Nothing is so egregious as love to the folks at Fox News, it seems.
Fox News apparently played audio from the Daily Mail in 2018 of Joe Biden telling his son Hunter, who has an addiction problem, that he loves him “more than the whole world pal. You gotta get some help. I don’t know what to do, I know you don’t either.”
what a monster pic.twitter.com/Nmj2HZl3BO
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 11, 2022
Here’s the audio:
The actual audio is heart wrenching https://t.co/d9p3Umrtyo pic.twitter.com/ngQ1kC4r5H
— Scott Stedman (@ScottMStedman) October 11, 2022
The words Joe Biden is saying to his son Hunter are textbook ‘what to say to an addict you love’: “I don’t know what to do and I know you don’t either.”
This isn’t exactly a secret, because Hunter recounted his father saying this to him in his own book. “It got to the point where in an intervention in early 2019, his father held him in a bear hug, saying, ‘I don’t know what to do.’”
Hunter credits his family’s love with his survival. He told NPR, “There was ‘never a moment that they weren’t trying to save me.’”
Addiction deaths are a plague in this country right now, with so many families suffering horrific loses. The NIH reports, “Opioid-involved overdose deaths rose from 21,088 in 2010 to 47,600 in 2017 and remained steady in 2018 with 46,802 deaths. This was followed by a significant increase through 2020 to 68,630 overdose deaths.”
Addiction struggles aren’t the “gotcha” Fox thinks they are.
The Republican Party is built on ‘Cruel Father’ energy but selling itself wrapped in ‘Leave it to Beaver’ nostalgia (like any successful authoritarian movement), so they can’t stop taking shots at the Biden family, which has served as a basic role model for how a loving family can get through really tough times. Joe Biden is a man who tragically lost his wife and daughter to a car accident and took the train home every day to be a present father for his sons. Then his son Beau died of brain cancer in 2015.
What does Fox News and the Republican Party do when confronted with the Biden family’s strong bonds and weekly church visits?
They attack his remaining son over his addiction and his very bad choices. Yes, Hunter Biden has made a lot of really bad choices. But Hunter Biden is not in the White House, he does not serve in his father’s administration, and he is not making deals with foreign powers while serving in his father’s presidential administration, unlike the Trump family. Because, of course, a lot of the Hunter Biden fixation on the Right is about projection and deflection.
If Hunter Biden has done something illegal, then he should be charged. But Andrew Weissmann added an important qualifier to this sentiment – it must be something others are prosecuted for by DOJ and the same must hold for the former President:
If Hunter Biden committed a crime that others are prosecuted for by DOJ, then charge him. But the same must hold true for FPOTUS.
— Andrew Weissmann 🌻 (@AWeissmann_) October 10, 2022
If the Right thought they’d be held to the same standards, they would cease the Hunter Biden obsession immediately. But they know they have the media in their corner (this was actually proven in a study on how the Right successfully manipulates mainstream media with their accusations and narratives).
The Republican Party is running a slate of Senatorial candidates for the 2022 midterms (for which you are registered to bring Roevember) that includes Herschel Walker, a man accused of holding a gun to his ex-wife’s head and accused by his (very conservative) son of abandonment and abuse. Walker responded by “joking” that his grown son needed a spanking. Way to deny abuse, dude.
Walker, who is anti-choice, has now been outed for paying for a woman’s abortion and wanting her to get a second abortion. He said he didn’t know her, but then she dropped the receipt that she was raising his child.
The Walker mess is another reason why we are getting so much Hunter talk from the Right.
Abusive control is the key underlying a lot of conservative ideology, which makes sense because the goal of conservatism when taken to the extreme is to bring back the days when wealthy white men had all of the power. And the modern Republican Party has certainly been taken over by extremists. So conservatives aren’t actually troubled by holding a gun to a woman’s head or abusing children – that’s authoritarian parenting. What’s changed is that they used to package this in sunny 1950s sentimentality and now they’re boldly going with the “almost killed his wife? Abused his kids? Cool!” vibe.
Instead of maudlin and phony nostalgia draped over abuse, Joe Biden brings us an imperfect human being with a stutter, who swears in public sometimes by accident, who says “two words” and then uses three words, and who has faced enormous personal challenges and overcome them with grace and love.
Here is a photo of Biden with his young sons:
This is from 1974, I believe. They were attending Washington football game. Beau is in his daddy’s arms and Hunter is the little towhead with his back to the camera. pic.twitter.com/DqO4gP7I6a
— Phoenix Woman 🍩 (@PhoenixWomanMN) October 11, 2022
The Hunter attacks have gotten so ugly and beyond the “civility” we keep hearing about from the Right and the media that it’s becoming repulsive. Yes, Hunter Biden has had a lot of struggles. They are irrelevant to his father’s position, however, because he is not in the White House.
Attacking Joe Biden’s remaining son so relentlessly and mercilessly isn’t new for the Right, but that this is their go-to weapon decade after decade and they keep being allowed to behave this way with no consequences. Our media carrying their water for them while admonishing anyone discussing the obscene money grabs of the grown Trump children while “working” in the White House is becoming too grotesque to even process.
Also, how did the Daily Mail get this audio? Because on October 6th, it was reported that Prince Harry, Elton John and others filed legal action against the publisher of the Daily Mail newspaper, “alleging phone-tapping and other breaches of privacy.”
Illegality and abuse are the trademarks of the modern Trump conservative movement. Oh, and even siding with authoritarian genocide at times. The genteel veneer has been ripped off the Republican Party and all we are left with is the power-grabbing, democracy-destroying little man underneath.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.