FBI, Big Tech, Big Media: Partners in collusion
The bold release by Elon Musk of Twitter files on how and why employees blocked The Post’s 2020 bombshell on Hunter Biden’s laptop marks a defining moment in modern American history. The disturbing details of arrogance and ignorance revealed the so-called geniuses pulling the technology levers to be as supernatural as the man behind the curtain in “The Wizard of Oz.”
The deflating reaction in both is the same: Is that all there is?
In this case, no, not by a long shot. For Musk’s revelations must be the start of a national campaign to expose the entire picture of the unholy collusion between partisan government censors and Big Tech.
Consider that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg recently admitted to podcaster Joe Rogan the FBI warned the company in the fall of 2020 to watch out for Russian disinformation schemes.
“The FBI came to us, some folks on our team, and was like ‘hey, just so you know, you should be on high alert. We thought there was a lot of Russian propaganda in the 2016 election, we have it on notice that basically there’s about to be some kind of dump that’s similar to that.’”
Zuckerberg said that by way of explaining why Facebook limited and in some cases blocked users from sharing The Post’s laptop report.
Twitter obviously got the same warning, which almost certainly involved James Baker, a former FBI general counsel who was involved in investigating the Trump campaign in 2016 and now holds a similar position at Twitter. Naturally, the released files show he was without remorse or doubt in urging repression of The Post’s story.
Moreover, as Intercept reporter Lee Fang has detailed and as a former Twitter official confirmed, the FBI held weekly meetings in Silicon Valley with tech officials about policing disinformation. Of course, their definition of disinformation was so broad as to include virtually anything that made Joe Biden or Democrats look bad.
But knowing all that, it still would be naive to think we know the whole story. For example, we don’t know who in the FBI was running the censoring operation, whether it was a rogue outfit or came from the top. Nor do we know if the operation continues now.
We do know the FBI had Hunter Biden’s laptop for a year before The Post started to reveal the contents. You don’t have to be a cynic to wonder if the agents waved Facebook and Twitter off the story because they knew it was true.
Catch up on Twitter’s censorship of the Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story
There is also a good chance the censorship effort involved other federal agencies. Fang and his Intercept colleague Ken Klippenstein reported in October that documents and court testimony show the Department of Homeland Security has “an expansive effort . . . to influence tech platforms.”
Getting to the bottom of this collusion to thwart the First Amendment and mislead the public is a job custom-made for the hungry young Turks who will head the investigating committees of the new GOP House majority.
But hold on — there remains another missing piece of the puzzle: the bell cows of the mainstream media.
They, too, avoided touching the initial Hunter scoop — except to try to knock it down. Why?
The New York Times, for example, waited four days before printing a lazy article that tried to undermine the story by saying some Post newsroom employees were uncertain of its veracity. It’s shocking even now to realize Times reporters had access to Tony Bobulinski, Hunter Biden’s former partner, but refused to print that he confirmed the authenticity of the email naming Joe Biden as “the big guy” slated for a secret 10% cut in a joint venture with a Chinese conglomerate.
There are two basic possibilities for explaining media complicity. First, perhaps the Times, Washington Post, CNN and others, all of whom are often favored with partisan leaks from the Justice Department, got misled by the FBI into thinking the story was bogus.
Did Big Guy profit?
Indeed, since then, they and other media laptop deniers have authenticated key contents, though in a scattered fashion that has left unexplored the central issue of Joe Biden’s role.
Did the president of the United States profit from the selling of access to him, and is he compromised in dealing with foreign powers? No one in Big Media seems to care.
The other possibility for media complicity is they might have gone along as a favor to their FBI minders because it fit their shared agenda to defeat Trump and elect Biden.
After all, they were teammates in a similar effort in 2016, the Russia hoax to try to elect Hillary Clinton. That one failed and they were determined to succeed this time. So better not look too closely at Biden.
Whatever the reason, we can say with absolute certainty the unholy collusion has three legs: the government, Big Tech and Big Media.
Another unresolved piece of that alliance is the cabal of 51 former intelligence officers who signed a letter saying the laptop had “all the earmarks” of Russian disinformation. None had seen the laptop, but their letter became the story the media seized on and offered Joe Biden a lifeline in his next debate with Trump. Some signers still defend the letter, and not one has apologized for misleading the public.
This is hardly a matter fit only for historians, especially not when most of the media covered Musk’s release the same way they covered the initial laptop story. They ignored it.
That seems odd, until you consider they might have feared their role in suppressing the original story would be outed by the documents. I would call it a guilty conscience if these Dem handmaidens actually had a conscience, but that went overboard with all their standards the minute Trump came down the escalator.
To make matters infinitely worse, the concentrated power of this collusion is unlike anything ever seen in our nation.
The alliance leaders have become the purveyors of the only acceptable opinions and enforcers against dissenters. Their domain ranges from print to broadcast to social media and they aim to dictate what 300 million Americans can say and do on everything from COVID to race to the environment. Their criticism rattles board rooms, scholars and even athletes.
When they take a united position on a matter, it can be difficult to find or hear an alternative. When they block news of an event or limit its spread, it is almost as if the event didn’t happen.
And lest you forget their power, remember that Joe Biden was elected president because millions of voters were not allowed to learn The Post had unmasked his deep connections to his son’s corrupt schemes.
The people who did that are not threats to democracy. They are its destroyers.