Veterans of the New York Times opinion section are stepping out from the leftist media pack and suggesting that Democrats should be a little more honest about the flaws of Joe and Hunter Biden. First, Maureen Dowd harped on Hunter’s four-year-old daughter being dismissed as no Biden.
Now, columnist Frank Bruni is lamenting how Democrats can’t tolerate criticism of the Bidens – you’ll be accused of being a Fox news anchor! "Many of your liberal acquaintances will shush and shame you: Speak no ill of Joe Biden! That’s an unaffordable luxury. You’re playing into his MAGA adversaries’ hands."
"You’ll be asked: What do Hunter Biden and diminished vim matter next to the menace of Donald Trump and a Republican Party in his lawless, nihilistic thrall? That’s a fair question — to a point. But past that point, it’s dishonest and dangerous," he wrote. "Dishonest because the question is often leveled at essentially Biden-friendly observers who have lavished, oh, 100 times as many words on Trump’s epic moral corruption as on Biden’s blind spots and missteps, creating zero impression of any equivalence."
Bruni is taking what partisan journalists would consider a "centrist" position -- or, in their dismissive lingo, "both-sidesism."
He says it's possible and even necessary to have "nuanced conversations about Biden’s and his administration’s mix of virtues and vices. If a big part of the horror of Trump is his estrangement from and perversion of truth, how is the proper or even strategic response to gild or cloak truth and declare it subservient to a desired political end?"
Most liberals won't go near a "truth" about how the Bidens have behaved. Anyone who "goes there" is an outcast.
Bruni nudges the liberals that there's a real set of stories on Hunter Biden: "The intensity of many House Republicans’ fixation on Hunter Biden is deranged, and journalists would be wrong to chronicle every breathless inch of their descent down that rabbit hole. But we’d also be wrong to ignore Hunter Biden entirely, and Democratic partisans who urge that aren’t being realistic and are doing as much to feed suspicions as to quell them."
Faced with the horrific prospect of a re-elected President Trump, Bruni can see that journalists want to praise Biden (or any Democrat in Trump's way) to the skies.
That feels like the prudent response. It feels like the ethical one.
It’s neither, certainly not for those of us in the news media. It would put us in the business of creating outcomes, not chronicling events, which would be obvious to voters on top of being wrong. It would further erode our credibility, which has suffered plenty of erosion already. It would betray the fundamental purpose and real power of journalism.
We do best as a profession — and all of us do best as a democracy and a society — when we hold everyone accountable, regardless of the special circumstances, and when we’re honest across the board. To act otherwise is to send the message that all is gamesmanship and that integrity is for suckers.
This is exactly the message and the media and the Democrats are sending, with a two-tier justice system and a double-standard approach to political ethics. They are in the business of creating outcomes, not chronicling events! That does erode their credibility. Don't count on Bruni's appeal to have many takers in the press.