DANIEL VAUGHAN: Press rushes to protect Biden over his classified documents
In George Orwell's seminal classic "Animal Farm," we witness a tale of the moral corruption of socialism. The animals on the farm overthrow the farmer and take over. Soon, they must figure out how to run the farm without human help. Orwell's story is about how socialist revolutions throw out their governments and install new ones. But over time, we witness the new socialists become just as corrupt as their previous leaders.
The pigs are the leaders of the socialist movement. They become the "brain trust," as they call themselves. They do not work and order everyone around. Over time, the other animals realize there's something wrong with the pigs. By the end of the book, the animals can't tell the difference between the pigs and the humans.
But during the leadup to that final realization, the animals are angry at the pigs for keeping the best for themselves. The pigs eat the apples and milk for themselves, leaving none for anyone else. That leads the pigs to offer this defense:
"Comrades!' he cried. 'You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health. Milk and apples (this has been proved by Science, comrades) contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig. We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organisation of this farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for your sake that we drink the milk and eat those apples."
This week, I had that in the back of my mind while watching the news stories that President Joe Biden had classified documents at his private residence and offices. These documents go back to his time as Vice President from 2008-2016.
The pigs rush out with explainers.
This story has two aspects: 1) the story itself about a sitting President mishandling classified documents. And 2) the hilariousness of this President getting caught doing what he's blasted his predecessor for doing. The hypocrisy is ripe, the press knows it, and they don't know what to do yet. They only know to spin it in favor of Democrats. It's impossible to view this story outside the no-knock raid on Donald Trump.
Outlets like the Washington Post, Reuters, and others rushed out with "explainers" on the differences between Biden and Trump retaining classified documents. The point isn't that there are differences: that's a given. The fact is that neither Biden nor Trump should have had these documents in their personal possession.
The best headline comes from MSNBC, which ran out with this red-hot headline: "Why a special counsel in the Biden case could be a major blow to the GOP." You see, when a special counsel investigated Donald Trump, it was terrible for him and the Republicans. But when a special counsel investigates Democrats, it's also bad for Republicans.
It's that Animal Farm logic on the front pages of American media.
Biden's conduct was bad. No explanation is needed.
Neither Biden nor Trump should be enjoying apples and milk right now. But the explainers are there to help you conclude that Trump's offenses are worse than Biden's. But it's too early to make such a conclusion right now. We don't even have all the facts in the case of Biden.
But we do know the revelation that Biden had those documents was politically motivated.
Politico reports this timeline: "White House lawyers initially found sensitive documents at the Penn Biden Center in Washington — where Biden kept a personal office — on Nov. 2, a day before the midterm elections, and notified the Justice Department. On Dec. 20, Biden's team notified the department of a second batch of documents in Biden's Wilmington garage. On Thursday, they informed the department of another document found in Biden's house. Garland was briefed on the investigation on Jan. 5."
If Donald Trump so much as breathed on a classified document, it got reported in the press. Joe Biden had classified documents going back at least 6+ years ago in his personal possession. When it gets revealed just before an election, the press doesn't report on it. Only in the new year do we get to learn about such an infraction.
Press explainers rush to spin the news.
But I guess that's not important enough for us to know. We're the little people, after all. Orwell noted a similar theme between the pigs and animals, "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
Democrats get the explainers because they're more equal than the rest of us in the eyes of the American press. Democrats talked about fighting for the little man for years. But when you look around the table, it's hard to tell the difference between a Democrat, a journalist, or any of their friends. If you get caught doing something wrong with them, you get an explainer. You get a no-knock raid on your house if you're anyone else.
As was said in Animal Farm, "No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?"
Where would we be without explainers to tell us what to think?
Fortunately for us (and unfortunately for them), the media landscape entered a dark winter. Hopefully, that forces them into some changes.