Media debate over coverage of Hunter Biden thing.
A: There’s a story there; it’s unethical to suppress it.
B: There is no evidence that the story shows Joe Biden did anything inappropriate; it’s unethical to run it.
Greenwald wrote an article arguing A.
The yellow highlights are where he concedes a point of B - that there isn’t evidence Joe Biden did anything inappropriate, while it’s clear Hunter Biden did. 2/
Here, highlighted in green is him saying that doesn’t negate “the story”.

That really depends on what “the story” is.
There *is* an evidence-supported story here that *Hunter* Biden has pursued some unethical business activity using nepotistic benefits.
That’s one story.
There is no evidence supporting a story that Joe Biden participated in this at all. 4/
So, the question is, is it right to run the *Hunter* Biden story?
There isn’t much of a Joe Biden story here.
Activity that happened *when Joe Biden was actually VP*, like Burisma, seems appropriate to report, with the fact that there is no evidence JB himself engaged in inappropriate activity. 6/
It’s a fair question - what did official x do to distance themselves if someone is trading on their name?
Outside of what occurred when he was VP, one can I suppose use it as an example of how US wealth is very much a matter of nepotism, but that would only be appropriate if the article was not implying this is a special case. 8/
when a journalist knows that a not very time-critical topic- “nepotism is a thing in the US”- is being pushed as a pre-election scandal about a person they have no evidence did anything unethical, should they run it at that time?

IMO not. 9/
I think we’ve seen the dynamic:
Someone comes up with a way to spin a story negatively against someone- without supporting evidence that the person in question actually did anything inappropriate.
That spin gets spread around and acquires truthiness. 10/
The media then covers it with some sort of “this accusation has not been confirmed” language which people already into the truthy story ignore. A false impression is validated by the reporting.
I guess it really depends on whether you believe a journalist’s job is for their readers to understand what is evidenced and what is not and for their readers to have an accurate understanding of known events. 12/
Given that the story is actually “Hunter Biden did some inappropriate things”, it would be a different matter if the story initiated and was being spread with the takeaway “Hunter Biden did some inappropriate things”.
But y’all know that’s not the takeaway right now. 13/
I don’t think “Hunter Biden did inappropriate things” is an incorrect message. And we’ve all heard Billy Carter, Roger Clinton, various Kennedy, a Bush here and there, stories. But the implication this story is carrying *at this moment* about Joe Biden that differentiates it. 14/
This is rambling - but in sum - as a journalist, do you empower or disempower false ideas of the truth?

Do you empower or disempower strategic twists on reality?

What is your job?
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