The Rise of The Corporate Censors: How America Is Drifting Toward The Chinese Model Of Media

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the censorship of the Hunter Biden controversy by Facebook and Twitter. The response of the Biden campaign and figures like Rep. Adam Schiff has been to dismiss the story as the likely product of Russian intelligence. Notably however they do not address the underlying emails. As many of us have written, there is ample reason to suspect foreign intelligence and the FBI is reportedly investigating that possibility. However, that does not mean that the emails are not authentic. Hillary Clinton was hacked by Russia but the emails were still real. It is possible to investigate both those responsible for the laptop’s disclosure and what has been disclosed on the laptop. The censorship by these companies however has magnified concerns in the controversy, particularly with the disclosure of close connections between some company officials and the Biden campaign.

Chinese citizens watched President Xi Jinping deliver an important speech this week not far from Hong Kong. Well, not the whole speech: Xi apparently is ill, and every time he went into coughing spasms, China’s state media cut away so that he would be shown only in perfect health.

Xi’s coughs came to mind as Twitter and Facebook prevented Americans from being able to read the New York Post’s explosive allegations of influence-peddling by Hunter Biden through their sites. The articles cited material reportedly recovered from a laptop; it purportedly showed requests for Hunter Biden to use his influence on his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, as well as embarrassing photos of Hunter Biden.

Many of us have questioned the sketchy details of how the laptop reportedly was left by Hunter Biden with a nearly blind computer repairman and then revealed just weeks before the presidential election. There are ample reasons to question whether this material was the product of a foreign intelligence operation, which the FBI apparently is investigating.

Yet the funny thing about kompromat — a Russian term for compromising information — is that often it is true. Indeed, it is most damaging and most useful when it is true; otherwise, you deny the allegations and expose the lie. Hunter Biden has yet to deny these were his laptop, his emails, his images. If thousands of emails and images were fabricated, then serious crimes were committed. But if the emails and images are genuine, then the Bidens appear to have lied for years as a raw influence-peddling scheme worth millions stretched from China to Ukraine to Russia. Moreover, these countries likely have had the compromising information all along while the Bidens — and the media — were denying reports of illicit activities.

Either way, this was major news.

The response of Twitter and Facebook, however, was to shut it all down. Major media companies also imposed a virtual blackout on the allegations. It didn’t matter that thousands of emails were available for review or that the Bidens did not directly address the material. It was all declared to be fake news.

The tech companies’ actions are an outrageous example of open censorship and bias. It shows how private companies effectively can become state media working for one party. This, of course, was more serious than deleting coughs, but it was based on the same excuse of “protecting” the public from distractions or distortions. Indeed, it was the realization of political and academic calls that have been building for years.

Democratic leaders from Hillary Clinton to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) have long demanded such private censorship from social media companies, despite objections from some of us in the free speech community; Joe Biden himself demanded that those companies remove President Trump’s statements about voting fraud as fake news. Academics have lined up to support calls for censorship, too. Recently, Harvard law professor Jack Goldsmith and University of Arizona law professor Andrew Keane Woods called for Chinese-style internet censorship and declared that “in the great debate of the past two decades about freedom versus control of the network, China was largely right and the United States was largely wrong.”

It turns out traditional notions of journalism and a free press are outdated, too, and China again appears to be the model for the future. Recently, Stanford communications Professor Emeritus Ted Glasser publicly denounced the notion of objectivity in journalism as too constraining for reporters seeking “social justice.” In an interview with The Stanford Daily, Glasser insisted that journalism needed to “free itself from this notion of objectivity to develop a sense of social justice.” He said reporters must embrace the role of “activists” and that it is “hard to do that under the constraints of objectivity.” Problem solved.

Such views make Twitter and Facebook’s censorship of the Post not simply justified but commendable — regardless of whether the alleged Biden material proves to be authentic. As Twitter buckled under criticism of its actions, it shifted its rationale from combating fake news to barring hacked or stolen information. (Putting aside that the information allegedly came from a laptop, not hacking, this rule would block the public from reviewing any story based on, say, whistleblowers revealing nonpublic information, from the Pentagon Papers to Watergate. Moreover, Twitter seemingly had no qualms about publishing thousands of stories based on the same type of information about the Trump family or campaign.) Twitter now says it will allow hacked information if not posted by the hacker.

Social media companies have long enjoyed protection, under Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act, from liability over what users post or share. The reason is that those companies are viewed as neutral platforms, a means for people to sign up to read the views or thoughts of other people. Under Section 230, a company such as Twitter was treated as merely providing the means, not the content. Yet for Twitter to tag tweets with warnings or block tweets altogether is akin to the telephone company cutting into a line to say it doesn’t like what two callers are discussing.

Facebook and Twitter have now made the case against themselves for stripping social media companies of immunity. That would be a huge loss not only to these companies but to free speech as well. We would lose the greatest single advance in free speech via an unregulated internet.

At the same time, we are seeing a rejection of journalistic objectivity in favor of activism. The New York Times apologized for publishing a column by a conservative U.S. senator on using national guardsmen to quell rioting — yet it later published a column by a Chinese official called “Beijing’s enforcer” who is crushing protests in Hong Kong. The media spent years publishing every wacky theory of alleged Trump-Russia collusion; thousands of articles detailed allegations from the Steele dossier, which has been not only discredited but also shown to be based on material from a known Russian agent.

When the Steele dossier was revealed, many of us agreed on the need to investigate because, even if it was the work of foreign intelligence, the underlying kompromat could be true. Today, in contrast, the media is not only dismissing the need to investigate the Biden emails, but ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos didn’t ask Biden about the allegations during a two-hour town hall event on Thursday.

This leaves us with a Zen-like question: If social media giants prevent the sharing of a scandal and the media refuses to cover it, did a scandal ever occur? After all, an allegation is a scandal only if it is damaging. No coverage, no damage, no scandal. Just deleted coughs lost in the ether of a controlled media and internet.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can find his updates online @JonathanTurley.

296 thoughts on “The Rise of The Corporate Censors: How America Is Drifting Toward The Chinese Model Of Media”

  1. What does it say about a country that is about to have a woefully inexperienced, barren, hyphenate, daughter of foreign citizens, who has never created a dollar of wealth, who used sex to obtain a “career path,” who rented a nice white family for this occasion, who was so unpopular she was run out of her party’s primary election process, ensconced as president?

    You don’t suppose America is now enslaved by Tytler’s dictatorship, do you?

    1. WHAT!!! You’re not OK with a self-serving woman POTUS who garnered 2% (two for our numbers challenged progressives) approval before dropping out, after which she/it blamed its abject, pathetic and almost total failure on SEXISM when the polled group is solely DEMONKRAPS?

  2. https://nypost.com/2020/10/20/meet-your-chinese-facebook-censors/

    There are at least half a dozen “Chinese nationals who are working on censorship,” a former Facebook insider told me last week. “So at some point, they [Facebook bosses] thought, ‘Hey, we’re going to get them H-1B visas so they can do this work.’ ”

    The insider shared an internal directory of the team that does much of this work. It’s called Hate-Speech Engineering (George Orwell, call your office), and most of its members are based at Facebook’s offices in Seattle. Many have Ph.D.s, and their work is extremely complex, involving machine learning — teaching “computers how to learn and act without being explicitly programmed,” as the techy Web site DeepAI.org puts it.

    UNBELIEVABLE — SMASH FACEBOOK INTO TINY LITTLE PIECES NOW WITH ANTITRUST– ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE!

    1. I don’t think “Deep Throat” had as much illicit filming as Hunter Biden had on his laptop. It seems the Bidens are involved in a lot more than expected.

  3. Majority of likely voters believe Biden had conflict of interest involving Ukraine oversight, son

    Twenty-six percent of respondent said Biden’s oversight did not pose a conflict of interest. _JTN
    ——

    That leaves 74% that believe Joe Biden was involved in shady dealings.

    1. A couple of posters on this blog responded to articles written by John Solomon as lies and called Solomon a discredited journalist. He isn’t and is probably one of the best investigative journalists around to day. The posters didn’t like the articles about Ukraine that started April 2019 and now we have the laptop. Puts those posters to shame.

      A brief explanation by John Solomon in a short video at:

      https://justthenews.com/politics-policy/polling/majority-likely-voters-believe-biden-had-conflict-interest-regarding?utm_source=breaking-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter

  4. More About Trump’s Imagined Call To Exxon

    Shortly after President Trump said at a campaign rally that he could, hypothetically, call up the chief executive of Exxon Mobil and ask for a campaign contribution in return for granting political favors, the company took to Twitter to say that no such call had ever taken place.

    “We are aware of the President’s statement regarding a hypothetical call” with Darren Woods, Exxon’s chief executive, the company wrote on Twitter. “Just so we’re all clear, it never happened.”

    At a campaign rally in Prescott, Ariz., on Monday, Mr. Trump told the crowd that he could be “the greatest fund-raiser in history” if he wanted.

    “Don’t forget, I’m not bad at that stuff anyway, and I’m president,” Mr. Trump said.

    He described a hypothetical phone call to Exxon, America’s largest energy company, seeking a campaign contribution.

    “So I call some guy, the head of Exxon. I call the head of Exxon. I don’t know,” he said.

    Mr. Trump said he could say: “Hi. How are you doing? How’s energy coming? When are you doing the exploration? Oh, you need a couple of permits?”

    Mr. Trump said he could ask for $25 million and the response from Exxon would be positive. “Absolutely sir, why didn’t you ask? Would you like some more?’” Mr. Trump said as he played out the scenario for the applauding crowd.

    “I will hit a home run every single call,” he said. “I would raise a billion dollars in one day if I wanted to. I don’t want to do that.”

    Federal law prohibits campaign contributions in exchange for a favor or advantage granted, like exploration and production licenses.

    Exxon said no such call had ever happened.

    The oil and gas sector has been a major source of campaign contributions to the president, who has spent the last several years rolling back environmental regulations.

    Mr. Trump’s comments came after reports showing his challenger, Joseph R. Biden Jr., has outpaced him in fund-raising. In just over a year, Mr. Biden’s online fund-raising has increased 1,000-fold, to $24.1 million on Sept. 30. At the same time, the Trump campaign is reining in its budget.

    Edited From: “Trump Describes Hypothetical Quid Pro Quo With Exxon. Exxon Says It Never Happened”

    Todays New York Times

    1. REGARDING ABOVE:

      This episode of Trump improvising on stage quite arguably deserves more coverage than the Hunter Biden story.

      Here Trump seemingly jokes about a quid pro quo type of a phone call. The type of call that got him impeached!

      Trump willingness to joke in this manner, before a campaign rally, suggests a break from reality. ..Or Reality TV..! Trump keeps thinking “The Apprentice”.

      So Trump feels compelled say rash and wild things. That’s what drives the ratings in Reality TV. Trump never left that mindset. He’s been stuck there these 4 years.

  5. She can say it because she is black.

    Women and equalities minister Kemi Badenoch had branded the BLM movement as ‘anti-capitalist’ and ‘political’.
    https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/tory-government-minister-uses-n-22878843

    A Government minister has used the ‘N-word’ in the Commons during a debate mentioning Black Lives Matter (BLM).

    Women and equalities minister Kemi Badenoch had branded the movement as ‘anti-capitalist’ and ‘political’.

    She told MPs that a white BLM protester called a black armed police officer guarding Downing Street during this summer’s protests a ‘pet n*****’.

    Conservatives ‘do not endorse that movement’ due to examples like that, she added.

    Responding to the general debate on Black History Month in the Commons, Ms Badenoch said: “Some schools have decided to openly support the anti-capitalist Black Lives Matter group – often fully aware that they have the statutory duty to be politically impartial.

    “Black lives do matter, of course they do, but we know that the Black Lives Matter movement – capital B, L, M – is political.

    “I know this, because at the height of the protest, I’ve been told of white Black Lives Matter protesters calling – and I apologise for saying this word – calling a black armed police officer guarding Downing Street a ‘pet n*****’.

    “That is why we do not endorse that movement on this side of the House. It is a political movement and what would be nice would be for members on the opposite side to condemn many of the actions that we see of this political movement, instead of pretending that it is a completely wholesome anti-racist organisation.

    1. It’s not uncommon for those on the left to act in that fashion. Joe Biden used the “n” word many times on the floor of the Senate. He is a leftist and a racist. Don’t forget “Well, I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”

      Can’t leave out two more that everyone remembers.

      “You got the first mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

      “We should challenge students in these schools. We have this notion that somehow if you’re poor, you cannot do it. Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.”

  6. Please view Bill Binney’s research and interviews.
    In short, he attempt two or three times to download, hack, the DNC from inside the United States, Ohio and Indiana as well as Pennsylvania or Maryland.
    It could not and can’t be done.
    The issue is “speed.”
    Your citing or quoting the FBI would be laughable, if it were not truly sad.
    dennis hanna

    1. dennis is right. it would have been sucking a golfball thru a garden hose. bandwidth!

      the emails came mostly or entirely from an insider dowloan on to a thumb drive, necessarily

      in theory there could have been a hack that ran alongside this but most of the data must have been pulled by hand from an insider with workstation access

  7. Trump Tells Rally That He Calls Corporate CEO’s To Arrange Mutual Favors.

    Exxon Tweets ‘Clarification’ Denying Any Play

    The US president invoked the company’s name at a rally in Arizona, saying all he had to do to raise funds was call Wall Street and oil executives.
    He suggested calling Exxon’s boss to offer permits in exchange for funds – adding he would never make such a call.

    Exxon said on Twitter: “Just so we’re all clear, it never happened.”

    At the rally President Trump gave a scenario of what he could do: “Don’t forget, I’m not bad at that stuff anyway, and I’m president. “So I call some guy, the head of Exxon. I call the head of Exxon. I don’t know.”

    President Trump went on to describe a hypothetical conversation: “How are you doing? How’s energy coming? When are you doing the exploration? Oh, you need a couple of permits?”

    “When I call the head of Exxon I say, ‘You know, I’d love [for you] to send me $25m [£19m] for the campaign.’ ‘Absolutely sir,'” he added. “I will hit a home run every single call,” Mr Trump said. “I would raise a billion dollars in one day if I wanted to. I don’t want to do that.”

    Exxon said on Twitter that Exxon chief executive Darren Woods had not had such a call with the president.

    “We are aware of the President’s statement regarding a hypothetical call with our CEO [chief executive]… and just so we’re all clear, it never happened,” Exxon said.
    President Trump has been trailing Mr Biden in opinion polls and more recently in fundraising.

    Mr Trump’s re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee started the last full month before the election on 3 November with $251.4m in cash, after raising $247.8m in September.

    The intake was about $135m less than the amount raised for Mr Biden in September.

    However, President Trump has raised more than Mr Biden overall. According to NPR, Donald Trump has raised $1.33bn, while Joe Biden has raised $990m.

    Full Story from: “Exxon Clarifies Trump Phone Call: It Never Happened”

    Today’s BBC
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    Here is yet another example of how unhinged and irresponsible Donald Trump really is. To begin with, if there was any truth here, it would be shocking for the president to admit such ‘deal-making’. And certainly Exxon wants no publicity like this. But more shockingly, this story seems to confirm that Trump really pressured Ukraine with the quid-pro-quo that got him impeached. What Trump refers to here ‘is’ a quid pro quo for all practical purposes. In short Donald Trump is the man who never learns.

    1. It’s not shocking for Trump to do illegal things in public. He openly used WH employees help him produce a campaign speech from the WH during the RNC convention. It’s illegal for him to have WH employees do that, as it’s a Hatch Act violation.

      A year ago, he publicly said “China should start an investigation into the Bidens because what happened in China is just about as bad as Ukraine.” Asking China for election help is illegal. Federal Election Commission Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub responded “It is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election. This is not a novel concept.”

      Trump seems to think that doing it in public protects him, as his base just assumes that if he does it in public then it couldn’t be illegal.

      In this case, the Exxon reference seems to be a hypothetical, but you’re right about it exemplifying how unhinged and irresponsible he is.

    2. Exxon said on Twitter: “Just so we’re all clear, it never happened.”

      Perhaps Twitter should have refused to republish that Exxon statement pending a wiretap report from FBI Director Wray?

      A tweet from Rudy Giuliani: “#CrookedJoeBiden used his addicted son to be his bagman and required him to give him 50% of the bribes he collected. What kind of father does this? And why is the Swamp Media covering it up so you, the American people, don’t get this information?”

      https://twitter.com/RudyGiuliani/status/1318379353965723648

  8. Mr. Turley writes: “The tech companies’ actions are an outrageous example of open censorship and bias. It shows how private companies effectively can become state media working for one party.”

    Senator Grassley’s (R-IA) Senate floor remarks yesterday afternoon: “What happened last week is election interference and anti-conservative bias, and Facebook and Twitter are guilty.”

    Short, strong statement:

    https://www.grassley.senate.gov/news/news-releases/grassley-big-tech-censorship-and-hunter-biden-investigation

    “Another FBI Director finds himself in a political vise” – good article from Politico on the left side of FBI Director Wray’s thought process:

    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/10/19/christopher-wray-fbi-trump-430243

    1. We understand that Turley will bend facts and spout nonsense to help Trump get elected, but this jive reaches a new low. Not only is he demanding that privately owned companies must not exercise a minimal level of control over the content on their sites, but that news sources and prime time interviewers must publish and highlight salacious material which is from a suspicious source and potentially damaging 2 weeks before an election beyond the serious import of what it may mean at it’s worse. His implications of partisan ship in the media is BS as responsible news sources hold back until they have confirmation on this kind of thing. We read front page articles for weeks about the DNC emails and Hillary’s reopened investigation on the NYTs and WaPo in 2016 and the Steele Dossier was unknown to most until after that election. Turley is engaging in emotional propaganda to further the dubious cause he’s adopted, not reasonable and fair reflection on principles and practices for responsible institutions. Grassley? What would we expect?

      1. Joe Friday writes: “His implications of partisanship in the media is BS as responsible news sources hold back until they have confirmation on this kind of thing.”

        Why, if Facebook and Twitter were correct not to let the story run, are the Biden’s not suing the NY Post and/or Rudy Giuliani?

        Turley writes: “As many of us have written, there is ample reason to suspect foreign intelligence and the FBI is reportedly investigating that possibility.”

        This seems like evidence of Turley’s impartiality and his maintenance of connections on the left.

        Turley writes: “The censorship by these companies however has magnified concerns in the controversy, particularly with the disclosure of close connections between some company officials and the Biden campaign.”

        But let’s say Joe Friday is correct about Big Tech holding back until they have more confirmation. DNI Ratcliffe has already spoken up that Hunter Biden’s laptop is in the FBI’s possession and there is no intelligence suggesting it’s Russian disinformation. Is that not confirmation enough?

        Well, let’s say it is not a substantial enough confirmation because DNI Ratcliffe is a Trump nominee who was confirmed along sharply divided party lines. Should a denial or confirmation of charges against Hunter Biden therefore come from FBI Director Wray, who was confirmed in a 92-5 vote by the Senate? And should the FBI’s denial or confirmation of intent to pursue charges come before or after the election, if Chairman Johnson and the American people have a timely right to know at all?

        1. You ask why the Bidens aren’t suing. What’s the average amount of time between a defamatory claim being printed or stated and a defamation suit being filed? (I don’t know the answer. Do you? I don’t assume that suits are generally filed immediately.)

          Joe Biden is busy right now. He may not want to waste time consulting with lawyers about filing suit.
          I would think that Hunter Biden would defer to his father re: the timing.
          Since both Bidens are public figures, they’d have to show actual malice and reckless disregard for the truth, not simply that the NY Post and Giuliani claims are false.

          1. First, establish that the laptop materials are not part of a foreign disinformation campaign.

            https://www.foxnews.com/politics/fbi-says-they

            “In a letter to Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson, exclusively obtained by Fox News, the FBI said they “have nothing to add at this time to the October 19th public statement by the Director of National Intelligence about the available actionable intelligence.””

            Second, maintain FBI neutrality.

            “The FBI, in its letter to Johnson, wrote that “consistent with longstanding Department of Justice (Department) policy and practice, the FBI can neither confirm nor deny the existence of any ongoing investigation or persons or entities under investigation, including to Members of Congress.””

            According to Newsweek, Delaware Police have referred the laptop probe to the FBI:

            https://www.newsweek.com/hunter-bidens-laptop-probe-referred-fbi-delaware-state-police-say-1540818

            The Bidens have a few strategic options. Refusal to acknowledge the allegations (as anything but a smear campaign) is one strategy. Cal Cunningham chose another route and it does not seem to be hurting him too much in the NC polls.

            1. I don’t interpret the FBI saying that they have nothing to add to Ratcliffe’s public statement right now as “the laptop materials are not part of a foreign disinformation campaign.” I interpret it as them trying to act consistently with FBI policy and refrain from commenting before an election, especially since they’re not charging anyone.

              Ratcliffe, on the hand, has clearly been acting as a partisan since he became DNI. We already know that he’s willing to lie in public about things, because his public lying is a key reason his nomination was withdrawn the first time Trump nominated him for DNI. Commentary about that from a longtime CIA chief of station about Ratcliffe – https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/20/opinion/john-ratcliffe-trump.html

              I don’t see this as analogous to Cal Cunningham’s situation, especially if it is a Russian disinformation effort. Dozens of former intelligence officials say “the arrival on the US political scene of emails purportedly belonging to Vice President Biden’s son Hunter, much of it related to his <me serving on the Board of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma, has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation" (https://www.politico.com/f/?id=00000175-4393-d7aa-af77-579f9b330000). Right now, we don't know.

              1. “the arrival on the US political scene of emails purportedly belonging to Vice President Biden’s son Hunter, much of it related to his <me serving on the Board of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma, has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation”

                information, not disinformation? I remember a time not that long ago when American media was our trusted source for information and the Russians were our enemy. Today the MSM have joined the Russians as an enemy to the American people.

                1. OLLY said: “I remember a time not that long ago when American media was our trusted source for information…”

                  What a dreamer.

              2. Anonymous:

                More context from: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/fbi-says-they

                “As you may know, the Office of the Director of National intelligence has advised the American public that, in advance of the 2020 election, a number of nation-states plan to use covert and overt influence measures in an attempt to sway voter preferences and perspectives, sow discord in the United States, and undermine the confidence of Americans in our democratic process,” FBI Assistant Director Jill Tyson of the Office of Congressional Affairs wrote to Johnson.

                “The FBI is the primary investigative agency responsible for the integrity and security of the 2020 election, and as such, we are focused on an array of threats, including the threat of malign foreign influence operations,” Tyson wrote. “Regarding the subject of your letter, we have nothing to add at this time to the October 19th public statement by the Director of National Intelligence about the available actionable intelligence.”

                Tyson added: “If actionable intelligence is developed, the FBI in consultation with the Intelligence Community will evaluate the need to provide defensive briefings to you and the Committee pursuant to the established notification framework.”

                1. I already read the FBI letter in full.

                  There’s a copy here from Jacqui Heinrich, a Fox News National Correspondent, along with commentary – https://twitter.com/JacquiHeinrich/status/1318790839485845504

                  She says “FBI indicates it IS investigating POSSIBILITY of foreign interference on Hunter Biden laptop: “nothing to add” to Ratcliffe’s claim that it’s NOT Russian disinfo, adding if actionable intel develops, FBI *may* inform Homeland Security Cmte. … Regarding the FBI’s statement that they have “nothing to add” to Ratcliffe’s statement: They understand this to mean FBI has nothing to add about *available actionable intelligence* at this time, but the investigation is ongoing – not understand it as affirming Ratcliffe.”

                  1. Thanks, Anonymous. Now I have read the FBI’s letter in full, too. It is admittedly a bit cryptic, but I disagree with the idea the letter is meant to be read as SUBTRACTING anything from DNI Ratcliffe’s statement.

                    Ockham’s razor, the laptop is Hunter’s and he is responsible for lapses in judgment. This does not mean his psychiatric problems should be a subject of Trump attacks, let alone the “October surprise” fulcrum of Trump’s 2020 election campaign.

                    Not unless the FBI is sitting on evidence of grave crime involving Joe Biden, too.

                    The burden is on Schiff to demonstrate the basis of his Kremlin smear campaign.

                    Washington and Moscow must work together for peace and prosperity on the UN Security Council and beyond, regardless of who wins in 2020:

                    https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/20/europe/russia-nuclear-arsenal-us-treaty-intl/index.html

                    Putin says he will work with Biden:

                    https://www.npr.org/2020/10/14/923565242/putin-says-hell-work-with-whoever-wins-u-s-presidential-election

                    “Many Russians aren’t so sure they’d like to see Trump’s reelection, including Russia’s top opinion-maker. On state television’s flagship news show, anchor Dmitry Kiselyov used the first presidential debate to criticize America as a whole. He said anybody who watched the acrimonious debate was left with a feeling of disgust. According to a poll conducted last month, only 23% of Russians are positive about Trump, while 43% are negative.”

                    The conclusion that Moscow only benefits from chaos in the US, and therefore must be responsible for this laptop scandal, is wrong-headed and unfortunate.

                    1. Occam’s Razor tells you that this has all come out now for political reasons, not because there’s something significant to it. Occam’s Razor says it’s unlikely to be Hunter Biden’s: it makes no sense that he’d drop off so much sensitive material and then never check back about it.

                      The store owner says that he had the laptop since April 2019, a year and a half ago.
                      The store owner says that the FBI took possession of the laptop and external hard drive last December.
                      The store owner says he made a copy before he gave the these to the FBI and that he gave copies to Giuliani.
                      When did he give the copies to Giuliani?
                      Why did they wait so long to make it public?

                      Putin wants the US to be as weak as possible.

                    2. Anonymous:

                      Not “Occam’s Razor tells you that this has all come out now for political reasons BECAUSE there’s something significant to it”?!

                      You’ll get no claim to omniscience on my side of the argument. I find the idea of a Russian-faked laptop assassinating the character of Joe Biden’s son the harder of the two scenarios to believe, but I have a higher opinion of Putin’s Russia than you do. I don’t think suicide is on the Kremlin’s mind. If it IS a Russian disinformation operation, and Joe Biden wins the 2020 election, what will that do to the next 4-8 years of US-Russian relations? And even if Biden does not win the 2020 election, how should we expect the next Congress to respond to this near act of war? It would be a huge gamble on the Kremlin’s part. But time may prove me wrong.

                      Turley tweets: “Breaking tonight: The Hunter Biden laptop was reportedly part of a money laundering investigation. That would seem to support that this was Biden’s laptop and the emails were viewed as likely authentic. It would also explain why the Biden camp has not claimed that the laptop and emails were fabricated. If they are authentic, there are troubling emails referring to meetings with Joe Biden and even a reference to a possible future payment to the former Vice President.”

              3. Quit with the stupid anti-Russian McCarthyite scare tactics already. You Democrats want to whip everyone up with negative emotions. This one is FEAR

                well it aint working because we FEAR you creeps a lot more than we do the Baba Yaga in the Kremlin

  9. Tytler’s Drift – Tytler’s Dictatorship

    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to selfishness; From selfishness to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage.”

    – Alexander Tytler

    1. Why Biden Will Need to Spend Big

      The economic case for deficit spending is overwhelming.

      By Paul Krugman

      Opinion Columnist

      Oct. 19, 2020

      https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/19/opinion/joe-biden-deficit-spending.html

      What should Joe Biden’s economic policy be if he wins (and Democrats take the Senate, so that he can actually pass legislation)? I’m pretty sure I know what his economists think he should do, but I’m not equally sure that everyone on his political team fully gets it, and I’m worried that the news media will experience sticker shock — that is, they may not be ready for the price tag on what he should and probably will propose.

      So here’s what everyone should understand: Given the current and likely future state of the U.S. economy, it’s time to (a) spend a lot of money on the future and (b) not worry about where the money is coming from. For now, and for at least the next few years, large-scale deficit spending isn’t just OK, it’s the only responsible thing to do.

      Today’s column will be about the economics; I’ll talk about the politics another day.

      First things first: If Biden is inaugurated in January, he will inherit a nation still devastated by the coronavirus. Trump keeps saying that we’re “rounding the corner,” but the reality is that cases and hospitalizations are surging (and anyone expecting a lame-duck Trump administration to take effective action against the surge is living in a dream world.) And we won’t be able to have a full economic recovery as long as the pandemic is still raging.

      What this means is that it will be crucial to provide another round of large-scale fiscal relief, especially aid to the unemployed and to cash-strapped state and local governments. The main purpose of this relief will be humanitarian — helping families pay the rent and keep food on the table, helping cities and towns avoid devastating cuts in essential services. But it will also help avoid a downward economic spiral, by heading off a potential collapse in consumer and local government spending.

      The need for big spending will not, however, end with the pandemic. We also need to invest in our future. After years of public underspending, America desperately needs to upgrade its infrastructure. In particular, we should be investing heavily in the transition to an environmentally sustainable economy. And we should also do much more to help children grow up to be healthy, productive adults; America spends shamefully little on aid to families compared with other wealthy countries.

      But how can we pay for all this investment? Bad question.

      You sometimes hear people saying that the government should be run like a business. That’s a poor analogy in many ways. But for what it’s worth, think of what smart businesses do when they face great investment opportunities and have access to cheap capital: they raise a lot of money.

      We’ve just seen that the U.S. government needs to invest large sums in the future. What about access to capital? The answer is that there’s a global savings glut — the sums individuals want to save persistently exceed the sums businesses are willing to invest. And this situation — private savings all dressed up with nowhere to go — translates into extremely low government borrowing costs. In February, before the coronavirus sent us into recession, the average interest rate on long-term inflation-protected U.S. bonds was minus 0.12 percent. Yes, it was less than zero.

      Under these conditions it would actually be irresponsible for the federal government not to engage in large-scale borrowing to invest in the future.

      But shouldn’t we be worrying about running up more government debt? No. -Paul Krugman, NY Times

      1. To quote Krugman in any positive light, Really This Guy is a Economic Moron and God help us if the DC swamp EVER follows his advice.

      2. Paul Krugman, isn’t he the NYTimes economist that predicted a Trump win would lead to bankruptcy of the nation almost immediately? It turned out we had a phenomenal economic expansion and manufacturing jobs came back that Obama thought required a magic wand.

    2. Krugman is right about the need for stimulus and for infrastructure spend and appropriate environmental spend

      he is wrong that Biden will be the winner. cute how he assumes that one. biden may be– but how would krugman know?

      arrogant of him to presume this as if the readers votes have no say in the matter

      thus do Democrat honchos ever squander their political capital on winning winning winning

      he only degraded his own legit message by failing to say “IF”

    3. What kind of idiot would recommend reading the rubbish of another idiot? Someone help me out here. I looked and looked for any accomplishment, even endeavor, by comrade Krugman. I found nothing. This communist poser has never created one dollar of wealth. Apparently, he’s a professional academic (i.e. propagandist/indoctrinationist) who hasn’t endeavored for even one day in the free markets of the private sector, ergo, he knows nothing of free enterprise while he excels in central planning and the mechanisms of control comprising dictatorship. This clown, traitor and mortal enemy should have been exiled from America long ago for being a parasitic loser and for imagining he had any power provided by the Constitution to legislate the nullification of its rights and freedoms and to impose of the principles of the Communist Manifesto on free American people.

      Americans and enterprise in America are free. Get the —- outta here.

      At what point do actual Americans grasp that it has been SOP since the dawn of man to repulse the enemy?

      What the —- are Americans waiting for?

  10. OT: First Weiner, then Avenatti and Cohen and now Toobin? Getting harder and harder to make the case that famous lawyers are not always bad lawyers. Present company excluded, of course.

    Kudos to Lord Acton

    1. I Q if Toobin’s action a result of earlier having view Hunter Biden pictures/videos allegedly beating & raping very very underage Chinese girls?

      There seems no shortage of sick Fs in the world.

      1. I doubt there are any underage pictures on there or the laptop repairman would not have kept a mirror copy. possession of such is a crime whether you are a repairman or not

        they generally are expected to hand such things over to law enforcement and not keep a mirror copy if in fact there is criminal images on them

        it’s the evidence of FOREIGN CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT VIOLATIONS that matters here

        1. Mr K,

          I hear what you’re saying about the pics/videos.

          But there’s something troubling on those hard drives.

          I forget his name but he was the former NYC police chief that’s assisting Rudy go through the material on the hard drive said it’s something he shouldn’t talk about.

          Yesterday Patrick Howely of National threw down & contacted the New York Post to tell them if they didn’t finish publishing the rest of this H/J Biden story within days he would. I haven’t seen the rest of the story yet, it’ll come out

            1. I’m pretty sure Rudy is officially a WH legal Rep.

              I don’t know what material he can look over.

              From what’s in public the whole reason the WH has H/J Biden’s lap stuff was the ………..

              I’ll wait on that other stuff, but much of this is old info the DOJ/FBI has had since before 2018 & withheld the info, as I’m hearing from news.

            2. right, anon, law firms handling illegal use of corporate computers have stubbed their toe on that.

              remember Rudy was an AUSA so he knows that. i don’t think such materials are part of this equation

            3. “If Rudy has child p0rn, he’s breaking the law, regardless of how he got it.”

              Sometimes one has to wonder where you left your brains.

                    1. “WHOA NEWSFLASH RUDY HANDED OVER HARD DRIVE DUE TO UNDERAGE IMAGES”

                      This is what we expect from the left and if it isn’t porn it’s lies and innuendo. We see a lot of the later on this blog.

                    2. Why would Giuliani give it to Delaware police rather than NY police? Why did Giuliani keep it for months before handing it over? Did Giuliani make a copy before handing it to police?

                      If it has child p0rn on it, I certainly hope he’s questioned under oath.

                    3. ” Did Giuliani make a copy before handing it to police? If it has child p0rn on it, I certainly hope he’s questioned under oath.”

                      Anonymous , are you upset that Giuliani didn’t give you a copy of the “child p0rn”? You seem far too incensed over those that are exposing these horrid events rather than the events themselves. One has to think of the possible reasons why.

                    4. well Giuliani did the right thing and he’s going to stand up to that better than Hunter Biden will

                      at worst Giuliani might get disciplined on his law license, that has nappend to lawyers caught in this situation before

                      you have a duty to preserve evidence but you also have a duty to follow the law.

                      when the evidence is radioactive what to do? horns of a dilemma.
                      so what they prolly did was copy the relevant evidence not including the illegal images and then handed over the hard drive copy to the DE cops

                      anyhow that’s trivial to what the impact will be on the Bidens. both of them.

                      this is yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge

                      ps the reason why give it to Delaware is that FBI has had it for months and they’ve fiddled their thumbs doing nothing

                      FAMOUS BUT INCOMPETENT — FBI

                    5. Bernie Ward (admittedly scum of the earth type progressive; he had a call in show asking women to converse about how great was their abortion) did 7 years in a Fed prison for simply having child porn on his computer.

                      I presume pre-election we see images of Joe’s Biden’s Satanic spawn humping under age girls, maybe off-shore in Thailand so that’ll be his defense. Joe got sloppy seconds I suppose?

                      All you progressives glad you voted for Joe Biden, for whom SOP is selling American souls for a few felonious shekels? Joe with some surely upstanding Kazakstan oligarchs. (Maybe it’s all OK because Joe’s kickback from Hunter is only “half” or “10%?”)
                      https://www.the-sun.com/news/1663620/hunter-joe-biden-kazakhstan-oligarch-meeting-ukraine-business/#

                    6. The store owner gave the laptop and external hard drive to the FBI. If there was child p0rn on it, the FBI already knows, and it was illegal for the shop owner to make and keep a copy and give it to Giuliani. If there wasn’t chid p0rn on it, but there’s child p0rn on what Giuliani turned over, then someone else added it to the copy in Giuliani’s possession. Seems important to compare the two copies and see if they’re identical or not.

                      Again: all of these people should be questioned under oath.

                    7. No, Allan, we should start the questioning with the store owner, to find out why he believes Hunter Biden dropped off the laptops when he’s legally blind and can’t see well enough to identify the person who dropped them off. He should produce the original receipt so we can find out whether the image that appeared in the NY Post is accurate. He should be questioned about what he initially saw on the laptop, what if anything he reported to law enforcement, why he made a copy before satisfying the subpoena for the laptop and hard drive, and so forth.

                    8. Likely the store owner has already been questioned but once the basic story is obtained which takes a short time Hunter needs to be questioned. Hunters statements on ownership of the computer needs to be established.

                  1. A Fox News correspondent, Jacqui Heinrich, says “The FBI’s handling of John Paul Mac Isaac indicates he is a target of the investigation, rather than a witness.”

                    1. Your point?

                      I worry about anything the FBI is involved with. They have not acted appropriately and even lied to FISA, withheld information and to this date seems to be playing politics based on their actions.

                      I don’t care who they investigate but one of the first investigations has to be of Hunter to determine ownership of the computer and what is inside.

          1. I think Ted Gunderson had something interesting to say about the OKC matter. But nobody wants to drag that cat out of the bag.

            1. I’ve noticed over the decades big news stories go public like JFK, it’s hot & it starts to cool, then the next hot story & the next….RFK, MLK, …… Ruby Ridge, Waco, OKC… GHWB’s Barry Seal/Mena Ark Coke… etc….

              Few people follow this type info & then start to forget it or we die off. Like that piece on the JFK Limo’s windsheild replacement… I seem to recall the head dog at Ford that bulit new & replaced the special glass said it had a pattern consistent with a bullet entry from the front into the passenger compartment. That video is still out there somewhere, but the old windsheild was destroyed immediately, as I recall 4 whatever that’s worth.

              I missed that in that Gunderson piece about GHWB, I’ll to rewatch it now.

                1. I’ll check your site reco here later. News is flying right now like your Hunter Biden news. Interest times we live in. Do we have another Civil War 13/14 days??? Who knows?

                  Years ago there was what I thought was a pretty good summation of the OKC bombing. The other day I thought it was called A Noble Cause but all I could find on youtube was a trailer, A Noble Lie, I Ck’d. It appears to have much of the same footage I recall.

                  1. It’s very unclear what lead up to the OKC bombing and of course the one who could say had his lips sealed permanently in the first execution by the United States in decades

                    One of the best books is Others Unknown by his lawyer Stephen Jones. Jones reasoned that since McVeigh said on 60 minutes that he was incompetent, that was a waiver of client confidentiality and he could tell the story of the case in a book. A reasonable belief I might add based on ethics rules and cases.

                    Jones contends that McVeigh did not cooperate in his own defense, wanting to take the limelight all upon himself as a sort of hero.
                    When Jones would try and get info about other people who helped McVeigh, he would never cooperate. He stymied the efforts.

                    We are left wondering who besides Fortier and Nichols helped him design, get materials, reconnoiter, and pack the truck.

                    There is another credible book on the ARA the midwestern bank robbers which illuminates those questions. IE perhaps some of them helped. And perhaps McV helped them too. Now this was the time of Operation PATCON an FBI “investigation” of hundreds of not thousands of individuals and groups nationwide that were deemed “racist militia types” and so forth. Including such like as the Branch Dravidians who had several black members not that this stops the FBI from calling them a racist cult anyways.

                    anyhow as I have often pointed out on this website, several of the ARA “midwestern bank robbers” were federal informants and one seems to have been an undercover.

                    we also know from FOIA requests that the ATF had prior knowledge of actual persons planning to take direct action against the OKC federal building due to the informant Carol Howe. And yet there was no attempt to round these people up ahead of the fateful day,

                    This is a rabbit hole. The more you dig the worse it stinks. I recommend leaving it alone. I was told to forget about it and I did not listen and instead I wasted a lot of energy on it. Some 8 years later the same could be said of wtc7.

                    The bottom line is there is very little we can do to make change. The one thing we can do before us now, is vote. Like our lives depend on it, because they may. March all your kin to the polls and make sure they vote. Leave nothing on the table, drain all the gas in the tank. 2 weeks to the hour of decision.

  11. Facebook and Twitter have taken away the soap box from the middle of town.

    America has gone from “free speech” to “no speech.”

    In the glaring absence and impossibility of effective free market competition, Congress must “take” the middle-of-town soap boxes of Facebook and Twitter under eminent domain and establish them as state-regulated monopolies which provide all constitutional rights and freedoms.

    Given the illegal “early” and “vote-by-mail” activities (i.e. Tuesday is one day and one day only) and the suppression of the fraud, betrayal, sell-out and influence peddling of Joe Biden related to the Hunter Biden laptop “October Surprise,” the 2020 election must be declared irredeemably corrupted and unfair – the 2020 election must be deferred.

  12. Posts That Won’t Stick Today

    Yesterday the DOJ charged 6 Russians with cyber-crimes. Curiously the story was under-reported by mainstream media. Ironically, in fact, the Hunter Biden story got more coverage. Which is funny, because, a Russian intelligence official briefed Rudy Guiliani in Ukraine regarding Hunter Biden.

    Oddly my attempts to post that story to this thread have come to nothing so far. It’s like this blog has been programmed to reject any mention of said indictments.

    1. You know that you can post the URL on this forum and it will show up. You have done it many times before to support your opinion. If it was somehow true you would only be getting the Facebook and Twitter treatment. Whats wrong with that?

  13. Communists are the mortal enemies of America.

    There is no redemptive, good aspect or facet of the enemy, the communists.

    The “dictatorship of the proletariat” enslaves people.

    America ended the dictatorship of monarchy.

    Governance in the American republic exists to implement and protect the rights, freedoms, privileges and immunities provided to individuals by the Constitution.

    The Constitution severely limits government to the role of merely facilitating those freedoms through the provision of security and infrastructure.

    Communists have “models” for the provision of news and information, aka propaganda and indoctrination.

    Americans have freedom;

    freedom of the press,

    and courts to penalize defamation; to reveal truth.

    1. I have a deep love for Noam Chomsky’s anti-war stance. Also, he’s an Ashkenazy Jew who supports 100000% anyone’s right to renounce the most popular Western version of the holocaust (AKA “holocaustianity” as named by another so-called self-described Judaic Michael Hoffman). Now that is something that takes balls of titanium.

      Noam certainly has one of the all time most brilliant minds, but I just can’t fathom his affection for any form of Stalinism over Western capitalism, even with all the latter’s faults.

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