Boy, did Mark Zuckerberg leave a lot unanswered in his bid to blame the FBI for what he now admits was Facebook’s mistaken decision to stifle The Post’s Hunter Biden laptop reporting in the runup to the 2020 election.
House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy is plainly right to call for Congress to get the full story.
Zuckerberg told Joe Rogan that the FBI had warned Facebook off a coming “dump” of possible misinformation. But he stumbled through a deeply unconvincing dodge when Rogan asked if the FBI had specifically mentioned the laptop, suggesting only that our Hunter reports “fit the pattern” and hiding behind the “fact checkers” Facebook has chosen — who lean decidedly left.
Note, too, that Zuck had dumped nearly half a billion on a 2020 “get out the vote” effort that plainly aimed to get out Democratic votes.
Other questions center on the FBI: What did it actually tell Facebook? Did it only concern possible anti-Biden misinformation? (The site didn’t suppress anything anti-Trump, as best we can tell.) How exactly did the Bureau identify the threat? What could’ve led Facebook to classify well-sourced reporting from a professional news operation as misinformation?
Yes, some concern over 2020 Russian meddling was justified. But the most consequential 2016 meddling — the hack of Democratic National Committee emails — just made for entertaining gossip.
Most important, the laptop was incontestably real, from the start, despite the pretense otherwise from The New York Times, Washington Post et al. Even the letter from a host of ex-spooks suggesting it was a Russian plot didn’t remotely engage the ample evidence that it wasn’t.
By the way, Zuckerberg’s efforts to set Facebook apart from Twitter here are laughable: He admits the platform choked distribution of our story. He can call it less bad than Twitter’s outright suppression (and shutdown of our entire account), but censorship is censorship. Plus, then-Twitter chief Jack Dorsey eventually fully admitted it was a mistake; Zuck still insists Facebook’s move was “reasonable.”
Oh, and: A top Facebook exec bragged on Twitter about suppressing the story.
We’ll never know for sure if the censorship (by most regular media, not just social sites) made the difference in getting Joe Biden elected, but it’s entirely possible: A few thousand votes in swing states might’ve done it.
Which means that all concerned in that suppression owe the nation a full explanation.
That includes Zuckerberg, the FBI and all 51 former intelligence officials who still won’t apologize for signing that now-infamous open letter. In particular, former National Intelligence Director James Clapper, who’s doubled down on his baseless assertions, needs to come clean.
Collusion to suppress accurate news (as the Times, WaPo and others belatedly admit it always was) out of blatantly partisan motives in the runup to an election is deeply anti-democratic. America deserves explanations, and apologies.