Media Criticism

Sacha Baron Cohen, Rudy Giuliani, and the Death of 'Disinformation' As a Useful Term

The Hunter Biden story has exposed the media's selective skepticism.

|

By now, it seems unlikely that the Hunter Biden story will change the outcome of the 2020 election: Even Sen. Ted Cruz (R–Texas) doubts that revelations about the younger Biden's attempted influence-peddling will change the mind of a single voter. But the story's lack of punch hasn't mattered much to the mainstream media—or to large tech platforms—who have mostly treated it as so dangerous to former Vice President Joe Biden's electoral chances that it must be branded "disinformation" and suppressed at all costs.

"We must treat the Hunter Biden leaks as if they were a foreign intelligence operation—even if they probably aren't," wrote Thomas Rid in a characteristic column for The Washington Post. "In the likely continued absence of certainty either way, the Biden leaks deserve the full potential-disinformation treatment."

Rid, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, echoed the views of countless commentators, journalists, and social media comms staffers who branded the New York Post's Biden story as disinformation even before any evidence had emerged that the underlying information—emails sent from Biden to business associates and foreign lobbyists—was fake.

Given subsequent reporting about how the story came to be, the public now has every reason to presume the underlying emails—which, by the way, are not really damaging to Joe Biden's candidacy at all—are real, despite some murkiness surrounding the issue of how, precisely, pro-Trump operatives acquired them.

"At this point we can posit with some certainty that The Post's story was not some sort of sweeping Russian disinformation plot but a more normal example of late-dropping opposition research, filtered through a partisan lens and a tabloid sensibility, weaving genuine facts into contestable conclusions," notes Ross Douthat in The New York Times. "It was, in other words, analogous to all kinds of contested anti-Trump stories that various media outlets have run with across the last four crazy years—from the publicity around the Steele dossier's wilder rumors to the tales of Michael Cohen's supposed Prague rendezvous to the claims that Russians hacked Vermont's power grid or even C-SPAN."

But the New York Post is still locked out of its Twitter account because it tweeted the story—supposedly violating the social media company's prohibition on publishing illicitly obtained information. Facebook also took action against: Spokesperson Andy Stone, a former Democratic staffer, announced that its distribution would be reduced "as part of our standard process to reduce the spread of misinformation."

We appear to be arriving at a regrettable standard. Politically motivated acts of journalism are deemed "misinformation" or "disinformation" by the mainstream media if they are harmful to the Democratic establishment—an especially worrying trend, given that the Democrats are likely to be returned to power a few days from now.

Anyone who thinks these labels are not being selectively applied should consider a relevant example. At the 2020 Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., I had a brief encounter with the conservative activist James O'Keefe of Project Veritas, best known for surreptitiously recording undercover videos of liberals making embarrassing statements. I had quarreled with O'Keefe on Twitter, and we renewed the argument during the conference. I told him that since he used dishonest means to obtain his footage, his results were suspect: If you mislead people about your intentions, your opinions, and indeed, your identity, any subsequent revelations must be treated skeptically. O'Keefe disagreed, and that was the end of the exchange.

We now know that elsewhere during this same event, the actor, impersonator, and Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen was engaged in an undercover operation of his own. He entered CPAC wearing KKK robes ("I'm Stephen Miller!" he reportedly shouted), changed into a full Trump costume, and attempted to crash Vice President Mike Pence's speech while offering his fake daughter—the actress Maria Bakalova—as a child bride. The incident is featured prominently in Baron Cohen's new movie, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, which was released last week to much fanfare.

Thus far, the movie has mostly garnered attention because of Baron Cohen's attempted entrapment of Rudy Giuliani, who met with Bakalova in a hotel suite, believing her to be a conservative journalist. Guiliani and Bakalova eventually retreat to the suite's bedroom, remove their microphones, and then a few seconds of something possibly sexual—widely described in the media as Giuliani reaching into his pants and touching himself—transpires before Baron Cohen interrupts. The scene was hyped before the movie's release, and media reports considered a damning or even "compromising" moment for the former New York City mayor and current attorney for President Donald Trump. On social media, many acted as if Giuliani had tried to have sex with a 15-year-old, which is the age of the character the 24-year-old actress is playing.

But as Reason's Peter Suderman noted, this framing of the encounter is wildly misleading. The scene is heavily edited to make Giuliani look bad, but he's clearly tucking in his shirt, which was untucked by Bakalova. Indeed, if Giuliani did think something sexual was about to happen, it's probably because Bakalova led him to believe this—she touched his leg during the fake interview, and it was her suggestion that they retire to the bedroom. (And while it might have been embarrassing for Giuliani had something additional happened, he's divorced and they are both adults.)

In summary, this was a manufactured moment, and the film didn't show the thing it supposedly showed. If this sounds familiar—well, it should.

"Hard to see a lot of difference between the Rudy sting and what Project Veritas does," wrote New York Times media columnist Ben Smith in a perceptive tweet. "[The Giuliani scene] was obviously a setup meant to humiliate its target and go viral out of context, then sort of crumbled when people looked closer, unless you really want to believe and then you can. To me that's the analogy."

In fairness, there are some differences between O'Keefe and Baron Cohen. The former stylizes himself as an activist and a journalist, while the latter would probably say his work is just entertainment. (One thinks also of former Daily Show host Jon Stewart, who would retreat to I'm-just-a-comedian territory whenever he was called out for producing misleading segments.) Of course, the lines between journalism and entertainment have become hopelessly blurred by celebrity social media activism (and the media's love affair with it), cable news, and a reality TV star turned president.

Perhaps the most important difference between the two, though, is that O'Keefe's attempts to peddle sketchy revelations are derided by the mainstream press, while Sacha Baron Cohen is lionized. Last year, the Anti-Defamation League even gave him an international leadership reward. Ironically, the actor then used his acceptance speech to attack Facebook for allowing too much disinformation on the platform—this from someone who tricks people for a living.

There's actually a case to be made that a more concerted and rigorous effort to purge social media of disinformation might imperil Baron Cohen's own work. In practice, though, it's hard (if not impossible) to imagine Twitter making any serious attempt to stop people from reading about Giuliani's alleged indiscretion in the hotel room. It's also hard not to suspect that various rules for what counts as disinformation or hacked material or election interference are being rewritten in real-time by all sides and all involved parties. (Of course, this applies to many conservatives and Republicans as well: Those who once scoffed at the idea of Russian "election interference" have now decided it's their preferred term for describing any behavior that is contrary to Republican goals.)

If Trump is swept out of office, and a new administration—one for which the mainstream media has much more affection—takes power, it will be more vital than ever for the gatekeepers to apply their standards fairly. This recent series of events, in which a potentially anti-Biden story was not just ignored but furiously suppressed—while an essentially false report of indiscretion on the part of that story's Republican source was widely circulated—is a warning sign.

NEXT: California Restaurants Want Fee Money Back From a Government That Isn't Letting Them Operate to Capacity

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. No no Leslie stahl said unverified and we must believe her despite the obvious fact she was outright lying.

    1. So Lesley Stahl is a liar but some random blind Trump supporter and the NY Post are concerned citizens.

      1. Reality is slowly dawning on Tony.

        1. More than can be said for all the dead people.

          1. Good thing Trump saved 2 million.

            1. I am making over $ 17485 a month working low maintenance online from home. I continued hearing others disclose to me how much cash they can make on the web so I chose to investigate it.AMs I was so honored I unearthed this program and has completely changed my life.last month her check was 14770 simply dealing with the PC for a couple of hours in my available time every week.

              This is my specialty……….. Home Profit System

            1. Geeze, orange man bad! Do I have to connect all the dots for you?

              1. This is a classic Reason article. It has Libertarian window dressing, and a whiff of skeptical sophistication… but it is actually parroting almost precisely the mainstream media line. It is carefully crafted to manipulate its audience into not asking any questions about the legitimately huge scandals illuminated by Biden’s emails and hard drive.

                Robby doesn’t carefully evaluate the story and explain why it’s not a big deal. No, that would be journalism. Instead, he dismisses the story with a quick wave of his hands. “It’s not a big deal.” Oh really? Why not? Well, because it’s sophisticated and “Libertarian” and cool to wave your hands, sound a little bit skeptical, and act like you know something other people don’t know. It’s intellectual to say that the Biden story is no big deal, after all, Reason thought so little of the story that they didn’t even bother to actually cover the story itself, only cover the reaction to the story.

                Please, Robby, do tell. What is it that you know that we don’t know?Keep your hands still, don’t wave them. Now, tell us: How is the Biden emails story NOT a big story?

                In fact, the Biden emails story is a huge fucking story. It’s a detailed, sordid, heavily-corroborated-by-multiple-on-the-record-sources-and-first-hand-witnesses story of deep corruption. Not only deep corruption, but deep corruption that puts the former VP firmly at the mercy of the Chinese government. Why? Because they were involved in a pay-to-play scheme with Joe Biden and Biden’s family. A massive one.

                Furthermore, now we have incontrovertible evidence that Hunter Biden was instructed by his Ukrainian employers (Burisma) to get his dad to “take care of” the prosecutor who was investigating them. And we have a video of Joe Biden bragging about threatening to withhold $1billion in aid to Ukraine unless they fired the prosecutor that was investigating the company his son worked for.

                But of course, that’s not a big deal either. You know it’s not a big deal 2 ways: 1) It’s not in the press. 2) You are a smart and discerning reader because you’re reading Reason, and they say it’s no big deal.

                This website is what you get when the intelligence services decide they want to own the official “Libertarian” party. Fuck these guys. I have toenails more libertarian than this pack of shameless sell-outs.

                  1. I quit working at shop rite and now I make $65-85 per/h. How? I’m working online! My work didn’t exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something asw new after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn’t be happier So i try use.
                    Here’s what I do…….EasY EarninG

                1. Google easily work and google pays me every hour and every week just $5K to $8K for doing online work from home. I am a universty student and I work n my part time just 2 to 3 hours a day easily from home. Now every one can earn extra cash for doing online home system and make a good life by just open this website and follow instructions on this page… Visit Here

    2. Soave doesnt understand that Joe Biden being horrible has influenced the election.

      The Hunter Biden story of influence peddling just reinforces why more Americans will vote for Trump.

      The damage is already done to Biden, Soave. According to early voting 44 million Americans have voted by absentee and mail-in and 22 million have early voted in person.

      There are probably going to be some 50 million Americans that will vote on Nov 3. Why would they do that instead of sending in ballots or voting early?

      Because they are not going to let the Democrats win and Biden keep this Kungflu bullshit going any longer.

      1. I quit working at shop rite and now I make $65-85 per/h. How? I’m working online! My work didn’t asd exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn’t be happier So i try use.

        Here’s what I do…….>>>><<Making money

      2. I don’t think there will be a lot of people persuaded to switch from Biden to Trump. However, mildly pro-Trump voters (the hold-your-nose-and-vote) type were energized by this. Similarly, many “not-Trump” voters were discouraged by the revelation that Biden was clearly guilty of essentially everything that they were accusing Trump of doing. The suppression, for those who got by it, just served to highlight it more.

        You don’t have to get them to switch, just get your people to go to the polls and their people to stay home.

        1. It’s also possible that this type of Soavish non-story hand-waving serves as it’s own disinformation campaign by messaging the public into seeing the substance of the story not something concerning.

          I don’t know if I posted it here, but there needs to be reinforcement of our gut instincts for us to keep having gut instincts. The gut instinct is influence peddling is bad. But first with Clinton and now this, the lack of disciplinary action diminishes the instinct. How much longer will people have that instinct?

          1. 6 I quit working at shop rite and now I make $65-85 per/h. How? I’m working online! My work didn’t exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn’t be happier So i try use.
            Here’s what I do…….EASY WORK

      3. Everyone else was certain that Hilary Clinton would win the election, too, but that victory — in fact — belonged to Thomas Dewey, thanks to the ‘Chicago Tribune’.

    3. So Lesley Stahl is a liar but some random blind Trump supporter and the NY Post are concerned citizens.

      This is a pretty revealing comment. Apparently if Stahl is a liar the Trump supporter must also be. To be clear, apparently telling lies is not the definition of a liar. If something is true of one person it must be true of a analogous Team Red person without regard to the supposed offense.

      Partisanship drives people insane.

      1. Shitstain was there long ago.

        1. I am making over $ 17485 a month working low maintenance online from home. I continued hearing others disclose to me how much cash they can make on the web so I chose to investigate it.TRf I was so honored I unearthed this program and has completely changed my life.last month her check was 14770 simply dealing with the PC for a couple of hours in my available time every week.

          This is my specialty……….. Home Profit System

      2. Partisanship drives people insane.

        Yes indeed. You need go no further than this comment section. It’s turned into a fucking mental asylum.

        1. Looking in a mirror are ya?

        2. Ain’t America great? We are encouraged to believe whatever we want, without care or concern for reality.

          The biggest hurdle for our species will be overcoming our innate need to believe – it’s not only useless vis a vis the advent of science, it’s being used against us to advance our own enslavement.

          Belief eschews responsibility in favor of a reality we would rather not think of. Fuck politics and religion, and fuck their adherents – the partisans and the believers. And most of all, fuck the purveyors of these systems that keep them going.

          Someday, these adherents will be a class all to themselves – a novelty. Dreamers waiting for their messiah to right the ship, while the rest of humanity wouldn’t even consider them useful as slaves.

          1. Indeed.

            The vast bulk of mouth-breathers can’t think epistemically and are encouraged not to: Peak Grifters would prefer that more people have a doxastic worldview – makes it easier to hijack their limbic system and get support to broaden the grift.

            In the early stages I was crossing my fingers and hoping SARS-nCoV2 was the ‘Big Rinse Out’ where hundreds of millions of dumbfounded dipshits would be rinsed out of the gene pool.

            It took me until late March to work out it was a nothingburger (unless you’re 80 and due to die any second), so I am going to be saddled with obese waddling retards for the foreseeable future… and those retards get a vote.

      3. This is a pretty revealing comment. Apparently if Stahl is a liar the Trump supporter must also be.

        That doesn’t follow at all. How the fuck did you get that from what Tony said?

        1. What doesn’t follow is that Stahl being a liar has anything to do with the Trump supporter or NY Post lying. Their status as liars or not is determined by whether they tell lies. But Tony cites only Stahl’s supposed status to claim they are liars

          1. His comment was not a syllogism.

    4. The Guiliani story is pure bullshit, and so is the Hunter Biden laptop story. Both sides continue to fling irrelevant bullshit.

      1. Explain how the laptop story is bullshit, eunuch

      2. Chipper Morning Wood————————————————————————–
        The Guiliani story is pure bullshit, and so is the Hunter Biden laptop story.

        Sure the Biden story is bullshit. That’s why Biden won’t even deny it and multiple emails have been verified with other recipients.

        But you keep sticking up for Team Blue, we’d be stunned if even once you thought for yourself.

      3. You went Full Tony. Never go Full Tony.

        Thank you though, for ensuring I never need to take time again to read one of your posts.

    5. The downside is this phenomena buries real and explosive verifiable news . Case in point, the interview with Tucker Carlson could only air on Fox but to should be covered by all media outlets and screamed from the roof tops,
      https://www.foxnews.com/politics/plausible-deniability-tony-bobulinski-biden-family

      PS Joe Biden’s a crook

    6. We know the proof is there its just that Tucker Carlson’s dog ate it or something like that.

  2. In the likely continued absence of certainty either way, the Biden leaks deserve the full potential-disinformation treatment.

    Difficult to get that elusive certainty when the story is verboten.

    1. “which, by the way, are not really damaging to Joe Biden’s candidacy at all”

      What does this mean? It’s not important that Hunter Biden literally made a career of selling his father’s influence? (if such a thing could be determined in a neutral way)

      Or it’s not damaging because people don’t care, even if true?

      1. The latter.

  3. If Trump is swept out of office, and a new administration—one for which the mainstream media has much more affection—takes power, it will be more vital than ever for the gatekeepers to apply their standards fairly.

    Absent the Trump cash story cow, circled wagons will not make for much interest in clicking their stories. Nonetheless I can’t see a rapid reversal of journalistic atrophy in the Harris era.

  4. So when did you get a clue, Robby? If Democrats win in November, the MSM will continue to play as their catamite propagandist and there will be no holding them accountable for anything.

    1. All of them had a clue a long time ago, but they wanted to get Trump out of office so they didn’t say much. Now that it appears that Biden will win and they have nothing to lose, we are seeing more pointed anti-left articles. Maybe it’s a case of stripping things bare, so you can grow better roots. To them, Trump and company aren’t intellectual enough or have enough purity to carry the liberty banner. Good luck in getting the left bounced. They will be firmly entrenched for a very long time. Thanks, Reason staff, for helping to usher in a period where we will have the least amount of freedom in our lifetime.

  5. Barack Obama is panicked.

    I find that interesting.

    1. I use items like this as evidence why Trump will win again.

      Obama had to go stump for Biden with two weeks to go until the election. Why? Biden was supposed to have it in the bag.

      More Americans see Democrats for the crazy violent Lefty party and are voting for trump as the law and order guy.

      Even Hillary has accepted that Trump will win.

      1. The way the Obamas have acted during this campaign, it’s become painfully obvious that they aren’t all that fond of Biden, but are stumping for him in the interest of party unity. Michelle’s “get out and vote” video was telling in that her whole argument wasn’t “this is why Biden will make a good President,” it was “we have to vote Trump out.” Barack’s rallies have been pathetically low-energy and he stands up there acting as if he would rather be anywhere else–none of the fire and forcefullness that we saw whenever he talked on something he actually cared about.

        I half suspect they want him to lose so that their wing of the party can finally clear out the Hillary wing. Four years of Biden or 12 years of Biden and Kamala Harris isn’t going to accomplish that because Kamala is one of Hillary’s creatures, not the Obamas.

        1. Yeah – I could never shake the feeling that Obama secretly despises Biden.

          1. From what I’ve heard, he didn’t actually want Biden, but acquiesced to the DNC because of their concerns over his lack of experience, and they felt having someone who’d been in the Senate forever would help facilitate deals. That actually ended up being the smart play, because it helped smooth over some of the butthurt from the Hillary camp for picking an establishment party figure, and paid dividends over time politically–it was Biden, for example that helped get the Budget Control Act passed after Boehner went to him and said that he couldn’t get anything done with Reid, because Reid wouldn’t budge on anything.

            1. You bring up great points, Red, but consider that Obama might be sincerely pulling for Joe because one of those threads on Hunter’s laptop might lead back to Obama too.

              Joe wins? This all goes away, even if it ends up ultimately causing Joe to resign early; it still likely won’t implicate Obama as much as a Trump 2nd Term investigation into the laptop would.

        2. I think you’re correct, but there’s more.
          A clip i saw he seemed almost frantic, his voice cracking.
          I don’t think it’s about the party, or factions within the party.
          I think he’s scared.
          His administration was extremely corrupt, and I bet he was directly involved in quite a bit of it.
          Trump can’t be counted on to protect the ruling caste.

          1. This is why I’m convinced they won’t let Trump win.

            Even if he overcomes the fudge factor and wins every state in the union handily, they won’t let him resume his presidency.
            Too many rats in the establishment will be ruined with a second term.

            1. A scary thought that i also have had.. the entire american corruption infrastructure is desperately, transparently trying any and all means of ensuring Trumps ouster to avoid having to employ what might otherwise be nec for them… their final solution.

              1. I wouldn’t go that far, but non-leftists are going to have to face a hard reality here–there is currently an alliance between the Democrats, Big Tech, most of the mass media, and dozens of corporate globalmegacorps in this country to institute an Orwellian technocratic vision that they expect to run, forever.

  6. >>The Hunter Biden story has exposed the media’s selective skepticism.

    you’re almost there … this turned into “O’Keefe Man Bad!” but Biden is still a crook and his son is a world class idiot who got jobbed by Russian and Chinese spies

  7. The writer of the Post story asked that her name be taken off it. Can you tell me why?

    1. That means it isn’t accurate?

      She’s worried you’ll dox her then assault her family and burn her house down. Stop acting like you won’t.

    2. At least you know trying to call it fake is a loser. This new strategy isn’t any better.

    3. This is the story you are referring to:

      https://www.thedailybeast.com/new-york-post-reporter-refused-to-put-name-on-hunter-biden-article-report-says

      In it, two unidentified people make the claims.

      Good work buddy. Use misinformation to imply misinformation.

    4. Progressive reporter doesn’t want to be associated with a story that will have the chance of helping to elect Trump. It’s not that hard to understand.

      1. probably more worried about some mostly peaceful mob burning her house down

        1. I don’t disagree with that thought either.

  8. Rico, if I’m going to read your post today, you had better have your hair in the bestest of shape. I demand lots of oily, glistening hair products.

    We hold you to a higher standard.

    1. Also, I’m told that Biden is a crook, but I don’t know what to believe because the unverified accusation is unverified.

    2. Good hair products are neither oily nor shiny. A matte clay or paste is the appropriate treatment.

    3. Standard Oil?

  9. The revelations will prove useful to the left wing of the party when they announce to Biden that either he resigns for ‘health reasons’ or else they will work with Republicans to see him impeached. Hail President Harris!

  10. If Trump is swept out of office, and a new administration—one for which the mainstream media has much more affection—takes power, it will be more vital than ever for the gatekeepers to apply their standards fairly.

    Hey now, let’s be fair here. The media totally has standards. Double standards, which they apply very consistently.

  11. I told him that since he used dishonest means to obtain his footage, his results were suspect: If you mislead people about your intentions, your opinions, and indeed, your identity, any subsequent revelations must be treated skeptically.

    It’s a strange belief when the subjects’ comments are on the video. Compare this to Borat actually lying about the Giuliani video contents.

    1. Yeah, this was a strained and intellectually suspect way to generate an equivalency in order to properly include the Reason required “both sides” position.

      1. Also a pretty strained equivalency was that paragraph from Douthat. I know Robbie didn’t write it, but quoting approvingly that the Biden emails are comparable to the Steele dossier? There’s a world of difference between opposition research that uncovers real evidence of corruption and the kind that just makes shit up.

      2. It wasn’t strained. It simply made no sense. Something’s either true or it isn’t, regardless of whether dishonesty was used to uncover it.

        1. Life ain’t as black and white as you apparently think it is.

    2. Meh- to be fair, if you watch a bunch of the Veritas videos, they don’t always say what they claim that they do. Some do, but the latest google ones do not.

      Veritas said that the video shows some shmoe claiming to ban hammer conservative ads. In fact, if you watch the video, it is clear that the person recording had egged him on by saying something like, “So if you were liberal and you wanted to stop a conservative ad, you could.” And he said essentially yes.

      Alone this is pretty bad, but it also omits stuff like him following up to say “But audits would catch me and I’d be out of my job, so I don’t do this.”

      I think that is Robby’s point. Just look at Trump releasing the 60 minute interviews. It is clear that the interviewer is spending try after try to bait the president into a trap. And that is when he KNOWS it is a trap.

      1. I think that is Robby’s point. Just look at Trump releasing the 60 minute interviews. It is clear that the interviewer is spending try after try to bait the president into a trap. And that is when he KNOWS it is a trap.

        I think this makes my point. O’Keefe’s left wing counterpart is Stahl, not Borat.

    3. Robbie’s perspective on this is pure idiocy. That’s like saying an undercover cop posing as a 12 yr old girl in a chatroom means that the intentions and words of the pedophile on the other end [or any similar sting] are now tainted because the perv on the other end didn’t know he was talking to a cop. There’s no rule of logic that supports that. Throw out any conviction because the criminal didn’t know he was being investigated. It’s only suspect when the investigator manipulates the recording in a way that shows it to be something it’s not, and Veritas always provides the unedited video.

      1. There is no reason to believe that Guiliani thought she was underage. There is no reason to believe that Guiliani was trying to have sex with her.

  12. Not even the NY Post was able to get someone to attach a byline to this story. FOX News rejected it.

    Nevertheless, Donald Trump is president because the media fell for equally vacuous horseshit about Hillary emails. There are hundreds of thousands of dead people’s families who wish that wouldn’t have happened.

    1. Even Tony can’t deny the story is true Lolololol

      1. I notice that too.

      2. Can you even say what the story is?

        1. We can say you were lying about the byline. The link is right there.

          Which is why you are desperate to change the subject.

    2. You’re bragging that he author took your guys’ violence and threats seriously.

      You’re pretty creepy Tony.

    3. So this is the new leftist talking point? Despite the fact that the article had a byline?

      1. Tony appears to think threatening reporters into silence is an acceptable tactic, even when the story is completely true and accurate.

        1. Not just acceptable but laudable. It serves the Team narrative, and is therefore a positive good

    4. It is common when wirters recieve threats to publish their work anonymously.

    5. You creating a situation where a writer genuinely knows “Democrats will kill me if my name is on this” isn’t quite the coup you seem to think.

    6. You do realize that you’re just a parody at this point, right?

      1. All right-thinking people know that if Hillary! were elected in 2016 that COVID never would have had the effects that it did.

        And this is inarguable: just look at the record of other center-left governments throughout the West.

        1. What’s inarguable is that you will continue to interpret anything even remotely good that happened under Trump as being directly a result of his bumbling actions, and anything even remotely bad that happened under Trump as the fault of either the Democrats or the malevolent forces of the universe than not even his demigod-like powers were able to forestall.

          1. You promoted court packing yesterday dipshit

      2. What are people who do skeezy butt work for the Republican Party to distract from its historically calamitous pandemic response and economic depression?

        1. More honest than you.

        2. “skeezy butt work”

          Tony’s nickname.

        3. I can’t tell if you are joking or being serious with this verbal salad.

    7. Tony
      October.27.2020 at 3:23 pm
      Not even the NY Post was able to get someone to attach a byline to this story

      https://nypost.com/2020/10/14/email-reveals-how-hunter-biden-introduced-ukrainian-biz-man-to-dad/

      Smoking-gun email reveals how Hunter Biden introduced Ukrainian businessman to VP dad
      By Emma-Jo Morris and Gabrielle FonrougeOctober 14, 2020 | 5:00am | Updated

      I love pointing out your lies bitch.

      1. I look forward to clubbing him over the head with that.

      2. Wait Tony was LYING!?!?!?

      3. “The New York Post reporter behind last week’s cover story on Hunter Biden wouldn’t put his name on the piece, according to a Sunday report in the New York Times. The report says the story was written primarily by Bruce Golding, who didn’t want his byline on the piece because of “credibility” concerns.“

        Let’s just ignore that you’re still using a very shaky NY Post tabloid story as evidence for some sort of scandal I bet you can’t even explain.

        1. “according to a Sunday report in the New York Times.”

          October.27.2020 at 3:42 pm
          Tony
          October.27.2020 at 3:23 pm
          Not even the NY Post was able to get someone to attach a byline to this story

          https://nypost.com/2020/10/14/email-reveals-how-hunter-biden-introduced-ukrainian-biz-man-to-dad/

          Smoking-gun email reveals how Hunter Biden introduced Ukrainian businessman to VP dad
          By Emma-Jo Morris and Gabrielle Fonrouge October 14, 2020 | 5:00am | Updated

          Tony is literally argiung with a link that shows he is lying.

          1. “Not only that, according to the report, but one of the reporters whose name did appear on the story about the Democratic nominee’s son only learned she’d been credited after publication. The Post said the source material for the post had come from a laptop belonging to Biden that was left at a repair shop.”

            It is beneath me to debunk evil Republican lies that even FOX News wouldn’t bite.

            1. “It is beneath me to debunk”

              Especially since you can’t and have caught yourself lying

              Tony
              October.27.2020 at 3:23 pm
              Not even the NY Post was able to get someone to attach a byline to this story

              Tony
              October.27.2020 at 4:21 pm
              “Not only that, according to the report, but one of the reporters whose name did appear on the story

              Gotcha.

            2. Because you can’t debunk it. All you can do is complain about process. When it comes to the substance, you have nothing.

            3. “It is beneath me to debunk evil Republican lies that even FOX News wouldn’t bite.”

              We expect nothi9ng better from you; get caught lying red-handed and we get arm-waving.
              Pathetic piece of lefty shit…

    8. There are 2 million that are happy Trump saved them.

      1. He can literally say whatever he wants and you believe it, can’t he?

        1. 2.2 milly came from Trump?

          Tony you suck at this. Which is counter intuitive considering all your sucking practice when rent is due.

          1. You are the dumbest people on planet earth.

            1. I win again.

              1. The absolute dumbest. Not illiterate African poors. Not uncontacted tribes. There are books where you come from, and you still insist on jacking off into houseplants instead of learning. You are the dumbest human beings to ever live.

                1. Oh wow you’re supermad that I won.

                  1. The absolute dumbest. Not illiterate African poors. Not uncontacted tribes.

                    Hey, Tony, your examples are of people who are ignorant, not people who are dumb, you racist fuckstick! Typical proggie. They always go all racist when backed into a corner.

                    Next you can tell us why the Uighurs deserve what they get.

                2. And the mask drops on the racist progressive elite. It’s funny how often that happens.

                3. Tony thinks Africans are stupid. Fucking racist. Uneducated may have worked, but no. Tony says race means dumb.

        2. I thought we were supposed to “listen to the science”.

          Trump did not invent the numbers. The “science” that is, apparently, infallible sometimes did.

          1. You forget, once the science changes, you are supposed to pretend there was no previous science on the matter. Whatever the newest science is has to be viewed as the only science on the matter and is completely settled at that point until new science occurs and the cycle repeats itself.

            1. Whatever the newest science is has to be viewed as the only science on the matter and is completely settled at that point until new science occurs and the cycle repeats itself.

              In fairness, this has been “science” for about the last 1,000 years. The people of 100 years ago have always been ignorant and backwards. The historian Bede the Venerable, writing in about 720AD, referred to his era as “The Enlightenment.”

    9. If you think Herself would’ve handled the WuFlu better than Trump, then you really are crazy.

  13. BTW, good article, Robby, but I only have one nit to pick:

    The Hunter Biden story was not the story that exposed the media’s selective skepticism. That was exposed a long time ago. This is just the latest iteration of it.

    1. Yeah, it’d be like claiming jumping out of a boat today FINALLY proves that water is actually wet.

  14. Speaking of Veritas:

    https://twitter.com/JamesOKeefeIII/status/1321119469607948289

    BREAKING: TX “Republican” consultant & ‘Ballot Chaser’ ILLEGALLY pressures voter to change vote to Dem candidate with GIFT!

    “If I go to prison, I do not look cute in stripes…I will hate you forever.”

    “You know on here you chose a Rep, not a Dem right?”

    1. This needs more explanation. She was a paid GOP consultant, flipping votes to Dems?

      The voter clearly states she wants to vote for all Dems.

      Why was she sending pictures and documentation to O’Keefe? This makes no sense.

  15. The need to both sides and make clear that Reupbs are still just as bad was mild and fine until this parenthetical:

    “(Of course, this applies to many conservatives and Republicans as well: Those who once scoffed at the idea of Russian “election interference” have now decided it’s their preferred term for describing any behavior that is contrary to Republican goals.)”

    Such a weak and strained attempt to somehow now assert that Repubs are the party of “RUSSIA!” claims.

  16. If you don’t like what Twitter does, then go use Gab instead.

    I swear, the supposed “libertarians” who want to assume state control of private enterprise are really coming out of the woodwork this year.

    That said?

    “Hard to see a lot of difference between the Rudy sting and what Project Veritas does,” wrote New York Times media columnist Ben Smith in a perceptive tweet.

    So he’s an idiot. O’Keefe is trying to get people in legal trouble and change laws. Cohen is just making fun of people. If you can’t see the difference, you’re an idiot.

    1. “I swear, the supposed “libertarians” who want to assume state control of private enterprise are really coming out of the woodwork this year.”

      So name some. Then post links.

    2. O’Keefe is trying to get people in legal trouble and change laws.

      You guys really despise the taste of your own medicine, don’t you?

    3. “…Cohen is just making fun of people…”
      By purposely and dishonestly editing his films

      “If you can’t see the difference, you’re an idiot.”
      If you find that trivial, you’re a fucking lefty ignoramus.
      Oh, gee, look who it is…
      Get fucked with a rusty chian saw, EE

    4. So he’s an idiot. O’Keefe is trying to get people in legal trouble and change laws. Cohen is just making fun of people. If you can’t see the difference, you’re an idiot.

      You really think that people can’t see that you’re the idiot here? That Cohen’s actions would, in other contexts, constitute entrapment while O’Keefe’s don’t?

      Tricking people into thinking an 76-yr.-old man had sex with a 15-yr.-old girl, great joke. What’s next? Convincing people nuns sold poisoned milk to schoolchildren?

      Cohen is a less funny, less talented version of Tom Green.

    5. Or they want to remove extra legal benefits for deceptive practices and other bad behavior dummy.

    6. EscherEnigma, there are no libertarians in this comment section. It’s a MAGA hat infestation up in here.

  17. “Hard to see a lot of difference between the Rudy sting and what Project Veritas does”

    Doesn’t Project Veritas post the footage of the entire encounter?

    Also, to have a fair comparison you’d have to have Giuliani admitting on camera that he molests sheep or whatever.*

    *This is a purely hypothetical situation. I’m sure that in reality Giuliani stays strictly within his own species.

    1. I haven’t watched every last thing Project Veritas does, but what I have seen is much closer to evidence gathering rather than the entrapment that Cohen set up. AFAIK, it’s not like PV sent in 24-yr.-old girls saying “Baby parts for sale! Who wants to buy aborted baby parts?” trying to create a circumstance where there was none. They misrepresented themselves to the pre-existing/standard collection chain that bought and sold baby parts, no context or circumstance generation needed.

  18. https://twitter.com/boriquagato/status/1321111912768245762

    isn’t it interesting how the same people pushing the needless doctrine of “net neutrality” to “stop censorship of the net” have not uttered a peep about companies like google, facebook, and twitter overtly censoring content.

    one might be tempted to call such a stance “hypocrisy”
    Quote Tweet

    @SenateDems
    If

    we

    don’t

    save

    net

    neutrality,

    you’ll

    get

    the

    internet

    one

    word

    at

    a

    time.

    #savethenet #savetheinternet #netneutrality #onemorevote
    10:38 AM · Feb 27, 2018

    1. Net Neutrality was about transmission priority and ensuring that people could run torrents without getting throttled.

      It wasn’t about censorship.

      1. Facts on the ground, sure. Factoids on the airwaves, it was about Comcast controlling all the bandwidth, killing competition like Netflix, and strangling Grandma’s connection to prevent her from getting political emails from right-thinking sources.

  19. Stop yer whining. It’s a HUGE difference between what Cohen does and what O’Keefe attempts to do. And yes, that difference is in fact comedy. And comedians have always used the reactions of everyday citizens (not just politicians) in order to poke fun. Jay Leno does his man on the street, Lettermen did his drive thru window, and Conan travels to other countries to make fun. If Rudy wasn’t caught with his hand in his pants you’d say nothing. In fact, Cohen delivered the punch line to the whole thing…”She’s too old for you.”

    Maybe O’Keefe would be treated better if he was funny. But like most right wingers, like you, he’s humorless.

    1. “IT’S DIFFERENT WHEN WE DO IT!!!”

      LOLOLOL

      1. Don’t you read? It is different. One is funny and the other is depressing and sad.

        1. You’re the one he’s laughing at.

          1. Tulpa is laughing at the polka dot elephants he sees on the ceiling.

            1. You’re a polka dot elephant?

            2. Dunno about Tulpa, but ‘shrooms are not yet legal here in DC, so I’m not hallucinating. I’m laughing at you.

        2. “…One is funny and the other is depressing and sad.”

          And SBC should be getting served as a result of the ‘sad’ one.

    2. Bad news Shreek, when you overheard people talking about how you were “a little funny” they didn’t mean your sense of humor.

    3. It’s a HUGE difference between what Cohen does and what O’Keefe attempts to do.

      True – Cohen is way more Islamophobic.

      1. “At a panel on internet censorship, O’Keefe lamented the absence of Jim Hoft, who runs the conspiracy-promoting Gateway Pundit blog, and Pamela Geller, an anti-Islam activist. Both were late scratches at CPAC due to conflict with the panel’s organizers, and both have a troubled history with the truth. Yet O’Keefe told me he considers them “good friends.”

        https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/05/04/james-okeefe-undercover-sting-profile-feature-2018-218015

        1. I don’t agree with my friends on everything either.

          1. Shreek does that because he knows he has nothing on O’Keefe and will get sued if he lies about him.

            Shreek is literally showimg you his belly there.

        2. I never said O’Keefe isn’t Islamophobic.

          But maybe you can link to a Cohen routine that isn’t making fun of Muslims.

    4. “Stop yer whining. It’s a HUGE difference between what Cohen does and what O’Keefe attempts to do…”

      You’re right for once; SBC ought to served right about now.

  20. The Hunter Biden Scandal Has Exposed The Corporate Press’s Corruption And Condescension

    Twitter and Facebook’s efforts to suppress the Post’s reporting haven’t stopped the story from spreading. Other outlets, including The Federalist, have picked up the story despite the mainstream media’s ongoing refusal to touch it. Joe Biden felt the need to address the issue in last week’s presidential debate. On Tuesday, Tucker Carlson will devote his entire show — one of the most-watched cable news show in the country — to a lengthy interview with Bobulinksi.

    1. You don’t care at all about nepotism in politics. Not even 0%.

      1. Remember upthread when you lied about the byline then ran?

        1. Remember when you ignored the deaths of a quarter million people because it makes the Republican Party look bad?

          1. No but I remeber when Trump saved 2 million per your own projections.

          2. I’m sorry you’re very upset that your own projections make you look like a fucking retard.

            1. Mommy, get the gross Trumptards off me, they smell like shit!

              1. Must be because Tony’s head of shit explodes on Trump supporters after trump wins reelection.

                I am all ready with tear barrels for your Lefty tears.

              2. Why are you telling us that your victims think you’re a Trump supporter?

              3. Um, no, Tony, they smell like shoe polish. You just don’t know shit from Shinola.

          3. “Remember when you ignored the deaths of a quarter million people because it makes the Republican Party look bad?”

            Is Cuomo R?

          4. Remember when you called Africans dumb in this thread?

            1. Actually I specifically called you dumb. The dumbest, actually.

      2. The Tony bot had the be reactivated when things turned south for Jo Biden in early election returns and even Lefty poll numbers dropping.

      3. And apparently the people whining about the Trump family in the White House don’t care about nepotism really either.

  21. ‘Can I Change My Vote’ Searches Spike on Google

    “Can I change my vote” was trending on Google over the weekend — following the second debate between President Donald Trump and 2020 Democrat candidate Joe Biden, as well as new revelations involving Joe Biden’s son Hunter and his alleged laptop.

    Notice Trump voters are NOT asking how to change their votes.

    1. We should delay the outcome the election, beyond the inauguration if need be, to count all the changed votes.

  22. Soave has come out against undercover journalism. Sad to hear.

    1. Soave assured us that only racist statutes and war markers would be removed by Lefties.

      Nothing to see there.

      Its not like it was emboldening dipshit Lefties that damage to other people’s property would be tolerated by Lefty local government.

  23. Yeah, you guys are going to be singing a different tune about last-minute revelations of a dubious nature when Adam Schiff finally releases that proof of Trump’s Russian collusion he’s been hiding all these years. He’s going to do it, too, just you watch. Any day now. He’s got proof, you know.

    1. Naw, I’ll sing the same tune, as I work off the assumption D’s and R’s are equally corrupt. Keep the story the same except replace Hunter Biden with Eric Trump, and I’ll say the same things. I have no doubt that Donald and Eric deal in as much, if not more, influence peddling as Joe and Hunter. The biggest difference, thus far, is Hunter is apparently much more stupid than Eric.

      1. The biggest difference, thus far, is Hunter is apparently much more stupid than Eric.

        The biggest difference is that Trump has done more to stabilize political relations around the globe, in direct contradiction to his critics, in 4 yrs. than Biden has done in 47. If Biden had brought peace to the ME and pulled us out of Afghanistan, I’d be willing to potentially look the other way on the Ukraine shakedown (esp. if the shakedown were linked to peace/stability deals). A couple million dollars to save billions of dollars and potentially thousands of lives? Sounds like a deal to me.

        Instead, we got the Biden Crime Bill, Title IX, *and* the Ukraine shakedown.

        1. Title IX

          Sorry, ‘Dear Colleagues’.

  24. How the typical media cover for Dems goes:
    1. That is unproven or misinformation
    2. Ok, it is true but it is not that big a deal
    3. Ok, it is a big deal but does not involve our guy
    4. Ok, our guy may be involved, but was unaware he was involved or did not intend to be involved
    5. Old news, move on clinger.

    1. “2. Ok, it is true but it is not that big a deal”

      Robbie:

      Given subsequent reporting about how the story came to be, the public now has every reason to presume the underlying emails—which, by the way, are not really damaging to Joe Biden’s candidacy at all—

      Apparently influence peddling isn’t a bid deal – the type of corruption that isn’t really corruption because someone the media supports did it.

      1. The exact sort of influence peddling that was both the underlying motivation and the premise for impeaching a sitting President.

        1. Hardly.

          Trump was accused of asking a government that was extorted by Biden to share any information they had about that extortion. That is not the same thing as taking millions of dollars to deliver policy objectives.

          One is arguably within the official duties. The other is a criminal act and a corruption of the duties of the office.

  25. By the way Soave, you consistently ignore as part of mainstream media FOX. It’s the number one cable “news” network by far. It doesn’t get anymore mainstream than that. And they gave plenty of credence and airtime to anything O’Keefe does. Top rated Limbaugh did as well. In fact Reason has as well.

    And you yourself once said about O’Keefe’s efforts:

    “This was a perfect example of why the answer to bad speech is more speech: a provocateur’s (O’Keefe) failure to explain why anyone should support Trump caused a student to feel perfectly reasonable despair.”

    So O’Keefe was just engaged in free speech and we need more? But Cohen? Nah. And one more thing…you know who invited O’Keefe to the GOP National Convention, as an honored guest? Trump. When it’s his guy caught, he’s furious. You too!

    1. Oh my god look how mad you are over this you know this is destroying any chance you have to win anything

      1. This is where Shreek unconvincingly tells us he isn’t mad. The shadow cast by his wallotext will make him look stupid for trying tho.

        1. Even PB knows when he’s explaining he’s losing.

    2. Hey, jackass! Still waiting to hear how the magic incantation makes those nasty wildfires disappear!

  26. The hypocrisy of the media in how they’re treating the Hunter Biden story vs. any story about Trump is totally obvious.

    If they’re really worried about people believing conspiracy theories Canon, the media could at least try not to hide things. It’s distrust of the normal channels of information that lays the foundations for conspiracy theories in the first place.

  27. My biggest takeaway from observation in the last four years. I never knew the depth and level of moral degradation and corruption in our government, and media. You know, you read stories about how a POTUS might have sicced the IRS on a taxpayer. Or maybe a story got written (or not) that was a hatchet job. That kind of stuff happened, but it seemed to happen in isolation.

    What we have seen in the last four years is far beyond anything I had ever thought possible. The CIA, FBI and other intelligence agencies used to spy on political opposition, co-ordinating with media? Spying on a presidential campaign? Media writing thousands of stories based on ‘reliable, anonymous’ sources; most of which turned out to be wholly false? We have had continuous sedition committed for the last four years.

    Now we have a candidate for POTUS who a) is old, and b) has lost his fastball, and c) is corrupt AF. His son, Hunter, managed to do the stupidest fucking thing I have ever heard of in my entire life. Not only does this shithead record himself ingesting illegal drugs…nah, this guy also decides to record his sex life while he is at it. And then forgets where he left his laptop to be repaired? No, that takes a special kind of stupid.

    I’ll say it this way. The apple (Hunter) did not fall far from the tree (Quid Pro Joe).

    1. Hunter recording himself smoking crack is not really a big deal, as we know he was kicked out of the Navy for drug use. And he did not receive a dishonorable discharge as every other American whose father was not a high level politician would have received. But we are to believe that drug addict Hunter who could not even abstain for the short time he was in the Navy is qualified to have all the jobs that followed…including a seat on the board of a foreign energy company that he had zero expertise in.

    2. That kind of stuff happened, but it seemed to happen in isolation.

      So, in your mind, the entirety of Ted Kennedy’s career after Chappaquiddick was just a series of isolated incidents?

  28. Unsubstantiated anti-Trump story: “big, if true”.

    Unsubstantiated anti-Biden story: “block it until the sources are revealed and independently confirmed, or until after the election, whichever comes first.”

  29. I don’t want to be a Soave fan.

    I really don’t.

    Maybe I can deal with it this way–the media is so crazy, even Robby gets it.

    And, Soave, try not to write great pieces like this again. It ruins the whole Robby sucks narrative.

    P.S. Joe Biden is a crook.

    1. Get with it (or over it), Ken. Robbie has been pretty good for a while now.

      1. Robbie did something amazing that people seem won’t to do anymore. He took some criticism and got better. Now he’s moving in a very positive direction.

    2. I don’t want to be a Soave fan.

      I really don’t.

      Lemme help: Robby’s better than most, but he’s still pretty solidly fudging the line between investigative journalism, undercover journalism, and entrapment.

      Even if both stories are taken at face value; misrepresenting yourself as the bouncer or pimp for a public figure who called for an underage escort of their own volition is a very different story than planting your co-worker in a public figure’s bedroom and then claiming to be a an underage escort on camera.

    3. Robby has been my favorite reason writer over the last couple of years by a wide margin. Which is pretty remarkable, given his shaky start.

      Even this piece, which harkens back to his earlier “to be sure, Trump is terrible, but this other thing isn’t so good either” days, is actually a good read with some interesting points.

      It is sad that something as equivocal as this counts as the best, most full-throated takedown of media bias we have.

  30. Sacha Baron Cohen is a bad actor who ambushes celebrities and then edits the footage. It’s not even funny, it is just really uncomfortable. He is a dipshit Andy Kaufman wannabe.

    Please never mention him on Reason.

    1. Sacha Baron Cohen is a bad actor who ambushes celebrities and then edits the footage. It’s not even funny, it is just really uncomfortable. He is a dipshit Andy Kaufman wannabe.

      Thank you! I thought I was the only person who thought that. Didn’t like Ali G and have never understood why people think he’s so hilarious. He’s just kind of an asshole, really.

      1. I have a downright moral issue with somebody acting like an ass, being treated respect by random people in spite of it, and then trying to make THEM the punchline. Fuck yourself on that. These people are “rubes” because they dared to be polite to this fucking prick.

        ALSO, O’Keefe never called for more censorship. Cohen has.

        1. Are you referring to the South Carolina cake decorator in particular, the “daughter cage” salesman, or someone else, you right-wing dimwit?

          1. ^ A connoisseur of Cohen’s work, apparently.

            1. Make perfect sense. A jar of gall bladders of failed dictators has no need for politeness or common decency.

        2. I have a downright moral issue with somebody acting like an ass, being treated respect by random people in spite of it, and then trying to make THEM the punchline.

          Exactly. What I’ve seen of him (which I admit is not much) he has to push people so hard to get a reaction, because generally people are trying to be good sports and play along with him, when what he wants is to victimize them in some way.

          It verges on sadism, and you know if he were in any way politically conservative he would be condemned as a monster.

          1. He is the lowest of the low. It’s appalling that people find his stuff funny.

        3. A rube is supposed to be someone who gets taken advantage of when they become convinced they are smarter than the grifter. What Cohen does is take advantage of peoples decency, not their perceived superiority. He thinks it is the same, but it isn’t.

    2. I guess I wouldn’t like Sacha Baron Cohen or Borat much if I were a half-educated white supremacist living in a superstitious, desolate southern backwater, too.

      Sorry you’re so mockable, clingers.

      1. “Sorry you’re so mockable, clingers.”

        Sorry you’er such a fucking lefty ignoramus.

        1. You seem cranky today. Here’s something to cheer you up, from Country Steve, performing at a Trump rally.

          1. Sorry you’re such a fucking lefty ignoramus.

      2. Rich people acting out ethnic stereotypes in mockery of poor working people is clearly the most Enlightened humor.

      3. Yeah, it’s not mockery. He lies to get interviews and then drops his pants. That sounds like mental illness bordering on criminal behavior.

    3. his bits with the average citizens are much funnier.
      an attractive young reporter (clearly in her 20s) was throwing herself at Giuliani. how many Democrat heroes would have walked away?

    4. We just watched Borat 2 and we laughing our asses off. You probably didn’t think it was funny because the targets were dumb conservatives. Go leave a one star review on Amazon like the rest of the butthurt right-wingers do on any movie that has a gay character or a woman lead character.

      1. We just watched Borat 2 and we laughing our asses off.

        For someone stuck in 2005, this isn’t a surprise.

  31. More shoddy ass journalism from Reason.

    “But the New York Post is still locked out of its Twitter account because it tweeted the story—supposedly violating the social media company’s prohibition on publishing illicitly obtained information.”

    Through lack of evidence otherwise, I must assume Robby believes this jibberish from Twitter. If this information was illicitly obtained, and this information was turned over voluntarily to the DOJ and FBI, why has not the shop owner been charged? I’ll do Robby’s for him and tell you. That laptop was dropped off for repair. The person who the laptop belonged to did not return for it, nor did they pay for the services rendered. After a specified period of time, any property abandoned (not paid for services rendered) becomes property of the servicer. I work in the service industry…I know this for a fact. My company has resold many of product that was repaired for a customer who did not pay. That computer by law belonged to the shop owner, including the hard drives and the information contained upon it. This information was not obtained illicitly…it was obtained through incompetence.

    1. Twitter assumes that the Democrats will take control of the White House and will probably take control of the Senate.

      They’re far more concerned about taking a beating from the Democrats for not suppressing this story than they are about the consequences of suppressing it.

      1. P.S. Joe Biden is a crook.

  32. “[emails] which, by the way, are not really damaging to Joe Biden’s candidacy at all…”

    Of course not. Why, we had that hag selling political access for donations to her ‘foundation’, so why should we care about a candidate for POTUS selling access and being pimped by his kid to anyone with enough vig?
    Entirely 2016!

  33. I do not know much Russian, but I have learned that ‘whiny clinger boy with crappy career’ in Russian is “Robby Soave.”

  34. I suspect more folks from Philly and its suburbs market will vote for Trump in response to the anti police race riots (especially if they continue)
    https://www.inquirer.com/news/philadelphia/live/philadelphia-protests-police-shooting-walter-wallace-jr-20201027.html

    The guy was purportedly holding a knife when he was shot.

    1. You sound more like someone from the Appalachian part of Pennsylvania, maybe without much understanding of the Philadelphia metropolitan area.

      1. Sorry you’re such a fucking lefty ignoramus.

        1. Righty ignoramuses like you have always been worse.

          1. Sorry you’re such a fucking lefty ignoramus.

      2. Oh, I don’t know, hicklib, I’m having a lot of fun watching your pets destroy Philly right now.

    2. They guy had mental health issues. If the police can’t subdue a mentally ill person with a knife without killing him, that’s a huge fucking problem for anyone with some empathy and kindness for the mentally ill.

      1. So then it should be no problem for you to subdue someone like me with a knife without killing me.

        Are you available for consultation or are you too busy raking it in from your 8-week program and spending your nights with Starla?

      2. Sorry you’re such a fucking lefty ignoramus.

      3. “Gah, why didn’t they just shoot the gun out of his hand?”–Chipper Moron Wood

        1. Joe Biden proposed shooting these folks in the leg.

      4. Do you think a knife is a “minor weapon”? The knife has always been dangerous. One madman blindly stabbing with a knife can kill anyone and everyone very easily.

        There is a reason every real self defense course has a very short “defense against knives” section. One word, actually “Don’t”. Anyone who teaches defense against knives is either in actual war where you are wearing armor and can’t retreat or a fraud. Seriously, in close quarters, a knife is deadlier than a gun due to the speed and lack of aim necessary

      5. Somebody has to have hijacked his handle. The old Chipper was nowhere near this fucking stupid.

        Sure Chip, go right ahead and subdue the mental patient coming at you with a blade. Enjoy your reconstructive surgeries. Idiot.

  35. the social media company’s prohibition on publishing illicitly obtained information.

    Is Twitter’s stance really that they wouldn’t have published The Pentagon Papers? Or Sarah Palin’s Yahoo email contents? Or the BNP membership list?

    1. What’s with this word “publish”? They’re a platform, not a publisher! 🙂

      1. The movie is not a platform.
        Sachs Baron Cohen completed libel.
        dennis hanna

    2. Or Trump’s tax returns. Or the “unverified” story that Trump declined to visit a military cemetery, complaining that it was filled with “losers”? (you know, the one that actually was never confirmed, and is as completely debunked as any ‘he never said X’ story could possibly be.)

      Those both happened within the month.

  36. What Sacha Baron Cohen did, performed, manufactured, edited, created, distributed and published was fraud. Simply, an intentional misrepresentation of material facts. In a word, libel.
    That is the difference.
    dennis hanna

    1. Sorting out Borat facts is job of Southern Kazakhstan Poverty Research Center, misrepresenting poor quality potassium and materialism since 1945.

    2. Yes.
      The lefty shit nothing other than this and should be served with a warrant now.

    3. Not fraud so much as libel. And he made a bunch of media personalities complicit and probably equally culpable.

      As a public figure he has a high burden of proof, but I’d say that he can probably clear the “actual malice” hurdle on this one.

      He’ll probably eschew such legal action, but it is still more likely than not that he has a legitimate case for defamation. Even Robby’s description is likely defamatory, claiming that “a few things of something possibly sexual” transpired. This is obviously not true, even in the edited version that was designed to give that impression. So repeating that version as if it were true is legally defamatory. You are not off the hook for repeating a defamatory lie, you can still be held to account. And this was not a description of other people’s take, this is Robby’s voice speaking at that moment.

      I doubt Giuliani will sue, but he certainly has a shot at making a case.

      It really is stunning how many torts the media has earned themselves in the last few years over overtly political and false reporting.

  37. I don’t particularly want to defend O’Keefe, but there’s a substantial difference in kind between *misrepresenting your identity* to have a conversation but accurately representing what happens, and misrepresenting what happens (ie, the Cohen movie scene).

    (Arguably, most first dates involve some degree of misrepresenting your identity, so most of us are guilty of that to a lesser degree than O’Keefe is, at least at some point).

    Now, O’Keefe claims he never misrepresents what his targets say. I’m not going to take a position on the matter (and won’t unless you can provide detailed proof thereof), but assuming he’s right about that, it really isn’t the same thing.

  38. Just really dumb article. Bidens were in a pay to play using US tax dollars. Joe plays the part of Don Corleone.

    Hunter is Fredo.
    Remember when Don Jr met with the Russian lawyer who was obviously a plant. Breathless discussion in the media. No censoring

    Its just ridiculous. Just revoke their 230 immunity.

  39. Wow Robby, you had it right in your grasp, and let the thought slip between your fingers.

    The difference between O’Keefe and Cohen is not entertainment versus activism.

    The difference is that Cohen peddles a lie as ridicule. (in the worst light, he uses people’s kindness against them – selectively editing moments from people’s kind-hearted responses to make them look nefarious. In the case of Giuliani, he consoles a fake reporter who pretends to be worried about doing a bad job with a very grandfatherly gesture, and the film pretends that this is some sort of come-on). In short, his entire point is to tell a lie.

    O’Keefe uses subterfuge to get people to tell the truth. He pretends to be a buyer of fetal tissues to get personnel from Planned Parenthood to explain pricing and delivery options. He pretends to be a colleague to get CNN employees to dish about their political marching orders.

    This criticism – that you must discount his reporting because he is dishonest about who he is – is just fundamentally dishonest. You don’t really hold any such standard in any other context. Indeed, we did not see any screed about the horror of the FBI lying to people online about who they were in the Michigan Governor kidnap plot. The coverage was all about what they were able to reveal, not about the fact that they lied about who they were in order to reveal it. (in fact, the serious treatment of that story is illustrative, because it appears to be turning in the direction of other FBI undercover operations aimed at domestic islamic terrorists – that the entire plot may have been concocted by the FBI from start to finish, with only a couple of fall guys trapped in the middle)

    When Shane Bauer went undercover as a prison guard for Mother Jones, we lauded his reporting and insights. Nobody said “But he lied! He never told them he was a reporter!!”

    The only reason anyone brings this up with regard to O’Keefe is because he’s a right wing guy who initially targeted some left wing sacred cows, particularly the abortion industry.

    Valid critique of O’Keefe’s work would come when he walks closer to the work of Cohen than to Bauer – when he misleads the audience, not the people he’s investigating.

    In short, in your spat with O’Keefe, you are just flat wrong. 60 minutes made their bones on undercover reporting. Such that he’s dishonest about his reporting, cast aspersions in his direction. When he simply holds people up to ridicule in order to win through humiliation rather than illumination, hurl your slings and arrows. But calling someone and pretending to be a confederate in order to get them to reveal their illicit plans is not in the same bucket at all.

  40. Does the news source practice fairness?

    Either it was slipped a special note by an infallible agent of fortune that the ‘Hunter ‘ laptop was a plant, or the evidence was considered manufactured automatically because of “extraordinary rendition,” where all US laws somehow may be broken because war crimes are not in the borders of the states.

    Perhaps the laptop was real, planted by Hunter, and filled with faked communications out of a sense that his property would be fair game for international intrigue. It would certainly be a tasty revenge, since no one else really deserves private property.

    What if the laptop had been felivered to the news source? Does this change anything?

    Whatever the case, there is no story there. Because if there were a story, it would have a legal basis to be a story. No basis for legal action, so no basis for there being a story: sound fair to you?

    1. No, it sounds like you’re a lefty apologist trying to sell a bill of goods.

  41. Not sure if I just didn’t read it right, but Robby, you don’t seriously think the Hunter story was debunked, do you?

    “even before any evidence had emerged that the underlying information—emails sent from Biden to business associates and foreign lobbyists—was fake”

    Now unless you have some evidence that the emails were doctored, that recorded meetings did not occur, that Hunter isn’t a crack addict, that all these sex photos are fake, and that Bobulinski is going out of his way to be easily identifiable while subsequently lying to everyone, I really don’t see how anyone can call this story fake at this point.

  42. Last night Kennedy dismissed the validity of Hunter Biden’s computer and e-mails (claiming it was a Russian plot), falsely accused Rudy Gulliani of being another Christopher Steele (who concocted the fake Russian hoax dossier), and suggested Rudy was a sex pervert (by citing the fraudulent Cohen video) to his face.

    Rudy nearly halted the interview, and gave Kennedy the verbal smack down she deserved.

    Looks like Kennedy has left the libertarian camp, and is now campaigning for Biden.

    1. Maybe she wants her old job back at MTV?

    2. The official “libertarian journalist” version of the Biden controversy is laughable. The libertarian writer consensus is now “Hunter was merely trading on his family name, which is gross, but irrelevant”.

      This is dumb beyond words.

      You cannot “trade on your name” simply because of the name. If you are a Ukrainian company, you are not paying millions to Hunter Biden because you just love that he’s related to Joe Biden or that his name is Biden and everyone just loves that name. That’s stupid. Nobody pays millions for that.

      But what they do pay for is access to power. Barisma was doing this all over the world. Their board of directors was a who’s who of relatives and associates of world leaders from the US and Europe. None of them were oil experts, energy experts, or even more basically business experts. They were people connected to the leaders of the US and European countries. (not even their own country) They were paying for access to those leaders, at a minimum. Even at that, many tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars being spent like that is not likely paid out simply for holding a meeting. That kind of money is not spent cavalierly. I am quite certain that they expected a level of results from that investment.

      So the notion that he was simply cashing in on his name is just a non-starter, unless you further acknowledge that the definition of “cashing in on his family name” means “accepting bribes on behalf of his father in exchange for unspecified favors”.

  43. I saw the first Borat and thought it was one of the stupidest and most offensive movies I had ever seen while most of my prog friends thought it was hilarious to mock those who would come to be known as the deplorables. Well, it took them 10 years but the deplorable spoke up, and may do so again.

  44. which, by the way, are not really damaging to Joe Biden’s candidacy at all

    …in an article that doesn’t mention the name Bobulinski. Okay, member of the media.

  45. I would say that both O’Keefe and Baron Cohen are guilty of taking advantage of people. I would reserve my sympathies for the average person who is not really prepared to address the questions or antics of these two. Rudy Giuliani has been a politician for many years and should really be more prepared for what happened to him. Giuliani has certainly seemed diminished in recent years and his falling under the Svengali charms of Trump seem to have accelerated process.

  46. Thanks admin for giving such valuable information through your article . Your article is much more similar to https://rna.bocsci.com/products-services/cholesterol-sirna-conjugates.html word unscramble tool because it also provides a lot of knowledge of vocabulary new words with its meanings.

Please to post comments