Media Firemen Scramble to Save Biden Candidacy
Watching the media scramble these last two weeks to save Joe Biden’s candidacy, I am reminded of a scene in Ray Bradbury’s 1953 dystopian sci-fi classic, Fahrenheit 451, 451 degrees Fahrenheit being the temperature at which paper burns.
In the novel, the state employs “firemen” to burn paper lest the few civilians who care about books avail themselves of information the state does not want them to have. During the Biden stretch run, the firemen on the left have shredded what is left of their reputations as journalists to destroy information the Deep State does not want their audiences to have.
Even before Hunter Biden’s laptop surfaced, the media busied themselves suppressing information that was readily available to the ordinary citizen -- montages of Biden plagiarizing, groping little girls, making racially insensitive comments, eulogizing exalted KKK cyclops, threatening Ukrainian prosecutors, even sexually assaulting at least one very credible Democrat -- and they did so with enough success that the Biden camp felt comfortable positioning Joe as the candidate with “character.”
The Hunter laptop was too tangible to dispose of subtly. Not since Joseph Goebbels urged the German Student Union “to commit to the flames the evil spirit of the past” has a western nation so flagrantly thrown in on the side of ignorance. Twitter has gotten most of the attention for its total blocking of the New York Post, which broke the laptop story, but the firemen at NPR were not far behind.
“We don't want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don't want to waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just pure distractions,” NPR Managing Editor for News Terence Samuel told his audience in the way of answering a reader question. “And quite frankly, that's where we ended up, this was… a politically driven event and we decided to treat it that way.” NPR’s public editor added that, in any case, “the assertions don’t amount to much.”
Had it not been for the final debate, the firemen might have succeeded in keeping major media audiences fully in the dark about what Trump called the “laptop from hell.” Knowing the subject would surface, Biden came prepared. He dismissed the laptop as a “Russian plant” and had his allies line up some 50 “intelligence” officials who seemed to agree with him.
The more sober members of the major media knew the “Russia, Russia, Russia” accusation -- as Trump aptly mocked it -- was insane, but it was out there. No longer able to burn it, they had to finesse it into insignificance. Top honors for sophistry in this effort go to the Washington Post and its “disinformation and political warfare” fireman, Thomas Rid.
To his credit, Rid acknowledged that Biden’s 50 intelligence officials conceded they “did not have evidence of Russian involvement.” Rid added the obvious, namely that there is good reason to be skeptical of a foreign plot:
If a competent Russian intelligence agency went to the length of procuring hacked material, blending it with forgeries, perhaps researching a suitable surfacing locale and setup in Wilmington and surfacing the package in a human intelligence operation that required careful planning -- then it’s highly likely that agency would have found, or more likely forged, files that would have actual political impact, instead of the unremarkable material revealed in the Post so far.
Duh! The remainder of Rid’s article – “Insisting that the Hunter Biden laptop is fake is a trap. So is insisting that it’s real” -- is pure bait and switch. It could make sense only to those mesmerized by the past four year of the Post’s Pulitzer Prize-winning disinformation.
Rid argues that “the Russian interference of 2016” holds valuable lessons for 2020. In 2016, unlike 2020, Rid claims that the public had “meaningful public artifacts on day one.” He refers here to the alleged hack of the DNC servers in April 2016.
The initial Post article from June 14, 2016 -- two months after the hack -- may well have been prompted by Julian Assange’s appearance on a British TV show two days earlier. On that occasion, Assange told the interviewer, “We have upcoming leaks in relation to Hillary Clinton,” adding ominously, “We have emails.”
If Assange released damaging emails, the Clinton campaign needed to establish an alternative story line to offset the pending embarrassment. No doubt it would be more politically useful to portray Hillary as a victim of a Russian plot on Trump’s behalf than as a criminally negligent keeper of secrets.
Assange never did release Hillary’s emails. He did, however, release emails purloined from the DNC servers and from Hillary campaign chair John Podesta, the first in July, the second in October. The emails may have been embarrassing, but they were not “disinformation.” They were “information.” No one serious disputed their legitimacy.
As to Rid’s “meaningful public artifacts,” they were not exactly public, nor particularly meaningful. In fact, the artifacts were held tight by CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity firm that the DNC hired to examine its servers, a firm that, according to the Post, did not even pretend to know “how the hackers got in.”
Scandalous in its own right was the willingness of the Obama DoJ to allow the DNC to sidestep the FBI and hire a private firm on a matter of the highest national security. By contrast, John Paul MacIsaac, the computer repair storeowner, promptly took the Biden laptop to the FBI when he became aware of its contents.
Rid tells us that MacIsaac is a Trump supporter. He does not mention that “CrowdStrike is a deeply Democratic firm” served up to the DNC by Perkins Coie, the same law firm used as a DNC cut-out on the Steele dossier. In fact, Rid does not mention CrowdStrike at all.
Nor, most tellingly, does Rid mention Christopher Steele or his infamous dossier. Yes, a massive disinformation campaign took place in 2016 and the years following. Yes, it involved Russians. Yes, the conspirators -- likely including some of the 50 Biden “intelligence” operatives -- conspired to smear a candidate for president with nonsense allegations that defied the most desperate attempts at confirmation.
“We must treat the Hunter Biden leaks as if they were a foreign intelligence operation -- even if they probably aren’t,” says Rid. Alice’s Queen of Hearts could not have said it better.
Jack Cashill’s new book, Unmasking Obama: The Fight to Tell the True Story of a Failed Presidency, is widely available. See also www.cashill.com.