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“Baseless Conspiracy Theories” and our Knowledge Crisis.

“Baseless Conspiracy Theories” and our Knowledge Crisis.

Evidence, proof, and the will to deceive.

The news that the FBI is investigating Hunter Biden on suspicion of money laundering and foreign influence peddling should come as no surprise, given that the New York Post broke the story over two months ago. Of course, when that publication released the incriminating evidence that was saved to a laptop owned by Hunter Biden, the story was immediately censored on social media. Of the few major media outlets that were willing to acknowledge the existence of the story, virtually all of them did so only to emphasize that the reporting was “baseless” nonsense.

“The story could not have been more obviously fake if it had been wearing dollar-store spectacles and attached plastic mustache.”

When pressed on the matter by President Trump in a debate, Joe Biden boasted that five former heads of the CIA said that the story was “a bunch of garbage.” A couple of days earlier, dozens of former intelligence officials had signed a statement that asserted the news had all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation: “We want to emphasize that we do not know if the emails, provided to the New York Post by President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, are genuine or not and that we do not have evidence of Russian involvement,” the statement read, “just that our experience makes us deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case.”

Bush administration speechwriter and Atlantic editor David Frum claimed on Twitter that “The story could not have been more obviously fake if it had been wearing dollar-store spectacles and attached plastic mustache.” Weeks after the FBI investigation of Hunter Biden was confirmed, Wikipedia still labels their entry on the matter as a “conspiracy theory.” Thus, in spite of emails, photographs, and video-recorded evidence to the contrary, any claim that the Bidens did anything improper (let alone “wrong” or “illegal”) was deemed “baseless.”

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