Tuesday, December 15, 2020


Hunter Biden is being investigated, but it is establishment media who are indicted. Since they have refused to tell us anything about Mr. Biden, conservatives can now tell them: “We told you so.” Regardless of what this investigation uncovers, it is what establishment media refused to cover that is the real story.  

On Dec. 9, Hunter Biden released a statement acknowledging he is under federal investigation: “I learned yesterday for the first time that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware advised my legal counsel, also yesterday, that they are investigating my tax affairs. I take this matter very seriously, but I am confident that a professional and objective review of these matters will demonstrate that I handled my affairs legally and appropriately.”

Almost immediately, Politico reported that there were additional federal investigations of Hunter Biden for “potential money laundering” and “Hunter Biden’s foreign ties” and that “the securities fraud unit in the Southern District of New York also scrutinized Biden’s finances.” Politico also reported that Joe Biden’s brother James has been questioned by federal investigators about his role with a hospital business under criminal investigation.   

Of course, any federal investigation is serious. The fact that several are reportedly being conducted on such close family members of the president-elect only increases the seriousness. Before Mr. Biden has even taken office or named his intended attorney general, his Department of Justice has cases on its desk from which the new administration must be recused.  

The seriousness of these circumstances stands in stark contrast to the establishment media’s treatment thus far of anything even potentially involving Mr. Biden.  

There was no shortage of pre-election premonitions about Hunter Biden. The New York Post broke a story about a laptop computer reported to be Hunter Biden’s and containing incriminating evidence on his business dealings. Establishment media treated the laptop claims with utter disdain, but even this was more than they gave most accusations regarding Joe Biden or his family. For the most part, they assumed the role of ostrich, burying their heads in the sand to escape them.  

It was not as though there was a shortage of material to review or reason to review it. Joe Biden had his own issues. After all, Joe Biden is 78 years old and has had almost half a century of public life — almost all of it in Washington politics — making his one of the most extensive in presidential history.  

He had two previous presidential runs, both of which ended with the media playing a large role in revealing damaging material about him. He was also vice pPresident for two terms in an administration that left many unanswered — and by the establishment media, unasked — questions about its involvements. And Mr. Biden was running for the world’s most important and demanding office, and during which he had raised questions about many of his oral responses.

Finally, there was Mr. Biden’s very limited public exposure. He was the most insulated major candidate in generations — certainly of the modern media era.  

Yet despite all reasons to the contrary notwithstanding, establishment media had no questions. They blithely gave America a pig-in-a-poke presidential decision.  

Theirs was a complete contrast to their normal operation. American reporting follows a simple effect-cause pattern: An event occurs, then its particulars are examined, and a “cause” assigned.  

This yields the all-too-familiar crisis-to-culprit progression. Beyond formulaic, it is virtually requisite. Repeatedly establishment media chose events to cover, and somehow traced them back to President Trump. Yet with Mr. Biden, establishment media refused to start with events that began with him.

In Mr. Biden’s case, establishment media renounced their role because they wanted the voters’: To choose the president. Theirs went beyond simply bad journalism to a complete absence of reporting. They did not seek events, and ignored those that came their way.  

As evidence, note the difference between their pre-election work and how rapidly Hunter Biden’s revelation is already progressing. Having had their hand forced, reporting is bringing out details well beyond what Hunter Biden admitted.  

Whether Hunter Biden is guilty of anything is unclear; what establishment media is guilty of is undeniable: Instead of due diligence, they pursued undue negligence. The result is that America has no idea what else could be out there on the Bidens. Instead, America will have to wait for events to reveal themselves, as happened with Hunter Biden, and force coverage of things that could — and should — have been covered and assessed during their presidential decision.  

Now America will have to endure establishment media’s alibis as these investigations proceed. Like Claude Rains in Rick’s Cafe in the movie “Casablanca,” we will hear them say they are “shocked, shocked to discover that gambling is going on here.”  

Establishment media left America uninformed. They did not miss Biden stories, they avoided them. In doing so, they avoided doing their job and undermined the American people’s job of making an informed decision. 

• J.T. Young served in the Office of Management and Budget and at the Treasury Department. 

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