by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
If you needed evidence that “Russian disinformation” has become a catchall term for anything that undermines the Democratic Party’s electoral prospects, look no further than the response of top party apparatchiks and the mainstream media to last week’s New York Post exposé on Hunter Biden.
According to Sen. Chris Murphy (D., Conn.), the story is “very likely Russian propaganda.” House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) is certain the materials came “from the Kremlin.” And CNN’s John Harwood tells us the story is “clear disinformation by Russian intelligence.”
The Russians may very well be behind the embarrassing email leak, as they were behind the leak of Hillary Clinton’s emails in 2016. That hardly makes the emails “disinformation.” A photograph of Hunter Biden with a crack pipe dangling from his lips looks like the real McCoy to us.
The Biden campaign has offered no suggestion that the emails are phony. Instead, Biden has offered the magical one-word response that his former boss, aided and abetted by the press, used so effectively in 2008: Smear!
It says something about the state of the mainstream media that their response has been functionally indistinguishable from that of the Democratic Party’s leadership, elected and otherwise.
Rather than race to verify the Post’s reporting, reporters at outlets from the New York Times and the Washington Post to National Public Radio have worked to cast aspersions on the two young, female reporters behind the scoop.
“Post deputy political editor Emma-Jo Morris’ reports on Biden this past week constitute the sum total of her professional bylines,” sniffed NPR’s David Folkenflik. …
… Reporters who have stepped out of line—and had the temerity to suggest the Post has revealed newsworthy material—have been swiftly reprimanded.