably looked away.
Now, less than three weeks before the election, Rudy Giuliani receives the Rupert Murdoch Boulevard email exchange with Hunter, in which a senior executive of the Ukrainian company Burisma (Hunter on the board) thanked his father for the opportunity meet the VP.
The Biden campaign said there was no such meeting and then went back slightly to say it was possible, but it is unlikely that there would be a quick hello at any time.
How the President’s personal attorney received these emails is a tangled story involving John MacIsaac, who runs a computer repair shop in Wilmington. He told reporters he was legally blind and thought he was unsure that Hunter Biden brought three laptops with hard drive problems and never returned to pick them up. MacIsaac, a Republican, says he discovered some of these emails and eventually told the FBI that they kept a copy when the bureau summoned them.
Giuliani told Sirius XM yesterday that Hunter was drunk when he brought in the laptops. The Post was informed by Steve Bannon, who is charged in an unrelated case.
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Separately, the New York Times, which reported that Burisma was hacked by Russian intelligence, said yesterday that US intelligence analysts picked up the gossip that stolen Burisma emails leaked in the form of an “October Surprise”. Just in case there wasn’t enough intrigue.
The Post separately reported on Jäger’s correspondence with Chinese executives in which Hunter Biden wanted to make millions out of a business – but those emails were from 2017 after his father left office.
In an interesting twist, two reporters questioning the first Post story on Twitter – Maggie Haberman of the New York Times and Jake Sherman of Politico – took the heat from the left for daring to mention their existence.
For example, Liberal Times columnist Michelle Goldberg wrote, “Are you really going to help Giuliani and Bannon wash this cop – into the news cycle?” A senior producer for MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell urged people not to share or associate the story with it.
The better journalistic response to a story that is viewed with suspicion is to cover more.
Attempts to delete it from the digital space, as Twitter and Facebook find out, can cause big failures.