Is the Media Burying The Swalwell Story?

We often discuss media coverage and accuracy on developing legal and political controversies.  Much of this discussion recently has focused on the bias shown by the media in the last four years. I have worked for the media as a legal analyst and columnist for years, but I have never before seen this raw and open bias in major media. At the same time, academics are rejecting the very concept of objectivity in journalism in favor of open advocacy.

This morning, Fox News called out all of the networks for zero coverage of the bombshell story from Axios that Rep. Eric Swalwell may have had a close relationship with a suspected Chinese spy who fled to China a few years ago.  Many of us were struck by the lack of coverage, particularly given the position of Swalwell on the House Intelligence Committee and his former bid for the presidency. It was particularly striking when the media is now reluctantly covering the Hunter Biden story after a long blackout before the election. Yet, the most stark comparison is with the exhaustive coverage given the highly analogous story involving an alleged spy, Maria Butina, who had an affair with a high-ranking figure in the National Rifle Association.

Swalwell is alleged to have had a close relationship with Chinese national, Fang Fang or Christine Fang, who not only raised money for him but placed at least one intern in Swalwell’s congressional office, according to Axios. Bizarrely, Swalwell has refused to confirm or deny that he had an intimate relationship with his office claiming that such an answer could compromise classified information. Even that ridiculous comment did not prompt ABC, NBC, or CBS to cover the story. Obviously, Fang and the Chinese already know if she had a sexual relationship with Swalwell. The only people in the dark are the voters.

Swalwell himself explained why this is news. The congressman was one of the most vocal voices calling out a June 2016 meeting that President Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., with Natalia Veselnitskaya, who was accused of being an asset for the Russian government.

Swalwell declared on MSNBC in January 2019: “Stated plainly, the President’s son met with a Russian spy. We now have the best evidence of that in our minority report the Democrats put out that Ms. Veselnitskaya was going all over the world and bumping into Dana Rohrabacher, which is a sign of a spy, someone who tries to create a coincidence encounter, and now we know that she was working at the behest of the Russian government.”

Not even the utter hypocrisy of Swalwell’s position or the lunacy of his classification claim was enough to generate minimal coverage.  There is also no interest in Swalwell remaining on the intelligence committee given his ill-considered relationship.

Swalwell says that he cooperated with the FBI and cut off ties with Fang, who fled to China years ago. There is no indication that he compromised classified information, but such assets are used to often influence powerful leaders or acquire useful background information on other leaders.

MSNBC and other news outlets could not get enough of that story about Trump Jr. but has an effective blackout on the same allegation of Swalwell not just “bumping” into a spy but carrying on a long relationship and even allowing her to raise money for him and help put an intern in his congressional office.

Yet, the greatest contrast is with the NRA story which was endlessly covered. Even when NRA moved to address the relationship between Butina and 57-year-old Republican activist named Paul Erickson.  Hundreds of stories ran on every deal and media explored whether a Russian activist influenced powerful figures or shared information.

The FBI Director just gave a public speech on the extensive and growing espionage efforts of China. Yet, the success of planting an agent with Swalwell and a couple of other politicians is a story given virtual Hunter Biden treatment. While the coverage was never ending, I viewed the stories on the Trump tower meeting and the NRA scandal to be legitimate matters for public concern and discussion. It is the contrast that is disturbing with the Swalwell story. There was a host of legal experts calling for charges for treason and other crimes against Trump Jr., but there is nothing but crickets when a liberal Democratic member is accused of far more extensive contacts with a Chinese spy.  Why?

91 thoughts on “Is the Media Burying The Swalwell Story?”

  1. Reverend Billy Sol Swalwell….. ?????”? isn’t he the one referenced by Imus as having the not a word of print bible and the Church of Faith, Good Hope and Salvation Discount House? Del Rio Texas?

  2. “…
    The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.”

    In a 1787 letter to William Stephens Smith, the son-in-law of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson used the phrase “tree of liberty”:

    I do not know whether it is to yourself or Mr. Adams I am to give my thanks for the copy of the new constitution. I beg leave through you to place them where due. It will be yet three weeks before I shall receive them from America. There are very good articles in it: and very bad. I do not know which preponderate. What we have lately read in the history of Holland, in the chapter on the Stadtholder, would have sufficed to set me against a Chief magistrate eligible for a long duration, if I had ever been disposed towards one: and what we have always read of the elections of Polish kings should have forever excluded the idea of one continuable for life. Wonderful is the effect of impudent and persevering lying. The British ministry have so long hired their gazetteers to repeat and model into every form lies about our being in anarchy, that the world has at length believed them, the English nation has believed them, the ministers themselves have come to believe them, and what is more wonderful, we have believed them ourselves. Yet where does this anarchy exist? Where did it ever exist, except in the single instance of Massachusets? And can history produce an instance of a rebellion so honourably conducted? I say nothing of it’s motives. They were founded in ignorance, not wickedness. God forbid we should ever be 20. years without such a rebellion.(1) The people can not be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. We have had 13. states independant 11. years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century and a half for each state. What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure. Our Convention has been too much impressed by the insurrection of Massachusets: and in the spur of the moment they are setting up a kite to keep the hen yard in order. I hope in god this article will be rectified before the new constitution is accepted.(2)

    This sentence has possibly been misquoted as “every generation needs a new revolution.”
Jefferson to Smith, November 13, 1787, in PTJ, 12:355-57. Transcription available at Founders Online.

    Perhaps, some benefit, if not knowledge, may be gained from reading starting with the book Permanent Record, by Edward Snowden; watching the movie: A Good American, a documentary film, William Edward Binney; researching Thomas Andrew Drake the N.S.A. executive who had also contacted Department of Defense, its inspector general, but anonymously with confidentiality assured. The Assistant Inspector General, John Crane, in charge of the Whistleblower Program, suspecting his superiors provided confidential information to the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), challenged them, was eventually forced from his position, and subsequently himself became a public whistleblower. The punitive treatment of Binney, Drake, and the other whistleblowers also led Edward Snowden to go public with his revelations rather than report through the internal whistleblower program.; and, not last, but first research Mark Klein: In 2006, former AT&T technician Mark Klein told the Electronic Frontier Foundation about what he believed was NSA surveillance taking place inside one of the company’s San Francisco buildings. As he stated in 2006, through his work at AT&T, he learned that the NSA had installed surveillance devices in AT&T facilities in other cities on the West Coast, like Los Angeles and Seattle, just as the Intercept confirmed.

    Empires collapse from within, not from external threats, enemies or force.

    The American Empire embodies no exception, and possesses no Exceptionalism.
    dennis hanna

  3. Turley says: “I have worked for the media as a legal analyst and columnist for years, but I have never before seen this raw and open bias in major media”. Really, Jon? How on earth have you failed to notice the daily pro-Trump lying on Fox? It’s bad enough that they ignore his lying, incompetence, monumental failures and his childish refusal to acknowledge that he lost the election, but they openly advocate for dangerous things that contribute to spreading the COVID pandemic and which has cost lives. Last week, Ingraham had some elderly foreign “doctor” who claimed to be a “retired microbiologist”, who actually said that Dr. Fauci doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Fox encourages people to buck the only things that can save lives, which we will have to do until at least until next summer: wearing masks, social distancing, avoiding crowded indoor spaces and hand washing, but you are complaining about “allegations” and “accusations” against Swalwell, all designed trying to provide credibility for Fox. You no longer have any credibility at all, Turley. That’s just today. You’ve also claimed that Mueller exonerated Trump, which isn’t true.

    1. Natacha, your natural inclination towards idiocy is made all the worse by your pathetic education.


    2. Someone actually said Dr. Fauci doesn’t know what he’s talking about?

      Imagine that. They spoke the truth.

  4. Which remedies did the Framers provide for a treasonous and inimical “free press?”

    What did the Framers intend done when America’s “free press” was seized and controlled by the communist (liberal, progressive, socialist, democrat, RINO) enemy?

    “The goal of socialism is communism.”

    – Vladimir Lenin

    1. The Framers were very rich men, on the average, if not all of them, who wanted a free press enshrined because it would help ensure that the Crown would never regain power

      And yet, they perhaps did not anticipate, that future generations of very rich men would not be virtuous like them, but wicked & evil as are Bezos, Soros, Bloomberg and all the rest of those 700 tyrants unimaginably more powerful and tyrannical than King George was

      They would have rebelled just as they did against King George and watered the tree of liberty!

      We can start with nonviolent tax resistance

      Saloth Sar

  5. Yes, Fang Sounds Like A Spy

    But She Left The Country 5 1/2 Years Ago

    No New Developments!

    Turley’s accusation that mainstream media is ‘burying the Swalwell story” seems unhinged. There’s no new story to report!

    The Axios feature Turley links provides a detailed, thorough account of Miss Fang’s activities. She certainly sounds suspicious. Yet Axios clearly notes the FBI closely tracked Miss Fang. What’s more, Axios clearly notes that Congressman Swalhall is NOT accused of any specific wrongdoings. Swalhall is, in fact, only a secondary character in the Axios piece. The feature mainly concerns Miss Fang and ‘not’ the congressman.

    Therefore Professor Turley appears desperate to gin up some bogus scandal linking Democrats to Chinese spies. Some bogus scandal to divert our attention from Trump’s continuing efforts to overturn the election results. Nothing about this Fang story would warrant front page news coverage at this particular moment. Fang left U.S. soil 5 1/2 years and there are no new developments.

    1. “ No New Developments!”

      Says the gay dude who cant get laid in WeHo who has never been with a woman. LOL

      Chinese women are hawt! No telling what compromising positions she placed Slutwell, 5 years ago, info to be used in undermining Americans.

      He should be shot, hung and set on fire for treason. And you as well for being such a queen! lololol

      1. Gray Anonymous is telling us that he’s just a loser of a nerd incapable of serious debate. And we’ve known that for some time. That’s the reason Gray Anonymous keeps constantly changing names: ‘He’s worthless at debates”. All he can do is smear people while suggesting threats of violence. In this regard, he’s a typical Trump supporter.

      2. What is your reply even supposed to mean?

        You lead off w/ a trite juvenile gay slur, then a racist slur directed at Chinese women, and end up calling for violence…

        What valid point to you fantasize yourself as making w/ such idiotic commentary?

    2. Give me a break. She might no longer be in the country but the fact is one of the most outrageous perpetrators of the Russian hoax was consorting with a Chinese spy and this relationship has only now been made public. Strange that the news media which loves salacious stories especially when it comes to republicans would totally ignore this story. Turley is exactly correct. The MSM is nothing but a mouthpiece of the Democratic Party

      1. Alan K is yet another name for Ralph Chappele and Gray Anonymous. This troll seeks to overwhelm liberals on these threads with gangs of puppet commenters.

        1. “This troll seeks to overwhelm liberals”

          How often do you hear voices in your head?

          Are you related to Son of Sam?

          All you ever post here is unaccredited articles that you have cut and pasted, and juvenile paranoid rambling attacks on anyone not in lockstep with your personal political views.

          You’re a classic example of a pedantic putz, who is miserable.

    3. Anon: “But She Left The Country 5 1/2 Years Ago

      Turley’s accusation that mainstream media is ‘burying the Swalwell story’ seems unhinged.”

      So for 5 1/2 years, the media was doing what?

    4. I think the mainstream media should report on this and on Hunter Biden for other reasons: (1) they are legitimate stories in the sense that they are worth investigating; and (2) in ignoring them, they cede the storytelling to the right and become part of the story by their so-called silence. Investigate then report the facts. I believe Swalwell was an innocent dupe who did nothing wrong, but let’s see the facts. If they belie my belief, so be it. If they don’t, then a fully investigated narrative based on facts emerges to counter the hype from the right.

  6. MSNBC and CNN have both reported that a Chinese spy insinuated herself into Swalwell’s campaign nearly a decade ago. Swalwell cooperated with the FBI’s investigation. There is no indication he compromised national security.
    Exactly what more would you like to see the media do? Should they sensationalize it? Publicly convict him of…something?

    1. There was no evidence of wrongdoing by Trump. or his campaign, Carter Page and others…but ya’ll were happy with three years of investigation, constant media broadsides, and an Impeachment… why not do the same here where there is lots of evidence?

      Oh….I forget….Swalwell is a Leftist Loon from California….and thus above the Law or even slight criticism….right?

      1. Ralph is our usual troll using one of his many ‘established’ names.

        Here Ralph forgets that Trump came into office refusing to even address the possibility of Russian meddling. Like Trump couldn’t even be bothered to make one sincere statement on subject. No wonder a Special Counsel was appointed!

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