The decision to ban a New York Post expose about Hunter Biden flies in the face of years of "hack and leak" stories
"The Post strongly suggested that these emails, in conjunction with the well-known tale of Joe Biden demanding the ouster of then-General Prosecutor Viktor Shokin, represented a misuse of influence".
It wasn't a tale, there's video of it. And he brags about it.
A couple of points. First, is anyone else just disgusted with the intersection of the mainstream media, politics and big tech? Orwell is smiling, we "walked right on the boat" to quote a great Key and Peele skit. This perversity, all of it, has me terribly down and I find myself more and more nostalgic for the innocence of the mid-80's when CNN was actually good, 60 Minutes was worth watching and Geraldo Rivera's big scoop was not finding any of Al Capone's money in a vault. Can't get Van Halen off the playlist either, Roth VH to boot.
Second, and I write this to you anti-Trumpers. Caveat, I'm no fan of Trump personally but I think the Administration is doing some great things. And, as a parent of three children, let me tell you that the #1 reason for me to vote for Trump is that he hasn't gotten this country caught-up in any new wars and he's reduced our military footprint throughout the world. That alone is worthy of my vote. To you anti-Trumpers, imagine if these files and videos were of Eric, Don Jr, Ivanka or Tiffany Trump. Can you imagine the 24x7 coverage it would be getting? Can you imagine FB and Twitter censoring it? Zero chance. If this had happened in 2016 at this time is there any chance at all that this wouldn't have exploded on screen and print as a barrage of corruption and immorality? Zero chance. Zero.
I've been in business for decades and at senior levels. The odds that a crack-addict goof ball like Hunter Biden doing what he has done are zero. You don't get paid that kind of money without it buying something, people aren't stupid. That money bought access and that access was sold by Joe Biden. Biden is corrupt and, in my mind, should be completely ineligible to be POTUS. He's not getting my vote.
And last, by the comments I read here I can see there are many thoughtful, intelligent and talented people who read Matt. It's nice to read your comments and know that there are a broad range of thinkers left in this country who don't allow themselves to be labeled by the Left and the Right. And aside from some people who fall into the insult trap, the discourse is mature. Thank you. But aren't we all just sick of this nonsense?
Matt, I knew you were going to respond to this. It was very third-world dictator move ont he part of the Silicon Valley tech overlords. People know better and can call BS. Wisdom of the crowd. Sad to think so many have been brainwashed by the lazy “journalists” who occupy the air at Comcast MSDNC, CNN, The NY Times, and the Amazon Post. May their businesses fail and hopefully Section 230 will be addressed by the Trump admin. A Biden admin will NEVER do that!
Matt, I have to really commend you. I know you are no Donald Trump fan. He's been horribly screwed by the establishment, but that isn't the thing at stake here. Or whether you like him or not. It's about a free press and decent journalism. The first amendment. And it's huge. These people need to be reined in here and fast. If Twitter and Facebook are private, that's fine. We should privately disconnect from them and everybody should know the danger they pose to a free society, every bit as much as this biased press.
It's clear that Biden has engaged in a corrupt mess that is a huge conflict of interest best case, and is at least compromising our national interests if not committing treason, worst case. And there is plenty of evidence now. He should never be elected president and probably should face much worse.
But still the thing that is most egregious is how the press and big tech have behaved here, especially in the last four years. This is a huge threat to our freedom and if not for Fox News, we'd be in an authoritarian nightmare. And of course, journalists like you. Thank you.
Great assessment. Thank you for having the courage to address a situation that is likely much more important than any Trump administration. I would love to know how many people, including the author and other journalists, view the behavior of Twitter and Facebook as a bigger threat than a second Trump administration. Moreover, I am curious how many journalists find it plausible that a foreign power had compromising video of Hunter and then created fictional emails to accompany the film.
I believe the issue is not just censorship, but its' broad scope. Hunter Biden's story is not the only one that has been purposefully withheld or downplayed in hopes of influencing the election, even before Twitter and Facebook's involvement. The aftermath of "peaceful protests", rising crime and the economic pain suffered by those unable to labor remotely, have all been whitewashed. The results of unchecked progressive policies in California have also been greatly under reported, as have the long term economic ramifications of perpetual lock downs.
Trump, by law, has an expiration date, in the not too distant future. One way or another he is gone Jan 2021 or four short years thereafter. We will survive either scenario. The question is, can the nation endure with a press so consumed by loathing they embrace censorship? If Democrats team with tech titans to recreate California's one party rule, nationwide, permanently, this country is going to be vastly different, very quickly. In California, single party rule has resulted in some of the world's worst economic inequality and produced the largest group of impoverished people ever assembled in a single state, but few in fly over country realize it because it is rarely reported. Before they cast a ballot. voters should be entitled to unvarnished reporting regarding both the candidates and the ramifications of their policies. If no one in the press is willing to provide that service, we have much bigger problems than a second Trump administration.
I love that “disinformation” is information that is true that makes you look bad.
On the facts described in the article, Matt clearly shows how the “confederation of news outlets”, all Dems leaning, are into corruption, by hiding facts, twisting events, omitting context and the history and sequence of events. Sons of US oligarchies, be it Junior or Hunter, are criminally involved in colluding w global Oligarchs to enrich themselves. US elections should be about POLICIES not PERSONALITIES. Thanks again Matt for elevating our understanding of the deep corruption that has engulfed out main media outlets.
I've worked in tech and in the last 10 years or so there's been an unfortunate cross pollination of tech execs/mgmt and politicians.
When Obama came in I know some folks who made their way to DC. They were not the best and brightest, but the most connected. They were the types that could get favors at other companies, and would wine/dine in return.
In more recent years, people who work in politics have migrated to legal/policy roles in tech. There's also been an influx of international "think tank" types to tech boards of companies.
I recently left SV, around 2014/15 it felt like the "eclectic technologist" vibe was waning, and it was more a mix of career academics, politicals, and I don't know, more people that "know what's best" for everyone else. More than ever these people could be easily swayed by small, but noisy activists.
So when I see things like this happen it's not surprising. It's a bubble of people trying to fix things for their desired outcome. This censorship may be hurting more than helping, but the mindset of Silicon Valley leans toward needing to do something bold and fast. Because of hubris, there's rarely the thought that taking no action can lead to a better/desired outcome.
Terrific article, Matt. I remember discussions with the Young Turks of the dot com era in the late 90s. I remember how self-assured they were that digital media would introduce a new golden era of media accountability. It was the height of arrogance from a class of twenty-something entitled MBAs with no real-life experience in failure. No one, I assured them, aspires to become wealthy and powerful just to be held more accountable.
Contrary to the canon of the Digital Church, the relationship between wealth/power and accountability is inverse: The wealthier and more powerful you are, the less accountable you are. More so now than ever before, because the true bias of digital technology is the accelerated consolidation of power and wealth among institutions -- private and public alike -- already far too powerful and far too wealthy.
The technomedia drug cartel is utterly unaccountable because its charter members are wealthy and powerful beyond measure. As a collective, they own our government. Worse yet, they are staffed by a generation of entitled employees who all graduated cum laude from an equally entitled academia that champions the cosmetics of equality over the hard work of freedom. See my essay, The Adults in the Room (https://jeffeinstein.substack.com/p/the-adults-in-the-room), about the partisan battle between equality and freedom. There is no diversity of thought among the technomedia giants because they simply don't care about freedom -- and have no incentive whatsoever to start now. For this generation of journalists and lawyers and technologists, freedom is far too expensive, far too time-consuming and far too unprofitable.
Social media censorship will only get worse and will someday apply to anyone voicing dissent for all issues on which Democrats and Republicans agree... like war and corporate power for instance. The most insane part of this story is that the DOJ's efforts against Assange are infinitely worse, yet ironically gets almost no play, unlike this Hunter Biden story. Too bad the Assange extradition hearing hasn't been censored like this... that's an event that could truly use some of that sweet, sweet Streisand Effect.
Why does anyone think either of these two utterly despicable candidates will be
"good for the country?"
The only sane vote would be "none of the above."
1/2 the country is already there.
The other half of the country bickers about which sociopath is marginally better than the other sociopath.
Roughly a quarter of the country gave us Trump.
If Biden wins it will be a shit gift from their mirror images in the other quarter.
And the cycle will begin again.
Saying that Biden's corruption is less important than Trump's corruption because covering Biden's corruption will give us 4 more years of Trump is fucking lunacy.
It's like watching a nation of abused women arguing over whether the fist or the fucking belt is preferable.
I just watched a women on CNN say that the Hunter Biden story "is total BS."
Without a shred of proof.
Oh wait, her proof was the fact that "everyone knows that Rudy Giuliani is a Russian agent."
I don't like Trump either but I haven't played this "marginally lesser of two evils" American election game of chicken in decades.
It's fucking pointless & I realized that no matter which of these corrupt parties wins I will fucking lose.
Great article up to the very last sentence:
"A secondary problem involves the Hunter Biden/Ukraine story itself, which from the start teetered on conflicting narratives."
What conflicting narratives? The Biden's used their authority to enrich themselves at the certain expense and MILITARY HARM (eg Biden was tasked with stopping the CCP in the South China Sea) to the American people.
There is not doubt over this. The evidence of office selling from the Beau Biden Foundation laptop is corroborated by Bevan Cooney's emails. This growing pile of evidence can be hidden from easy access but what it has to say is indisputable.
On media dishonesty you say “The public can’t help but see this”. Unfortunately that isn’t the case. I’m exasperated with family, friends and business associates who are blind to the fact that virtually all the corporate media complex is simply a platform for DNC talking points and spin. The recent revelations regarding Brennan’s notes and this Hunter hard drive are examples of HUGE stories the press simply refuses to cover or if they do they try to spin everything as Republican dirty tricks it “foreign” intervention. America is in a dire information crisis and no one seems to care outside of a scant few remaining honest journalists. The ironic tag line of the WaPo is true while they are a main cause of the “darkness” in which democracy dies.
Absolutely insane. Let's first look at the most obvious conclusion from all of this: Big Tech censors. At same point, someone will deem facebook, instagram, twitter, etc., enemies of the state. Using this logic; they will systematically and unlawfully, take matter into their own hands and start assassinating employees of these companies, citing the constitution, which broadly states that we must defend our country from enemies externally and internally.
Of course, this is our government's fault. They allow this to happen. And it shouldn't be a surprise. Our government is run by corporations. Even the Senator Jim Jordan, took contributions from Google, for all of his posturing with the judicial committee. Nothing is going to change and sometime in the future, we will look back on the great American experiment, and those alive today won't have to wonder what happened. We will know that capitalism, unchecked, with greed in its heart, will eat anything in its way. Greed is Good, will be the swan song of our Republic.
You're in a difficult position Matt. Bringing awareness in our country locked into cognitive dissonance to the degree that anything challenging the set prejudicial opinion brings on rage. You only have to read a few of the comments to this post to see that. It may be necessary to keep your platform afloat, but I wondered why the comparison between the Post story and the Steele dossier. The former has strong provenance, despite the now hysterical claims of ruskie disinformation, while the latter is a proven fake. By putting both stories in a suggested similar category aren't you halfway to the technocracy ban? Twitter and FB didn't ban the Post story because it was fake, but because it undermined their candidate. Isn't that clear, and isn't that the essential in the freedom of speech argument? Keep fighting the good fight Matt.
I did not vote for Trump in 2016 so I am no harsh partisan. I do have a Ph.D.
Matt, I am hoping your next story will address the "secondary problem involves the Hunter Biden/Ukraine story itself" and its conflicting narratives. "Rudy is a Russian agent" witting or unwitting has zero evidence - its just the only hope of denying this story. Giuliani stated, in interviews, "If the FBI suspected that I was being fed Russian disinformation all along, and then giving it to the president, why didn't they tell me? They never said anything to me."
Others in the comment section are buying major lies. Three major lies
(a) "Republicans won't cover pre-existing conditions" is a lie. All Republicans have promised in the very unlikely event the ACA is ended that pre-existing conditions will be covered.
(b) "Trump said to inject bleach" is a lie. Watch the tape. He said "Bleach disinfects surfaces, killing virus" then turned to doctors and asked "Could we inject something like bleach". In other words, he asked a question - didn't tell people to do something - and asked about something that could kill virus being injected - "something like bleach" is not bleach.
(c) "Trump does not condemn White Supremacy" is a lie. He has dozens of times. He did in the debate - he said "Sure, but what about Antifa?" when the moderator asked him to denounce. Someone talked over him on the "sure" can be heard if you replay. He said "good people" were on both sides of the taking down confederate monuments question and added that those good people did not include Neo-Nazis and other groups like that. Listen to or read his comments - what I am saying is true in each case.
There are so many more lies I could detail for those of you who only watch CNN/MSNBC and read Times/Post, etc. plus left-leaning websites. It's a giant echo chamber full of lies and reporters who believe whatever they hear from the original liars. These lies from the left-aligned media are one of the things that is going to drive me to voting for Trump this time, though I did not last time.
Why should Matt combat censorship even if he sometimes helps Trump? Here's one good reason: I can no longer believe the left-aligned media....at this point, if they said something true, I would not believe without irrefutable proof. Unlike 2016, I will vote for Trump in 2020, in part because I no longer believe the left-media. I have many other reasons, good reasons, but no longer reading the lying Post/Times could have helped with my decision, I have to admit.
Concise and precise article. The pillage and plunder by post Soviet Oligarchs has to be understood in conjunction with global finance, which is run Through US Treasury. Biden and Corporate Dems are tight w global finance. Matt’s article is easily understood if this sub text is understood. Trump did not deregulate WS, Clinton did. The transfer of wealth through “free trade” was championed by Dems, not Trump. Obama bailed out banks, put nobody from WS in jail. The petty fascist Trump is used by “confederation of news outlets” to cover up the corruption of the Dems. Read Hate Inc along with The Divide, you will understand that Matt is one of the most productive independent journalists of our time. He is with truth and justice, not this or that wing of the Ruling Party(s).