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General News    H3'ed 9/26/21

Glenn Greenwald's Big Lie Campaign About Hunter Biden's Emails

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Message David Fiderer

No one could attend the Emmy Awards without showing proof of vaccination as of September 11. So to gin up a narrative--that Hollywood elites are hypocrites--the New York Post printed, "Twitter lashes out over celebrities at 2021 Emmys going maskless," which used snarky quotes that never mentioned the vaccine requirement. These days, indoor gatherings of vaccinated people without masks, whether at the Emmys or at New York City restaurants, are not exactly big news. But the Post found a clever way to exclude a critical fact that would muddy its anti-Hollywood message.

This inconsequential story about the Emmys set off Glenn Greenwald, who went on a tirade:

You can say it every day and it still won't be enough: the liberal discourse and policy-making around COVID has no relationship whatsoever to science.

It has a lot to do with culture, politics, hierarchy, psychology and control. But science and health are totally absent:

This is classic Glenn Greenwald. He'll use any pretext, no matter how flimsy, to go on a rant about some vast left wing conspiracy. Don't bother with a discussion about unmasked but vaccinated strangers gathering indoors, because, "policy-making around COVID has no relationship whatsoever to science." Didn't get the message? "You can say it every day and it still won't be enough."Which begs the question of how people should respond to something that causes 1,500 deaths a day.

He may seem like just another crackpot on the internet, but Greenwald was once a bona fide lawyer and respected journalist who maintains a large following. In the wake of 9/11, his reporting on the dangers and implications of the war on terror was informative and insightful. But Obama failed to dismantle the national security apparatus set up by his predecessor, and Obama-friendly media, MSNBC and CNN, stopped inviting him to appear. So in Greenwald's eyes they all became part of the problem. He became a fixture on Fox News where he can be relied upon to skewer the liberal media, while holding off on any criticism of Fox.

There's a reasonable case to be made about media complacency, so long as you remember what went wrong in the first place; reporters failed to show skepticism and apply rigorous fact checking. These days, Greenwald shows contempt for fact checking that interferes with his agenda, especially when it comes to stolen emails.

Which was always the problem with the Hunter Biden laptop story that emerged in October 2020. If you respect fact checking, the story was unpublishable. If you don't care about fact checking, the newsworthiness was very flimsy. But if you don't care about fact checking or newsworthiness, the story was a pretext to let your imagination run wild and allege nefarious things that the Bidens might have done. Greenwald got in a row with his editors at The Intercept over the Hunter Biden story because Greenwald didn't care about fact checking or newsworthiness and wanted to let his imagination run wild. He quit and said they were all corrupt, in bed with the Democrats, big tech and big media.

So on September 21, 2021, a Politico reporter came out with a new book on the Biden family, and demonstrated some fact checking on a key element of the laptop story. So Greenwald immediately went to town with a Big Lie campaign on Twitter, which was amplified the next day with an hour-long video on Rumble. If you're a practitioner of The Big Lie, you know about the power of first impressions and the need to repeat, repeat, repeat. And you accuse those who you challenge of lying and being corrupt.

The Big Lie is a claim so audacious people presume you wouldn't say it if it weren't true. Before the votes were counted on election night, Donald Trump declared himself the winner. Before anyone could read the words printed in Politico or Ben Schreckinger's book, The Bidens: Inside the First Family's Fifty-Year Rise to Power, Greenwald launched a series of lies that were easily debunked by the text.

In his book, Schreckinger sort of confirmed that one incriminating email was bona fide. A Ukrainian businessman thanked Hunter for arranging a meeting with Vice President Joe Biden. Given that Joe said he never had anything to do with his son's business, this looked suspicious. But, in and of itself, it was not terribly consequential. Here's how Schrenkinger describes it:

[Messages] included an April 2015 email from a Burisma advisor thanking Hunter for arranging a meeting with Joe. The vague email was not exactly a bombshell. But, if it was genuine, it undermined Joe's insistent claims that he remained totally insulated from his relatives' business dealings in general and threatened to renew scrutiny of Hunter's relationship with Burisma in particular.

Which is why the newsworthiness was always flimsy. That was it. Schreckinger noted that the laptop story came to the attention of the New York Post by way of Trump dirty trickster Steve Bannon. But his reporting uncovered no other evidence tied to the notorious laptop that would implicate Joe in any way.

Schreckinger did confirm another email that may have referred to Joe's prospective stake in a prospective joint venture that never closed, but the deal's final documentation showed that Joe had no part of it. Other emails remained suspect. "While the leak contains genuine files, it remains possible that fake material has been slipped in," noted Politico.

Let's count Greenwald's lies. First he tweeted:

POLITICO reporter @SchreckReports has a new book *confirming* the emails from Hunter Biden's laptop about Joe Biden's business deals in China & Ukraine are genuine. People complaining about pre-election censorship by Google in Russia cheered Big Tech's censoring this reporting.

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For over 20 years, David has been a banker covering the energy industry for several global banks in New York. Currently, he is working on several journalism projects dealing with corporate and political corruption that, so far, have escaped serious (more...)
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