The latest non-scandal

I don’t care about this guy at all.

The right wing has flared up in another desperate attempt to crank up the hysteria over Hunter Biden. It’s a non-starter. All I get from it is a sense of how obsessed these loons are.

The source is Elon Musk, of course. He has dug up some boring internal documents from Twitter, then fed them to Matt Taibbi, who then shat them out onto Twitter again, claiming that they reveal First Amendment violations and that Twitter, before Musk, was in bed with the liberal Left. I already don’t care.

Musk is an ass.

Taibbi…my contempt for Matt Taibbi knows no bounds. I can never trust anything he ever writes.

As for Hunter Biden, I DON’T CARE. He’s the son of our current president, and that’s about it, and Joe Biden seems to love his son, which is only to be expected. Hunter seems to be a bumbling opportunist, but his profile in government is limited and he’s been given no power. Contrast him with Ivanka, Donald Trump’s daughter, who was brought along to all kinds of confidential meetings, and who, with her husband Jared, has profited mightily. Talk to me again when Hunter Biden scoops up $2 billion from the Saudis.

I might believe that Hunter Biden has done wicked things, but that doesn’t affect me or the US government. If there is evidence that he’s a bad guy, lock him up…but that’s where it ends. These wingnuts are only seeing a way to torment a president they don’t like. All the evidence they have consists of wild conspiracy theories about a laptop dropped off for repair that they claim contains all kinds of revealing information, but none of the stories are backed up with a solid connection to Hunter Biden.

There’s nothing there, but Musk & Taibbi blew it up into an absurd dark tale that falls apart on even casual inspection.

Elon Musk released the anticlimatic “Twitter Files” about “free speech suppression” by the social-media platform on Friday evening. On Monday, he teased the release, writing, “The public deserves to know what really happened …”

What followed after was a series of tweeted snippets detailing what the public has known—and what Twitter executives themselves have detailed over the past two years—about the company’s deliberation surrounding the New York Post’s publication of files from Hunter Biden shortly before the 2020 election.

“What you’re about to read is the first installment in a series, based upon thousands of internal documents obtained by sources at Twitter,” Matt Taibbi, Substack writer and former longtime Rolling Stone writer, darkly intoned Friday evening. But contrary to the melodramatic billing, the files mostly show what’s already been documented: that Twitter removed links to the Post’s story and files from Hunter Biden’s laptop and struggled with how to react to the surprise revelation of the leak of files from a presidential candidate’s son.

Right. The New York Post story, which claimed that a laptop abandoned at a repair shop was full of secrets, was not credible, and Twitter dithered over whether they should allow such nonsense to be promoted. The story was comparable to that Pizzagate crap, which claimed that a child porn & murder ring was operating the basement of a pizza parlor which did not have a basement. Unless you’re some faux free speech absolutist, that’s the kind of thing that should definitely be quashed on the grounds that it is a lie.

Furthermore, much of what Twitter censored out seem to have been photoshopped dick pics of Hunter Biden.

In examples of what Taibbi characterized as wrongly removed content, the Substack blogger cited a number of tweets containing non-consensually posted intimate imagery of the former Vice President’s son, commonly referred to as “revenge porn.”

That says nothing but that there was some surprisingly obsessive behavior by the MAGA nitwits.

Also, as far as the claim that Joe Biden and the state were intentionally compromising free speech to suppress ‘information’ about the President’s son — take note that all the terrible tinkering with Twitter stories occurred prior to 2020. I know, we’d all like to forget who was president then, but it wasn’t Joe Biden. It was Trump.

More details: this was a revelation that Musk made a pinned tweet and claimed was a violation of the Constitution’s first amendment. It was a series of blocked tweets that contained:

The offending material that Taibbi revealed was removed by Twitter at the Biden campaign’s request turns out to have been a bunch of links to Hunter Biden in the buff.

There was a tweet from a Chinese account featuring a naked woman on top of Hunter Biden, as well as a family photo. Two pictures of Hunter Biden’s penis, one with another woman in the background. Taibbi’s next list of material was removed by Twitter after being flagged by the Democratic National Committee. They include a picture of Hunter Biden smoking crack and getting his feet rubbed and a link to a Hunter Biden sex tape.

And that’s the big hubbub. Social media company removes unwanted dick pics: News at 11.

Constitutional crisis!


  1. wzrd1 says

    @Ed Seedhouse, thanks, that was precisely what I was going to point out.
    Or does the insane right now think that Twitter is now Congress?

  2. stuffin says

    Any straw the Right can grab then twist into something their constituents can believe is the end of the world. This is their modus operandi, only way they function. Wonder if they ever thought about Making America Great Again.

  3. says

    Josh Marshall analyzes the situation:

    […] I was frankly shocked at how underwhelming it was.

    I really thought they’d come up with more. Any big organization has a large number of idiots within it. I figured you could cherry pick some embarrassing asides from junior employees, at least since they have access to everyone’s emails and chats. Basically it was the responsible executives discussing whether to invoke their post-2016 rule against publishing hacked material. They decided to do so, said they needed to be cautious and most of all find out more information.

    Again, people taking their responsibilities seriously, trying to make the right decisions. Shocking stuff.

    You might agree or disagree but there was nothing underhanded or dishonest about it. In fact, to me it was clearly the right decision. But that’s a topic for another day. The highlight from Musk and Taibbi’s perspective, it seems, was an email that came in that day from a GOP lobbyist in D.C. saying Republicans were going to be super mad. Which of course they would be.

    The whole thing was an underwhelming joke. There are various more details. But that’s the gist.

  4. raven says

    I haven’t been following the “Hunter Biden scandal” very closely because…I don’t care about Hunter Biden.

    The GOP has convinced me not to vote for Hunter Biden.
    OTOH, he isn’t running for anything so that isn’t exactly very hard.

    The problems I see with this alleged laptop are many.
    .1. If this is actually Hunter Biden’s laptop, what is the GOP doing with it?
    I believe the way you get someone’s laptop is to steal it.
    OK, the GOP has stolen Hunter Biden’s laptop. So charge them with theft.

    .2. There is the chain of custody issue.
    This alleged laptop has been accessible to who knows thousands of people, tens of thousands of people.
    At any point, anyone or someone could put anything on that laptop, take anything off that laptop, and/or edit anything on that laptop.
    As evidence for anything, it is no longer reliable.

    In fact, a forensic audit of that laptop has shown numerous additions and edits of it by unknown but numerous people.

    I’ve got real things to deal with in the real world, inflation, Russian war crimes in Ukraine, GOP attacks on our democracy, Covid-19 virus, etc..
    Hunter Biden and his alleged laptop aren’t on the list.

  5. raven says

    Here is a summary of what Wikipedia has to say about the Chain of Custody issue.

    Hunter Biden laptop controversy – Wikipedia › wiki › Hunter_Biden_laptop_…

    Forensic analysis​​ The analysts found that people other than Hunter Biden had repeatedly accessed and copied data for nearly three years; they also found …

    At this point, it’s admissability in any court proceedings is dubious.

    There was a tweet from a Chinese account featuring a naked woman on top of Hunter Biden

    That happens to a lot of people a lot of the time.
    It’s how I was created by my parents.
    It is likely how you were created by your parents.
    It’s not illegal.
    So why am I supposed to care?

  6. says

    With the ability of AI image generation, we can’t take any image data seriously, anyhow. Corroborating data is needed.

    (By the way the attempts to prevent people from using AIs for deep fakes are really pathetic. For example “the water drips from the waxed fabric cover of the hussar’s shako” gets blocked because: “waxed” apparently nobody has trained an AI to classify AI images for inappropriate content)

  7. Jake Wildstrom says

    Hunter Biden would be a tragic figure if he weren’t so boring. He has the significant trauma of knowing — without having been told it outright, I assume, because the Bidens do not seem like a particularly cruel family — that he is not his father’s favorite son. I know he’s not Joe Biden’s favorite son, and I’ve had literally no personal interactions with the Biden family. Joe’s favorite son is Beau, and the only thing worse than having a brother who is generally regarded as better than you is having a brother who is generally regarded as better than you who is also dead, because then tere’s no chance whatsoever he’ll ever fuck up and lower people’s opinion of him.

    But beyond that personal drama, he’s pretty much par for the course for the mediocre kin of public figures. Empty corporate sinecures, bouts of drug abuse and public misbehavior… you can find plenty of people of utterly unexceptional talent with similar curricula vitae and last names like “Rockefeller”, “Kennedy”, “du Pont”, “Kardashian”, “Morgan”, and “Bush” (one of that last family of failsons grew up to be president, but that’s rare). Generally speaking, their more talented and more well-connected kin don’t have to explicitly grease the skids for them with whatever pointless makework job they end up in, and I doubt Joe Biden has explicitly done a whole lot for Hunter either.

  8. KG says

    I’m not interested in Hunter biden’s laptop unless it turns out there’s a trove of Hillary Clinton’s emails about Benghazi on there!

  9. SchreiberBike says

    We used to disregard tabloid news, after a tabloid celebrity became president of the United States, a certain party lost all perspective on what is relevant.

  10. unclefrogy says

    I wish I could say I am surprised by all this but I can’t. It all seems so desperate to me.
    it would be judged as cliche and not very interesting in fiction or drama writing.
    you might add Adams to the list of sad stories of the children of the ruling class

  11. robro says

    And yet Musk, Taibbi, et al take no interest in the Panama Papers or the Pandora Papers which provide extensive evidence of the skullduggery of the very rich to avoid paying taxes. Hmmm…wonder why.

  12. says

    All the comments above accurately point out the banality and futility of our those heavily involved in running and cheering our tabloid society. Social media, twits, farcebooks, etc. may have some worthwhile posting, but are mainly vanity, rumor and farce. Mainstream media (looking at you taibbi) is superficial, incomplete and mostly inaccurate; avoiding sooo many important issues for the sake of having time for ‘sports bullshit’ and social scandal.

    We are living in an information desert; just as much as rural cities are living in food deserts. Crapitallism: it’s all profit, corruption and pollution.

    O.K., climbing down of the soapbox and now back to trying to find worthwhile causes to support (like freethought blogs, etc.)

  13. says

    Meanwhile, the Trump Organization is trying to throw the former CFO under the bus as the “sole bad actor” in a pending criminal lawsuit involving fraud and tax evasion. This one at least implicates Trump himself and multiple family members as having had to know. For decades. And the trial is underway right now… with virtually no provenance, authentication, or ok-squicky-but-not-unlawful issues…

  14. seachange says

    A certain former presiden’ts brother, Billy Carter, marketed Billy Beer. Maybe young Mr Biden should market his (fake?) penis.

  15. microraptor says

    I feel that the Right’s continued obsession with Hunter is just a sign of their total inability to actually find things to use against Joe.

  16. Jake Wildstrom says

    you might add Adams to the list of sad stories of the children of the ruling class

    Yeah, Charles Adams was kind of the original example of a son of American quasi-nobility who do not live up to the expectations of his class. But I was trying to stick to contemporary dynasts, and I don’t think the Adamses have descendants who really qualify (the Frelinghuysens are the oldest still-active political dynasty I can think of).

  17. laurian says

    Dick pics. Dick pics. All this is over dick picks.

    Jesus the Right are a gang of perverts.

  18. says

    So a laptop supposedly belonging to Hunter Biden turns up at a repair shop and, surprise, the technician discovers dick pics of what might be Hunter Biden and other related porn. He also discovers files which suggest Hunter was involved in corrupt dealings with Ukraine. The “evidence” is leaked and the drooling Republican dog pack circles around their target. I’m going to go full conspiracy theory here. After all the Republicans love a good conspiracy so they should have no problem with this one. The technician is a part of a deep Republican plot to create dirt to pile on their Democrat opponents. Gleefully tucking the laptop under his arm he heads for a basement in a Washington gay bar. It can’t be a pizza restaurant because the Satanist Democrat pedophiles already control those and a gay bar provides good cover for those oh so righteous guardians of public decency. Once in he basement he inserts the porn files and the fabricated Ukraine files onto the laptop, and scurries back to the repair shop to feed his fakery to Murdoch’s minions. This is entirely plausible. I mean the Republicans keep claiming that highly secure voting machines have been hacked to feed votes to the democrats and they have even tried to get at voting machines to “prove” it. By inserting their own software perhaps? There is a requirement with evidence called a chain of custody. If at any point in the chain the evidence is interfered with, altered or in other ways corrupted it is useless. This is the case with the laptop. Even if it was Hunter Biden’s and that has to be proved, once it was handed to the repair shop it left Biden’s custody and control so the evidence on the laptop is no longer evidence.

  19. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 22

    So a laptop supposedly belonging to Hunter Biden turns up at a repair shop and, surprise, the technician discovers dick pics of what might be Hunter Biden and other related porn.

    A technician who is not just a Trump follower, but is blind to boot!

  20. StevoR says

    When thinking of this Hunter Biden laptop thing the word that most springs to mind is ‘thin’ – and the very definition of a nothingburger beat up.

    @19. microraptor : Absolutely! It really is pathetic and this is the “best” they have.

  21. says

    @#24, StevoR:

    Well, no, as with Benghazi it’s the best they’re winning to use. If they were willing to risk alienating the financial sector, they could easily go after both Hunter and Joe for the way that Hunter got a consulting job at MBNA with a nice fat salary straight out of school with basically no qualifications just as Joe was sponsoring the Bankruptcy Bill the rich really wanted. Pretty obviously a payoff for Joe selling out the working class (the bill didn’t just harm people with credit cards and mortgages so that the increasingly-shady lending industry could build up to the 2008 meltdown, it also made it impossible to discharge student loan debt in bankruptcy, which is why 2006 is when we started hearing about a “student loan crisis” rather than just about a “student loan problem”). But as I say, trying to put public attention on that would involve making some very rich people who mostly donate to Republican candidates very angry with the Republican Party, so they’ll stick to made-up stuff instead. (It must be absolutely infuriating for the more zealous among them to know that there’s a real Hunter-related corruption scandal which the Democrats wouldn’t actually be able to deny sitting right there, but unusable.)

  22. KG says

    blockquote> they could easily go after both Hunter and Joe for the way that Hunter got a consulting job at MBNA with a nice fat salary straight out of school with basically no qualifications just as Joe was sponsoring the Bankruptcy Bill the rich really wanted. Pretty obviously a payoff for Joe selling out the working class

    “Pretty obviously a payoff”? Nah, only to you – unless you have some actual evidence, which I’m pretty sure you don’t, or you’d have produced it. Of course Hunter Biden was given a job he wasn’t qualified for because his father was the VPOTUS, but Joe Biden would not have needed to agree to anything for that to happen, and would have been an idiot to do so. As for Biden Snr. “selling out the working class”, that presumes he was at some stage on their side.

  23. Jemolk says

    KG@26 — Because that makes things so much better? Whether Biden knew and agreed or not, the effects are the same. The system still produces nepotistic effects and political dynasties, and that should still be a scandal, whether or not one particular individual actively encourages it or just lets it keep happening to his benefit.

    microraptor@29 — Trump being worse doesn’t mean Biden is good all of a sudden. Not being Trump is a bar so low, I’m not sure Al Capone could limbo his way under it even if he tried. That doesn’t remotely make not being Trump adequate qualification for anything. Not everything about a specific politician has to be couched explicitly in the language of the electoral rat race.

  24. KG says

    Please point out to me where I defended “nepotistic effects and political dynasties”; I’m relying on the assumption that such effects occur as a matter of course within the American politico-economic system; that doesn’t in any way imply that I approve of them – I’ll wag my finger to show that I don’t, if you like. The point at issue is: did the current POTUS commit a criminal offence in regard to his son’s appointment to a post in a commercial company while he was VPOTUS, or didn’t he? The Vicar simply assumes he did, without, AFAIK, a scrap of evidence.