Mikkel Danielsen strikes again—with a headline that shouts: “Duck!”
The Republicans have Hunter Biden’s dirty hard drive. Now they’re throwing it at the president
Mikke Danielsen, Berlingske.dk, November 18
(The story was published Friday, but it was a busy weekend.)
Before I dig into Danielsen’s gaslight-a-palooza, I should state clearly that I’m going to be neutral on the question of whether or not Republicans should have gone after the laptop right out of the gate. The genius or idiocy of House Republicans pushing the laptop front and center on day one is an interesting question, maybe even an important one, but I’m going to ignore it right now.
I’m going to focus instead on the way in which Mikkel Danielsen, the US correspondent of one of Denmark’s major dailies—a daily that claims to be editorially right of center—is once again serving his leftist American overlords by misinforming the Danish public about American affairs.
The lede itself tips us off to what lies ahead:
Republicans want America to talk about “the laptop from hell.” It could be embarrassing for the Biden family.
Republicans have wanted Americans to talk about Hunter Biden’s laptop from the moment it appeared in the news several weeks before the 2020 election. In one of the most breathtakingly brazen episodes of coordinated censorship in American history, the story was not merely suppressed: elected officials, the intelligence community, the news media, and social media knowingly conspired to misrepresent the story of the laptop as Russian misinformation.
In other words, they were knowingly pushing a lie for purely political purposes… while proclaiming from their high horses that they were doing so to protect the public from dangerous misinformation.
Like an unfaithful husband buying his wife a chastity belt to protect the purity of their marriage.
It was grotesque and corrupt and in a just and sensible world every single public person who pushed that lie would have been driven from the public sphere, forever disgraced.
Yes, Republicans want America to talk about the laptop, which contains plenty of things that deserve to be talked about very seriously. The problem is that Democrats and their allies have been working industriously to prevent the laptop from being discussed.
Danielsen opens the article by laying out facts everyone should already know:
Hunter Biden’s hard drive contains home-made porn, videos from drug-heavy nights, and thousands of emails.
Joe Biden wants nothing to do with his son’s computer. But soon he may find it difficult to ignore it.
He never ought to have been permitted to ignore it in the first place, but the benign neglect and active dismissal of journalismists like Mikkel Danielsen ensured he could.
Just 12 hours after the Republicans secured the majority in the House of Representatives, the party announced that they will use their new power to “investigate” Hunter Biden’s lucrative foreign business connections – and not least his father’s knowledge of it.
Mikkel Danielsen has never used scare quotes around any of the many Democratic “investigations” of recent years. That’s significant. The message to readers is clear: Democratic investigations are legitimate but Republican investigations are not.
Think I’m reading too much into things? Here’s the very next sentence:
When the Democrats had the majority in the House of Representatives, they used it to appoint a committee to investigate the attack on Congress.
Is he sure they didn’t appoint a “committee” to “investigate” the “attack” on Congress?
While Joe Biden was vice president, his then often drug-influenced son entered into lucrative business deals with companies from Ukraine and China.
You don’t say.
I mean that literally. I mean you, Mikkel Danielsen, do not say that.
Or rather, you do now, but you wouldn’t back when the story broke, because you were either too naive or too partisan to question the Democrats’ enforced code of silence.
Danish media wrote instead about Republicans being angry that a story was being suppressed without bothering to tell their readers what the story was about.
No authorities have accused Joe Biden of having acted illegally in the case. But the Republican investigation could still be embarrassing for the Biden family.
No authorities have accused him yet, that’s true. But I couldn’t help noticing that stories that appear damaging to Republicans are never softened with this kind of language. We were never told, for example, that although no authorities had accused him of anything, Donald Trump’s private home was raided by the FBI. (We would only learn much, much later, that it had been triggered by a complaint by the Congressional Librarian.)
Instead we were force-fed absurdities about nuclear documents.
Remember those? Good times.
For a long time, Democrats and the mainstream media dismissed Hunter Biden’s Laptop as a right-wing conspiracy theory.
Let the record reflect that the “mainstream media” include the very paper for which Danielsen writes. Do we interpret this as an accusation or an apology?
Danielsen attempts to lay out an objective account of how Hunter Biden’s personal laptop ended up in the public domain, and while most of his facts are more or less correct, see if you can spot where things fall apart:
In the spring of 2019, when Hunter Biden was well into (drug) abuse and self-destruction, he spilled liquids on not just one, but three laptops, handed them in for repair, and never picked them up again.
The computer repairman in Delaware made copies of the hard drives’ contents: e-mails, bank statements, family photos, sex videos, bills, photographs of older brother Beau Biden on his deathbed. Everything.
The repairman sent the files to the FBI. And to Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
It is a privacy violation of an unimaginable scale.
Okay, that was a softball.
Entirely omitted from Danielsen’s account is the fact that the repairman in question made several attempts to contact Biden and have him pick up his laptop, but that after enough time had elapsed the repair contract that Hunter Biden himself had signed specified that the neglected laptop would become the property of the shop.
From that moment on, it was no longer Hunter Biden’s laptop: it was the private property of the shop owner, and he was free to do as he pleased with its contents.
What’s more, the shop owner has said he did not send the laptop to the president’s counsel until he realized the FBI was not investigating the evidence of apparent crimes on the hard drive. Those claims have never been refuted, ever, by anyone.
Via Giuliani, the content ended up on the front page of the New York Post tabloid shortly before the 2020 presidential election.
“Biden’s secret emails,” it said. The article suggested that Joe Biden, as vice president, was involved in his son’s nefarious dealings.
American conservatives saw a scandal, but Twitter and Facebook immediately blocked sharing of the article because they believed it violated a policy of not sharing content from hackers.
Objection! Cites facts not in evidence.
Danielsen has no way of knowing what Twitter and Facebook believed. It is entirely possible that what they believed was merely that it would be catastrophic for their preferred presidential candidate if the story got a lot of play.
I’m not saying that is what they believed, only that it might have been—and that my grounds for saying so are just as defensible as Danielsen’s. It’s all just speculation.
50 former intelligence officials claimed that the disclosure had “all the classic earmarks of a Russian intelligence operation”. CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post did not report on the computer because they did not trust the story.
Those former intelligence officials knew the laptop’s contents were legitimate and deliberately misled the public. Very few people seem appropriately troubled by this. Distressingly few, I’d say. Certainly Joe Biden knew, and yet he himself blamed it on Russian misinformation in a presidential debate.
As for the establishment media—and certainly the media name-checked here by Danielsen are nothing if not the establishment’s house organs—while it’s true they didn’t report on the story, stating that their neglect was for want of trust is laughably naive: these were outfits that, for example, trusted sleazy porn lawyer Michael Avenatti when it suited their politics.
Since then, data analysts have analyzed the hard drive and have come to the conclusion that, although many people have had their hands in the content along the way and copied it, the many e-mails are immediately “authentic.”
The hard drive was real enough.
Indeed. Not only that, but even the the American media he cites as stalwarts of credibility confirmed their authenticity more than six months ago, as he himself reported at the time.
That’s all he needed to say. The many preceding paragraphs are largely irrelevant to the actual story here, which is quite simple: incriminating evidence on a laptop that had formerly belonged to Hunter Biden was suppressed, concealed, and denied by Joe Biden, his administration, the Democratic Party, the Democratic majority in Congress, former intelligence officials, and the establishment media for two years—and the incoming Republican majority in the House of Representatives would like some answers.
But Mikkel Danielsen can’t report the facts that directly because it would be too confusing to the readers he and his publication have been so enthusiastically misleading.
So he has to spend several subsequent paragraphs explaining many of the facts having emerged from the laptop’s contents—facts that are unkind to the Biden family. As Danielsen himself is forced to concede:
Everyone can figure out that Burisma hardly gave a board position and 350,000 kroner a month to the crack-smoking Hunter Biden because they thought he was America’s sharpest lawyer.
Everyone but the world’s leading journalists and America’s best and brightest former intelligence officials (among others) in October 2020. It was so wildly improbable back then, in fact, that we were told by Top People that anyone suggesting it was credible was perpetuating Russian misinformation and had to be silenced in the interests of national security. And so they were silenced.
By the people who just love democracy so much, you guys.
And yet even in light of everything he’s now been forced to concede by events having overtaken the approved narrative, Danielsen can’t help reverting to form:
The FBI’s investigation is still ongoing. According to The Washington Post, it will lead to Hunter Biden being charged with having paid too little in taxes and provided incorrect information in connection with a weapons purchase. It is serious enough—but it is not at all the big conspiracy that the Republicans claim.
Having spent every preceding paragraph explaining how badly wrong everyone had gotten the story (without any exploration of the implications of it having been deliberate), Danielsen pirhouettes and tells his readers: “The Washington Post says it’s no big deal, so Republicans are just blowing this out of proportion again.”
That would be the same Washington Post he just a few paragraphs earlier had told us refused to report on the story at all.
And see how nicely Danielsen guides our eyes away from the elephants in the room: he doesn’t mention the fact that Biden repeatedly said in public he knew nothing about his son’s business dealings, which is an obvious lie. He mentions the Bobulinski testimony that identified Joe Biden as “the big guy” entitled to 10% of the cut of a deal with China, but dismisses it by saying “it’s not a smoking gun and Joe Biden has never commented on it.” He directs all of our attention toward Hunter Biden’s obvious and photographically documented misdeeds—crack, whores, guns, nude selfies—when the entire thrust of the Republican investigation is the extent to which Joe Biden was involved in influence-peddling for profit, and the extent to which the current president of the United States may be compromised by hostile foreign actors as a consequence of his or his son’s (or both of their) misdeeds.
Joe Biden has so far refused to talk about the two outlandish emails. If the Republicans put them forward in Congress, he’s going to owe a good explanation.
Joe Biden’s problem child may give him trouble again.
“The two outlandish emails” he’s referring to are a little more than outlandish: one makes it clear that Biden met with someone he has emphatically denied ever having met with, the other suggests he was due a 10% cut of a big business deal he shouldn’t have had anything to do with.
This is the pattern of leftist journalisming in recent years: scandals are denied and squashed for as long as possible: once it’s no longer possible to deny them completely, little concessions are made: well, yes, this or that may be technically true, but it’s not what it looks like, it’s not actuallys serious. And when it finally becomes clear that yes, it’s exactly what it looks like, and yes, it’s serious, then we’re simply told, well, water under the bridge, nothing to be done, and “at this point, what difference does it make?”
It’s scandal management by attrition.
We’re clearly in the middle of another such cycle.
At some point in 2024, Mikkel Danielsen will concede the dirty truth about the Bidens—with a shrug. He’ll do that because that’s what the American establishment journalists will be doing: Republicans continue to obsess over the crimes evidenced by the laptop, while Democrats focus on the future: indeed, with Joe Biden having declined to pursue a second term, it’s unclear what Republicans hope to accomplish by focusing on his misdeeds during and immediately after his time as vice-president…
Because that’s all establishment western journalism is these days: the unconditional promotion of the political left.
Change my mind.