I recently wrote a column on the growing taboo in the media over mentioning the actual facts, or even name, of Hunter Biden and his dealings in the Ukraine. Yesterday, former Vice President Joe Biden addressed the issue . . . sort of. Once again, he was not pushed to deal with the specifics of the dealings or the overwhelming view that the contract was a raw effort to influence him through his family. Instead, Biden continued the mantra that there is no proof of wrongdoing and then added that “no one — no one — has asserted my son did a single thing wrong.”
That is obviously untrue. Many of us have suggested that Hunter Biden engaged in a classic method of profiteering off his father’s public office. Even stranger was Biden’s claim that “I’m the reason there is impeachment going on.” Biden has continued to make statements that are untrue, including his claim to being one of the earliest opponents of the Iraq War, but this one is particularly baffling. Biden was one of the last major Democrats to support impeachment and seemed to have no impact on the public debate or moves in Congress.
For his part, Hunter Biden has declared that he will step down from a controversial Chinese company at the end of this month and avoid further foreign dealings if his father is elected president.
Joe Biden seems to ignore a variety of columns and articles that his own campaign has objected to in writing while demanding that the media refuse to air the allegations against Hunter Biden. Instead Biden simply declares: “No one — no one — has asserted my son did a single thing wrong. No one has asserted that I have done anything wrong except the lying President.”
Biden added “I can tell you now, if I am your president — next president — I’m going to build on the squeaky clean, transparent environment that we had in the Obama-Biden White House.” That itself is a rather odd statement since his son’s controversial dealing in Ukraine and China occurred during his administration as did controversial payments to the Clintons and their foundation from foreign interests. That would not exactly be the model that many of us have in mind.
One welcomed pledge was not to have any family members working in the White House. I have been critical of the nepotism shown by Trump in the placement of his daughter and son-in-law in positions of power.
There does not appear to be any meaningful change in the coverage, which largely coincides with the Biden campaign demand that the media decline to air the specific allegations of the use of such contracts with family members for unethical or corrupt purposes. Paying children or spouses has been a favorite form of influence peddling in Washington. The elite has largely kept that loophole open with bipartisan support as family members cash in on access to or influence with powerful politicians. Most of us consider that wrongdoing where or not it is prosecuted. It remains a corrupt, if legal, practice.