The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Undertakers of Democracy: How the Washington Post Is Deliberately Burying the Hunter Biden Influence Scandal

Posted on | June 24, 2023 | 1 Comment

When I first joined the staff of The Washington Times in 1997, a senior editor explained to me that the difference between how they covered the news and how the hated crosstown rival Washington Post covered the news was very simple: “selection and emphasis.” During more than a decade at the conservative Times, I observed (and was a direct participant in) the process of “selection and emphasis” by which our newsroom distinguished itself as a vital alternative to the dominant liberal media machinery. That experience taught me to focus on something crucial that most people never think much about: “Who decides what the ‘news’ is? How and why are these choices made?”

Every day at The Washington Times, there were two meetings — one shortly before noon, and one about 5 p.m. — where the editors at various desks (national, foreign, metro, sports, etc.) presented their top stories to the editor-in-chief, Wes Pruden or his deputy, acting as surrogate in the boss’s absence. From among these offerings (“touted,” as we said), Pruden would select those stories that would go on the front page, A1, and in what priority. The No. 1 story of the day was usually at the top right position, or “bannered” across the top, and everything else proceeded as a consequence of those choices. If the national desk “touted” a story for the front page that didn’t make the cut, it would be placed on A3, and trust me, the reporters resented such snubs. The difference between a byline on A1 and A3 was night and day in a reporter’s mind, and when they had a story they believed was worthy of the front page, they were deeply hurt when they didn’t make the cut.


This is my point. The answer to the question of what constitutes “news” — what is worthy of coverage, and which stories are most important — is by no means always self-evident, and it is a mistake to believe that whatever is on the front page of the Washington Post (or leading the hour on CNN) is indisputably more important than other stories, including stories that these organizations ignore altogether. Cable-TV news viewers were subjected to endless hours of “lost submarine” coverage, as if the fate of the crew of the OceanGate Titan was, without question, the most important thing in the world. But what about DeAndre Hopkins?

The reader asks, “DeAndre who?”

All-Pro wide receiver, a/k/a DHop, recently cut by the Arizona Cardinals, now a free agent. Where will he sign? Can the New England Patriots get DHop, or will they be outbid by one of their NFL rivals?

Unless you’re a Patriots fan, you probably think this is trivial nonsense, but speaking on behalf of legions of Patriots fans, let me assure you the DHop drama is infinitely more important than five chumps on a sunken sub. Were I the editor of the Boston Herald, there’s no question which story would get more coverage, especially on the front page.

Like the man said, “selection and emphasis” is what it’s about, especially when it comes to the matter of political bias in journalism. As Professor Reynolds likes to say, most journalists nowadays are merely “Democratic operatives with bylines,” and evidence of that bias is everywhere.

Friday morning, I was browsing headlines at Memeorandum on my phone while having a smoke outside the local convenience store.

“Wow,” I said to myself. “This story’s getting covered in both the Washington Post and the New York Times?” Finally this scandal is breaking through the wall of partisan propaganda, I surmised. For the record, here’s the top of the Washington Post story:

An IRS agent who supervised the investigation into President Biden’s son Hunter told lawmakers that Justice Department officials slowed and stymied the investigation, whittling away the most serious evidence of alleged tax crimes, according to a transcript of his account released Thursday.
The agent, Gary Shapley, offered a detailed and potentially damning account of prosecutors who were either timid or uninterested when it came to examining the financial misdeeds of Hunter Biden, which Shapley said included instances in which the president’s son treated prostitutes and their travel costs as his business expenses.
The agent’s account to the House Ways and Means Committee also directly challenged congressional testimony from Attorney General Merrick Garland, in which he said that Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss — a holdover from the Trump administration — had full authority to lead the investigation into Hunter Biden and could do whatever he wanted in the case.
A Justice Department spokesman stood by Garland’s previous comments, and the lead Democrat on the House committee said the allegations should not have been released publicly while lawmakers are still vetting them.
The transcript almost certainly will fuel criticism of the Justice Department’s five-year investigation of Hunter Biden, which this week led to a proposed plea agreement on two misdemeanor charges that will probably allow him to avoid jail time. Biden is due in federal court in Wilmington, Del., on July 26 to enter his guilty plea, which must be approved by a judge.
The criminal probe of Biden was given the code name Sportsman, Shapley told lawmakers, and it was “an offshoot of an investigation the IRS was conducting into a foreign-based amateur online pornography platform.”
His account offers a host of new allegations, including a text message that Biden allegedly sent on July 30, 2017, that invoked his father — at that time a former vice president — as he tried to get a business partner to fulfill some expected promise.
“I am sitting here with my father and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled. Tell the director that I would like to resolve this now before it gets out of hand, and now means tonight,” the younger Biden allegedly told businessman Henry Zhao. “And Z, if I get a call or text from anyone involved in this other than you, Zhang, or the chairman, I will make certain that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to forever hold a grudge that you will regret not following my direction. I am sitting here waiting for the call with my father.”

This is an absolute bombshell, and within 10 days of Hunter sending that text to Zhao, a payment of about $5 million was sent.

What was Hunter selling? What skill or expertise did this crack-addicted loser possess that might be worth $5 million to a Chinese “business partner”? The only thing Hunter Biden had to sell — his only marketable value — was his father’s political influence. Period, end of sentence.

The authenticity of that threatening text message is not disputed. It is clearly the smoking gun of this scandal, and so it was with a sense of eager anticipation that I went back inside the convenience story Friday morning, walked to the newspaper rack, and looked at the front page of the Washington Post. Not on the top of Page A1? Hmmm.

Flipped the paper over to look at the bottom half of the front page and there, in tiny type, in a box at the bottom left of the page:


Probably I muttered a few other obscenities, so offended was I by this blatant malfeasance of editorial authority. After five years of federal investigation, the controversy over the “laptop from hell,” and everything else we’ve seen in this scandal, an IRS whistleblower delivers the smoking gun in testimony to the House Oversight Committee, and you’re going to BURY THE STORY ON PAGE A15? You deserve contempt.




One Response to “Undertakers of Democracy: How the Washington Post Is Deliberately Burying the Hunter Biden Influence Scandal”

  1. CBS Evening News — !!! — Reports About Hunter Biden Influence Scandal Cover-Up : The Other McCain
    June 29th, 2023 @ 7:29 am

    […] “What was Hunter selling? What skill or expertise did this crack-addicted loser possess that might be worth $5 million to a Chinese ‘business partner’? The only thing Hunter Biden had to sell — his only marketable value — was his father’s political influence. Period, end of sentence.” — what I said on Saturday […]