In an October move that would presage the collapse of the “public”-”private” distinction during the Biden presidency—as seen in press secretary Jen Psaki’s open bragging last summer of collusion with Mark Zuckerberg to censor COVID “misinformation,” and Eric Schmidt’s recently revealed role helping shape administration science policy—Big Tech oligarchs dropped the hammer on the New York Post, a high-circulation newspaper, for its reporting on Hunter Biden’s now-infamous “laptop from hell.” The laptop’s files demonstrated the notoriously troubled Hunter’s venality, abuses of power, and general sketchiness of his foreign dealings. He and some of his cronies remain under federal investigation for possible tax and money laundering violations.
In response to the Post’s reportage, Twitter locked the paper out of its own account for over two weeks. Both Facebook and Twitter, moreover, heavily limited or outright-blocked disseminating the Post’s URL for the laptop story. Crucially, the entirety of this sordid affair transpired less than a month away from a momentous Election Day. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) correctly demanded that the Federal Election Commission investigate whether Facebook and Twitter illegally issued in-kind contributions to the Biden campaign; he was rebuffed.
There are myriad problems with this picture. Most notable, perhaps, was the undoubted nature of the laptop’s authenticity; no one, not even anyone in the Biden clan, denied at the time that Hunter’s computer was genuine. One might normally deem such a detail important. But the Big Tech powers, uninterested in something as mundane as “truth,” immediately grasped the greater imperative—to discredit the story in, and even to memory-hole it from, the collective public conscience.