The false authority of experts


As Elon Musk has released information about collusion between Big Tech and the government to influence the 2020 election, we have come to find out that the letter signed by 51 former intelligence officials about the spurious nature of Hunter Biden’s laptop contents was pure fiction.

Although Twitter began to censor information about Hunter’s laptop before the letter was issued, after its publication “credible” news outlets began using it as justification to ban discussion of the topic or to discredit it as Russian misinformation.

Polls show that a significant number of independents would have changed their vote if they knew the claims in the laptop’s emails and texts about the Biden family benefitting from shady deals with the Chinese and Ukrainians were valid. The election might have gone for Trump if not for this specious and disingenuous meddling by partisan government officials in the democratic process.

But by the end of 2020, this was not the first such attempt to squelch the truth by virtue of an appeal to disingenuous authority. On February 27th of 2020, a similarly august group of 27 experts claimed that there was no way the Covid virus could have escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China. To add insult to injury, the letter was written by Peter Daszak, whose company had actually funded the research that likely led to the creation and accidental release of the terribly destructive virus.

The letter claimed that anyone who didn’t accept the natural origin theory of the Covid virus was a “conspiracy theorist” or racist. This assertion was again used by the media and luminaries like Dr. Fauci to suppress any investigation into the lab leak theory before there was sufficient evidence to even speculate on the topic, much less make such grandiose and, in retrospect, self-serving claims.

And, similar to the blackout on Hunter Biden’s laptop, this preemptive bout of censorship prevented the American people from learning important information about a very important topic that directly affected their lives.

More importantly, and very unfortunately, both episodes clearly show that any reliance on “expert” opinion has to be done on a conditional basis and without undue confidence in the motives or character of the experts or the institution they represent.

This is especially true if the issue in question benefits the liberal/Democratic side vs. the conservative/Republican one. I can’t think of a single issue where some expert panel has come down in favor of the conservative position on a hot topic which was then cited as authoritative by news outlets. Coincidence? I think not.

I say all this to address the pronouncements of another group of experts, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the group that is supposed to ensure the health and well-being of mothers and their unborn children.

They have decided to take a very vocal stand on the side of abortion and declared unequivocally that “induced abortion is an essential component of women’s health care.” This statement is now used by pro-choice advocates to essentially claim the debate is over and that we must legalize abortion with little or no restriction.

It used to be that pro-choicers would use Roe v. Wade as their source of authority, but with the dismembering of that bit of legal malfeasance which just so happened to take the liberal side of the issue, advocates for abortion must now find other sources of unimpeachable authority to replace actual, fact-based debate on the subject.

This is ironic considering that ACOG itself says this policy is entirely “fact-based” and concludes their statement by saying they “support robust, factual debate on issues of importance to the American people.” Really?

What they are actually doing is using their position of authority to shut-off debate about this subject and enshrine unfettered abortion into the laws of as many states as possible.

It is truly unfortunate that one institution after another, be it government, healthcare, or media, has shown they are no longer trustworthy when it comes to making decisions on important topics and that they are perfectly willing to lie or at least obfuscate to get their way.

Regardless of the merits of their case in each of these issues, we should all, on boths sides, disavow such tactics and call upon our institutions to be transparent, fair, and as unbiased as possible when tackling the difficult issues of our day.

Without such discipline and commitment to fairness, our country will continue to descend into dysfunction and mutual distrust. Our system was created by our Founding Fathers to ensure healthy, honest debate and impose checks on the abuse of power, but that system can only work when the actors themselves are committed to the virtues of truth and honesty.

Alas, I’m hard-pressed to find such virtues now, and that greatly saddens me as an American who loves his country and wants nothing more than a republic that allows all peoples to prosper, especially the most innocent and vulnerable of all.

Trey Hoffman

Peachtree City, Ga.


  1. Stranger Than Fiction asserts several times that since Hunter Biden’s laptop was discovered when Trump was President, Trump bears some responsibility for the lack of indictments of Hunter. Very misleading claim.

    From Wikipedia: Hunter abandoned his laptop in a computer repair store in April 2019. In October 2019, the NY Post published an article outlining the corruption in the Biden Family, but it was quashed by Big Tech and Mainstream Media as “Russian Disinformation”.

    The FBI got a court order to seize Hunter’s laptop in December 2019. Just a few weeks later, in mid-January, Trump left office.

    Obviously, there’s no way the slow wheels of justice would have brought charges in that time.

    The real question you should have asked, if you were more interested in truth than deflecting responsibility from the current Administration, is, what have they been doing in the years since Joe Biden took office? Why has nothing happened despite the laptop being authenticated, evidence in the laptop corroborated by others, as well as independent evidence?

    I look forward to the day when Trump Haters will re-join the world of facts and logic.

    Stay true.

    • Catman – I’m perplexed by your response. Let’s go with facts and logic. This laptop was seized by the FBI in December 2019. Donald Trump and Bill Barr did not leave office until January 2021. Trump’s DOJ had a full year to produce evidence of criminality, but either found none or chose not to indict (unlikely given the 2020 presidential race).

      Although I don’t see Wikipedia as an unimpeachable source, you seem to rely on their reporting of the controversy. Even the Wikipedia article admits that all of the data cannot be authenticated and concludes in the first paragraph, “No evidence of illegality by the Bidens has been shown from the laptop contents.”

      And I must correct you as well that I do not hate Donald Trump in any personal way. I am deeply saddened by the way he has embarrassed our country both domestically and internationally, and I am appalled by the manner in which he has converted good people into the unquestioning disciples of his cult, among them some of my beloved family members.

      I have no love for Hunter Biden and hope he is convicted if he has broken the law. Because of recent Republican shenanigans (the Big Lie, Benghazi , etc.) I assume we will have endless accusations but no indictments. Maybe facts and logic will be pursued this time instead of crying “Wolf” once again.

      Regardless, I hope you and all of the commenters on this site have a very Merry Christmas this week!

      • STF – You are right about the dates. My apologies.

        That makes the Bidens’ situation within our federal justice system even worse. The evidence is there, so why do we still not have indictments of Hunter and, more importantly, an investigation of Joe’s part in the influence peddling?

        I too am frustrated at the frequent evidence of foul play in the federal government, yet no one is held accountable.

        I do support Trump, up to a point. He has been right about so much that is wrong with the country’s direction, and willing to stand for what has made the US free and prosperous. But he is still a mortal among mortals, as are all of our elected officials.

        How unfortunate that you see some of your family as members of a cult. Why, for supporting someone who believes in America as a great nation, individual freedom, responsibility and work ethic, small government, capitalism and the American Dream for all, strong defense and borders, consequences for actions, etc? Perhaps you are the outlier there?

        At any rate, I enjoy the exchange of ideas.

        Merry Christmas!

        • Thank you Catman. I also enjoy the exchange of ideas and the civil manner in which you respond. Let’s all hope that the truth comes to light no matter the consequences.

          Again, I wish you a very happy and stress-free holiday season!

  2. “It is truly unfortunate that one institution after another, be it government, healthcare, or media, has shown they are no longer trustworthy when it comes to making decisions on important topics and that they are perfectly willing to lie or at least obfuscate to get their way.”

    Trustworthy/lies; kind of like Kamala Harris and Alejandro Mayorkas telling us the border is closed. (eyes rolling)

  3. It is reported that the FBI has in its custody a laptop that may or may not belong to Hunter Biden. The blind computer repair man cannot vouch for its authenticity and Hunter Biden does not think it’s his. There are several copies of a laptop hard drive out there. Giuliani has one as does Steve Bannon, the NY Post, Robert Costello and Jack Maxey and who knows who else. The chain of custody for the hard drive will never hold up in any US Court.
    Every President appears to have a relative that tried
    to gain an advantage because of their relationship. Reagan, Nixon, Carter, Clinton, Trump and now Biden have had relatives or friends with ethics problems. Trump probably tops the list with Don Jr, Ivanka and Jared, and Eric.
    Republicans will of course flog this dead horse, but I fear there is no there there.
    The Muller report did show Russian collusion, but Barr screwed that.

    • swac36 – I didn’t think it possible for anyone to be behind Stranger Than Fiction or CBS News in the Hunter Biden corruption story, but here you are.

      CBS News headline November 21, 2022: “Forensic analysis of copy of Hunter Biden laptop data shows no tampering”. There is evidence of not registering as a foreign agent, money laundering and tax evasion, beyond Hunter’s illegal drugs and gun issues.

      You give an excellent example of deflecting attention by “whataboutism”. That’s a fail. None of the people you mention are involved with what appears to be a Biden Family business to profit off Joe’s government roles.

      The question we should focus on is whether or not our federal justice system will fairly investigate beyond the facts we already know, such as “10% held by H for The Big Guy”, who a former business associate has testified is Joe Biden.

      Let’s see if Joe claims executive privilege to squash the release of government emails relating to Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company that employed Hunter for over $80,000 per month.

      Grab some popcorn, stay true.

      • Mycatbill. I do not know if Hunter Biden is guilty of any crime. The NY Post, CBS or any other news outlet reporting is not evidence of a crime.
        This is all reminiscent of the Hillary Benghazi hearings. Many accusations but no facts to back them up. Just because TFG ran his family business out of the White House doesn’t mean that President Biden has done the same.

    • Mr. Hardy – Your news flash is more interesting than anything else about Hunter to all but the right-wing fringe. Keep us informed on all the latest red, bumpy details. We might need a Congressional investigation to determine if it is poison ivy or hives.

      • If anyone not named Biden (or maybe Clinton) had the trail of illegal drug, gun, unregistered foreign lobbying and influence peddling as Hunter has, they would have been tried and serving time by now.

        Sad example of how far our federal justice system has fallen.

        But Hunter’s legal jeopardy is a mere sideshow. The real case is investigating how deep Joe “10% for The Big Guy” Biden is into the family influence peddling business.

        Stay true.

        • If either of these Bidens has broken the law, I hope he pays the consequences. However, merely saying that someone is guilty without producing evidence that can stand in a court of law is wasting one’s breath. And merely lamenting that someone is escaping indictment because of his status is right-wing media tripe. As the saying goes, “Put up or shut up.”

          With indictments forthcoming in real court for the 45th president, we’ll see if the federal justice system as well as Georgia’s and New York’s courts are willing to seek equal justice for all regardless of power or station. If Trump is not indicted or, if indicted, found not guilty, he deserves to be left alone in regards to the charges adjudicated. The same for the 46th president.

  4. Trey: “Don’t trust experts! They’re false authorities!!”

    Also Trey: “Here are some “experts” I believe are authorities.”

    And just like so many in the Trump administration and family, if Hunter is guilty he needs to go to jail. Things you never hear from Repubs. Consistency is the mother of credibility. Anyone know any expert authorities on ice making?

  5. STF – If you’re not at least slightly concerned that the truth was suppressed – in an organized fashion and was coordinated by our government – then you are simply asleep at the wheel. I don’t care what party you support – if you don’t pursue truth first, then you’re part of the problem.

    About shouting loud falsehoods……you mean loud falsehoods like:
    * Hands up, don’t shoot.
    * The Covington Kentucky teenager / DC hoax
    * The Russian dossier
    * Trumps “very fine people” comment
    * Mostly peaceful BLM protests
    * Russian election interference hoax
    * Scaramucci hedge fund hoax
    * Trump internet server / Russian bank hoax
    * Trump Jr – WikiLeak email hoax
    * “Hunter’s laptop is just Russian disinformation” hoax

    You can surely understand why the media has minimal trust in the minds of anyone conservative, and why they ought to be mistrusted by anyone who seeks truth.

    Democracy dies in darkness….that used to be the motto of one formerly-reputable news source. Every time someone peddles falsehoods and isn’t called out on it and the truth isn’t allowed to come out – our democracy weakens. You ought to talk to someone who grew up in Cuba, Venezuela, or Eastern Europe….I have, and most of them see what’s happening very clearly and are very afraid for our democracy and our freedom.

    PS – Hunter has broken the law……do your own research and come to your own conclusion, don’t just take what you’re being spoonfed by the Democrat-controlled media…..

    • If Hunter Biden or anyone else breaks the law, prosecute him. Remember that Bill Barr was Attorney General when this was discovered. I have no interest in shielding him or any other criminal from the consequences of their acts.

      It is not the press’ responsibility to bring indictments. If it were, the 45th president would have been in an orange jump suit that matches his complexion long ago. Be careful what you ask for.

      • Agree that its not the press’s job to bring indictments…..but it IS their job to check sources and represent the truth…….something they seem incapable of doing, especially the media sources with ties to the Democrats……there needs to be accountability for slander – which is what the MSM has turned into recently when it comes to reporting many stories on conservatives.

        • You bring up a timely issue as much of the news media have devolved from reporting facts into opining on facts from their ideological perspectives. Slander is difficult to prove given the media’s broad First Amendment protections.

          Dominion Voting Systems is suing the largest cable news channel for knowingly misrepresenting and slandering their product. The facts are squarely in Dominion’s favor, but I still see this as an uphill battle. If Dominion prevails, it might place some fear in newsrooms around the country.

      • You actually made a very good point there, although I doubt you realized you did so. If the MSM was able to bring indictments, look at how many police officers they would have jailed who have since been exonerated.

  6. I guess the non-story of Hunter Biden’s altered laptop is the fringe Right’s new Benghazi, and Trey would never miss an opportunity to spread specious conspiracy theories. Donald Trump was president and Bill Barr was Attorney General when this “supposed” incriminating laptop was discovered, yet they did nothing to prosecute Hunter Biden. If there was any “there” there, an indictment would have come immediately.

    Just as with claims of 2020 election malfeasance, it is quite easy to shout loud falsehoods when you can’t prove it in court.

    I have no compassion for Hunter Biden and see him as a rouge offspring of a powerful man. If Hunter has broken the law, please prosecute him to the full extent of the ordinances he has violated. But it’s time to put up or shut up, a bridge much too far for Mr. Hoffman and his ilk.