WaPo analysis: nobody should care that we covered up the Hunter Biden laptop

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

The Washington Post has a retrospective analysis that gets them off the hook for covering up the news: it wouldn’t have made a difference in the 2020 election anyway.


There’s a new spin on things from a journalist. Hey, let me assert the unknowable is true so I can explain why it was OK for me to lie to you to avoid what wouldn’t have happened anyway.

Ooooookkkkkkaaaaayyyyyy. Huh, what?

Philip Bump is our “journalist” who is endorsing coverups this time.

As you know, Elon Musk is dribbling out the “Twitter files,” which demonstrate how politically biased and ridiculous the process for deciding to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop truly was. Middle managers at Twitter went into a panic about the New York Post story on the laptop and banned its discussion and dissemination.

That decision was ridiculous and dangerous, but pales in comparison to what the news media did: they disseminated genuine misinformation about the laptop’s contents, claiming with absolutely no evidence that it was Russian misinformation. They enlisted about 50 former intelligence officials to lie about the origin of the laptop’s data and pushed the story as yet another “Russia Russia Russia” story.

In other words, they actively suppressed the truth. And some of those truths were doozies. Hunter’s influence peddling, his financial support of his father, his gun law violations, his human trafficking, and of course his meth abuse. Any one story would have been blasted across the front pages and in the MSM had it been about a Trump child. And all of which the MSM is still claiming are nothingburgers, despite the fact that each is being investigated by the FBI.


Not such a nothingburger, you might say. A presidential son potentially going to jail might even warrant a story or two, especially since you literally have the evidence in hand. Instead of mere speculation and innuendo, you literally have the evidence to comb through.

Bump has a novel explanation for why covering up genuine news was just okey dokey: it wouldn’t have changed the election anyway.

One of the indefensible assertions that’s reemerged in recent days is that social media companies’ efforts to limit sharing of a New York Post story in October 2020 cost Donald Trump that year’s presidential election.

This is a long-standing claim, made newly salient with new Twitter owner Elon Musk’s release last week of internal documents about the decision to impose that limit. His intent was to suggest that pre-him Twitter was a place where conservative arguments were unfairly censored. But others, like former president Donald Trump, have gone further, suggesting that this action alone led to Joe Biden’s 2020 victory.

There’s no reason to believe this is true.


It is certainly the case that the narrow margins of victory enjoyed by Joe Biden in several states that year might have moved one way or the other had small things shifted. Close races are the bane of outside observers and a boon to campaign consultants — identifying any particular thing as decisive is impossible but claiming that any particular element was essential is easy. So there is no way to say, for example, that a counterfactual in which Twitter didn’t limit sharing of the Post’s story about Joe Biden’s son Hunter’s laptop wouldn’t have moved Arizona from benefiting Biden by 10,500 votes to giving Trump a slight advantage.

The point, though, is that there is no reason to think this would have happened.


And, we can easily assert, there is no reason to believe it wouldn’t have. We simply don’t know. But so what?

Clearly the media went into overdrive covering up the story because they feared it might happen. Never in the history of journalism has an “abundance of caution” prevented reporters from spewing out all sorts of unproven and eventually revealed-to-be-false stories about high profile events.

Watch cable news after a shooting or a plane crash and you get nonstop coverage filled with pure speculation, half-truths, and outright falsehoods. The Colorado Springs shooting is just one of many examples where the media created out of whole cloth a narrative that was nearly the opposite of the truth, simply because it fit their own Narrative. This is what they do.

Bump provides us a bunch of BS statistically analysis about how nobody’s vote would have been changed anyway, and that the social media suppression actually increased the interest in the story.

Yes, but…

The most shameful part of the Biden laptop episode was not social media suppression–which was indeed very shameful–but rather the willful spreading of misinformation done by the MSM itself. The full bore effort that worked quite well to muddy up the facts and create the belief that the laptop was agitprop. It wasn’t. And they had every reason to know that.


The media colluded with former (and likely current) intelligence officials, including a raft of former CIA directors, to assert with no evidence that the laptop was fake. It was assembled by Russian hackers and stolen and…

They simply rewrote history, and refused to acknowledge the possibility that it was all true. As it most certainly was. And, as they almost certainly knew was. They may have had some doubt…who wouldn’t? But they also knew that the preponderance of the evidence was that it was true.

Hunter Biden didn’t even deny it was true. For God’s sake, if it was Russian propaganda wouldn’t he deny it vigorously?

If it had been anybody else, at a time when the media was not absolutely desperate to kill off Trump’s presidency, the story would have been front page for weeks. Instead, to this day, they assert it is merely a bunch of “dick pics.” Seriously.

So yes, the Hunter Biden laptop story coverup was huge. Asserting, two years after the election, that covering it up was a fine and upstanding thing to do is shameful.

We should shame them. Mercilessly. We should call out their bullsh!t relentlessly. It does make a difference.

Trust in the media is at an all time low, and rightfully so. And that is because we keep calling them out on it.


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David Strom 10:30 AM | July 23, 2024