By Beth Baumann, Townhall
According to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), the Chair of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, how voters feel about nepotism and the situation in Ukraine depends heavily on how the mainstream media chooses to cover it, if at all.
“I’ve been pretty amazed at the bias of the media leading up to the report. I was trying to get some kind of interim report out even before our August recess but it’s difficult. You have to pull things together. You want to try and make it as complete as possible, knowing that you’re never going to get all the information. There’s also legal considerations as well,” Johnson told Townhall.
One of the biggest issues Johnson had throughout the time developing the report was the mainstream media’s claim that him and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) were “peddling Russia disinformation.”
“We did a quick little search and – this is by no means definitive – but something like 21 major news outlets [reported stories]. [We] found 116 reports prior to the release of our reports,” the Wisconsin senator explained. “And about 70 percent of those were very negative, talking about how this is just going to be recycled information, Russia disinformation, same old debunked claims.”
Out of the news articles that came from the joint report, Johnson said 18 were written, seven were fairly factual and 11 continued to push the “Russia disinformation” narrative or completely dismissed the report altogether.
“If that’s the way the news media handles it, unless you watch Fox News or other outlets that actually are covering this, you don’t have a clue of all the new information, all the troubling revelations that we brought forward in the report,” Johnson said, referring to average Americans who might necessarily be in-tune with what’s taking place inside the Beltway. “Again, we didn’t even come close to answering all the questions. We’re just potentially scratching the surface here. But what we presented was a lot of new information. Pretty troubling. $3.5 million dollars made from the former wife of the now-deceased former mayor of Moscow. You know, she became a billionaire through a great deal of corruption.”
“Those are the types of people that Hunter Biden associates himself with and we laid out all kinds of connections in China. Again, we don’t have all the answers there. Not by a long shot. But it’s pretty troubling who he’s connected to, their connections to the Chinese Communist Party [and] the People’s Liberation Army,” he explained.
Johnson said it’s hard to evaluate the impact reports like this have on voters when the mainstream media isn’t reporting it or, if they are, that they’re not being honest about what was discovered.
He wrote the executive summary himself so that average Americans could read that and “get a pretty strong flavor” for what the entire 87-page report without having to read the entire report page-by-page. The goal was to point out the “glaring conflict of interests” and “pointing out the main findings” that “the Bidens owe the American people answers for.”
“What I’ve always said about the mainstream media is their bias is overt in what they report,” the committee chair explained. “But the bias in the media is really revealed more in what they don’t report, what they don’t concentrate on. So, again, they were happy to talk about my Ukrainian report when they could carry the water of Democrats, falsely accusing Sen. Grassley and I of peddling disinformation. Once the report was issued and they realized there’s not even a single spec or even a hint of Russian disinformation, it’s all facts and it doesn’t really favor the Bidens, they just shrug [and say], ‘There’s nothing new here.’ And then move on.”
Even though the report raised more questions than it answered, Johnson said it revealed a number of troubling findings that should concern Americans, including “conflict of interest, counterintelligence and extortion threats.” He also stated that those who were concerned about Russia collusion – back when the Democrats were pushing the collusion narrative – should raise alarm.
“Remember when everyone was finding the investigations into President Trump and his family, it was all about, ‘Boy, there’s something there in Russia that could be used as blackmail against the President of the United States.’ Well, take that and multiply it by a few orders of magnitude with the Bidens,” he explained.