Saturday, January 21, 2023


The New York Post published a story last night about a box at Joe Biden's house that the paper would like you to believe was an easily accessible (and readily accessed) repository of secret documents. The story offers no evidence that this was actually the case -- which doesn't prevent the paper from saying that it was the case.

Here's the headline:
What’s in here, Joe? Beat-up box of ‘Important Doc’s’ was out in open at Joe Biden’s house, laptop reveals
We're told:
This can’t really be where Joe Biden kept classified documents he took from the White House — or can it?

A box labeled “Important Doc’s + Photos” was left unsealed on a table ahead of a child’s birthday party in the Delaware home where the 80-year-old president has been discovered to have stashed sensitive government records, a photo from his son’s laptop, discovered by The Post Friday reveals.
Here's the photo:

If you were going to sneak classified documents out of the White House and make them available to your drug-addicted son so he could engage in shading business dealings with overseas clients, of course you'd label the box "Important Doc's" and allow it to be photographed. Wouldn't anybody?

But the story itself does not assert that classified documents were in the box. In fact, it suggests a possibility other than corrupt family skulduggery:
While it’s unknown what was actually in the box, reports have suggested Joe Biden may have taken the White House documents for use in writing his memoir, “Promise Me, Dad,” which was published in November 2017.
But I'm describing the text of the story. The caption to the box photo is another matter. It reads:
Photos from Hunter Biden’s laptop showed the box containing the classified docs open on a table in the house.
Brilliant. The story remains within the bounds of responsible journalism, but we also have a flat-out assertion that, yes, this is a box containing classified documents and it's out on a table as Hunter Biden and other family members gather, we're told, for a Biden grandchild's birthday party.

And if a sufficient number of prominent people point out that the caption asserts as fact something the story tells us is unclear, the caption will simply be changed, and maybe an intern will be scapegoated and fired. Meanwhile, the damage is done.

And we're off. On the right it's becoming an established fact that this particular box held classified documents and was out on display at a family gathering attended by Hunter. And the only evidence we have for this assertion is a photo caption that's contradicted by the story it accompanies. Very clever, Rupert.

No comments: