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. Schmidt managed to pose 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.