Let the word go forth that no media outlet is to even think about publishing information that comes to light via Russian hacking. It would be like “handing the Russians the 2020 presidential election.” Or so say conspiracy theorists on the left who are in a tizzy about possible hacking of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings.
News junkies may remember that Burisma is the entity with which former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter were involved, and which stands at the center of the impeachment controversy. A cybersecurity outfit known as Area 1 announced that a hacking group called “Fancy Bear” had launched a phishing campaign aimed at Burisma and its employees. Area 1 has ties to the NSA and lists Microsoft Corp. as one of its partners.
Lo and behold, the Russians may have come up with some damaging information involving both Bidens – the older and younger. Imagine that?
A report in The New York Times claims, “The Russian attacks on Burisma appear to be running parallel to an effort by Russian spies in Ukraine to dig up information in the analog world that could embarrass the Bidens, according to an American security official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence.”
In the words of Yogi Berra, “It’s like déjà vu all over again.” Thus, panic by high-level Dems such as Hillary Clinton and those in the so-called mainstream media is running rampant.
Noah Shachtman, editor of The Daily Beast, issued this warning on Twitter: “I hope my fellow editors will think hard — really hard, a lot harder than they did in 2016 — before publishing any material hacked by the Russians.” CNN reporter Marshall Cohen echoed Shachtman’s fear, and Hillary Clinton tweeted, “Russians appear to be re-running their 2016 hacking playbook, once again to benefit Donald Trump. Will the media play along again? Will the GOP open the door again? Will the Russians help pick our POTUS again?”
What could Fancy Bear possibly have on the Biden family to cause such widespread desire for the media to impose a self-silencing on any information that emanates from the hackers? Perhaps they feel the need to abide by the warnings from their Democratic dictators, like Mrs. Clinton?
A Self-Censoring Media
Fear and trembling among those on the left suggests that something damaging to Biden may have been unearthed by the hackers, though they maintain that any information uncovered is likely to be false or altered. This potential silencing of the lambs is being positioned as the media not wanting to publish fake news. But to those who value freedom of the press, it sounds an awful lot like a deep desire to forego printing any news that might wound the Biden campaign.
This type of voluntary muzzling is a dangerous path for the American media to take as we enter what’s likely to be a bitter and hard-fought battle for the presidency. The fact that the leftist press is willing to publicly announce an intention not to publish material deemed false before it is even reviewed is troublesome at best. It is these types of actions that continue to erode American trust and confidence in major media outlets and lead many to believe that they are more partisan hacks than unbiased news entities.
Read more from Leesa K. Donner.