Over at The Hill, media analyst Joe Concha has hit directly on the difference in treatment between media coverage of the Biden family scandals and what would happen if in fact the same scandals involved a Trump family influence peddling operation raking in millions.
Reading it a long distant memory stirred from — ahem — childhood, and I have gone back to refresh.
The politician in question was Republican Vice President Richard Nixon. And Nixon had four brothers, and there was one in particular that the liberal media of the day zeroed in on. Here is just a bit of the Wikipedia entry for brother Donald Nixon:
In January 1957 Howard Hughes lent (Donald) Nixon $205,000 to bail out his “Nixon’s” drive-in restaurant in Whittier, California. The restaurant went bankrupt less than a year later. Questions about whether this was a political favor dogged Richard Nixon during his campaign for president and later when he sought the governorship of California.
Which is to say, the media of the day was relentless – even I remembered this and I was a kid – in going after Richard Nixon for brother Donald’s loan from billionaire Howard Hughes.
Richard Nixon, in his memoirs, wrote about how this problem followed him after losing the 1960 presidential election to John F. Kennedy – all the way into his ill-fated run for Governor of California in 1962.
At his very first debate with his Democratic opponent — incumbent Governor Pat Brown — the topic came up. The questioner, a liberal columnist, asked:
I wanted to ask you whether you as Vice President, or as a candidate for governor, think it proper for a candidate for governor, morally and ethically, to permit his family to receive a secret loan from a major defense contractor in the United States?
The debate moderator wanted to override the hostile question, but Nixon insisted on answering anyway. Said Nixon:
‘As a matter of fact, Dr. Robinson, I insist on answering it. I welcome the opportunity of answering it. Six years ago, my brother was in deep financial trouble. He borrowed $205,000from the (Howard) Hughes Tool Company. My mother put up as security for that loan practically everything she had – a piece of property, which, to her, was fabulously wealthy, and which is now producing an income of $10,000 a year to the creditor.
My brother went bankrupt six years ago. My mother turned over the property to the Hughes Tool Company. Two years ago in the presidential election, President Kennedy refused to make a political issue out of my brother’s difficulties and out of my mother’s problems, just as I refused to make a political issue out of any the charges made against the members of his family.
I had no part or interest in my brother’s business. I had no part whatever in the negotiation of this loan. I was never asked to do anything by the Hughes Tool Company and never did anything for them. And yet, despite President Kennedy’s refusing to use this as an issue, Mr. Brown, privately, in talking to some of the newsmen here in this audience, and his hatchet men have been constantly saying that I must have gotten some of the money — that I did something wrong.’
Nixon added: ‘The media loved the story and played it up big – both because it made such tantalizing copy and because it was so damaging to me.’
…Despite my efforts to campaign on the issues, every press conference brought questions about the personal attacks being made against me-I must have answered the question about the Hughes loan at least a hundred times.’
Which is to say, the idea that Nixon had used his office as vice president to financially benefit his brother was catnip for the media. They would not let the story go.
Nixon lost his race for governor. And once the election was called, he walked into his concession press conference in front of the California and national media. Famously, he concluded his press conference by angrily saying this to the media, looking back at not only the campaign for governor but the entire sixteen years of his political career in which he served as a congressman, senator and vice president. Bold print for emphasis is supplied.
I leave you gentlemen now and you will now write it. You will interpret it. That’s your right. But as I leave you I want you to know-just think how much you’re going to be missing.
You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference, and it will be one in which I have welcomed the opportunity to test wits with you. But unlike some people, I’ve never canceled a subscription to a paper, and also I never will.
I believe in reading what my opponents say, and I hope that what I have said today will at least make television, radio, and the press first recognize the great responsibility they have to report all the news and, second, recognize that they have a right and a responsibility, if they’re against a candidate, to give him the shaft, but also recognize if they give him the shaft, put one lonely reporter on the campaign who will report what the candidate says now and then.
Thank you, gentlemen, and good day.
With that Nixon walked out. Election over, the Hughes loan story suddenly died away. Imagine that.
Here we are a full 61 years later and a congressional committee is unearthing a massive Biden family scandal. Said House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer as reported here in The New York Post:
‘Even more relatives of President Biden — or at least a dozen in all — will be exposed for having received money from foreign entities, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee said Sunday.
‘There’s not going to be anybody left for a Christmas picture if the [Department of Justice] did their job and went in there and indicted everyone that has any type of fingerprints involved in this influence-peddling scheme,’ said Rep. James Comer (R-Kentucky) to Maria Bartiromo on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” show.
‘I mean, it’s the entire family,’ Comer said. ‘And there isn’t a single one of those family members that had the ability to do anything to influence foreign policy other than the big guy, Joe Biden.’
Comer said the number of implicated Biden family members will jump from 9 to at least 12, with the president’s son Hunter and brother Frank’s foreign dealings just the tip of the iceberg.’
Which is to say, America has another former vice president who stands accused of financial shenanigans. But unlike the long ago Nixon, there is seriously documented evidence of corruption with Joe Biden – who now sits in the White House.
Sounds like the media would be all over this, yes? To end where we began, here is the headline on that Joe Concha column:
A bombshell Biden story — and the media dutifully ignore it
So, is there a potential story here, perhaps even a huge one? Let’s just say that if this story were about the Trump family instead of the Biden family, nearly every reporter in Washington would be chasing it — considering the paper trails, the Chinese source of millions of dollars in fees paid and the ambiguity of services provided.
But that’s not happening.
Bingo. The one (hopeful) difference between 1962 and 2023 is that, in fact, conservative media exists. Conservative outlets – like this NewsBusters story from Curtis Houck — are on the investigative trail.
Yet the lesson here is that the more things change the more they stay the same. The media was more primitive in a technology sense in 1962, but it was every bit as biased against conservatives then as it is now.
And in this current situation, the objective of the liberal media is simple: protect Joe Biden. Count on it.