KLAVAN: The Information Crisis

Burning newspaper.
D-Keine via Getty Images

Thomas Jefferson famously wrote: “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

Unfortunately, we now have the former. Lots of government. Almost no news media worth the name at all.

The growing Hunter Biden scandal may eventually expose the alleged decades of influence peddling by the Biden family, but it has already exposed a stunning level of corruption and dishonesty among the scoundrels formerly known as American journalists.

The New York Post began running stories about Hunter’s suspicious business dealings — and father Joe Biden’s possible involvement — in mid-October with the election in full swing. They had obtained Hunter’s laptop which, they said, was also in the hands of the FBI. Tucker Carlson followed up with an hour-long interview with businessman Tony Bobulinski, who described his meeting with Joe Biden to discuss a deal with a Chinese energy firm that was a front for the Chinese Communist Party.

The news media acted in unison to minimize and hide the news from its audience until the election was over.

When President Trump brought the matter up, CNN’s Nicole Wallace cut into his remarks and said, “We hate to do this really, but the president isn’t telling the truth.”

“There is no evidence Joe or Hunter Biden did anything wrong,” was repeated by so many outlets so often that the Media Research Center was able to weave together a hilarious montage of one anchor handing the lie off to another.

When the dam continued to break and evidence of wrongdoing grew worse, the media changed their tune. The entire story was part of a Russian disinformation campaign, they said — again in unison. This, despite the assurances of Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe that no one in the intelligence community believed this was so.

And, of course, Big Tech joined in on the censorship with Twitter banning the Post for days on the bogus claim that Twitter did not allow leaked information on their platform. They had had no problem when The New York Times received leaked information about Trump’s tax returns. When they were forced to change their policy in the face of their blatant hypocrisy, Jack Dorsey demanded the Post remove the story because it violated the previous policy so that they could then retweet it under the new policy.

In an MRC poll, 36 percent of Biden voters said they weren’t aware of the corruption story. Thirteen percent — 4.6 percent of the total Biden vote — said they would not have voted for Biden if they had known. That could have been enough to change the outcome.

Now that the election is safely won by Biden, the news is out: Hunter is under FBI investigation in part because of his dealings with China, and with the laptop as part of the evidence, just as the Post reported.

The media has moved directly from suppression to gaslighting. The New York Times is reporting the story as “newly disclosed,” and unctuously suggests that the investigation is a Trump hit job — even though Attorney General William Barr followed Department of Justice guidelines and kept the investigation secret until the election was over.

This is the same newspaper that can’t understand why conservatives don’t believe them when they run a headline like: “The Times Called Officials in Every State: No Evidence of Voter Fraud.” This is the same news media that is appalled when conservatives don’t believe them when they tell them to wear masks or stay indoors because of the Chinese pandemic.

We don’t believe them because they are liars. The Hunter Biden story proves it.

This country is in an information crisis. A small elite with a wholly unearned confidence that they should be instructing rather than informing us has destroyed our trust in the normal channels of information. Our news organs are so corrupt that we have no way to pluck the facts out of their lies, distortions, and suppressions. Conspiracy theorists are now as plausible as The New York Times — not because the theorists have gotten any more honest, but because the Times isn’t honest at all.

Donald Trump made tremendous inroads in exposing news media outlets for the frauds they are. But we need either to reform American journalism entirely or build an honest competition that will leave them in the dust where they belong.

Jefferson was right that “newspapers without a government” is preferable to “a government without newspapers.” But a government without newspapers is what we have, and if that continues to be true, we will not remain free.

The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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