Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.
Going on fifty years after the infamous Watergate burglary arrests, exactly what societal dividends are being paid by the scandal’s vaunted “investigative” journalism? If the measure is our media’s active concealment of Biden family corruption, those benefits must be measured in Pinocchios.
The Washington Post’s Watergate journalism, impelling Richard Nixon to abdicate his presidency, has long been touted by legacy media as enshrining anticorruption reporting without fear or favor. Indeed, when former President Trump took to calling mainstream journalism “fake news,” outraged media took umbrage, claiming, as per Time Magazine, that “the investigative prowess of our best reporters has been extraordinary.”
It is clear that the new generation of post-Watergate journalists were inspired to “change the world.” After all, the Washington Post supposedly did so by its removal of the hated Nixon. But if a reporter’s main goal is to reform society, that individual must sign up for the team that is to change it as the reporter wishes. This purpose incentivizes the journalist to be partisan, suppressing evidence inculpating the home team and exaggerating or fabricating allegations against the opposing team.
While there are plentiful examples of this process, we need look no further than the sickening media deceit – by concealment – of a current presidential family so seemingly corrupt that Hillary Clinton looks angelic in comparison.
In stark contrast with their dereliction of duty on all things Biden, the same media screamed for years about the slightest vapor of Trump corruption. These tireless watchdogs reminded us urgently that, horrors, Saudi officials were invited to stay at a Trump hotel! The Trump Organization “stiffed” contractors on occasion, the media blared, seemingly assuming that no subcontractor has ever been late or sloppy. Even more damning, the media made sure we all knew that Trump cheated at golf. Big stuff they uncovered, yes?
Now to Bidenesque corruption. Let’s start with China. After arriving in China on Air Force Two, Hunter Biden acquired a 10% equity stake in BHR Partners, a Chinese private equity firm partnering with the state-owned Bank of China. If, as reasonably projected, this is now a $2.1 billion fund, a standard “two and twenty” fee structure should earn as fees guaranteed for Hunter 10% of 2% of $ 2.1 billion, or $4.2 million annually. 10% of 20% of $400 million in annual profit-sharing should yield Hunter an additional $8 million annually, all less overhead.
Would China provide this largesse without expectation of benefit from Hunter’s father? The Chinese leadership has many defining traits, but neither stupidity nor naivete are among them. If, per Hunter’s seemingly candid email to his daughter, he gives half of his fees to his father, isn’t there at least a question as to whether our President is compromised by our country’s biggest geopolitical rival? Would a reasonable person wish to own a business in Taiwan now?
To be sure, Hunter did not get his 10% share of the Chinese firm until his father was out of office in early 2017. It was then, according to both crony Tony Bobulinski and a laptop email, that the “big guy” was to get ten percent of another deal with a Chinese energy fund. And Hunter’s emails showed plans for “JRB” to own a consultancy with him when out of the vice-presidency. Did the VP feather his various expectancies while in office? Shouldn’t the media find out?
Maybe there are innocent explanations for this apparent corruption, but the legacy media has been more than silent. As the country was voting, they affirmatively quashed the laptop story as, absurdly, “Russian disinformation,” aiding a tarnished victory for the media’s home team.
But what is most stunning is the legacy media’s continued suppression of evidence suggesting large-scale, Biden-centric corruption in Ukraine, while the country was a jump ball between Russian and western influence. We know now that Ukraine has seemingly been pulled back toward the Russian orbit. Did Biden family corruption help this disappointing development? It appears there is probable cause to investigate that distinct possibility.
We know that the Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky’s main financial supporter was the owner of the television network that made Zelensky a popular comedian, Hunter Biden client Ihor Kolomoisky. We also know that shortly after Zelensky’s election, as Trump was being impeached, ridiculously, for one phone call with the new president, Kolomoisky publicly announced that Ukraine had no choice but to proceed back to Russian influence.
We also know that had Zelensky accepted President Trump’s invitation to investigate corruption, such would likely have nailed not only Hunter Biden and his “point man” father, but also…Ihor Kolomoisky! Had America been united in demanding Zelensky’s inquiry into Ukrainian corruption, Kolomoisky clearly would have been culled from the herd, along with another long-time Hunter Biden client, Burisma Holdings owner, Mykola Zlochevsky. Doing so would have given the United States and Europe a fighting chance of bringing Ukraine solidly into western confederacy, or at least to neutrality in a tug-of-war with Russia. But blind media buyoff on the feckless impeachment of Trump destroyed any chance of that.
We know that the media had been running interference for Hunter’s influence-peddling since 2014, most nauseatingly for Kolomoisky. Would his oligarchs have paid the younger Biden millions without assurance that his “point man” father was in the bag? A doubtful proposition, to say the least. Kolomoisky plundered his PrivatBank for $5.6 billion, much from Biden-backed foreign aid, causing a new $5.6 billion to be infused into the bank, Ukraine’s largest. While the bank was eventually seized from Kolomoisky, he still remained in Ukraine, unprosecuted, until 2016, when he finally fled. Why wouldn’t our VP point man for anticorruption have urged the prosecution of Hunter’s corrupt client? He would not if he was doing the bidding of his influence-peddling son.
Now that Biden is in power as President, and Kolomoisky is shamelessly seeking the return of the bank he plundered for billions of American monies, what will our president do about Hunter’s longtime former client? Does Kolomoisky have kompromat on our president, forcing him to accede to this continued depredation of our foreign aid, while the oligarch courts Russia?
If we had a “watchdog” media, our president would be forced to answer these difficult questions. But because of the Washington Post’s Watergate successes, ironically, the mainstream media have all donned the same jersey, and suppress the truth shamelessly, with both fear and favor. No better example can be found of media malfeasance than the blind eye they currently cast upon Biden family corruption.
John D. O’Connor is a former federal prosecutor and the San Francisco attorney who represented W. Mark Felt during his revelation as Deep Throat in 2005. O’Connor is the author of the book, Postgate: How the Washington Post Betrayed Deep Throat, Covered Up Watergate, and Began Today’s Partisan Advocacy Journalism and the host of the new podcast series, The Mysteries of Watergate.