Daniel Schmidt is a University of Chicago freshman and senior editor at the Chicago Thinker. He is one of the Alinskyite gadflies who turned up at the Institute of Politics/Atlantic Disinformation Conference last week. Schmidt posed a good question to Anne Applebaum that turned the theme of the conference back on itself (tweet below). Schmidt now recounts his story in the Compact column “The question Anne Applebaum refused to answer.”
WATCH The Atlantic’s @anneapplebaum refuse to answer @RealDSchmidt's🔥🔥 question about Hunter Biden’s laptop during @UChicago’s “Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy” conference! pic.twitter.com/1OgXBBiiI0
— The Chicago Thinker (@ThinkerChicago) April 6, 2022
At the conference Schmidt asked Applebaum if she thinks the media acted properly in blowing off the New York Post’s reporting on the Hunter Biden Files as Russian disinformation—”a claim we now know to be completely false.” In a profoundly stupid answer, Applebaum professed herself uninterested in the laptop. You see, it had nothing to do with Joe Biden.
In 2020, two tech giants, Facebook and Twitter, had throttled the Post’s exposé on Hunter’s business dealings, which implicated one of two major-party presidential nominees, and the media had uncritically echoed the false assertion of 50 former spies that this reporting was a Russian information operation. And yet here was Applebaum, nearly two years later at an event dedicated to combatting disinformation, claiming she didn’t find any of this to be “interesting.”
Back when the Hunter Files were a live crisis for the Biden camp, Applebaum published a lengthy essay in The Atlantic that aimed to discredit the reporter who broke the laptop story. So if she doesn’t find the story interesting, why did she—along with the entirety of the corporate media apparatus—dedicate so much time and effort to trying to legitimate censorship of the Post’s reporting?
Applebaum’s essay ranges beyond the New York Post reporting that received the most attention. I’m not sure the subject of her essay can fairly be described as “the reporter who broke the laptop story,” but that is a bullseye through the heart.
NOTE: Reading Applebaum’s essay, I infer that the reporter who Schmidt credits with breaking the story of the Hunter Biden Files is Matthew Tyrmand. Applebaum links to Laura Ingraham tweets at the top of her essay. The tweets cite Tyrmand. Tyrmand had received a set of 26,000 emails from an imprisoned former associate of Hunter Biden of emails Applebaum trashes Tyrmand. Applebaum proceeds to trash Tyrmand. Peter Schweizer also received the same 26,000 emails at the same time. Applebaum describes Peter as Tyrmand’s “collaborator” and absurdly disparages him as well. From speaking with Peter today I was given to understand that both Peter and Tyrmand were each given access to the gmail account of Bevan Cooney. You would never know from reading Applebaum’s essay, but Peter has been on Hunter Biden’s case since his 2018 book Secret Empires and his early 2020 book Profiles in Corruption. Peter mentions the Cooney emails in his October 2020 New York Post column on the Biden family business:
We gain further insight into the operations of Biden Inc. in emails provided to us by Bevan Cooney, a former business associate of Hunter Biden. Cooney, who is currently in prison for his role in the Indian Bond Scheme that is sending Hunter Biden business partner Devon Archer also to jail, shared 26,000 emails that show what Hunter’s role was in their business ventures. The Biden name was considered “currency” for their foreign business ventures, and was a “direct … pipeline” to the Obama-Biden administration. Deals involving Hunter benefited from the “Biden lift,” the help that the name would provide in overseas dealings.