I warned you about the complicit “mainstream” media purveying right-wing conspiracy theory claims in The media is failing on the DNI ‘whistleblower’ scandal by amplifying Trump’s debunked conspiracy theory.
The “paper of record,” the New York Times, has had a sordid history of working with these right-wing conspiracy mongers from “The Hunting of the President,” Bill Clinton in the 1990s, to partnering with Breitbart hitman Peter Schweizer on “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich,” a debunked set of conspiracy theories the Times nevertheless used as a basis for its reporting on Hillary Clinton in the 2016 campaign.
The Times is again partnering with Breitbart hitman Peter Schweizer in purveying the debunked conspiracy theories about Joe Biden and his son in Ukraine. In May, The New York Times helped mainstream his baseless allegations in a story titled, “Biden Faces Conflict of Interest Questions That Are Being Promoted by Trump and Allies.”
As I pointed out in my post:
The story was widely panned for being misleading. CNN noted that “it wasn’t until the 19th paragraph that The Times noted that there was no evidence to support the claim that Biden intentionally tried to aide his son by working to oust the prosecutor. Bloomberg also reported on May 16 that the Ukrainian prosecutor general said he had no evidence of misconduct against Biden.”
The piece was co-authored by Kenneth Vogel and Iuliia Mendel. One month later, Mendel took a job as Volodymyr Zelensky’s spokesperson. Vogel remains with The Times.
After numerous fact check pieces have debunked the Joe Biden-Ukraine conspiracy theories that Donald Trump and his right wing media propagandists are spewing, the New York Times nevertheless gave op-ed space to Peter Schweizer to spew his smears. What Hunter Biden Did Was Legal — And That’s the Problem.
Joe Biden has no more fucks left to give and decided enough is enough. The former vice president’s campaign sent a written complaint to New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet yesterday, questioning the newspaper’s decision to publish an op-ed from Peter Schweizer and pointing to what Team Biden sees as a larger pattern of “journalistic malpractice” at the Times. Biden campaign slams New York Times for op-ed by conservative author behind Ukraine claims:
As President Trump has lobbed unsubstantiated and false claims of international corruption at former vice president Joe Biden and his son, he’s often turned to one source for ammunition: conservative author Peter Schweizer. So when the New York Times ran an op-ed on Wednesday written by Schweizer about Biden and his son Hunter, the Democratic presidential candidate’s campaign cried foul.
In a letter sent to New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet, Biden’s campaign called Schweizer a “discredited right-wing polemicist” and suggested the op-ed was part of a larger pattern of “journalistic malpractice.”
“Are you truly blind to what you got wrong in 2016, or are you deliberately continuing policies that distort reality for the sake of controversy and the clicks that accompany it?” Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s deputy campaign manager, wrote in the Wednesday letter, which was posted by CNN’s Oliver Darcy.
The Times defended its work in a statement sent to The Washington Post, noting that the opinion section operates separately from editorial news coverage of the Democratic candidate.
Oh really? Then how does the Times explain the hit piece co-authored by Kenneth Vogel and Iuliia Mendel based on Schweizer’s false claims. “One month later, Mendel took a job as Volodymyr Zelensky’s spokesperson. Vogel remains with The Times.” Kenneth Vogel has some explaining to do.
It’s not just the Times. It is also the home of “fake news” from Russian bots amplified by the Trump campaign, social media hosts Facebook and Twitter.
Biden’s complaint to the Times comes amid a larger push against what his campaign argues is rampant misinformation. Earlier on Wednesday, Facebook rejected a plea from Biden to take down a 30-second Trump campaign ad that CNN refused to air because it made false claims about the former vice president. Biden made a similar request to Twitter, which has yet to respond.
Trump’s near-daily attempts to tie Biden to corrupt dealings in Ukraine and China are at the center of that battle — and both allegations have roots in Schweizer’s work. Schweizer, who is also president of the Government Accountability Institute, a nonprofit founded by former Breitbart executive chairman Stephen K. Bannon, helped push the Uranium One allegations against Hillary Clinton.
In his 2018 book, “Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends,” Schweizer first tied Hunter Biden’s role as a board member on a Ukrainian natural gas company to his father’s efforts to oust a prosecutor there, Bloomberg News reported. A House impeachment inquiry has now begun into Trump’s efforts to persuade Ukrainian officials to investigate Biden over that allegation.
Schweizer’s 2018 book is also the source of repeated claims by Trump that Hunter Biden made $1.5 billion in corrupt dealings with China, which The Washington Post’s Fact Checker called “false.”
The Times op-ed on Wednesday, which identifies Schweizer as “an investigative journalist,” (sic) ran under the headline “What Hunter Biden Did Was Legal — And That’s the Problem.” He argues that the vice president’s son used his father’s influence to make money in Ukraine and China, and that Washington should pass tougher financial disclosure laws for politicians’ relatives.
In his letter to the Times, Biden’s campaign complains that the piece makes “more malicious claims about the Biden family.”
“Despite voluminous work done by the independent press and fact-checkers — including some by The Times — to refute the heinous conspiracy theory that Donald Trump attempted to bully Ukraine into propping-up for him, the paper ran an op-ed by none other than Peter Schweizer, making more malicious claims about the Biden family,” Bedingfield wrote in the letter.
In the statement, the Times spokesman defended the decision to run the op-ed.
“It was published by Opinion where their mission is to invite intelligent discussion on a range of opinions and ideas,” the spokesperson said. “The op-ed makes an argument that nonpartisan government watchdogs would make, arguing in favor of a law that would prohibit self-dealing by those with government connections.”
That’s bullshit! The Times made a conscience decision to profit off the right-wing conspiracy theories propagated by the Trump propagandists on FOX News in order to appear “fair and balanced” to Republicans. Truth does not matter. It’s all about making money. And if it amplifies a lie and gives it greater credibility — the big lie propaganda technique — well, so sorry, that’s just the cost of doing business.
Schweizer’s propaganda should remain in the fringe right-wing fever swamps. Mainstream media should not be amplifying his lies and giving it greater credibility by giving it a mainstream platform, no matter how much FOX News aka Trump TV is promoting the fever swamp’s conspiracy theories.