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On Wednesday, the Biden campaign sent a letter excoriating The New York Times for daring to provide coverage that is unfavorable to former vice president and 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden. The campaign also sent letters to enormous news disseminators Facebook and Twitter for allowing ads that highlight Biden’s shady dealings with Ukraine.
In the letter to the Times essentially trying to bully the newspaper into only publishing favorable coverage on the powerful Democrat, the Biden campaign complains that President Donald Trump is the real threat to a free press.
The two-page letter is addressed to Dean Baquet, executive editor of the Times, and is penned by Biden’s deputy campaign manager and communications director, Kate Bedingfield.
According to Bedingfield, the Times has done “little” internalizing of “the sobering lessons of 2016.” In other words, the Times did not do enough to stop Trump from being elected in 2016, and the Times is similarly failing to stop him in the upcoming 2020 election.
Bedingfield’s letter highlights the Times running an op-ed critical of Hunter Biden’s dealings with Ukraine while his father was serving as vice president. The op-ed was written by Peter Schweizer, whom Bedingfield smeared in the letter as a “discredited right-wing polemicist.”
As reported by NPR, Biden began making trips to Ukraine in the spring of 2014, when his son Hunter took a position on the board of Burisma, Ukraine’s largest private gas company — thereby earning a reported $50,000 a month. “The question of a possible conflict of interest — with Hunter Biden profiting in a country where his father was actively working with the government — was raised publicly at the time,” the left-leaning outlet noted. Moreover, in March 2016, “Biden made one of his many trips to Ukraine and told the country’s leaders that they had to get rid of the prosecutor” probing corruption “if they wanted $1 billion in U.S. aid,” NPR reported. Stunningly, Biden openly bragged last year at the Council on Foreign Relations about wielding his influence to seemingly protect his son. “I said, ‘You’re not getting the [$1 billion]. I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Well, son of a b****. He got fired,” he harrowingly boasted.
Bedingfield complained by name about journalist Ken Vogel and accused the paper of spreading right-wing and Russian propaganda. “What was especially troubling about the Times’ active participation in this smear campaign is that prior to its reporting on the subject by Ken Vogel, this conspiracy had been relegated to the likes of Breitbart, Russian propaganda, and another conspiracy theorist, regular Hannity guest John Solomon,” the letter said.
Lacking even the most basic self-awareness, the letter also took a shot at President Donald Trump for being the real threat to a free press:
“Like so many media organizations today, the Times is confronted with unprecedented challenges and judgment calls as it navigates a high-volume, competitive news environment that is heavily disrupted by increased trafficking in misinformation online and complicated by the repulsive attacks on the free press by a commander-in-chief who is hostile to the truth itself.”
Here's the letter Biden deputy campaign manager @KBeds sent NYT editor Dean Baquet. "Are you truly blind to what you got wrong in 2016, or are you deliberately continuing policies that distort reality for the sake of controversy and the clicks…?" https://t.co/fCJ8Ii32Ds pic.twitter.com/DoVzSm5MXI
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) October 10, 2019
The Times responded on Thursday to Biden, defending its reporting.
“Our coverage of the Biden campaign and Hunter Biden has been fair and accurate,” a spokesperson said in a statement to CNN. “[The Times] will continue to cover Joe Biden with the same tough and fair standards we apply to every candidate in the race and we’re happy to sit down with Biden advisers anytime to discuss news coverage.”
The spokesperson also noted that the Schweizer op-ed was published in the paper’s opinion section, “where [the] mission is to invite intelligent discussion on a range of opinions and ideas. The op-ed makes an argument that nonpartisan government watchdogs would make, arguing in favor of a law that would prohibit self-dealing by those with government connections.”
According to CNN, the Biden campaign also sent letters to Facebook and Twitter on Wednesday, “imploring the companies not to run an ad that spread the debunked theory about Biden and Ukraine.”