The Wall Street Journal:
Some institutions are responding better than others to the stress of political polarization, and one of the worst performers has been the press. Its broad and intense progressive partisanship is escalating into attempts to stifle information and stigmatize opposing points of view.
A case in point is the media distortion of a pair of recent reports in The Wall Street Journal. Our Kimberley Strassel wrote a detailed analysis in her Friday column about the emails and text messages of former Hunter Biden business associate Tony Bobulinski. Journal reporters wrote later that day about Mr. Bobulinski’s claims, and media partisans jumped to assert that the news story contradicted Ms. Strassel’s.
No, it didn’t, as more careful analysts like Mark Hemingway have noted. The Journal news story added the fact that their examination of business records found no evidence of Joe Biden having an ownership stake in the Hunter Biden-Bobulinski company.
But Ms. Strassel never said Joe Biden did. She reported that Mr. Bobulinski provided documents supporting his claim that a stake was envisioned for Joe Biden, but that Mr. Biden ought to respond to clear the record if this wasn’t true. The news story treated the emails and texts as real, and thus tacitly confirmed that they weren’t “Russian disinformation” as Joe Biden and others have claimed.
The news and opinion sections of the Journal operate separately, and we can’t speak for our news colleagues. But our view is that Mr. Bobulinski’s documents and statements are news that the public deserves to see. This is why Ms. Strassel reported the story in meticulous fashion, and we published it. By pretending that the two stories conflict, the progressive media are attempting to say that the emails and texts should never have been reported.
This is laughable coming from the crowd that spent four years pushing the Russia-Trump collusion narrative from 2016 that was ginned up and promoted by the Hillary Clinton campaign. They spun the claims of the Steele dossier, despite no supporting evidence and no on-the-record witnesses. Yet now they claim that on-the-record statements from a former Hunter Biden associate, along with emails and texts that the Biden campaign hasn’t disputed, should be kept from the public.
All of this is relevant beyond next week’s election. If Democrats win up and down the ballot, progressives will control the commanding heights of nearly every American elite institution: Congress, the administrative state, Hollywood and the arts, the universities, nonprofits, Silicon Valley and nearly all of the media.
Yet instead of playing watchdog for the public, today’s progressive press partisans devote themselves to attacking anyone who breaks from their orthodoxy. They denounce independent voices like Ms. Strassel with their Twitter brigades, then they unleash reporters who are ideological enforcers masquerading as media critics. They can’t tolerate any opposing political view. This is why Americans in record numbers don’t trust the media, and it’s why we will keep reporting the news others won’t.