Below is my column in The Hill on recent interviews by Hunter Biden, which appear to incriminate him in a possible federal felony. What is most striking from a journalistic perspective is that Biden’s book is a target rich environment for reporters with references to his alleged influence peddling, abandoned laptop, and drug abuses. Yet every major network and newspaper that interviewed Biden skillfully avoided any damaging questions. It was no small feat to delicately avoid obvious problems in his account while seemingly interviewing him on those subjects. Reporters would raise the laptop of Burisma contract and then just shrug and move on without any serious followup. The glaring contradictions were left unaddressed like admitting that he was a crack addict during the time he was receiving massive contracts from foreign companies due to his unestablished “expertise” on energy issues. The conflicts with his own father’s accounts were entirely ignored. The protective press cocoon around Hunter and his father remained intact.
In the end, it is not the possible crime by Biden but the demonstrable collusion by the media that is more of the story from these interviews.
For years, the media shredded Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway for a statement on Meet The Press interview on January 22, 2017, in which she defended White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on attendance numbers at the inauguration. Conway insisted that, while Chuck Todd was citing one set of numbers, Spicer was giving “alternative facts”. The statement produced a firestorm of ridicule that the Trump White House was constructing an alternate reality. That is not the response however to the repeated misrepresentations of the Georgia election law by President Joe Biden — false statements criticized even by the Washington Post. Likewise, there was little response this week when Press Secretary Jen Psaki defended the alternative facts presented the White House and some media outlets, even after another major newspaper called out the same false statements about the law.
National Public Radio issued a correction after running a false statement about the laptop of Hunter Biden in a story about Biden’s recent memoir, “Beautiful Things.” The article by NPR senior editor and correspondent Ron Elving stated categorically that the laptop story was discredited by news organizations. It was later compelled to correct that false statement but still has language casting doubt on the story and evades glaring contradictions in Biden’s book and his interview. Moreover, NPR continues to run false claims from prior controversies.
We recently discussed the false statement made repeatedly by President Joe Biden about the Georgia election law, which Biden has called “Jim Crow on steroids.” Biden falsely claims that the law closes polling places earlier, a claim that even the Washington Post decried as false. Biden has not only repeated his earlier false claim but added a new one in supporting a boycott of the state of Georgia by Major League Baseball. It is a common false claim made about denying water under the law to people standing in line to vote. What is astonishing is that the media itself has fueled this false narrative and it is being used as a key claim in boycotting the state.
The scandal involving Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) continues to rage in Washington as Gaetz alleges a conspiracy to extort $25 million and the New York Times has reported an investigation into his traveling across state lines with a minor for sex. Both are serious allegations and someone is clearly lying. The question is why, after a year of reported investigation, the underlying facts appear unresolved. Either this girl was 17 or she was not. Either Gaetz traveled with her or he did not. Then there is a taped call that could prove the veracity of key witnesses. In other words, there is raging speculation over facts that should be easily and already established. Why?
I previously wrote about the historical and legal perspectives of a biting incident involving one of the presidential pets, Major. Both Biden German Shepherds (Major and Champ) were previously whisked out of town. They were then quietly brought back. Now Major has bitten another person who reportedly required medical attention. In the prior column, I noted that under tort law a dog is afforded (at most) “one free bite” before strict liability applies. Major could now be treated as a known vicious animal for liability purposes.
In 2015, I wrote a Washington Post column criticizing the world leaders who marched for free speech and the free press after the massacre of editors with from the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, particularly the vehemently anti-free speech and anti-free press president of Turkey Recep Tavyip Erdogan. The editors were murdered because the magazine published a cartoon of Mohammad. Seeing the authoritarian Erdogan at the front of the march was the ultimate mocking of these deaths and proof that world leaders cared little for these rights or the 12 dead. Not only did Erdogan’s government follow the march by prosecuting a cartoonist, but now it is seeking long prison sentences for four Hebdo journalists for a cartoon mocking Erdogan.
We have previously discussed the criminal and civil liability of those posing as doctors. Alcalira Jimenez De Rodriguez, 56, follows a familiar pattern in doing cosmetic surgeries without a license. One of the criminal charges however is concerning.
We often discuss alleged crimes committed with bizarre or baffling elements. Even in that company, Eric Dion Warren is a standout. He obtained a loaner car from a BMW dealer, drove the car to a bank robbery, and then drove back to the dealer and tried to use the stolen bank money for the down payment on the car. He clearly took the slogan “Sheer Driving Pleasure” a tad too far.
There is a report that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is selling the digital signature to his first tweet reading “just setting up my twttr.” While I originally assumed that this was a prank, there have been reports of offers in the six figures for the tweet. The question is whether you would buy a painting when a billion identical paintings exist and an infinite number of others can be produced. The answer appears to be yes, though Dorsey may want to add “Chumps” at the end of the message “just setting up my twttr.” Update: bids have now surpassed $2.5 million.