By Ray McGovern, June 3, 2021
On The Critical Hour today, I was asked to comment on Hunter & Joe’s Excellent Adventure regarding Ukraine.
The interview was pegged to a Politico report that the Justice Department is investigating Democratic Party-aligned “Blue Star Strategies” for possible illegal lobbying for the Ukrainian energy company Burisma. Yes, the same Burisma that was giving Hunter Biden extravagant remuneration for sitting on its Board, clearly because he was a son of a Biden, so to speak.
Politico’s story ( See: https://www.politico.com/news/2021/06/03/blue-star-burisma-justice-department-investigation-491681 ) was based on information from “four people familiar with the probe”. It seemed to me that the newly announced investigation was a typical PR stunt to demonstrate “balance”; that is, to show that our intrepid, ostensibly apolitical DOJ will go after Democrats as well as folks like Rudy Giuliani to investigate illegal lobbying on behalf of a foreign country — in both these cases Ukraine. Some semblance of “balance” was needed after the feds raided Rudy Giuliani’s office and home in late April.
Having given that relatively minor PR ploy more attention than it might deserve, I moved on to more important issues, which I’ll point to below.
Dems Learn From Comey Overconfidence in 2016
This latest focus on Burisma brought to mind how the Democrats were hell bent on suppressing reporting on the damning evidence in Hunter’s laptop against Hunter and Joe Biden first reported by the New York Post on October 14, 2020 (19 days before the election). And the truly shocking, egregious complicity of Establishment media — including Twitter, Facebook and virtually everyone else except the incorruptible Glenn Greenwald, who quit The Intercept over its attempt to censor his reporting on the issue.***
But what lesson did the Dems learn from 2016? Recall that the polling heavily favored Hillary Clinton. But on October 28, 2016 (just 10 days before the election) then-FBI Director James Comey announced that more Clinton emails had been found and that he had to reopen the investigation. Smart pollsters should have realized at that point that they should have thrown out all polling before Oct. 28 and started afresh.
Exogenous Shock Brings the Traumatic Shock of Trump
In the wake of the Trump surprise win, Donald L. Buresh & Theresa Pavone wrote a scholarly paper titled: Why No One Knew that Hillary Clinton Would Lose the 2016 Election ( See: http://www.ivyunion.org/index.php/ajpsr/article/view/1248 ) The following is culled from their summary:
Blind reliance on the use of predictive models led to the major pollsters never knowing that Hillary Rodham Clinton might lose … Predictive models assumed the existence of a steady-state which was not present at the time. … When a predictive model experiences an exogenous shock or a superseding intervening cause, the dependence on data before the shock occurred is unwarranted.
In fact, it is argued that all data before the exogenous shock or superseding intervening cause should be ignored, and only the data that appears after the shock should be used in making predictions.
The predictive models used by the pollsters during the 2016 Presidential election were incapable of recognizing an exogenous shock and that human intervention was needed to correct for the limitations of the predictive models.
Dems Taking No Chances
In 2020, the Democrats were not going to take any risk that something similar might happen after the New York Post — exogenously — published its story, based on the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop, which showed all manner of corruption — some of it in graphic detail. What speaks volumes is that the Democrats were able to enlist the entire “mainstream” media and Silicon Valley in a common effort to suppress Biden-damaging reporting for the following 19 days. Had they been unable to control the media during that critical period, who would have won the election? It is a fair — if probably unanswerable — question.
*** Regarding Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi has an excellent commentary today ( See:
https://taibbi.substack.com/p/congratulations-elitists-liberals-6ec? ) on how Glenn has been vilified by the media. Matt points to a “hilarious headline” in the Daily Beast yesterday: “Is Glenn Greenwald the New Master of Right-Wing Media? FROM HIS MOUTH TO FOX’S EARS!” (See: https://www.thedailybeast.com/is-glenn-greenwald-the-new-master-of-right-wing-media?via=twitter_page )
And so it goes.