‘We know that most American families are dealing with some sort of struggle like we are…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) The mainstream media’s kid-glove treatment of serial drug-abuser Hunter Biden, son of former Vice President Joe Biden, revealed yet another double-standard in its long history of biased coverage.
Much like the free pass Hunter’s father received after recent questions surfaced about his groping of young women and girls, the Left has largely shrugged off the scandal-plagued son’s felonious behavior as a “mental health struggle.”
The younger Biden was discharged from the Navy in 2014 after testing positive for cocaine, only to secure several cushy business dealings in the Ukraine and China while his father—then vice president—put political pressure on the countries.
In 2017—after Hunter had ditched his former wife in favor of his brother’s widow—his ex, Kathleen, raised additional allegations that he had squandered his family’s money on drugs and prostitutes.
As the elder Biden announced his bid for the 2020 election, many in the media likely would have ignored those skeletons altogether but for a scoop from conservative site Breitbart in May, presenting new revelations of a 2016 cocaine bust from which the then-46-year-old was able to escape charges.
That break prompted Hunter to speak with The New Yorker in a recently published profile, during which he also acknowledged being held at gunpoint by a homeless man while attempting to buy crack—also in his dad’s final year of office.
Naturally, the sympathetic puff piece downplayed concerns and claimed the conservative media accounts had been “distorted.”
“Look, everybody faces pain,” Hunter told the magazine. “Everybody has trauma. There’s addiction in every family. I was in that darkness. I was in that tunnel—it’s a never-ending tunnel. You don’t get rid of it. You figure out how to deal with it.”
At the same time as the article hit, Joe Biden and his wife, Jill (Hunter’s stepmother), offered a saccharine take in an interview with CNN‘s Chris Cuomo that glossed over their own tacit enabling of Hunter’s addiction.
The Democratic front-runner invoked the 2015 death of his other son, Beau, due to brain cancer, while painting a false equivalency between that and Hunter’s “illness.”
“He will beat this. This kid, I’m telling you,” Biden said of the 49-year-old Hunter. “You know—knew—Beau. Beau’s my soul. Hunter’s my heart,” he said.
“He’s going to beat this… Hunter’s been through some tough times, but he’s fighting, he’s fighting… he’s the most honorable, decent person I know,” presidential candidate Joe Biden says about his son Hunter’s struggles with alcohol and drug abuse. https://t.co/8rh5xH1yrc pic.twitter.com/NZZ2oMYBMM
— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) July 9, 2019
Jill Biden then reiterated the talking point made by Hunter in The New Yorker, attempting to normalize the years of hard narcotics abuse as a typical family problem.
“We’ve seen the struggle, and we know that most American families are dealing with some sort of struggle like we are,” she said.
“I think they can relate to us, you know, as parents who are hopeful and are supportive of our son, and we will continue to be supportive,” she added. “And I think that makes us more empathetic about helping other Americans.”
However, no such empathy has been extended to right-leaning public figures under similar circumstances.
After Bush said he could have passed one when his father began serving as president in 1989, the network dealt him a heavy dose of skepticism.
Other media outlets also continued to press the decades-old issue, which Bush declined to discuss out of concern for sending “a signal to children that whatever I may have done is OK.”
Despite Bush’s acknowledgement of the substance-abuse problems he overcame in his 20s, reporters at the time spun his refusal to elaborate as a sign of guilt.
“The Texas governor is the only major presidential candidate who has not answered the question about whether he has ever used cocaine,” CNN reported. “Several other presidential candidates, including Vice President Al Gore, the Democratic front-runner, have admitted to past marijuana use.”