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“We are reducing its distribution on our platform”

The New York Post has a big story. Very big.

Smoking-gun email reveals how Hunter Biden introduced Ukrainian businessman to VP dad

By Emma-Jo Morris and Gabrielle Fonrouge

Hunter Biden introduced his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, to a top executive at a Ukrainian energy firm less than a year before the elder Biden pressured government officials in Ukraine into firing a prosecutor who was investigating the company, according to emails obtained by The Post.

The never-before-revealed meeting is mentioned in a message of appreciation that Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board of Burisma, allegedly sent Hunter Biden on April 17, 2015, about a year after Hunter joined the Burisma board at a reported salary of up to $50,000 a month.

“Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure,” the email reads

An earlier email from May 2014 also shows Pozharskyi, reportedly Burisma’s No. 3 exec, asking Hunter for “advice on how you could use your influence” on the company’s behalf.

The blockbuster correspondence — which flies in the face of Joe Biden’s claim that he’s “never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings” — is contained in a massive trove of data recovered from a laptop computer.

But the story of what is happening to that story is even bigger. The Daily Mail reports,

Outrage as Facebook AND Twitter throttle story about Joe Biden meeting son’s Ukraine partners until it’s been vetted by its third party so-called ‘fact-checkers’.

The Mail article describes how Sohrab Ahmari, an editor at the New York Post, tried to tweet about his paper’s story, and got this message:

Tweet not sent

Your Tweet couldn’t be sent because the link has been identified by Twitter or our partners as being potentially harmful. Visit our Help Center to learn more.

And Andy Stone, policy communications director at Facebook, has announced:

While I will intentionally not link to the New York Post, I want to be clear that this story is eligible to be fact checked by Facebook’s third-party fact checking partners. In the meantime, we are reducing its distribution on our platform.

Edit: Not knowing much about social media myself, I have two questions for readers. (1) What can people do to spread the New York Post‘s report about Joe Biden’s lies regarding Hunter Biden’s business dealings in the Ukraine? (2) What can people do to spread the even more important news that Facebook and Twitter are censoring this story?

Update: Via Instapundit, I learn that Sohrab Ahmari’s twitter account has been suspended. They are silencing the opinion editors of major newspapers.

60 comments to “We are reducing its distribution on our platform”

  • Fraser Orr

    One has to love the euphemism: “reducing circulation” meaning “censoring”. I have always said the most important part of Orwell’s 1984 is the appendix that describes “Newspeak” which addresses how manipulating the language is designed to manipulate thought.

    How many of you remember the utter scandal that happened when Sarah Ferguson sold access to her erstwhile husband? How much worse is this? (FWIW, I always liked Fergie, but Andy always seemed like a total dick to me. Though you do have to admire what he did in the Falklands. And since I am commenting on this, I really, Really, REALLY wanted to like Meghan Markle, but she seems to be quite a horrible person, who has ruined Harry, a guy who I always really liked for the same reason I liked Fergie.)

  • Bobby b

    A friend made a pro-Biden comment on Facebook. I replied as follows:

    [Response removed by Facebook moderator as Anti-Biden.]

    What followed was a long string of comments and conversation about the new news. Mission accomplished.

  • MadRocketSci

    This is what the internet has become: It’s a travesty. A gratuitous, deliberately offensive waste of potential, like most of the 21st century and about half of the 20th so far. Dark ages – why do they begin? How can we end them?

  • bobby b

    If Trump wins and gets some Congressional support out of this election, I’d strongly expect Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to be amended.

    Let FB argue that it’s not acting as a publisher.

  • bobby b

    An addendum:

    I’m not surprised they’re doing this, with twenty days to go to the election. They did announce that they did not want to be a part of any October Surprise just a few days ago, and that they wouldn’t be transmitting any such surprises unless and until they could be shown to be true. To give them some credit, they don’t want to be spreading unproven allegations perfectly timed to never need proving in order to be effective.

    I’m expecting lots of “raped” women and caged dogs to come out of the woodwork in these few pre-election days, telling us more of Trump’s horrid history, timed so that the claims couldn’t be adequately researched before we had to vote. The test of Facebook’s stance will be, do we hear about these women and dogs through FB? Will they apply this new rule evenly?

    I doubt it, but we’ll see. Perhaps the test will be, do they allow this news tomorrow, once they’ve seen proof that the laptop surprises are real? For a one-day delay, I think I’d cut them some slack. Anything longer, no.

  • Flubber

    ” To give them some credit, they don’t want to be spreading unproven allegations perfectly timed to never need proving in order to be effective.”

    Like the Russia Collusion nonsense before the Mid Terms?

    Facebook, Twitter and the rest of Silicon Valley are lying pieces of shit and should be prosecuted for election interference. Then Section 230 should be immediately withdrawn from them.

    Lets see them make money then (even if it means lots of lawyers getting rich)

  • Wintergreen

    Social media, ostensibly a platform to facilitate free speech, in fact turns out to be a means by which to suppress free thought.

  • bobby b

    “Like the Russia Collusion nonsense before the Mid Terms?”

    Timing. Crap with time to disprove is less harmful than crap days before voting. Decades ago, I worked on a local campaign. Close race. Two days before the election, we’re up +15, local anti-my-guy rag runs a story from a dirtbag who claims my guy drunkenly grabbed her breasts during a local summer festival. We conclusively disproved this – with records showing she was in jail for the six months surrounding the festival – but we disproved it two days after the election.

    “Facebook, Twitter and the rest of Silicon Valley are lying pieces of shit and should be prosecuted for election interference. Then Section 230 should be immediately withdrawn from them.”

    Election interference requires some specific elements that aren’t present here, I think. But totally agree re: SS230. They’re no bulletin board with no discretion.

    Which will, in many ways, really cripple our internet for a short time, until the players themselves come up with some way to regain that protection along with some promises to stop taking sides. That’ll be their price.

    Not a free speech issue. Not a censorship issue. Issue is, why grant them an artificial protection against long-standing laws by immunizing them from legal action? The justification originally was, they’d not misuse it. Ha.

  • Ferox

    What disgusts me is how cynical it all is. You don’t ban socialists from spewing their drivel here … why not? Because you believe that your arguments against their noxious bile are convincing, therefore there is no need to silence them.

    But the leftie magnates running Google, Facebook, Twitter et al. clearly do NOT believe their own arguments. They just hate people who are opposed to their brand of elitist totalitarianism, and want to digitally “disappear” them, all under the guise of a benevolent promotion of civil discourse. It’s absolutely cynical, in a breathtakingly blatant sort of way.

  • John

    Stating the absolutely bleeding obvious I have just scoured the bbc lead page, their world news lead page, their US election page and their regional US and Canada page.

    Guess what I didn’t find mentioned anywhere?

  • lucklucky

    It was not only Twitter and Facebook it is Google was blocking search too while Duck showed it.

  • John B

    Reminder: Twitter & Facebook are not the whole World.

    Many more people rely on other sources for information than social media, which is really just a children’s playground for the media, loonie Lefties, bullies and others with no life.

    ‘(1) What can people do to spread the New York Post‘s report…’

    You just did.

  • John

    To my previous post the bbc has finally reported the story, sort of.

    When you finally get down to the reported abuses of power we are told that the Biden campaign have said it didn’t happen so …….. oh look a squirrel!

    https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-54552101

  • ET DONA FERENTES ?

    When October surprises happen, I tend to distrust Democrats. So when this one broke, I immediately distrusted the Democrats. 🙂

    1) Everyone who cares already knows that Biden farms the taxes and the grants. Everyone who cares already knows why Burisma hired Hunter Biden and how Joe rewarded them. An email may have some legal importance, but who is there who knew about “Guess what, he was fired”, and about Hunter’s remuneration versus his ignorance of the business, yet were in real doubt about what Burisma were paying for and only now see that Biden farms the grants?

    2) George W Bush was helped by the October surprise of 2004 – that is, by the way it fell apart before election day, leaving brutally exposed media standing in the spotlight. Somewhere, some rueful Kerry supporter was left thinking, “If only the Republicans had attempted an equally-exposable disinformation trick against Kerry.”

    3) So when this first emerged as an NY Post story, I thought it could well be true because the Bidens were blatantly stupid enough to be caught like this. However I also wondered whether the provenance had been sufficiently monitored throughout that we could be sure that no exposable “too good to be true” story had been put on it more recently. The Burisma story was a problem for Biden anyway. The “he got fired” recording was sure to be played on attack ads anyway. Any oh-so-clever Democrat spin operator would have been thinking about how to ‘spit in the soup’ when the Republicans pushed that particular issue.

    4) If that had been the case, it’s clear that TwitFace did not get the memo. In a role reversal from the usual ‘Republicans pounce’ angle, social media have made their reaction to the story into the story – and not the way they would like. If there were some dodgy email transmission list planted to expose, how will they circulate it without contrasting brutally with their current handing.

    Just my thoughts for 0.02p. Given the Bidens obvious lifelong ineptitude, I’d bet a little more that this computer is exactly the uncleansed, unpaid-for accident it seems to be. But when October surprises happen, I don’t trust the left – not even when the surprise comes bearing gifts.

  • thefat tomato

    @BOBBY B:[Response removed by Facebook moderator as Anti-Biden.]
    GENIUS:LOOOOOL

  • Fraser Orr

    Apparently this morning, 19 days before the election, Twitter locked the Twitter account of the Trump campaign.

    https://nypost.com/2020/10/15/twitter-blocks-trump-campaign-from-tweeting-posts-hunter-biden-story/

    I thought I was past being shocked, but this one is quite stunning. I had this suspicion that they were going to do this close to the election, but to actually see it in black and white took my breath away.

    Apparently they also blocked a post from the House of Representatives Republican party:

    https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/twitter-censors-house-gop-press-release-after-lawmakers-post-hunter-biden-story-in-full

    Isn’t the whole argument “Democracy dies in darkness”. Isn’t that why the press has special legal exemptions? When they are actually blocking political parties comments then we are at a bad, bad place.

  • llamas

    bobby b. wrote

    ‘I’m expecting lots of “raped” women and caged dogs to come out of the woodwork in these few pre-election days, telling us more of Trump’s horrid history, timed so that the claims couldn’t be adequately researched before we had to vote. The test of Facebook’s stance will be, do we hear about these women and dogs through FB? Will they apply this new rule evenly?’

    Hasn’t that question already been more-than-answered, by the 637 different unverified stories and rumours, stolen documents and baseless speculations concerning President Trump which are freely circulated on all these platforms? I’m all for keeping an open mind, but there comes a point where there’s a distinct risk of your brains falling out.

    llater,

    llamas

  • llamas

    Niall Kilmartin beat me to it. Timeo Danae and all that.

    Not for one hot second do I believe that Hunter Biden or anyone working for him actually left this at a repair shop and then failed to pick it up. My nasty ex-copper mind, coupled with the copious evidence of Biden Jr’s many forays into the demi-monde, has already formulated a half-dozen much-more-likely scenarios by which this data ended up where it has. Indeed, it may well be the product of a Republican dirty-tricks operation.

    However, I am minded as Niall Kilmartin is, that this is likely the genuine article. The depth of material set out by the NY Post in just the first day of publication is already streets ahead of, say, the George Bush TANG material. If there were the slightest crack in the quality of any of the evidence so far presented, we’d be hearing all about it. As it is, the totality of the Biden defence is that the meeting described in the e-mail does not appear on Mr Biden’s official calendar. That’s like saying that the dentist can’t have murdered the hooker because her name isn’t on his schedule of appointments. Mr Biden’s official calendar is about the last place one would look for a record of a meeting whose whole purpose was corrupt influence-peddling.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Johnathan Pearce

    This may, depending on the outcome of Nov 3, blow up in these platforms’ faces. More and more people are changing how they use social media, and this might be one of those moments.

    Joe Biden is, on the face of it, and judging by a long and not very distinguished period as a career politician, an emblem of much that I despise about the Western political class. Corrupt, unprincipled except when cleaving to some sappy, Leftist desire to push the State’s nose into people’s lives. He comes across as incurious, and largely bereft of any original thoughts or deeds. That such a schlub is now likely to enter the White House, even if it is a few months before he is removed on medical grounds, is for a country of America’s past and size, a total disgrace.

  • John

    The “Chinese stuff” in today’s NYP, accessible through 🦆 🦆Go, is almost unbelievable.

    However the “Pee Dossier” was at least as unbelievable and unsubstantiated. I don’t recall the Gods of the social media holding back on that.

  • llamas

    John wrote:

    ‘The “Chinese stuff” in today’s NYP, accessible through Go, is almost unbelievable.’

    Pardon me, but – why? What makes this ‘unbelievable’ to you? There’s a growing body of evidence that ‘Hunter’ Biden is a serial influence peddler who happily sold access to his father to foreign powers while the selling was good – but now you suddenly think that selling access to the Chinese is ‘unbelievable’? What, you think he suddenly had an attack of conscience? ‘Yes, I’ll pimp out my Dad’s influence to the Ukrainians, but the Chinese? No, that’s too far!’

    No, me neither.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Nullius in Verba

    I thought it interesting that the two issues Burisma wanted Hunter’s help stopping were moves by the Minister of Ecology and a raise in taxes. Will that endear them to the Greens, to be associated with tax avoidance by the fossil fuel industry being investigated for possible ecological incorrectness?

    I agree, there’s no way that laptop being dropped off at the shop was Biden or a supporter of his. (Although it could be disgruntled staff.) I’d guess it was stolen, and left at the shop as a way of getting it into the public domain without getting the person who took it into trouble. A copy got sent to Giuliani (oh, yes? Repair shop owners would think to send it to Giuliani?), Bannon passed the word of its existence to the newspapers in September, and Giuliani provided it to the media mid-October. Perfect timing for the election – long enough for a sequence of rolling revelations to dominate the news, not long enough to check. It’s an obviously engineered ‘October Surprise’.

    So I imagine the media are probably going to try investigating this repair shop, and if any prior connections with Giuliani or the Republicans show up, it’s going to get presented as a fit-up. They’ll make that the story.

    That said, they’re not denying that the laptop is genuine, so the question is whether this is telling anybody anything they don’t already know. I think everyone knows what happened with Burisma. And supporters would still vote for Biden no matter what he was caught doing, because he’s only a figurehead for the party, and because he’s not Trump. And a forgotten twenty second howdy-do with Pop (who has recently established his bona fides as someone who doesn’t remember what day it is, or where he is, or what office he’s standing for) isn’t going to put anyone in jail. But the way these things work, you start with the revelations that are most solidly founded and hardest to disprove, and as the election gets nearer you move to revelations that are more salacious and harder to check in the time left. This ain’t over.

    The story on social media censorship is a cleverer move, and more interesting. Hunter Biden’s activities aren’t new. Blocking the social media accounts of the President’s spokesman weeks before an election very definitely is. Again, this can be spun as the application of an already announced policy. (Thus something GOP strategists could have easily predicted they’d do, and so anticipated and prepared for.) But it puts the media’s credibility under fire simultaneously with Biden’s, and given that the GOP see the media as part of the opposition campaign, that’s pretty clever. The anger and alarm is going the energise the base to vote, and swing a lot of waverers. As have the riots.

    I wish them luck. But I’d not count my chickens just yet. There are many ways this could unravel, if it could be shown to be a cynical and calculated manipulation, using stolen data ‘eavesdropping’ on the Democrats’ private lives. The parallels to breaking into the DNC offices at the Watergate building to get similar dirt are bound to occur to someone. If it turns out the laptop was stolen in a similar operation, and brought out into the public domain by a nefarious route, and it turns out there is no unambiguous incriminating evidence to be found, and this is a ‘nothingburger’ story rehashing old news about Hunter, well…

    But well done, Giuliani. It’s about time.

  • llamas

    If it’s graft you’re hidin’,
    Just call a Biden,
    Ukraine

    Hire the VP’s son,
    To get things done,
    Ukraine

    If they catch your lie,
    Then deny, deny, deny,
    Ukraine

    Pay his son the cash,
    For his weed, coke and hash,
    Ukraine

    But the meet’s a fact,
    And he can’t get it back
    Ukraine
    Joe lies, Joe lies, Joe lies,
    Ukraine

    With apologies to the estate and memory of John W. Cale /BMG Rights Management copyright 1977

    Now tell me that you don’t have that as an earworm for the rest of the day 😈

    llater,

    llamas

  • llamas

    FWIW, I suspect that the ‘repair shop’ gambit was devised to allow the store owner to obtain lawful ownership of the laptop in question from whoever – ‘acquired’ – it from Hunter Biden via the operation of an ‘artisan’s lien’ – I do not know the law of Delaware in these matters but suspect it’s like most other places – items left for repair and not collected or paid for after a given time may become the property of the business and sold to satisfy the debt.

    In most places, an ‘artisan’s lien’ must be ‘perfected’ by giving notice to the owner and providing them an opportunity to collect their property and pay their debt. If they fail to do so, the repair shop then assumes good title to the goods. In all this brou-ha-ha, I would be fascinated to learn whether the repair shop owner moved to perfect his lien under Delaware law.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Nullius in Verba

    “In all this brou-ha-ha, I would be fascinated to learn whether the repair shop owner moved to perfect his lien under Delaware law.”

    From the article:

    The customer who brought in the water-damaged MacBook Pro for repair never paid for the service or retrieved it or a hard drive on which its contents were stored, according to the shop owner, who said he tried repeatedly to contact the client.

    The shop owner couldn’t positively identify the customer as Hunter Biden, but said the laptop bore a sticker from the Beau Biden Foundation, named after Hunter’s late brother and former Delaware attorney general.

  • Flubber

    Also FYI its not just Hunter – Biden’s extended family were all in on it, and as Hunter admitted in a text message, he had to kick 50% of his earnings to Joe.

    That’s new – and ridiculously damning.

  • John

    Llamas.

    Using the word unbelievable was wrong. My intention was to avoid airing my political views, there are other sites for that. I wanted to comment on this latest and most blatant example of the double-standards exercised by the hugely influential and unaccountable social media platforms.

    FWIW I have never doubted that Hunter (along with Kerry junior – just how much money do some families want?) has been the recipient of largesse from Ukraine and China on behalf of and on account of his father’s influence and see it as a pound-shop version of an even greedier family who set up a Foundation and Global Initiative and got away with it.

  • bobby b

    Why should we care if the data were stolen, if they are true? Isn’t that the essence of whistle-blowing?

  • Paul Marks

    We have to be careful here.

    Yes the Biden family have been selling Joseph “Joe” Biden’s office for many years. Joseph Biden’s brother based his business on selling the influence of Joseph Biden – and Hunter Biden, a Crack Cocaine Addict who has long been involved human trafficked young women, accepted very large amounts of money from corrupt Ukrainian interests (in return for Joseph Biden having the Ukrainian Prosecutor investigating them, fired) and he accepted vast sums of money from the People’s Republic of China, and a few million from associates of Mr Putin (yes “Russia, Russia, Russia” is actually a Biden thing – just as it was the Putin regime that produced the “Steele Dossier” that the CLINTON campaign used against Donald John Trump).

    All that being said……

    There is no guarantee that any particular piece of evidence will not be FAKE.

    “Governor – I have got e.mails and photographs proving the Kray Twins did that murder!”

    No policeman or prosecutor (and Rudy G. has never really stopped being a Prosecutor) would turn down such evidence – but they SHOULD BE VERY CAREFUL OF IT.

    If someone comes along offering you the evidence you have been looking for – then LOOK THAT GIFT HORSE IN THE MOUTH, be very careful of it indeed.

    It is an old trick among “spooks” to manufacture fake intelligence – even fake intelligence that proves what HAS ACTUALLY HAPPENED.

    Because if the evidence is proved to be fake – then no one will believe the charge any more, even if the accused are guilty.

  • Paul Marks

    Of course Rudy G. would dismiss me as a burned out, paranoid person – and I hope he is CORRECT. But he is thinking like a Prosecutor – and he now operates in the world of spooks (a very different world).

    As for the Social Media companies – they did not give a toss about the New York Times stealing private information, or then totally twisting that information (for example stealing the tax returns of Donald John Trump – and then totally twisting the facts to pretend he had paid 750 Dollars in Federal Income Tax when he had actually paid MILLIONS in Federal Income Tax in that year, plus State and local income tax which is incredibly high in New York City).

    Of course they are breaking their Section 230 commitment to be Neutral Public Platforms – the actions of Twitter, Facebook and GOOGLE (which rigs political research results) treat their Section 230 legal commitment as a piece of toilet paper – they wipe their backsides on the Communications Decency Act, but they take all the lovely protections from being sued for Third Party Content that Section 230 of the Act gives them. Their business model depends on Section 230 – they would all be bankrupt without it.

    They are scum – sadly typical of the “Woke” Corporations, but then the “Justice” authorities and the FCC (and the Electoral authorities – for this election interference) have let them get away with this for years.

    Full disclosure – I am in communication with various people who are suing (taking Civil Legal action) against the Social Media companies in relation to Section 230.

  • Paul Marks

    From a national security point of view the fact that Joseph “Joe” Biden has been a puppet of the government of the People’s Republic of China is the most serious thing – he is the paid servant of a hostile power and has been for many year.

    However, yet again, be very careful of “evidence” that proves what you are looking to have proved – check that evidence, and check it again and again.

    As I have said – it is an old trick to manufacture FALSE intelligence about a TRUE charge – because fake evidence discredits a case, and the guilty get to walk free.

  • Why should we care if the data were stolen, if they are true? Isn’t that the essence of whistle-blowing? (bobby b, October 15, 2020 at 7:08 pm)

    Legally, the UK FOIA act explicitly permits lawfully-requested data to be put into the public domain by a whistleblower if the doer legitimately thinks that the data’s owner plans to wipe it. Data obtained by police without lawful warrant is another matter. You will know more than I about US rules.

    From the PoV of our own moral and practical reasoning, it is sensible to know the provenance of the information. (My pro tem conclusion is much like bobby b’s.)

    – The timing of release of this information can hardly be an accident (any more than were those of past Dem-caused October surprises, but those past incidents nevertheless varied in their ratio of forged fiction to spun fact).

    – IIRC, British intelligence had a harder time arranging to surface the Zimmerman telegram than they had discovering that Germany had written so foolish a thing in the first place. A lot of British Intelligence effort went into making it erupt into the public domain in a way that did not suggest (even to US intelligence IIRC) that British Intelligence had anything to do with it, and while that was partly to protect sources it was also to maximise the political effect on the US. This is quite normal in such operations.

    In this case, who surfaced it once the repair shop owned it is not being obscured: Bannon and Giuliani are named and their roles details. But I quite see the plausibility of the scenario speculated by some above – finding the data existed, and was in the careless care of Hunter Biden, was followed by a legally well-designed operation to put a Hunter laptop into the public domain.

    To anyone who has read enough spy thrillers, that would not prevent a complex double-plot in which Dems prepared carefully-polluted information, and TwitFace’s shoot-in-foot ignorance of that is just a comical twist of the plot. However if the Bidens continue a bit reluctant to state in words of one syllable that the meeting never ever happened, that could be diagnostic. And social media/MSM now totally own the fact that at this stage, any planned revelation of falseness in the laptop would need to be subtle enough that Giuliani et al missed it and yet incredibly unarguable to be credited if coming from their story-suppressing mouths in order to shift back any votes the first version shifted.

    We shall see.

  • Ferox

    in order to shift back any votes the first version shifted.

    My read of the zeitgeist is that hardly any votes will shift because of this.

    Video could emerge of Biden directly taking bribes from Chinese agents and it would hardly matter a lick to most of the people who are going to vote for him – because they aren’t voting for him, they are voting against Orange Man Bad.

  • Eric

    The contents of the email don’t surprise me at all. There’s only one reason an Eastern European oil company would want to pay that kind of money to the younger Biden, who knows nothing about oil, industry, or management. Even if he were a bona fide expert nobody would hire him for a legitimate position given his past.

    Of course it was corruption. Everybody knew that; even Democrats had given up pretending and resorted to legalistic arguments based around the inability of law enforcement to prove a quid pro quo. Or the ever popular “Oh, come on. They all do it.” If there’s any surprise it stems from the fact the younger Biden would put something like that into an email.

    To me the most appalling thing about this whole business is the FBI had these emails for almost a year and sat on them. No official investigation, even though they knew they had enough to put both Bidens in jail for a very long time. We wouldn’t know anything about it today except the shop owner gave the emails to Giuliani.

    Also… I would like to know on what basis the FBI subpoena’d and removed the laptop from the new owner.

  • Eric

    My read of the zeitgeist is that hardly any votes will shift because of this.

    Video could emerge of Biden directly taking bribes from Chinese agents and it would hardly matter a lick to most of the people who are going to vote for him – because they aren’t voting for him, they are voting against Orange Man Bad.

    Agreed. Remember the scandal with Al Gore accepting suspiciously large campaign contributions from Buddhist nuns? Didn’t hurt Bill Clinton, so the tolerance for corruption is high, for Democrats at least, even under normal circumstances.

  • The original story may or may not be true. May or may not be disinformation by a foreign power etc. etc.

    We don’t know. I mean Crackhead McStripperbang seems to have form in the area so it seems plausible but then the best disinformation would be based on things that are plausible and may even contain minor truths as well as the major lies.

    Also I’m 99% sure that the release of the story materials by Giuliani & co to the media just now was not a case of coincidental timing. This was clearly an intended “October Surprise” and would normally be discounted as such by the part of the electorate that pays attention to the news.

    BUT

    What is obviously and overwhelmingly true is that by trying to ban it, Twatter and the Feces Borg have managed to do a Streisand effect on the story that the Trump campaign couldn’t have dreamed possible. To what effect on the voters I cannot say, but I don’t see anything in this story or the metastory of how the social media tried censoring it that is going to make people more likely to vote for Hiden Joe and Commie La Whoreish and plenty that incents people to vote for Trump.

    If Trump wins again and if it isn’t a huge rout of the Dims then I expect at least part of the reason why he will have won is this censorship

  • Fraser Orr

    @Ferox
    My read of the zeitgeist is that hardly any votes will shift because of this.

    Probably, but it isn’t really about flipping votes but flipping half a vote — namely by deflating enthusiasm sufficiently that someone doesn’t vote at all. And that I can see happening. All this stuff takes place on the margin.

    FWIW, what I think about this is that it doesn’t surprise me that Biden junior would do this, he always seemed a couple of fries short of a happy meal (I guess all that coke will kill off your brain cells. Though it also might be argued that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.)

  • llamas

    I think Biden Jr really is that disconnected from reality.

    Recall that, after he got some sort of special-track commission in the US Navy (and who knows what the hell that was about?), within a month, he failed a drug test for cocaine, and was discharged.

    But what’s interesting is his explanation. He claimed that he failed the drug test because he smoked cigarettes given to him by somebody else, that must have been laced with the drug. Now, have in mind that this is a man of 43, with a long past history of drug issues, telling this story.

    It takes a very special level of entitled chutzpah to tell a story like that with a straight face. That sort of lack of self-awareness may go some way to explaining why and how he felt he was entitled to engage in some of the activities which it would appear are indicated by these e-mails. Not even touching on the baby-with-the-stripper (which, lest we forget, he totally disavowed until the DNA test proved him a liar) or taking up with his former sister-in-law, the widow of his own brother.

    llater,

    llamas

    llater,

    llamas

  • Nullius in Verba

    “If there’s any surprise it stems from the fact the younger Biden would put something like that into an email.”

    We’re not sure that he did, yet. Both the emails in the article came from Burisma.

    “To me the most appalling thing about this whole business is the FBI had these emails for almost a year and sat on them.”

    There are many possible reasons for that. One is that the laptop was likely obtained illegally, so it might not be admissible in evidence. Another is that they are investigating it, but investigations are still in progress. Another is that they don’t want the Bidens to know how much they know, as they use the intel to chase down other links and crimes. Another is that they were told to sit on it so it could be sprung on them as an ‘October Surprise’.

    But I would think the most likely explanation is that there isn’t anything in the emails that they could actually nail the Bidens on. One email we’ve seen thanks Biden junior for arranging a meeting with Biden senior. ‘Meeting’ could be all sorts of things – a six hour planning session on how best to bend the Ukrainian government to their will, or a twenty second howdy-do in a corridor on the way to another engagement, like Biden no doubt does with thousands of voters, officials, dignitaries, security people, event organisers, PR and media types, and random passers-by at diplomatic cocktail parties. No reason he’d remember it if it was, and not illegal. The other email we’ve seen is, on the face of it, Burisma asking for advice on how to fend off a corrupt shakedown by the government. The way it works is that the bureaucracy has all sorts of rules and regulations and special taxes that it can use to make a business’s life impossible, but if you pay off the right officials they can make all that go away. Burisma are complaining that the government are putting corrupt pressure on the gas industry via green regulations and taxes, and they’d like the Americans to tell them to stop being so corrupt. Arguably, the lawyers will argue, that’s exactly what they should be doing. And all we’ve got is the request for advice. Just because you held a meeting doesn’t mean you got what you wanted. We haven’t seen a reply – which might have been along the lines of “We can’t do that. It would be corrupt.” Or they might have agreed only to apply pressure through proper channels ostensibly to try to prevent such corruption.

    When the government is corrupt, only companies willing to play along with the corruption survive and succeed. And by doing so, they become vulnerable to charges of corruption, and can be pressured for even more. Burisma were being squeezed (they say), and they were appealing to an even bigger player for help.

    Part of the problem here is that corruption is commonly blamed on the companies that pay the bribes, rather than the government that sets the rules, which is like blaming shopkeepers for paying protection to the Mafia. Corruption happens when a government raises lots of regulatory barriers to trade, which totally block efficient conduct of legally-operated business, and then accept bribes for bypassing the regulations. Incentives being what they are, this encourages the government to pile on ever more red tape, strangling the economy. If you want to do business, you either pay the bribes, or you go into the far less efficient black market. It kills the economy, and perpetuates the problem. It’s why developing nations are so poor.

    Burisma were a successful gas company, and no doubt didn’t get to be one without paying lots of bribes, which is of course illegal. And they were obviously paying Hunter for his contacts. But they might have been using that access to lobby for morally legitimate reasons, to reduce corruption in Ukraine. Or not. We don’t know. It’s not obvious from the email. Bribery is an expense, so even corrupt businesses have legitimate reasons for wanting to reduce it, as well as to take advantage of it to reduce the competition. It’s a murky mess where everyone and everything is morally grey.

    The American Senate and Congress are constantly surrounded by lobbyists paying for access, paying for legislative favours. It’s why they’re all fabulously rich and powerful. If the FBI started investigating and prosecuting people for lobbying, there would be a lot of red faces in the Senate! And it’s not like there aren’t lots of archives of emails to them, too. But they have the best lawyers, who are able to cloak it all in moral righteousness, anything actually illegal is (allegedly) only done in face to face meetings, and so far as the record in evidence shows, it was a pure coincidence that company X created a thousand new jobs in the Cogressman’s State as precisely the time the Congressman changed his vote to pass legislation helping a certain sector of industry that Company X does business in. You can’t complain about creating jobs. You can’t complain about helping industry. You can’t stop companies making campaign contributions. Or randomly choosing to buy their widgets from a company the Congressman happens to have invested in. That’s all freedom of trade.

    So my guess would be that the emails may be suggestive enough of corruption to fire up voters who are already inclined to believe it, but are nowhere near sufficient to take them to court, and that that’s why the FBI has done nothing with them. But I don’t know. I guess we’ll find out in the coming months.

    For now, the big story is the censorship.

  • Paul Marks

    Regardless of whether these particular pictures and e.mails turn out to be real or fake – there are some things we do know.

    The Bidens have been selling the influence of Joseph “Joe” Biden for many years – they started with American interests (such as the Credit Card companies) – but then they branched out to foreign interests. The Ukrainian company that Joseph Biden protected by having the Ukrainian Prosecutor investigating its corruption dismissed – we do not need “leaks” to know that, Joseph Biden BOASTED about it (on camera) for years. His son, the Crack Cocaine Addict with no knowledge of the oil and gas industry and who can not speak Ukrainian, was paid lots of money – and Joseph Biden helps out the corrupt company. More money to be spent on Crack Cocaine – and on young women from human trafficking rings (this from the party of “Me To”).

    But it is vastly worse than this – because the Bidens have been getting vast sums of money from the government of the People’s Republic of China, the principle ENEMY of the United States, for many years.

    Everyone knows this – everyone BUT MOST VOTERS. Most voters do NOT know – because the corrupt media make sure they do not know.

    But sometimes the evil is too clear to mask.

    At his last “Town Hall” Mr Biden was asked about “transgender” eight year olds, EIGHT YEAR OLD children.

    He supported this – for EIGHT YEAR OLDS.

    I am sorry, but sometimes “Big Business did not let me know what I was voting for” is a bit of copout.

    Deep down most people must know that Mr Biden is evil (yes EVIL) – deep down they know what they are voting for.

    Most voters may not know about the Crack Cocaine, or the human trafficked young women, or even about the many years of TREASON (being a paid agent of a hostile foreign power – the People’s Republic of China) – but the stench of evil from the Bidens is obvious. As it is with Senator Harris – a person who basically overcomes everyone around her with the small of sulphur. Senator Harris is evil to the core – and it is obvious.

    “The “Woke” Corporations would not let me know they were evil – I would not have voted for them if I had only known” does not really cut it.

  • Rob

    this story is eligible to be fact checked by Facebook’s third-party fact checking partners

    I believe they have a free spot on the morning of Nov 4th.

  • Paul Marks

    Sometimes the censorship is not obvious – it is subtle.

    Long before he was banned from Facebook, Paul Joseph Watson (and many other people with their own posts) noticed a massive drop in the number of people seeing his posts – ditto on other Social Media platforms. A change in the mathematical algorithm had done this.

    In a democracy one does NOT have to “fool all the people all the time” – fooling 51% will do, and if that 51% only see what “Woke” Big Business want them to see…… (well yes there are the gut feelings I refer to above – but it helps if people are actually SHOWN something).

    Sometimes it is also a matter of MASS DEATH.

    For example….

    Since March many private doctors actually treating Covid 19 have strongly suggested EARLY treatment with hydroxychloroquine and zinc sulphate (EARLY treatment – before the virus gets a grip), plus something to deal with NON Covid problems the lungs may develop in their weakened state – such as azithromycin.

    Why do most people not know this?

    Why do most people think that President Trump suggested that they be treated with “fish tank cleaner” or disinfectant? Because that is what the media told most people – and Social Media “shadow banned” the private medical doctors – yes they are NOT formally banned, but they do not appear in “feeds” and so on.

    You only see the Social Media posts of these private medical doctors if you go to them – i.e. you only see it, if you already know (that is of no use to the dying).

    Government bureaucrats (State and Federal) openly admit (indeed boast) that they frustrated the President’s orders to allow doctors to prescribe such treatments EARLY (in the first stage of Covid 19) – they BOAST about this, and how the massive number of deaths will defeat “Trump”.

    Think about that.

    What is a person who deliberately sets out to increase casualties from a disease – for a political purpose.

    Indeed what is a such a person even if they did not have a political purpose – even if they just increased the number of people dying for personal amusement.

    I put it to you that such State and Federal officials are MURDERERS.

    Will they ever be punished?

    Sadly – not in this world.

  • Paul Marks

    They are boasting – openly

    For example in the publicity for the propaganda film “Totally Under Control”(to be broadcast on Hula on October 20th) Dr Rick Bright boasts that “Contrary to POTUS [President of the United States] orders I limited HCQ use to hospital use early”.

    This is presented as the noble Dr Bright fighting the evil Orange Man – but think about what he has actually said.

    Dr Bright knows very well that the request was for EARLY use “rush it out to the pharmacists” (are the words he himself uses) – and he knows well that the medical doctors (the private doctors who actually treat patients – not vaccine makers like himself) were desperate to be allowed to prescribe hydroxychloroquine and zinc sulphate (in the correct dosage and with something like azithromycin for non covid problems the lungs might develop in their weakened state) EARLY – it is a Stage One Covid 19 treatment, it is of little later on (when the patients are dying in hospital – because the disease has spread and their immune system is going crazy).

    He deliberately frustrated that effort – and Rick Bright was not the only one, there are a Legion doing this at many levels of Federal and State government.

    Why are people in say Honduras getting better medical treatment than people got in the United States?

    Dr Bright might claim that he did not know the truth in March – but this October and he still trying to discredit effective EARLY treatment, so that the maximum number of people can die which he and others openly say they will use to defeat “Trump”.

    His own words, intended to convict “Trump”, should be used in the prosecution of Dr Bright, vaccine maker, himself.

    In a better world, they would be.

  • llamas (October 16, 2020 at 10:36 am) and Fraser Orr (October 16, 2020 at 3:52 am), despite my exploring other ideas in comments above, I agree with you that “Hunter Biden was, as usual, really careless with a laptop he should have kept more control of” is a very possible explanation of this farrago.

    If you find yourself talking to someone saying it looks very ‘convenient’ that Bannon and Giuliani should happen upon this information at this time, it may be desirable to have thought through how Hunter’s well-attested and extreme slovenliness may have interacted with investigation of the Biden-Burisma issue. The laptop was dropped off in April 2019. Trump’s Ukraine phone call happened in late July – and they spent the latter part of 2019 trying to impeach him for making that call. Given the timeline, it was not the laptop’s being out of Hunter’s control that caused that – on the contrary, the end-2019 publicity around the run-up to the impeachment attempt would more likely be the cause of the laptop being looked at in the shop, and then brought to the FBI’s attention.

  • “To me the most appalling thing about this whole business is the FBI had these emails for almost a year and sat on them. (Eric, October 16, 2020 at 12:14 am)”

    the most likely explanation is that there isn’t anything in the emails that they could actually nail the Bidens on. (Nullius in Verba, October 16, 2020 at 11:58 am)

    Joe Biden was on record as stoutly denying any such meetings. All the FBI had to do was question him as they did Flynn. If Biden repeats the denial, they show the email and say “Ha, ha, we have you lying to the FBI, a federal offence”, whereupon nailing can begin, as it did with Flynn. (And if Biden suddenly became cautiously vague, that information would have been by no means useless to an investigating agent.)

    ‘Not enough to nail Joe on’ is a peculiar explanation to think most likely – or even likely – as the cause of the FBI’s apparent inaction.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “All the FBI had to do was question him as they did Flynn. If Biden repeats the denial, they show the email and say “Ha, ha, we have you lying to the FBI, a federal offence”, whereupon nailing can begin, as it did with Flynn.”

    And all he has to do is not deny it. Or suggest that the Ukrainian may be mistaken. Or that the email is faked. Or that the visit to DC created an opportunity for a meeting but the meeting never happened. Or say they previously interpreted the word “meeting” as meaning a formal, arranged meeting rather than a casual shake-hands-in-a-corridor-and-move-on sort of meet. (Which seems to be their current line.) Or simply not answer.

    This was one of the more notable features of the impeachment enquiry. Lots of people claimed in the media to have specific personal knowledge of Trump’s misdeeds. When they were giving evidence and under oath, they said they didn’t.

    In the Flynn case, they didn’t catch him in a lie. They illegally re-wrote the interview evidence sheet after the interview to say he did, and then used the threat of prosecution against his family for other issues to get him to plead guilty. And yes, I suppose they could do that to Biden too, but not legally, and I don’t endorse that sort of law-enforcement behaviour even against my enemies.

    We’ll have to see what develops. More emails are coming out, and maybe there will be something juicier in one of those that changes the situation. But if I was on the jury, and the only evidence of the meeting taking place was an offhand and ambiguous comment in an email found on a hard drive obtained in circumstances of questionable legality, after it had been through the hands of his political enemies, with all sorts of unanswered questions about how it came to be there, from a foreigner who maybe doesn’t speak English well, working for a company long suspected to be corrupt and dishonest, and with no context or supporting information like whether and how Hunter Biden replied to it, and where it’s not even illegal or necessarily nefarious for them to have met, I’d not convict, and I hate the guy.

    I’m not sure what court it would be prosecuted in – I don’t know the American legal system – but if it’s a court in DC then the jury is likely to be solidly Democrat. The FBI are surely going to figure that’s going to be a hard sell, even with the best evidence.

  • Eric

    NiV,

    I see no indication the laptop was obtained illegally. The shop owner said Hunter Biden himself dropped it off.

    The email I find the most damning is the one where he says “It’s really hard but don’t worry, unlike Pop [Joe Biden], I won’t make you give me half your salary.”

    So it’s not just that Hunter Biden is landing exorbitantly paid, do-nothing jobs for arranging meetings with his father, but that Joe Biden is profiting handsomely from these arrangements. Do you know anyone who sends half his salary to his (non destitute) father? It’s beyond nepotism – it just straight influence peddling.

    If the FBI can’t prosecute this kind of case and instead contents itself with setting perjury traps for people who haven’t actually committed crimes, there’s no reason for the agency to exist at all.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “I see no indication the laptop was obtained illegally.”

    I don’t know that it was. But for it to have been obtained legally, Hunter Biden would have had to have taken a laptop that he *knew* had compromising emails photos on it, given it to an unvetted stranger in a high street shop rather than getting one of their own contracted corporate IT guys in, or simply binned it and bought a new one as the rich are most likely to do, then completely forgotten to pick it up, despite its compromising contents and despite being laptopless for months (or why bother to get it repaired?), somehow failed to have identified themselves to the shopkeeper or given contact details that the shopkeeper could use to trace him, for the shopkeeper to have accepted the contract somehow without being sure it was Hunter Biden, and then failed to make contact “repeatedly”. It’s beyond stupid for Hunter to have done something like that. It requires multiple weird things to happen.

    On the other hand, the alternative theory is that it’s stolen. Somebody (possibly Biden’s staff, possibly in a hotel or taxi) got hold of it, figured they could make some money selling it to the Republicans, arranges to drop it off at a friendly repair shop, giving false contact details, the time expires and the shop owner takes legal posession, and makes the arrangements to send it to the FBI and Giuliani. If the FBI act, that works out fine. If they don’t, they’ve got another copy that Giuliani can release at the proper time. Every step is plausible and well motivated, and explains all the weirdnesses.

    Now, I don’t know for certain that they *did*. But I can’t tell, on the evidence available to me, that they didn’t. Which is why I say it’s “questionable”.

    “The shop owner said Hunter Biden himself dropped it off.”

    From the article:

    The customer who brought in the water-damaged MacBook Pro for repair never paid for the service or retrieved it or a hard drive on which its contents were stored, according to the shop owner, who said he tried repeatedly to contact the client.

    The shop owner couldn’t positively identify the customer as Hunter Biden, but said the laptop bore a sticker from the Beau Biden Foundation, named after Hunter’s late brother and former Delaware attorney general.

  • bobby b

    Let’s not get stuck between the evidentiary foundation required to get the laptop and contents admitting as evidence in court and the public believe-ability of the laptop as having come from HB in an unaltered state.

    The FBI likely could never have used the laptop at trial. But it and its contents should have come out during the impeachment. It was very material for that purpose. The only believable excuse for it not to have been brought up then would be if the FBI claimed that they never did an exhaustive search of it – but why then didn’t they send it back to HB?

    Heads really should roll at the FBI for this.

  • … yes, I suppose they could do that to Biden too, but not legally, and I don’t endorse that sort of law-enforcement behaviour even against my enemies. (Nullius in Verba, October 16, 2020 at 6:24 pm)

    The claim – your claim, Nullius – that we were discussing in the first place was that the FBI’s inaction was “most likely” explained by “there isn’t anything in the emails that they could actually nail the Bidens on”. It was not “there isn’t anything in the emails that they could actually nail the Bidens on without doing stuff they’ve done before but that was not, and would not be, ethical.” (That way of putting it does indeed point towards elements of less unlikely and/or more complete explanations.)

    The habit of casually changing and/or forgetting your own premise when it is questioned, Nullius, makes discussion tedious and unprofitable – so I will pass on other points. (Any interested readers can form their own views.)

  • staghounds

    The BBC says that the Bidens did nothing bad in Ukraine, and that Trump is just as bad as they are.

    This article, on the BBC front page, is nearly incomprehensible:

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-54553132

  • Eric

    On the other hand, the alternative theory is that it’s stolen. Somebody (possibly Biden’s staff, possibly in a hotel or taxi) got hold of it, figured they could make some money selling it to the Republicans, arranges to drop it off at a friendly repair shop, giving false contact details, the time expires and the shop owner takes legal posession, and makes the arrangements to send it to the FBI and Giuliani. If the FBI act, that works out fine. If they don’t, they’ve got another copy that Giuliani can release at the proper time. Every step is plausible and well motivated, and explains all the weirdnesses.

    Except it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. It would be far easier and less risky to just copy the hard drive and send it to wikileaks. Probably would have gotten more play, too.

    Also, that article is a little disingenuous. The owner said he thought it was Biden but wasn’t positive.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “It was not “there isn’t anything in the emails that they could actually nail the Bidens on without doing stuff they’ve done before but that was not, and would not be, ethical.””

    And of course the first words of my comment – “yes, I suppose they could do that to Biden too” – made it clear that I acknowledged exactly that point!

    Don’t you think it ‘probable’ that most of the FBI would consider the illegality of making up the evidence a factor when deciding not to prosecute Biden?

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Except it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. It would be far easier and less risky to just copy the hard drive and send it to wikileaks. Probably would have gotten more play, too.”

    It would then be far easier for the opposition to make the story be about illegal Republican dirty tricks, and the news could genuinely block it as ‘hacked’ or ‘stolen’. The plausible appearance of legality is important.

  • John

    Forgive my being naive but are you seriously suggesting that copying a hard drive and passing it to wikileaks is without risk? Seth Rich, with the benefit of hindsight, might disagree.

  • Rowdy

    Maybe distribute via screenshot?

  • Bloke on M4

    What John B said: “Twitter & Facebook are not the whole World”

    There’s lots of places to discuss this, and even Twitter and Facebook’s AIs aren’t clever enough to find every variation of someone saying “look up the New York Post about Biden” or linking to an article on a site talking about it. One person who links to a website talking about the censorship leads to 100 more people knowing about the censorship, leads to another 1000 and so forth. And ultimately, it’ll get around in no time.

    Censorship like this only works with totalitarian states or where you have a small number of major media companies all willing to go along with it. When people can still be reached to be told that censorship is happening, the main damage is to the censorship platforms. And this week, Parler saw their app go high in the download charts – people are working around Twitter.

  • Alex DeWynter

    When people can still be reached to be told that censorship is happening, the main damage is to the censorship platforms.

    This.

    Twitter and FB’s attempts to stifle the story were extraordinarily stupid. Maybe they panicked at the threat to their savior, maybe they got caught up in thinking because those platforms are their whole world that’s true for the actual world, maybe some other reason. They may or may not have exposed themselves to legal consequences (I’m cynical enough to think probably not), but they’ve handed Trump, the Republicans, and the right wing in general a club to beat them over the head with. All they accomplished was to temporarily keep the story out of the awareness of people who get their news exclusively from FB/T, and those people are for the most part partisan leftists and/or low-info-voters who would clamp their hands over their ears and chant lalalalala if FB/T didn’t do it for them.

    The part of the electorate this is aimed at is the big mushy middle. The voters who aren’t strongly partisan and haven’t been paying much attention, but for whom Biden is a familiar face who seems harmless, especially in contrast with the loud boisterousness of Trump. Make them aware of Biden’s lies and treason and some not-insignificant percentage of them will either stay home in disgust or flip to Trump. That’s why CNN/ABC/NBC/CBS are relentlessly ignoring it, Biden didn’t get asked about it at his town hall, etc. That blackout is imperfect, since Fox is covering it and Trump is going to bring it up in public every chance he gets, but it will preserve some of Biden’s vote share.

    As far as the laptop goes, it might be stolen, it might not. I have no difficulty believing that a spoiled crackhead whose entire life has consisted of stupid, irresponsible behavior would do something stupid and irresponsible. Is it damned convenient for Republicans? Sure. Provided the harddrive/emails/etc. are genuine, I don’t particularly care.

  • It was several times said at the end of 2019 that Jeremy Corbyn won the election on twitter, just not in the real world.

    I wish the world across the pond a similar experience.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    As October surprises go, regardless of whether it was true or not, it has been a great boon to Trump on many levels.

    One, the media’s impartiality claim has been further unmasked for less-informed voters. Two, the Biden camp cannot spring any October surprises of their own without being subject to the same scrutiny and skepticism. Three, it plants a lot of doubt in the minds of mushy-minded middle voters about Biden.

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