America’s State Media: The Blackout on Biden Corruption is Truly “Pulitzer-Level Stuff”

Below is my column in The Hill on the continued media blackout on evidence of influence peddling and corrupt practices by the Biden family. The coverage of the recent disclosure of dozens of LLCs and bank accounts used to funnel up to $10 million to Biden family members captured the growing concerns over a de facto state media in the United States. Under the current approach to journalism, it is the New York Times that receives a Pulitzer for a now debunked Russian collusion story rather than the New York Post for a now proven Hunter Biden laptop story.

Here is the column:

This week, Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) tried to do the impossible. After he and his colleagues presented a labyrinth of LLC shell companies and accounts used to funnel as much as $10 million to Biden family members, Donalds tried to induce the press to show some interest in the massive corruption scandal. “For those in the press, this is easy pickings & Pulitzer-level stuff right here,” he pleaded.

The response was virtually immediate. Despite showing nine Biden family members allegedly receiving funds from corrupt figures in Romania, China and other countries, The New Republic quickly ran a story headlined “Republicans Finally Admit They Have No Incriminating Evidence on Joe Biden.”

For many of us, it was otherworldly. A decade ago, when then-Vice President Joe Biden was denouncing corruption in Romania and Ukraine and promising action by the United States, massive payments were flowing to his son Hunter Biden and a variety of family members, including Biden grandchildren.

Last year, I wrote a column about how the media were preparing a difficult “scandal implosion” to protect the Bidens and themselves from the backlash from disclosures of this influence peddling operation.

The brilliance of the Biden team was that it invested the media in this scandal at the outset by burying the laptop story as “Russian disinformation” before the election. That was, of course, false, but it took two years for most major media outlets to admit that the laptop was authentic.

But the media then ignored what was on that “authentic laptop.” Hundreds of emails detailed potentially criminal conduct and raw influence peddling in foreign countries.

When media outlets such as the New York Post confirmed the emails, the media then insisted that there was no corroboration of the influence peddling payments and no clear proof of criminal conduct. It entirely ignored the obvious corruption itself.

Now that the House has released corroboration in actual money transfers linking many in the Biden family, the media is insisting that this is no scandal because there is no direct proof of payments to Joe Biden.

Putting aside that this is only the fourth month of an investigation, the media’s demand of a direct payment to President Biden is laughably absurd. The payments were going to his family, but he was the object of the influence peddling.

The House has shown millions of dollars going to at least nine Bidens like dividends from a family business. As a long-time critic of influence peddling among both Republicans and Democrats, I have never seen the equal of the Bidens.

The whole purpose of influence peddling is to use family members as shields for corrupt officials. Instead of making a direct payment to a politician, which could be seen as a bribe, you can give millions to his or her spouse or children.

Moreover, these emails include references to Joe Biden getting a 10 percent cut of one Chinese deal. It also shows Biden associates warning not to use Joe Biden’s name but to employ code names like “the Big Guy.” At the same time, the president and the first lady are referenced as benefiting from offices and receiving payments from Hunter.

Indeed, Hunter complains that his father is taking half of everything that he is raking in.

None of that matters. The New York Times ran a piece headlined, “House Republican Report Finds No Evidence of Wrongdoing by President Biden.” That is putting aside evidence against all the family members around Joe Biden. It also ignored that other evidence clearly shows Biden lied about his family not receiving Chinese funds or that he never had any knowledge of his son’s business dealings.

The fact is that the Times may indeed be trying for another Pulitzer Prize. The newspaper previously won a Pulitzer for the now debunked Russian collusion story. It was later revealed that this story was based on a dossier funded by the Clinton campaign and placed in the media by Clinton officials. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bob Woodward warned the co-winner The Washington Post that the story was unreliable but was ignored. The Pulitzer Committee refused to withdraw the award.

Walter Duranty

What Donalds fails to appreciate is that this is sometimes how Pulitzers are made. Roughly 100 years ago, New York Times reporter Walter Duranty won the Pulitzer for his coverage of the Soviet Union despite serving as an apologist for Joe Stalin. Duranty refused to report on actual conditions from mass killing to starvation in the “worker’s paradise.”

Thus, when the Soviets were starving to death as many as 10 million Ukrainians, the Times ran a Duranty story with the headline “Russians Hungry but Not Starving.” He not only spinned Stalin labor camps that killed millions but also attacked reporters who sought to uncover the truth.

Years later, Ukraine and various groups demanded that Duranty’s prize be rescinded, but the Committee insisted that there was no “clear and convincing evidence of deliberate deception.”

What is most impressive about this week is that all but a few outlets seem to be angling for the next Duranty Pulitzer.

In discussing modern Russian propaganda, researchers at the Rand Corporation described it as having “two distinctive features: high numbers of channels and messages and a shameless willingness to disseminate partial truths or outright fictions.”

Sound familiar?

Today we are seeing a much more dangerous phenomenon. The coverage this week has all the markings of a state media. The consistent spin. The almost universal lack of details. The absurd distinctions.

It is the blindside of our First Amendment, which addresses the classic use of state authority to coerce and control media. It does not address a circumstance in which most of the media will maintain an official line by consent rather than coercion.

The media simply fails to see the story. Of course, it can always look to the president for enlightenment. Just before his son received a massive transfer of money from one of the most corrupt figures in Romania, Biden explained to that country why corruption must remain everyone’s focus. “Corruption is a cancer, a cancer that eats away at a citizen’s faith in democracy,” he said. “Corruption is just another form of tyranny.”

It is just a shame that no one wants to cover it.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

368 thoughts on “America’s State Media: The Blackout on Biden Corruption is Truly “Pulitzer-Level Stuff””

  1. The Pulitzer is a much degraded object, a token of shame, almost like Bud Lite or the Oscars.

    You see it awarded and you think, ” Must be woke crap.”

    1. They just awarded a PULITZER ($$$) to a trans woman (MTF) who writes about how they were raped anally as a child, and how this made them into sissies, and then inevitably into a woman, because that is all a woman is… a HOLE (their words) into which they are raped over and over.

      I cant even make this stuff up. Look it up.

  2. Professor Turley,

    There is so much irony in your referencing of the Pulitzer with respect to the Hunter Biden story, which is based on unverified primary sources. The NYP’s reporting truly is a throwback to the yellow journalism of the 1890s-era New York World, which sensationalized the news in order to drive up circulation. This era of reporting was characterized by stories, which blurred the lines between fact-based reporting, opinion, and literature. In fact, the New York World’s yellow journalism was one of the primary reasons for swaying public opinion to support the Spanish-American War.

    Guess who owned the New York World at this time? Joseph Pulitzer.

    The New York Post is in many ways deserving of a Pulitzer for its Pulitzer-style yellow journalism.

  3. Oh, and for you free speech and “Star Wars” fans, George Takei (Mr. Sulu) was on Ali Velshi’s program on Saturday. He, along with his family, were placed in an American internment camp for Japanese at the start of WWII. He relates what happened in his book “They Called Us Enemy”. After being taken into custody, the Takei family of 5 were housed in a horse stall before being moved to larger quarters. The stall still reeked of horse manure. Guess whether DeSantis allows this book of the true experience of a Japanese-American arrested just for being of Japanese ancestry in Florida schools or libraries? Nope. And, this person thinks Americans would support him and his totalitarian book burning?

    1. Gigi – what happened to the Takei family was the result of an order issued by the Democrat’s favorite President, Franklin Roosevelt. Yet you try to associate Gov. DeSantis with this injustice. And whether or not Takei’s book is placed in Florida schools, it is likely that some of those libraries have history books which discuss the internment. A better question is whether school libraries in leftist dominated schools have any books that blame Roosevelt for the internment.

      1. There is a lot of ignorance about what should be on school library bookshelves in Florida. The MSM pushes the idea that Florida schools ban books satisfying only the right wing. That is incorrect. The choice of books is based on community needs and standards since there are not enough shelves to fit all books.

        Liberal areas will have a more liberal selection, while conservative areas will be more conservative.

        The left likes to scream and holler, so they falsely believe some excellent selections are banned. Frequently that is based on ignorance. When there are complaints about specific books, they are removed from the shelves pending a review and replaced afterward.

        All people have a right to ask for such a review. The Bible was removed from the shelves based on leftist atheist complaints, as were other books. Some books should never have obtained approval because they were involved in sexualizing young. Some are too violent or frightening for specific age groups.

        Gigi cares more for the ideology she doesn’t understand than she does for the young children that need a good environment.

    2. I know who George Takei is, as a big Trekkie and I know he was in a Japanese internment camp. Nobody I know about denies the internment camps… signed into law by FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT after Pearl Harbor… I dont think anybody in 2023 thinks that was fair or OK. Plus the Japanese got REPARATIONS (about 40 years ago).

      Do you have any direct citation or link to DeSantis removing this book from Florida schools? (He has no ability to remove it from PUBLIC adult libraries.) Just saying NOPE is not enough.

      Not a single book in Florida is banned. Ill bet you can easily order this book on! or through interlibrary loan!

      Not one book burning has occurred in Florida or elsewhere. Do you take any responsibility for saying things that are outright lies?

  4. If you doubt that Turley is a nothing but a purchased pundit, just look at the caption: Blackout on Biden Corruption….” WHAT BIDEN CORRUPTION? Turley can’t identify any. Instead, he relies on inference, allegations and inuenndo.

    1. Former CIA director John Brennan recently admitted that the letter signed by 51 former intelligence agents claiming the Hunter Biden laptop story was Russian disinformation “was political,” but it was clearly a bit more than that.

      *to the extent the CIA’s PRB (publication review board) officially authorized its publication, it could be considered a ‘coup’ .. . as opposed to Trump’s attempted coup with that ‘stop the steal’ nonsense in the capital,

  5. OT: Another day, another DeSantis bill censoring public education in Florida. But, alleged First Amendment crusader Jonathan Turley has yet to acknowledge these systematic attacks on academic freedom:

    “Identity Politics” (undefined) can no longer be taught as a Gen Ed course in Florida. I suppose that means no Gen Ed course may mention DeSantis….

    1. In a public school system, it is the right and duty of public authoriies to determine what is taught and what it not taught. They are guided by what they believe to be in the best interests of the students. The decison does not lie with politiicized teacher unions.

      1. This is America, where “public authorities” should not curtail academic freedom for higher education.

        Leave the schools alone. They should not be propaganda arms of the government. Do you really want our society to mirror 1984?

  6. Can’t wait for Turley explanation on the Durham report. Just joking, we all know he won’t say a thing. And if he does, it must have been “the laptop”.

    1. 1. Our host referenced “Report on Matters Related to Intelligence Activities and Investigations Arising Out of the 2016 Presidential Campaigns” [1] in a series of tweets.
      2. As Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation was about ’16 campaigns, “the laptop” wasn’t a target. However, it was mentioned that FBI did not act for over a month to pursue legal process to review thousands of missing Clinton emails found on former Congressman Anthony Weiner’s laptop (p 56)
      3.Within 306 pages report, chapter “Investigative Referral of Possible Clinton Campaign Plan” (pp 81-98) it says about WH briefing (p 85):

      “On August 3, 20 I 6, within days of receiving the Clinton Plan intelligence, Director Brennan met with the President, Vice President and other senior Administration officials,
      including but not limited to the Attorney General (who participated remotely) and the FBI Director, in the White House Situation Room to discuss Russian election interference efforts. According to Brennan’s handwritten notes and his recollections from the meeting, he briefed on relevant intelligence known to date on Russian election interference, including the Clinton Plan intelligence. Specifically, Director Brennan’s declassified handwritten notes reflect that he briefed the meeting’s participants regarding the “alleged approval by Hillary Clinton on 26 July of a proposal from one of her [campaign] advisors to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian security services.”

      Durham concluded (p 98):

      “In sum, the government’s handling of the Clinton Plan intelligence may have amounted to a significant intelligence failure and a troubling instance in which confirmation bias and a tunnel-vision pursuit of investigative ends may have caused government personnel to fail to appreciate the extent to which unco1Toborated reporting funded by an opposing political campaign was intended to influence rather than inform the FBI. It did not, all things considered, however, amount to a provable criminal offense.”


      1. Greg Miller:
        “Durham report faults FBI for rushing to investigate candidate who urged Russia to hack opponent, was backed by Russian interference op, welcomed Russian offer of ‘dirt’, secretly pursued Moscow real estate deal, shared classified into w/ Russian diplos.”

      2. Bradley P. Moss:
        “Soooo, now we do a four year investigation into Barr and Durham to see if they had sufficient predicate to launch this counter-investigation, and ensure they adhered to DOJ standards throughout the probe, right?”

        1. Nope.

          No predicate is need to investigate government.
          Rights belong to individuals.
          There are no constitutional rights to government.

    1. “The suit alleges that Giuliani ‘also asked Ms. Dunphy if she knew anyone in need of a pardon, telling her that he was selling pardons for $2 million, which he and President Trump would split.'” Does anyone believe this nonsense?

  7. OT: Durham’s report is reportedly being released at 4pm. He delivered the report to Garland on Friday and to congressional committees earlier today.

      1. He showed the FBI to be dishonest, withholding information, using false information and knowing that the allegations of Russian Collusion by Trump were false.

        What he said was that almost everything you said about the Russian collusion and Trump were false. It proves you were a liar and a fraud. At this time that is enough for me. ATS was proven not credible by Durham.

  8. I swear to God Uncle Joe, I won’t tell

    We are all alone in this world. What a dirty trick of fate. I must tell you the truth now.
    There is nothing anyone can do anymore. If my last hour has come, I would tell about the money. Yes I would. You’re 80 years old. What good is the money if you’re dead.

  9. Jonathan: Meanwhile, over at Jim Jordan’s House Judiciary Committee they are busy trying to obstruct a state criminal case against Donald –the one by Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg. So on Friday Jordan called in Pomerantz, the former DA investigating the Trumpster before Bragg took office, for a deposition. In his opening statement Pomerantz blasted the inquiry as “political theater”. He told the committee: “This deposition is for show. We gathered here because Donald Trump’s supporters would like to use these proceedings to attempt to obstruct and undermine the criminal case pending against him, and to harass, intimidate, and to discredit anyone who investigates or charges him”. I don’t know what Jordan expected to get from Pomerantz–maybe some gossip about why he quit. Who knows. But Pomerantz was having none it. He refused to name names and relied on his 5th Amendment rights.

    Clearly, Jordan and his fellow GOP panel members were frustrated. Jordan has two options. He can once again walk away empty handed or he can hold Pomerantz in contempt. The latter will probably get no where. It’s ironic that the guy who refused to testify before the Jan. 6 Committee would now want to hold Pomerantz in contempt! This whole cook-up Jordan/Comer witch hunt is full of ironies!

    1. A prosecutor, former or not, choosing to use the 5th Amendment during any investigation of prosecutorial misfeasance, is certainly nothing to admire or celebrate. The application of government authority for the purpose of depriving a citizen of his/her liberty should never require secrecy; once charges are filed all evidence should be revealed, all testimony heard. Obviously Mark Pomerantz values his politics over the administration of justice.

    2. Dennis – “It’s ironic that the guy who refused to testify before the Jan. 6 Committee would now want to hold Pomerantz in contempt!” Jordan did not take the 5th Amendment without justification,

      1. edwardmahl: See, the difference between you and me is that I deal in facts. Jim Jordan didn’t have a chance to invoke his 5th Amendment rights because he defied the Jan. 6 Committee subpoena, refusing to cooperate–unlike the case of Mark Pomerantz. The Committee sent subpoenas to about a half dozen other GOP House members because of their involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection. Jordan talked with Trump on Jan. 6 and sent messages to Mark Meadows about possible ways to get Mike Pence to refuse to count the electoral college vote. So the Committee had a legitimate reason for asking for Jordan’s testimony. Had Jordan agreed to testify how many times do you think he would have invoked his 5th Amendment rights?

        Although Jordan did not ask for an advance pardon for himself he did discuss pardons with the WH for others. Cassidy Hutchinson testified Mo Brooks and Matt Gaetz specifically asked for pardons. Why ask for an advance pardon unless you felt you might have some legal jeopardy because of your participation in the events of Jan. 6? So please explain what possible “justification” could Jordan have in defying a lawful subpoena?

  10. “MR. JONES”


    “Mr. Jones” film exposes the fake news campaign behind Stalin’s Ukrainian genocide.

    – Atlantic Council

  11. If I were going to hire one person to save CNN or the New York Times or the Washington Post from their demise, it would be Deion Sanders. It would be awesome to watch Deion clean house without mercy and rebuild those organizations from the ground up.

  12. Thankfully we have not only the good professor, but other independents like Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, Bari Weiss and The Free Press and others.
    Some of them have bigger subscriber audiences than some MSM so-called journalists.
    Support Independent media!

    1. Upstate Farmer,
      Traditional legacy media is going by the way of the buggy whip and mule drawn plow. There are so many good alternatives that are thoughtful produced. Jan Jekeilek, senior editor of the Epoch Times hosts “American Thought Leaders.” He is excellent and in the old school tradition of interviews. They also have very good international news. Bill O’Reilly’s No Spin News is the most successful independent news agency in the country and growing all the time. He still follows the old-school style objective reporting. John Solomon’s Just the News is also a good source. There are many more and the foreign press such as Le Monde that are useful for international news. So many to choose from that surpass the state media companies who obsessed with the 1984 Orwellian “Two Minute Hate.”

  13. Didn’t read most of Turley’s tripe, because I didn’t need to. There are so many “alleged” and other qualifiers that makes clear to me that today’s piece is nothing more than daily chum for the disciples. The bottom line is: there’s still NO “there” there–meaning no proof of corruptoin or any proof of any corruption tied to Joe Biden. Regardless of whatever Hunter did or didn’t do or receive, there’s no proof that Joe Biden received anything of value or rigged anything as a result. From Joe Scarborough of “Morning Joe”: “MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough mocked House Oversight Chairman James Comer’s claim to have “lost” an intelligence community informant that he said could provide proof of the Biden family’s international influence-peddling scheme.

    Comer told FNC’s Maria Bartiromo on Sunday that the spy who told him he had the proof has now “gone missing.”

    “Come on? You lost an informant! You lost the informant, the guy that you claimed gave you all this information that you built this entire charade on?” Scarborough gloated. “Durham tried this, remember? He chased conspiracy theories to try to prove that the FBI was corrupt and rigged the 2016 election, he made a fool of himself time and time and time again. And now we have lost informants, in fact, the informant, that this entire charade was built on.”” Turley is engaging in wishful thinking and implication, plus his usual attacks on mainstream media. There’s no “blackout” when there’s nothing but inference and allegations, which is all his employer has to try to offset the daily truly awful things Trump does and says. His Mother’s Day post didn’t even mention Melania, but was the usual diatribe against anyone who doesn’t support him.

    While the pig was stinking up our White House, Jared and Ivanka made over $640 million from foreign sources. Why isn’t this influence peddling? Why aren’t they being investigated?

    If Turley really wants to write about “blackouts”, why doesn’t he condemn the Republicans who not only had nothing negative to say about Trump being found to have sexually assaulted Jean Carroll, but his 10 minute attack on her and her integrity after the jury verdict in the fake “town hall” on CNN, in which he once again defamed her? Is this the sort of conduct that the leader of the free world should engage in or that the so-called party of “family values” should embrace? Of course not, but so that the news isn’t all about what a swine the leader of the Republican party is, all valid and relevant news,Turley is paid to accuse Joe Biden of influence peddling via innuendo and “allegations”, without any proof, plus accuse mainstream media of hiding the story, all to keep the disciples tuning in to alt-right media so they can keep hearing about Joe Biden’s alleged “crimes”, of which there is no proof, but for the disciples, none is necessary. Anything to get and keep power.

    1. NUTCHACHACHA, may we actual Americans get rid of wholly unconstitutional public financial assistance and affirmative action yet or do you still need it to propagate the notion that you are a real person?

      Does your acceptance of unconstitutional favor, benefits and entitlements make you an unconstitutional person?

      Is NUTCHACHACHA real or imagined?

    2. If you couldn’t even be bothered to read it, can I offer you an extra large cup of shut up?

      1. Thank you. My thoughts exactly. 490 words of more TDS diatribe. Truly we are living in the Twilight Zone that there are people on the Left who scream, rant, and rave about Justice Thomas and yet with the reams of mounting evidence again the Biden (name your adjective) family draw, we get nothing but a yawn or more TDS caca.

  14. Saving American journalism will require a few very young, very wealthy, very independent, non-corporate news capitalists. People in the mold of Vivek Ramaswamy or a young version of Bobby Kennedy. To be successful, these leaders will need to employ thousands of intellectually honest, hard-hitting, populist reporters to compete against each other and against the purveyors of lies every day in search of the truth.

  15. President Biden once said something like, ‘We take truth over fact’, I guess we must consider his statement as truth. To the leftist whatever they think on that particular day is truth. They have called fact to be fiction, a truth a lie, gender to be fluid, invasion as controlled immigration and host of other divagations to hide their culpabilities. Epimenides was indeed a Prophet; he forewarned us that all Cretans are liars. The left and its occultic practice of deceit are a great danger to society, they must be shown the exit stage left. As John McLaughlin used to say BYE! BYE!.

  16. Written by NBC contributor Noah Berlatsky is the Communications Director for Prostasia, a not-for-profit group that is reportedly attempting to legitimize pedophilia under the guise of helping children.

  17. Someone attacked staffers with a baseball bat at Rep. Connolly’s (D-VA) Fairfax office this morning after asking where the congressman was. The staffers are in the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The attacker is in police custody.

  18. Imagine if the American Founders had all been corrupted and bought off.

    Imagine if nary a word of revolution, secession from Great Britain, comprehensive freedom and self-governance were ever heard.

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