Rookie reporters at most outlets are taught to use the “inverted pyramid” model to write their stories: Open with the central conclusion of the story first, then give the most important evidence and details first, and finally deliver more general information and background at the bottom.
But for the “reporters” at The New York Times, a very different model prevails. If one wants to get the most important information from a Times piece, it behooves oneself to start at the bottom and read up. Holocaust survivor got butchered in the streets of Paris? The Times won’t mention a migrant was responsible until the 12th paragraph. Democratic lawmaker is accusing a random citizen of racism? Bury her admission.
And so it was on Wednesday, when near the end of a 1,700-word article on Hunter Biden’s possible legal troubles, the Times admitted what all honest reporters have known for a year and a half: The contents of the Hunter Biden laptop are real, and the press simply ignored it for political reasons:
People familiar with the investigation said prosecutors had examined emails between Mr. Biden, Mr. Archer and others about Burisma and other foreign business activity. Those emails were obtained by The New York Times from a cache of files that appears to have come from a laptop abandoned by Mr. Biden in a Delaware repair shop. The email and others in the cache were authenticated by people familiar with them and with the investigation.
That the Times finally came out to awkwardly admit the truth almost a year and a half later points toward a very obvious conclusion: Things might very soon become even more embarrassing for Hunter Biden, and the Times‘s editors have decided they cannot credibly remain silent until the hammer drops. The Times’s controlled admission also allows them to try and keep public focus on relatively boring matters of tax payments and FARA compliance, rather than other salacious and still-relevant parts of the laptop, such as Hunter apparently buying prostitutes with his father’s credit card.
Still, the Times’ admission is good news. But this belated shift cannot for one moment be treated as improving or restoring the Times’ credibility. Americans will remember, for all time, how totally and completely the press lied in order to throw the 2020 election to Joe Biden by any means necessary.
There is another lesson that must be learned as well: That “Russian disinformation” has displaced “white supremacy” and even “racism” as the elite’s preferred vehicle for mass censorship.
Washington Post writer Greg Sargent, author of the Plum Line blog, set the party line in the critical month of October 2020. According to Sargent, the story was completely fake “disinformation,” and the mere act of reporting on it was to be avoided as much as possible, because any coverage at all served to substantiate the Trump campaign’s “lies.” This line was repeated more or less verbatim by every other “mainstream” outlet in the weeks to follow.
The same day that Sargent published the marching orders, another Post article baselessly insinuated that President Trump was complicit in a Russian espionage plot.
U.S. intelligence agencies warned the White House last year that President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani was the target of an influence operation by Russian intelligence, according to four former officials familiar with the matter.
The warnings were based on multiple sources, including intercepted communications, that showed Giuliani was interacting with people tied to Russian intelligence during a December 2019 trip to Ukraine, where he was gathering information that he thought would expose corrupt acts by former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
The intelligence raised concerns that Giuliani was being used to feed Russian misinformation to the president, the former officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive information and conversations.
Officials’ warnings about Giuliani underscore the concern in the U.S. intelligence community that Russia not only is seeking to reprise the disinformation campaign it waged in 2016, but also may now be aided, unwittingly or otherwise, by individuals close to the president. Those warnings have gained fresh urgency in recent days. The information that Giuliani sought in Ukraine is similar to what is contained in emails and other correspondence published this week by the New York Post, which the paper said came from the laptop of Hunter Biden and were provided by Giuliani and Stephen K. Bannon, Trump’s former top political adviser at the White House. The Washington Post was unable to verify the authenticity of the alleged communications, which concern Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine and China.
The media’s claims about being unable to “verifying the authenticity” of the emails was always a lie, as Glenn Greenwald chronicled on Rumble last year:
From the Washington Post, the story instantly spread to The New York Times, and then to the cable news airwaves:
Please watch this video from CNN's Wolf Blitzer show shortly before the election. Now that we have (more) proof that the Biden docs were always genuine, just watch how these people lie. If this doesn't make you furious, and you don't despise this part of the media, you're wrong. pic.twitter.com/MnhkOolecp
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) September 21, 2021
When confronted by a Washington Times politics reporter, obese CNN personality Brian Stelter claimed a special obligation never to present “unvetted” information to the public.
.@BrianStelter: "Don't you dare. Don't you dare act like newsrooms didn't have ethics in 2017 & 2018."@SusanFerrechio: "You can 'don't dare' me all you want, Brian, I've been doing this for 30 years."
Susan and Brian clash over the Hunter Biden story vs Steele Dossier. pic.twitter.com/JSxwxyRK4b
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) October 22, 2020
Despite supposedly being a “media reporter,” Stelter has entirely ignored the New York Times’ revelation that CNN and the entire media apparatus had been wrong (apparently deliberately) about the contents of the laptop.
CNN’s suppression of the Biden laptop was so aggressive that hosts would intervene if guests attempted to even mention it (with the zeal of Fox hosts trying to stop discussion of George Soros):
Memories. Here is CNN’s @amanpour dismissing incriminating evidence about Joe Biden from Hunter Biden’s laptop. “As you well know, I’m a journalist and a reporter and I follow the facts and there has never been any issues in terms of corruption” with Joe Biden. https://t.co/1H1wAxBExM
— Miranda Devine (@mirandadevine) March 17, 2022
Taxpayer-funded NPR repulsively dispatched its public editor to write a smug explanation for why the prole masses should not hear about the story:
“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 me. “And quite frankly, that’s where we ended up, this was … a politically driven event and we decided to treat it that way.”
Of course, NPR once famously dedicated a lengthy segment to the problem of racist bird names.
And so it unfolded that American journalists, as a class, boasted that they would not cover the story, and nobody could make them. Instead of pursuing the truth, they became the defenders and celebrators of silence and censorship.
Giuliani and the New York Post are pushing Russian disinformation. It's a big test for the media. https://t.co/BzYprfDfZU
— Mother Jones (@MotherJones) October 14, 2020
The media is not under some obligation to cover obvious disinformation. And spreading disinformation doesn't make you some courageous defender of the 1st Amendment – it makes you an easy mark.
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) October 17, 2020
Wikileaks were "hacked materials" & part of a Russian disinformation campaign.
It became egg on every media that ran breathlessly with it.
— Heidi Przybyla (@HeidiNBC) October 14, 2020
The Trump campaign claims Facebook is "censoring journalism" because Facebook plans to limit the spread of the NY Post report. That is not censorship. Facebook is under no obligation to allow a disputed report that appears to contain disinformation to spread on their platform.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 14, 2020
Good. Russian disinformation meant to harm our democracy shouldn't be given mainstream platforms. https://t.co/WWT6m90agY
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) October 14, 2020
The great thing about this is that it’s very easy to see who is committed to pushing known Kremlin disinformation https://t.co/TV3pMXiaAq
— Brooke Binkowski (@brooklynmarie) October 15, 2020
Raise your hand if you appreciate Twitter for censoring the BS anti-Biden disinformation article from the New York post ✋
— Chip Franklin.com (@chipfranklin) October 14, 2020
Vanity Fair, which believed in the Trump piss tape, deigned to lecture Americans on how fishy an obviously-real laptop was.
Vanity Fair pic.twitter.com/vA5Ww34uLf
— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) March 18, 2022
Almost every other publication of note was apparently as credulous as Vanity Fair when it came to the mythical pee tape.
Daily Beast pic.twitter.com/LinG9yAzMV
— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) March 18, 2022
— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) March 18, 2022
The fedora-wearing neocon Max Boot, in hedging that that Hunter’s emails only might be a dastardly Russian plot, was shockingly more accurate than most.
The @nypost story about Hunter Biden is false–and quite possibly part of a Russian disinformation campaign.
The Ukrainian prosecutor wasn’t actually investigating Burisma. He was, in fact, complicit in corruption—which is why Biden demanded he be fired.https://t.co/cXuaQwc4LC
— Max Boot ?? (@MaxBoot) October 14, 2020
The most brazen media effort to attack the laptop’s legitimacy, though, came from Politico, which published and promoted a letter signed by more than fifty “former senior intelligence officials” claiming the Biden laptop “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.” All of these intelligence officials had to admit they had no evidence at all that the emails were fake. But that didn’t stop them from boldly asserting it as fact, based on the “earmarks” of the story.
In a cover article released Friday night, the New York Post shamed the letter’s 50+ signatories for their scurrilous behavior.
Signatories to the letter included James Clapper (who lied about NSA spying) and John Brennan (who lied about US drone casualties). Another signatory, Marc Polymeropoulos, has distinguished himself as a militant believer in and evangelist of Havana Syndrome. Unsurprisingly, the same man who blamed his personal health problems on Russian microwave beams was also easily convinced that unwelcome political developments at home were a Russian plot.
The Intercept’s James Risen was also easily fooled, or perhaps chose to join in the lie:
To distract from these hard truths, Trump and his minions have advanced many lies. They have labeled the entire Trump-Russia investigation a hoax; claimed that the president has been the victim of a “witch hunt” led by special counsel Robert Mueller; claimed that a mythical “deep state” is out to get him; pushed sick conspiracy theories, including that a murdered Democratic staffer, rather than Russian intelligence, was responsible for the hack of Democratic emails and documents; and peddled the audacious lie that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that intervened in the 2016 election, and that the intervention was meant to help Hillary Clinton, not Trump.
Their latest falsehood once again involves Biden, Ukraine, and a laptop mysteriously discovered in a computer repair shop and passed to the New York Post, thanks to Trump crony Rudy Giuliani. The New York Post story was so rancid that at least one reporter refused to put his byline on it. The U.S. intelligence community had previously warned the White House that Giuliani has been the target of a Russian intelligence operation to disseminate disinformation about Biden, and the FBI has been investigating whether the strange story about the Biden laptop is part of a Russian disinformation campaign. This week, a group of former intelligence officials issued a letter saying that the Giuliani laptop story has the classic trademarks of Russian disinformation.
So, what now? The Post glumly noted that so far, none of the shameless hoaxers have been held to account:
No one actually proved The Post’s reporting was wrong. Media outlets showed up at the doorstep of the computer repairman who had gotten the laptop, and he confirmed it. People who exchanged e-mails with Hunter Biden attested to their accuracy in the days and weeks that followed.
Only after the election was safely over did Hunter tacitly admit the laptop was his. Last year, a Politico reporter confirmed that the laptop’s materials were real. And now, the coup de grace: The Times said it’s “authenticated” material from the laptop.
There have been no consequences. Twitter and Facebook still censor information based on political bias, and Congress takes no action. Many of the letter signers continue to be used as “experts” by the media. Clapper, for instance, spent years on CNN calling Donald Trump a “Russian asset,” a lie invented and fed by political operatives of Hillary Clinton. He’s still there. Guess accuracy is not a condition of employment.
The Post Editorial Board reports that they contacted the letter’s signatories, and the vast majority didn’t even bother to respond. Only two, James Clapper and National Counterterrorism Center acting director Russ Travers, so much as acknowledged the letter’s claims had been disproven. None apologized.
Besides the sheer perfidy of the security state and the media, there is an important lesson to be learned here. In the past, the globalist political establishment used terms like “racist” and “white supremacist” as their most powerful levers for shutting down and deplatforming opposition. But since the 2016 election, the “Russian disinformation” label has slowly supplanted “Nazi” accusations, and the like, to become the elite’s favorite censorship predicate du jour. Accusations of “Russian disinformation are quite useful to nullify any figures and narratives that dare to oppose the Deep Security State.S
“Russian disinformation” is a different, and more powerful, crimestop term of art in comparison with worn-out and discredited labels like “racist”, “sexist”, “xenophobe”, and the like. That’s because this accusation magically turns political speech the ruling class doesn’t like into a national security issue. And once something is cloaked in the language of “national security,” the discussion is over. There can be no debate, and “national security” requires immediate and sweeping action.
It also opens up harsher penalties to intimidate the enemy with. For the time being, “racist” speech is still protected from direct government censorship. But promoting “Russian policies and ideology”? Somebody was just charged for that two weeks ago! When Tucker Carlson was merely called “racist,” it warranted his cancellation, according the the left. But now, as a source of “Kremlin disinformation,” Tucker deserves to be arrested by the military!
They are Russian Assets and there is a war. There's a case for detaining them militarily. Trials are a sign of good faith and patience on the part of democracy.
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) March 14, 2022
See how that works?
The very term “Russian disinformation” has become a crucial tool of psychological warfare. It has become the media/free speech element to a wider deep state war against “deplorables” and America First conservatives more generally.
One would think that the spectacular implosion of the Russian disinfo scam on the Hunter Biden issue would discredit this tactic. Yet right now, in the midst of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it is as strong as ever. Plus, the intel parasites who cynically use the “disinformation” label for political purposes obviously assume they will never have to face accountability. And why should they? With America verging toward full-blown nuclear war with Russia, the regime will only apply the disinformation label more aggressively in the era to come.
Thus, it is important to recognize the ploy for exactly what it is. The “Russian disinformation” canard has never been about stopping foreign threats. It has always been about protecting our corrupt power elite from the justified anger of the American people.
But we can whine and complain all day about media and Deep State unfairness. Here are some more practical takeaways from this sham:
1. Never believe the “disinformation” scam ever again, for any reason. The intelligence services have entirely forfeited any and all public trust on this topic. At this very moment, hundreds of Republican lawmakers, pundits, and D.C. creatures are being herded like cattle into supporting greater censorship of Russia, China, or anyone “supporting” them. This is a grievous blunder. Indeed, lower-level establishment flunkies and stooges will only have themselves to blame when these new powers are turned back against them. Of course, the ability to wield these tools like a weapon over a cowed populace is exactly the real purpose of expanding such powers in the first place.
2. Take the news out of the press’ hands. In hindsight, it was clearly a mistake for Rudy Giuliani to try and carefully release the laptop’s contents through press outlets. The story trickled out too slowly, and it was too easy for the press and Big Tech to unite in simply shutting out the New York Post entirely. If the laptop’s entire contents had simply been uploaded online for anybody to read, a la Wikileaks, suppressing the story would have been much harder, verging on impossible.
3. Defund the intelligence state. America’s intelligence agencies have essentially gone rogue. They spied on the Trump campaign in 2016 and sabotaged President Trump internally from 2017 onward. They constantly deliver preposterous lies in the guise of “expertise”, which is then used to justify mass censorship and the stripping of Americans’ rights. Oh, and they’re the same group behind warrantless espionage and the Iraq War and so much else. The intelligence agencies have become one of the chief impediments to American liberty, and they have declared American nationalists, populists, and conservatives a de facto enemy class. Breaking the power of these agencies should be the primary political goal of all decent Americans in the years to come. A good blueprint for a future Republican presidency? Declassify everything, so agencies can no longer conceal their blunders, lies, and outright crimes under the cloak of “national security.”
Those are just a few starting points. The key point is this: The press, Big Tech, and the intelligence services cannot be shamed into greater honesty. They have no shame whatsoever, so complaining about them and crying flagging hypocrisy is useless. Pointing and sputtering about their lies two years later only gives them the power trip of appreciating how successful the lies were. So don’t just point and sputter: Do better, and build an America where the perpetrators of these lies get the treatment and attention they deserve.