Too late to help the voting public form an objective opinion about their presidential choice, the national media has suddenly decided that the Chinese business dealings of Hunter Biden are worth mentioning.
Whether it is because the son of presumed President-elect Joe Biden announced Wednesday that his tax affairs are being investigated or because suspicions of all things China are not likely to go away any time soon is not clear.
We have long believed - and said - that the younger Biden's business dealings, and his father's major or minor role in them, was at least a disqualifying criterion for the elder Biden's presidential election. It is clear, after all, that the younger Biden would not have been involved with various businesses in the Ukraine and China over the last decade had his father not been vice president at the time.
National media outlets knew before last month's election that federal prosecutors had opened a criminal investigation into Hunter Biden's business dealings with China, but they did not pursue the story. They also refused to further investigate the New York Post pre-election story about emails allegedly contained on the younger Biden's laptop pointing to shady dealings between Joe Biden and Ukraine.
In truth, they withheld critical information from readers and viewers so that Biden might beat President Donald Trump, the man they live to hate. No matter how you slice it, that's irresponsible.
Mid-October recordings, for instance, were leaked by Project Veritas last week, revealing CNN's president and political director throwing cold water on the New York Post story.
"Obviously we're not going with the New York Post story right now on Hunter Biden," political director David Chalian says on a conference call.
"I don't think that we should be repeating unsubstantiated smears just because the right-wing media suggests that we should," CNN President Jeff Zucker told his staff two days later.
Anchor Jeff Tapper joined the fight six days hence, saying allegations against the younger Biden were "too disgusting" to go on the air and that the "right wing is going crazy."
However, he finally asked Joe Biden about his son's business interests during an interview last week, mentioned the investigation by federal prosecutors this week and even chided Biden's transition team on Twitter for not getting back to him with a comment on the investigation.
The Associated Press, which had failed to give stories on the younger Biden much interest, also published a story on Hunter Biden this week that the Times Free Press carried.
The three broadcast networks, on which there had been a virtual media blackout on stories on the president-elect's son before the election, also gave brief coverage to the subject Wednesday.
A previous Senate panel report had detailed how Hunter Biden's business dealings with China, as well as those of Joe Biden's brother James, began when Joe Biden was serving as vice president. Some of those dealings had been flagged for "potential financial criminal activity."
It is not clear whether those same business deals are the ones the federal prosecutors are looking into, and have been since 2018.
With the Democrat Biden presumably being inaugurated in January, a virus that originated in China and was covered up by the Chinese raging in the U.S., a kerfuffle stirred up about Chinese influence in the U.S. through sister city organizations, and a California Democratic congressman being linked to a Chinese spy, it will be difficult for the national media to continue to bury news about Hunter Biden.
The story of U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-California, who briefly ran for the Democratic nomination for president, is particularly intriguing given his criticism of Trump's dealings with the country and his attempt to push away the idea the COVID-19 virus began there.
"When lawmakers refer to #COVID-19 as a 'Chinese' virus," he tweeted in March, "they are not only misleading the public about a disease with confirmed cases in over 100 countries, they are stoking racism & xenophobia in our communities. Diseases don't have an ethnicity. Period."
Swalwell, who also has criticized China in some areas, had allowed a woman to fundraise for him who was later suspected of being a Chinese spy. She also had helped place at least one intern in his office, according to Axios, which broke the story this week.
The congressman, who cut ties to the woman several years ago, suggested his criticism of Trump could have led to the story leaking to media.
For four years, Democrats, including the previous presidential administration and the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, have tried without evidence to tie the president to a cabal with Russia. We don't need convincing that Russia has been a bad actor, but China and its ties to Democrats and one particular Democrat who is expected to become president next month seem much more alarming.