Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Much More Than Bias

It has been a given for a long time that there is a strong liberal bias in the media.

That has been the case during most of my lifetime. It is something that we have come to expect.

However, the last four years have shown that we are no longer simply seeing bias. We are living in a world in which the media appears to be downright corrupt.

To make matters worse, that corruption not only exists within the traditional media structure but also extends far and wide within the social media world as well.

We have come to a point that our media is not just putting a biased slant on stories but is complicit in coordinating and promoting stories with the Democrats and blatantly censoring and ignoring stories which do not fit a defined narrative.

We have reached a very dangerous point that is disheartening and dispiriting for anyone who cares about the principles of freedom and fairness.

It seems that the media moved much beyond bias with the election of Donald Trump.

The media apparently could not fathom that their active support and biased reporting in favor of Hillary Clinton was not enough to insure her victory.

Donald Trump was not even sworn in until stories of Russian interference and collusion were circulating in the media in an attempt to delegitimize the Trump presidency.

We now know that those claims were originally concocted and funded by the Clinton campaign.

Those claims (and the media reports that amplified them) were later used by the FBI and others to begin formal counterintelligence investigations (against Donald Trump, his family and associates) that appear to have utilized unlawful FISA warrants in the "investigation".

This led to a special counsel investigation by Robert Mueller that took over two years and did not find any actionable wrongdoing involving Russian collusion by President Trump or his family members.

Along the way the media spent two years repeating Russian collusion stories and repeatedly claiming that the "walls were closing in on Trump" only to find at the end that Robert Mueller was a mere figurehead that had outsourced the investigation to an array of prosecutors who were Clinton partisan who still could find nothing on Donald Trump.

At some point we hope to find whether the special counsel John Durham will hold anyone criminally liable for these blatant abuses of power against President Trump and others. 

The same media was complicit in helping to fuel an impeachment inquiry involving a phone conversation President Trump had with the incoming President of Ukraine urging him to root out corruption in that country that potentially included the son of Vice President Joe Biden.

The Democrats argued that Trump was unlawfully trying to smear his potential political rival through the powers of his office.  The mainstream media quickly picked up on this narrative.

For example, here is a headline from NBC News in September, 2019 which claims there was no evidence for Trump's accusations about Hunter and Joe Biden profiting from his position as Vice President in dealings with Ukraine.

Source; NBC News

Trump was ultimately impeached by the House in a party line vote over these accusations but was acquitted by the Senate.

Through the entire episode the media viciously attacked Rudy Giuliani who had spent a considerable amount of time investigating the alleged Ukraine corruption scheme over the last several years.

Never mind that Giuliani was a former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York who brought down a number of  mafia kingpins in New York City.

The media portrayed Rudy as a doddering fool who did not know what he was doing and was making things up about any Biden corruption in Ukraine.

In fact, the media liked to repeat Joe Biden's continuing claims that any hints about any wrongdoing by his son had been thoroughly debunked many times. Biden called it a smear.

All of this might be rationalized as typical media bias if we did not know what actually transpired with this story over the course of the next year.

In mid-October The New York Post broke a story about the contents on the laptop of Hunter Biden which raised an enormous number of questions about exactly what Biden's son had been doing for the millions of dollars he had received from countries such as Ukraine and China. How did Hunter "earn" all that money that coincidentally occurred when his VP father was considered the "point man" in US foreign relations with those two countries?

What was the reaction from almost every media outlet in the United States about this story when it came to light?

Utter silence.

It was as if the story did not exist. 

If it was mentioned it was immediately dismissed as "Russian disinformation".

As an example, here is how National Public Radio (NPR) explained why they were not covering anything to do with the story.

Source: https://twitter.com/NPRpubliceditor/status/1319281101223940096

Not really a story? A waste of time? A distraction?

By the way, NPR receives annual taxpayer support which included $75 million that went to its parent, the Center for Public Broadcasting, in the Covid relief bill in March.

Here is a headline from Politico in which it cited 50 former intelligence officials claiming the Hunter Biden story was Russian disinformation.

Of course, it did not end there. 

In that the media was repeating the Russian disinformation story this allowed candidate Biden to cite these reports as to why any questions about illegal activities about his son were false and had been thoroughly debunked.

In fact, Biden made that claim in the second debate with President Trump.

Earlier this year, during a presidential debate, Joe Biden had dismissed the laptop emails as part of a “Russian plan” and inaccurately cited a letter from dozens of former intelligence officials.

Biden declared: “There are 50 former national intelligence folks who said that what [Trump's] accusing me of is a Russian plan [or plant]."

Trump retorted, “You mean the laptop is now another 'Russia, Russia, Russia' hoax?” Biden said, “That’s exactly what I was told.”

The media still did nothing to investigate any claims about Hunter Biden even though his principal business partner (Tony Bobulinski) in his China dealings came forth and provided additional evidentiary material suggesting wrongdoing by the Biden family. This included the fact that good old Joe was supposed to get a 10% cut as the "big guy" in a deal that was being negotiated with a company controlled by the Chinese Communist Party according to Bobulinski.

Again, silence from the media.

Never mind that Joe Biden was running for the highest office in the land and not one mainstream media outlet was even willing to mention the story?

How big an affect did this censorship of the story by the media (including social media) have on the election?

We will never know for sure.

However, considering the small margins of voters that separated Biden and Trump in Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania it would not have taken much to completely change the election.

In fact, a survey done after the election found that 45% of Biden voters in seven swing states had never heard of the Hunter Biden story before they voted. 9.4% of Biden voters stated that had they known about it they would have shifted their vote away from Biden.

Since Biden's margin was less than 1% in these critical swing states you can see how large the potential effect was over the censoring and blackout of this one story in the media. 

It was not the only issue that Biden voters were not aware of. The list below shows a number of stories that voters stated they were not aware of.

How is this possible?

Quite simply, any bad news about Biden and good news about Trump got buried by the media. Is this simply bias or is it much more?

Blue=Negative story for Biden
Red=Positive story for Trump

In all, voters stated had they known about one or more of these stories that 17% of Biden voters would have changed their vote.

If you applied that number to Biden's national popular vote total of 81 million votes he potentially would have lost 14 million votes dropping his total to 67 million. If Trump picked up those changed votes, it would have increased Trump's total to 88 million. Even if Trump had picked up only half of those Biden voters (assume the other half did not vote or voted third party) Trump would have 81 million total votes.

Of course, we now know that there are strong suggestions that corruption involving Hunter Biden might prove to be true. It was not "disinformation" and it was not a "distraction". 

An FBI investigation has been ongoing into his business, financial and tax affairs for over two years.

It appears that Biden's brother, James Biden, is also under investigation.

Politico is no longer reporting this as just another example of  Russian disinformation.

NPR has also had to report that the Hunter Biden story was not a distraction.

The reality is that it is not Russian disinformation that we need to be concerned about right now. It is the disinformation and censoring of legitimate news by our own media. News and information that the people of the United States have a right to know and which is being intentionally censored and blocked.

Our Founders were very concerned about the dangers to our rights and freedoms if government took steps to infringe on the freedom of the press in our nation.

They protected the freedom of the press in the Bill of Rights.

The problem is that the First Amendment is  only focused on rights and freedoms that might be abridged or infringed by laws that the the government might undertake to target the press (media).

Our Founders seemingly never considered that the media might actually be as big a threat to our rights and freedoms as the government itself.

What do we do when it is the media that is actively working to abridge and infringe our rights and freedoms?

Would our Founders ever think it would come to this?

It cannot be explained by bias.

It is much more than that.

We all should be very, very concerned.

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