Hunter Laptop Story Portends a Dark Winter for Free Speech
On July 7, 2019, Joe Biden signed an amended tax return for 2017, the last year during which he earned a salary as a vice president. Biden reported an adjusted gross income of $11,031,309 – much of which involved routing his speaking fees and book royalties through a corporation named Celticcapri Corp.
Conspicuously missing from this tax return was any mention of his newly acquired 10 percent stake in Sinohawk Holdings, the company the Bidens formed in connection with their deal with the Chinese energy company CEFC. A Biden family business partner, Tony Bobulinski, who helped form and run Sinohawk Holdings, recently gave an interview with Tucker Carlson during which he confirmed speaking directly to Vice President Biden about the deal.
On the final day before the election, the core facts of the Biden-China scandal remain murky.
Bobulinski said he expected two payments of $5 million each from the Chinese partner to Sinohawk but the payments did not arrive as expected. He implied – but did not definitively show – the Bidens took the money directly from the Chinese, cutting out the other non-Biden partners.
Bobulinski said he believed the Bidens were compromised by China. But at the time the money changed hands, Joe Biden was a private citizen. If Bobulinski is correct that the Bidens took substantial money out of the deal, then the former vice president appears to have been untruthful in public statements claiming he never took any money from the foreign deals or even discussed the deals directly with his son Hunter.
Let’s be honest, it’s fishy and sleazy but not the knock-out scandal that Tucker Carlson has billed it to be. We can be suspicious that the Bidens evaded taxes on the deal. We can suspect, too, that the Chinese government continues to hold leverage over the Bidens. But we don’t actually know either based upon a close review of the publicly available evidence. As I’ve written earlier, the Ukraine scandal appears to show more clearly a misuse of Biden’s public office in return for financial compensation for his son and perhaps even himself directly. But the China-Biden scandal is much murkier.
The real scandal is the fact that the legacy media can collude with Big Tech to smother, censor, and even punish people for asking apparently legitimate questions about the evidence.
From the point-of-view of the censors, it’s easy to understand why Facebook might arrogantly believe that it has a social obligation to prevent its platform from being used to spread false information. That seems like a legitimate reason to censor until one considers that the censorship is applied only to one side. While social media censors the New York Post story about Hunter’s laptop, it has no problem spreading the completely baseless claim that the Russians planted the laptop.
Indeed, when the false stories hurt Trump, the censors never censor. Facebook is happy to spread The New York Times story that paraphrases the president’s tax returns in spite of the fact that the accounts cannot be independently verified and the person sharing the tax returns with the Times almost certainly violated federal law in so doing. Likewise for the recent Atlantic article accusing the president of calling military vets “losers and suckers.” It was widely spread on social media in spite of multiple eyewitnesses contradicting the account of unverifiable anonymous sources.
You can add the hoaxes about Trump having a secret connection to the Russian Alfa Bank, Trump’s private attorney Michael Cohen traveling to Prague to pay Russian hackers, Russians co-signing Trump Deutsche Bank loans, Trump instructing Michael Cohen to lie to Congress, The New York Times falsely reporting on extensive contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia, the entire Jussie Smollett hoax framing Trump supporters for a hate crime, media reports painting Trump supporter Nick Sandmann as a racist, and on and on and on. And let’s not forget how social media platforms aggressively censored doctors offering their assessments of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The real “laptop from hell” scandal is the escalation in censorship and manipulation of the media. Google, Facebook, and Twitter now collude to exercise more control over speech than should be allowed. If Biden is elected, he will owe the tech companies a favor. And if they continue protecting him after the election, then a Biden Justice Department will have the cover of censorship to pursue its political enemies.
People on the Left have already begun to draw up the outlines of a terrifying purge of Trump supporters. Biden promised a long, dark winter. His election may indeed usher in a “Game of Thrones” multi-year “winter” during which tech companies aggressively expurgate nonconforming facts and opinions. The Hunter Biden laptop censorship is just a test run. If the tech companies get their man in the White House using their power to censor inconvenient information, we have every reason to believe they will perfect and expand on the technique.
This article has been republished with permission from American Greatness.
Flickr-Ben Stanfeld, CC BY-SA 2.0