In February 2023, the Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” column published a report titled “The Hunter Biden laptop and claims of ‘Russian disinfo'”.
The article examines the infamous Hunter Biden laptop story and the subsequent suppression of it by tech companies, government forces, and the national media. The media’s reaction to the story was overshadowed by the censorship that took place, rather than defending the New York Post’s colleagues.
In October 2020, when the New York Post story broke, few media outlets were willing to report the information without doing their own due diligence.
Many were hesitant because of the possibility of Russian meddling in the election. This led to the infamous letter from former “intel community members” that pointed to the story as having “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”
The media’s response to the story was not reflective of the journalistic principles that are typically upheld. It was apparent that the elite censorship collusion racket between tech companies, government forces, and the national media was at play.
In hindsight, the Trump era reporting was riddled with inaccuracies, but the Hunter Biden laptop story and the New York Post censorship was the most egregious and obvious example.
The media’s silence on the matter was due to guilt and fear. After Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016, the press felt partially responsible.
They believed their coverage of her emails, the early easier treatment given to Trump during the primary, and more contributed to his victory. They felt guilty and did not want to make the same mistake again. Fear was also a factor, as social media ostracism and attacks from colleagues were prevalent.
The Hunter laptop story exemplifies the overly censorious era that emerged out of the Trump era. It exposed the media’s willingness to engage in censorship because it was a means to an end.
The media’s lack of coverage and defense of the New York Post’s colleagues was disappointing. The story was burying inside the paper or just touched lightly, rather than defending the principles of the profession.
In conclusion, the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story was a significant moment in recent history. It showed how the media was complicit in censorship, which allowed tech companies to silence a media outlet.
The media’s silence on the matter was due to guilt and fear. In hindsight, it is evident that censorship was not the answer. Journalists should be concerned about their profession as a whole and not as the team they work on. The media must defend the principles of their profession and not be swayed by fear or guilt.