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Friendly media paints Hunter Biden’s drug addiction as a plus to prop up his father Joe

Friendly media paints Hunter Biden’s drug addiction as a plus to prop up his father Joe
Does Hunter Biden’s crack use humanize his father, or serve as another black mark in the ledger against the Democratic frontrunner? Mainstream media has put the spin machine into top gear as Joe Biden sinks in the polls.

Hunter, the youngest son of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, has spilled his guts to the New Yorker, weaving a sordid tale of addiction, affairs, and alcoholism that the outlet has heroically tried to spin as a positive. After Joe Biden’s abysmal debate performance, the alleged frontrunner – whom even the New York Times has admitted has all the flaws of Hillary Clinton in 2016, plus the deadly “white male” factor – needs all the help he can get.

And the New Yorker has gamely tried to frame the younger Biden’s troubles as a plus for dad. It noted that most candidates are “relentlessly bland” but the former VP – whom mainstream media has been consistently calling the 2020 Democratic frontrunner since his campaign launch, despite a scandal-studded history that would sink multiple less-well-heeled candidates – has “responded to tragedy” and “learned from it.”

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The younger Biden has admitted he missed that very campaign launch rally in May because a Breitbart story published the previous day had named him as a suspect in an Arizona narcotics probe stemming from a crack pipe discovered in his rental car. It’s not the first time his name has surfaced as a political liability to his father, either. As Breitbart revealed earlier this year, Vice President Joe Biden had threatened to withhold $1 billion in US aid to Ukraine if the country did not fire its top prosecutor, apparently over his investigation of Burisma Holdings, where Hunter served as a director.

“Hunter is super rich terrain,” a cynical former Biden aide tells the New Yorker, which acknowledges the younger Biden “struggled for decades with alcohol addiction and drug abuse,” had a rough divorce, and an affair with his brother’s widow after Beau Biden died of brain cancer, and may have fathered a child out of wedlock. But Hunter is a good guy at heart, the magazine insists, so loyal that he’s tried to “protect his father from a trickle of disclosures” by sharing them with a friendly ‘liberal’ outlet instead.

It’s not easy to spin Hunter’s history. A beneficiary of nepotism since his early years working for MBNA, a Delaware bank that was then the largest donor to his father’s Senate campaign, his fat paycheck allowed him a well-off life that the New Yorker frames as almost a cash-strapped existence (sending three kids to a prestigious private school isn’t cheap, and Biden is quoted as saying he lived “paycheck to paycheck” after he abandoned the “stifling” culture of MBNA to work in the Clinton administration as director of e-commerce policy issues in the Department of Commerce). Even the lobbying firm National Group hired him partially because of his “very strong last name,” and the Navy granted him both age and drug/alcohol waivers when he decided to join up in 2014 out of what the New Yorker claims was a desire to “contribute more to society.”

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But surely anyone can relate to Hunter’s military service, failing a drug test on his first day in the Navy after a mysterious South African man handed him a cigarette outside a Washington DC bar, which – oops! – must have contained crack, because he’s not sure how else he would have come up positive for cocaine. He honorably took a dishonorable discharge, the New Yorker reports, lest the details of his case be leaked to the press and damage dad’s political career – which he used for relentless warmongering in Iraq, Syria, and Libya.

The effort to paint Joe Biden – an establishment creature who assured his wealthy donors that “nothing would fundamentally change” if he wins the 2020 election, an ironic promise from someone who served as VP under Mr. Hope-and-Change himself, Barack Obama – as a “regular guy” is transparently inauthentic. While voters of Biden’s age may have children with drug and alcohol problems too, given that more Americans than ever before are dying of drug overdoses and alcoholism, it’s unlikely their kids would have dodged jail if they’d returned a rental car complete with crack pipe, a line of a “white powdery substance” on the armrest, and a wallet full of drivers’ licenses and credit cards in their name. Nor would the voters Biden must convert in order to win the election be able to afford Hunter’s multiple rehab stays – as the New Yorker reveals, the rental car incident happened after he was distracted from a trip to rehab by a week-long crack binge during which he was held at gunpoint at least once.

Millennials – among whom Biden the elder is decidedly unpopular – are just as unlikely to see themselves in Hunter, no matter how hard the New Yorker tries to push the line that this child of privilege “was not always at ease as the son of the Vice-President,” uncomfortable with Secret Service agents following him around.

“On occasion, transactions on his credit cards were declined,” the New Yorker strains, desperate to paint Hunter as a “regular guy” who receives 2.8 carat diamonds from Chinese energy tycoons. When said tycoon was arrested by Chinese authorities in an anti-corruption probe, Hunter defended him as “not a shady character at all” and merely the victim of “bad luck.” And Hunter even stepped down from Burisma, the Ukrainian company, after Trump insiders, conservative media and the New York Times began sniffing around, all the while insisting he’d done nothing wrong but that “the controversy had become a distraction.”

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With Biden’s negatives – his unhealthy affection for the smell of people’s hair, his touchy-feely approach to women, his chummy relationships with pro-segregation senators and opposition to busing, and his proud allegiance to Wall Street and big business – through the roof, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the mainstream media to position him as the Democratic frontrunner. Hunter’s story could be seen as a hail-Mary attempt to convince Americans his father is worthy of their vote, a relatable guy whose son has a drug problem, just like any of them. Drug addicts are one of the last minority groups that don’t yet have an advocacy organization to promote their interests in Washington, and if Biden can’t secure the nomination despite the best efforts of the mainstream media, perhaps he and his son can lead the Junkies’ Civil Rights Movement.

Helen Buyniski

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