For the longest of time, the New York Times and the New York Post were very distinct newspapers. The Times was a staid broadsheet that always exuded an impressive degree of decorum and class, focused on the weightiest issues of the day. The Post was an unabashed racy tabloid, the publication one turned to for salacious details about the infidelities of celebrities and other A-listers. Beginning in the fall of 2020, the Times and the Post moved in opposite directions.

One month before the presidential election, the Post began running stories based on emails found on “The Laptop From Hell” containing damning details about Joe Biden that possibly would have influenced some Americans to vote for Donald Trump and re-elect him as president. The emails were retrieved from a MacBook Pro Biden’s son Hunter abandoned at a Delaware repair shop. The Post disclosed that it received the laptop from former New York mayor and Trump ally Rudy Guiliani, hardly the most credible of sources.

Hunter never denied the authenticity of the laptop’s contents. Nevertheless, the corporate media moved to discredit the Post’s reporting, gleefully citing a letter signed by more than 50 former senior intelligence officials who said the emails on Hunter’s laptop had “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information campaign.” Twitter moved to block the Post’s account and took other censorship measures to ensure the blockbuster story didn’t gain a wider distribution.

Who would you be inclined to believe? More than 50 spooks who stepped up to assure the public that Hunter’s reported emails likely were bogus, the collective wisdom of the Biden fawning corporate media, including the Times, who said it was near impossible the emails were legitimate, or the New York Post, whose signature journalism was its Page Six gossip column?

Turns out, the Post’s stories were accurate, a detail the New York Times conceded 18 months later, albeit buried in a leaked story about a Justice Department investigation of Hunter Biden. Indeed, the Hunter Biden emails the Post reported on will be introduced as evidence in his federal gun trial next month.

“The defendant’s laptop is real (it will be introduced as a trial exhibit) and it contains significant evidence of the defendant’s guilt,” prosecutor Derek Hines wrote in a filing.

The Times and other Trump-hating media publications are running scared about the Donald’s surging popularity in the polls, with even former Trump cabinet members Nikki Haley and Bill Barr, who became two of Trump’s fiercest critics, saying they’d even choose Trump over President Biden. Blackstone’s mega billionaire founder Steve Schwarzman disclosed he plans to support Trump, and even some powerful Silicon Valley denizens have voiced support for the bête noire of America’s mainstream media.

For Biden to gain reelection, pundits say he needs to secure victories in swing states, particularly in Michigan, which Trump carried in 2016 but lost by more than 150,000 votes in 2020.

That’s why Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s longshot presidential run as an independent has significance because he could attract Democratic and even Republican voters who can’t stomach either Biden or Trump. Kennedy has secured a spot on Michigan’s presidential ballot and five other states, so he could potentially tip the election in Trump’s favor. That explains the Times’ damning and arguably sexist takedown of Nicole Shanahan, Kennedy’s VP running mate.

New York Times, May 22, 2024

The Times’ headline is dishonest and borderlines, if not crosses, the realm of sleaze. It connects Shanahan to Elon Musk, whose name is pure gold for clicks and search optimization purposes. Highlighting that Shanahan slept with Musk titillates readers’ prurient interests. The cocaine reference suggests Shanahan is, or was, a habitual drug user. The $1 billion reference suggests that Shanahan is a very rich cokehead who slept with Elon Musk.

That Shanahan allegedly slept with Elon Musk is old news. The Wall Street Journal reported this nearly two years ago, notably in a story co-authored by Kirsten Grind, who moved to the Times earlier this year and wrote the Shanahan takedown all by her lonesome. I mistakenly assumed Grind wanted to avoid the Journal’s decline into a Fleet Street-like tabloid blaring “exclusive” on most of its stories, some of which aren’t all that exclusive or are repackaged stories that were previously reported. A reminder about the dangers of making assumptions.

Musk and Shanahan deny they slept together, and Brin hasn’t publicly commented.

What gave the Journal’s story some legitimacy was that when Shanahan allegedly slept with Musk, she was married to Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google and supposedly Musk’s friend. Among men of my generation, sleeping with a friend’s spouse was regarded as an absolute no-no, something only a real scumbag would do. The Journal’s story reaffirmed my perceptions of Musk.

Admittedly, sleeping with the spouse of a friend or a teammate no longer sparks the disgust it once did. Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco Giants quarterback who was benched because he threw too many interceptions, slept with the girlfriend of his then teammate Aldon Smith, but the media didn’t mention this when it hailed Kaepernick for taking a knee to protest alleged police racism. There are persuasive indications that Rep. Illan Omar committed adultery, which in some parts of her native Somalia is punishable by a public stoning to death.

The Times says Shanahan’s fling with Musk happened at a party in Miami where the two took ketamine, a popular party drug that is often prescribed to treat depression, and disappeared together for several hours. Shanahan supposedly told Brin that she had sex with Musk, and they separated two months later. Brin subsequently filed for divorce, citing “irreconcilable differences.”  Shanahan got a $1 billion divorce settlement.

The Times said that Shanahan struggled with the pandemic lockdowns and her daughter’s autism diagnosis, prompting her to increasingly attend parties without Brin, and once became so intoxicated by drugs and alcohol she required an IV infusion.

The Times failed to mention that infidelity is very common in Silicon Valley, where tech denizens frequently have multiple partners, a practice known as polyamory. Ketamine also is popular with the Silicon Valley crowd and Musk has disclosed that he has a prescription for the drug. I suspect that some of the sources who dished to the Times about Shanahan’s drug use consumed some drugs themselves.

However, one of the inviolate rules of polyamory is that all participating partners are aware and consent to the practice. The Times reported that Shanahan converted to Judaism and was briefly married to tech investor Jeremy Kranz, but Kranz moved to annul the marriage 27 days after the wedding upon discovering that Shanahan was having an affair with Brin during his engagement to her. Shanahan met Brin at a yoga festival in Lake Tahoe, Calif., after recently separating from Anne Wojcicki, his wife at the time. 

Folks, these are the people entrusted with the development of AI.

A telling insight about Shanahan the Times reported was that she strived to become a famous philanthropist like MacKenzie Scott, the former wife of the Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and hired former Harvey Weinstein publicist Matthew Hiltzik to spread the word. Notably, Scott hasn’t sought publicity for her possibly unrivaled generosity, among the reasons I declared her the sexiest woman in America.

The Times reported that Shanahan struggled to become pregnant and spent $20 million on the effort. Shanahan shares Kennedy’s skepticism about vaccines, believing they may have been responsible for her daughter’s autism. The Times dutifully reported that The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says childhood vaccines are safe. As well, some of the treatments Shanahan used to become pregnant might also have increased the risk of her daughter’s autism.

The Times portrayed Shanahan as a pursuer of fame and fortune and provided considerable fodder to back up the narrative. Still, Shanahan has a law degree and founded and sold a technology patent company for $10 million in the acquiring company’s stock. It takes considerable smarts to practice patent law.

Daily Mail, August 13, 2020

Although I’m typically accused of sexism rather than leveling the charge, the Times story struck me as having an undertone of sexism, highlighting Shanahan’s sexual proclivities and her alleged drug use while glossing over her accomplishments and the adversity she overcame to achieve them. When Biden chose Kamala Harris as his running mate, the media made scant mention of how her relationship with San Francisco’s controversial Willie Brown when he was 60 and she was 29 led to her rise to power.

Rest assured, if Biden had chosen Shanahan as his running mate, the Times would have published a more flattering profile. As I warned, Harris’ record as a California prosecutor was unimpressive, and notably she placed fourth or fifth in the California primary when she ran for president.

The New York Post had a seemingly damning scoop about Kennedy, reporting that the address where he is registered to vote is a house in New York’s affluent Westchester County that’s in foreclosure for nonpayment. Kennedy isn’t listed as the owner, and area residents and authorities were shocked when told the house was supposedly Kennedy’s home.

“No … he doesn’t live here,” a local cop told the Post.

If the Post is looking to catch up with Kennedy, I can be of some assistance. I’ve seen him multiple times at Gold’s Gym in Venice, where he doesn’t command the attention of the facility’s most famous fitness buff and once powerful California politician. Kennedy struck me as approachable as Larry David, whose fictional wife on Curb Your Enthusiasm is Kennedy’s wife in real life.

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