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For news junkies, there has been a remarkable and sudden shift in media coverage of the Hunter Biden scandal. The change is the very fact that there is suddenly coverage of the Hunter Biden scandal. From CNN to NPR, reporters now agree that the infamous laptop is not “Russian disinformation” as was widely claimed ahead of the 2020 election. After years of burying the story, the media is now trying an even more precarious exercise.
This is called controlled demolition: the implosion of a scandal to limit any blast effect on nearby structures or individuals. Like these fallen buildings between other structures, it takes precision and, most importantly, cooperation to succeed. Specifically, this controlled demolition will require perfect timing from the media, Democratic politicians, and most importantly, the Justice Department.
It’s the same alliance that managed to kill the story ahead of the election despite evidence of a multimillion-dollar influence-peddling scheme by the Biden family. The media eagerly disseminated the false claim of 51 intelligence experts who said the laptop was likely “Russian disinformation”. Twitter and social media companies imposed a blackout ahead of the election. Recently, GOP senators also accused the Justice Department of effectively spicing up the investigation — displaying the same bias documented in the Russian collusion investigation.
For his part, Attorney General Merrick Garland declined to appoint a special advocate despite the dire need for such an appointment. Even former attorney general Bill Barr recently said new evidence makes such an appointment essential (a reversal of his original position in giving the case to U.S. Attorney David Weiss in Delaware).
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I once wrote a column on the first anniversary of Hunter Biden laptop history that marveled at the Biden family’s success in wiping out the scandal ahead of the 2020 election. It’s been analogous to Houdini doing disappear his 10,000 pound elephant Jennie in his act. With the help of the media, Biden’s trick happened live in front of an audience of millions.
The problem is that the public can now see the elephant.
That’s why the media is recalibrating now. This was particularly evident in the recent statement by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman that “I know the New York Times felt they hadn’t pursued him as much as they originally wanted, then he followed, if I remember correctly.” Friedman does not explain what trumped this journalistic interest in the story or why the “follow-up” came a year after Joe Biden was elected.
It appears that President Biden is no longer seen as a political asset, with most Democrats refusing to publicly support him in his promised re-election bid. Biden could now endanger Democratic control of Congress. The question is how to let Hunter (and even his father) down without causing damage to the media, Democrats or others in Washington. It requires controlled demolition.
The most important thing is to control the explosion. By refusing to appoint a special counsel, Merrick Garland effectively blocked the risk of a report on extensive influence peddling, including repeated references to President Biden. the “Big Guy” is described in the emails as the potential recipient of a 10% discount on a deal with a Chinese energy company as well as other perks. The emails also refer to Hunter Biden paying some of his father’s expenses and taxes. Recently, there has been additional support showing that “the Big Guy” was indeed Joe Biden.
The problem is that embarrassing evidence is piling up day by day. This includes the recent disclosure of a new influence peddling opened by Hunter, referring to access to his father. Some emails show Hunter using trips with his father to arrange meetings with business associates like Magnani. Indeed, in an exchange with Magnani, Hunter complains of not obtaining answers on his business relations, objecting
“I brought every person you asked me to bring to the F’ing White House and the Vice President’s house and the inauguration, and then you completely shut up. I don’t know what I’m I did but I’d like to know why I answered all the questions you asked me – and you make me feel like I did something to offend you.”
The commendable email only adds to the embarrassment not of Hunter Biden but of the media struggling to control the damage from the scandal.
Yet none of this would be front and center coverage if the case could be closed on narrow criminal charges.
In other words, the case can then be collapsed, triggering a smaller explosion. Rather than pursuing broader influence peddling conspiracies, Hunter could be indicted on a few tax or lobbying counts. This would allow for a plea bargain that would allow the media to focus narrowly on those counts and not the broader Biden family influence peddling.
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Of course, controlled demolition can sometimes take an unexpected turn. The greatest danger is that either chamber of Congress could fall under GOP control. This would open the whole matter up to congressional investigation. Yet, if a plea has already closed the case, the judicial backlash could be confined.
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The key to politically controlled demolitions “to ‘implode’ the building, i.e. cause it to collapse into its footprint”. The imprint is now Hunter Biden, confining the implosion to him while leaving the media and the establishment untouched.
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