Below is my column in The Messenger, the new digital news platform created by Jimmy Finkelstein (the former owner of The Hill). Finkelstein’s signature has always been balanced publications where all viewpoints are represented and objectivity remains the touchstone for reporters. That puts him at odds with the “advocacy journalism” model sweeping other publications. The start of the new platform is good news for many of us who believe that the media is facing an existential choice in the coming years. I am happy to be able to contribute to the rollout of the site and look forward to working again with Jimmy and my old Hill editors.
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.
For months, we have been discussing how Democratic politicians would deal with massive reparation demands after campaigning for years on such payments being a moral imperative. As proposals rose to as much as $5 million a person, Newsom went silent. Now, California’s Reparations Task Force has issued recommendations for reparation payments as well as a slew of other benefits for black citizens. Newsom has finally responded by what sounded like the common birthday card that reads “I couldn’t afford a present so I gave you this card instead.” With California billions in the red, Newsom appears to be sending up a trial balloon on offering heartfelt apologies, promises of reform, and no cash.
In the hilarious 1955 classic, The Trouble with Harry, a group of people in a small New England town struggle over what to do with a body that keeps popping up. In one scene, the character Capt. Albert Wilesa declares “Blessed are they who expect nothing, for they shall not be disappointed.”
Last night, President Joe Biden did what is a relatively rare thing. He sat down with an actual reporter ostensibly to answer questions. While earlier promising a “major press conference” for the media as a whole to ask him questions, Biden instead did a low-risk interview with MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle. In the interview, Ruhle briefly touched on the possible criminal charges awaiting Hunter Biden. Despite reports of a whistleblower alleging a bribery scandal involving the President, Ruhle assured the President (and the viewers) that the still unknown charges will involve “no ties to you.” Moreover, the interview is most interesting for what it did not address. It was a vivid example of what I previously called “the art of scandal implosion.”
This week, history and civics scores across the nation plummeted to record lows among eighth graders. Just 13% of students performed at or above the “proficient” level in U.S. history. It is the latest appalling report on our declining educational system — a matter that should be treated as a national crisis of literally historic proportions. As discussed in prior columns, we are graduating students from high school who cannot proficiently read or do math. School districts have responded by solving the problem by simply lowering standards and eliminating gifted programs. Now we are producing citizens who know little about our history or our values.
Below is my column in the New York Post on the response of Secretary of State Antony Blinken to allegations that he was the original source for the Russian disinformation claim behind the Hunter Biden laptop. I wrote previously that Blinken is struggling to avoid the look of a “made man” who earned his bones in the Biden Administration. Things are now likely to get worse after a U.S. senator added an alleged false statements charge to Blinken’s controversies.
We recently discussed a federal judge enjoining the new Illinois law banning “assault weapons.” Now a gun shop in Naperville, Illinois has made it to the Supreme Court in seeking injunctive relief and Justice Amy Coney Barrett has given the proponents of the law until Monday to respond to the request.