Just a couple of days after my new book Breaking Biden made the New York Times bestseller list, it finally dawned on the Grey Lady that Hunter Biden might actually be cool. I doubt this is a coincidence.
Most people think they know the Bidens all too well. One of the reasons I wrote the book is because I believe, in general, people know relatively nothing about the Bidens. Hunter is as misunderstood as any of them. I note in the book that despite his grifting, drug use, and reluctance to perform basic paternal responsibilities, sometimes “I think he might be the only cool Democrat and one of the few ‘fully realized’ Americans who are openly living their lives as their true selves.”
My colleague Emma-Jo Morris, who knows Hunter’s true self better than almost anyone in journalism, has been making the same point for some time.
All of a sudden, after Hunter has spent nearly a decade in the spotlight, the New York Times is starting to get it. Over this past weekend, they ran an article with the headline: “Hunter Biden, Ironic Icon.” “A tongue-in-cheek group that includes meme-loving Leftists, frat boys and women who like troubled men, has turned the president’s son into an antihero,” reads the lede sentence.
In Emma-Jo Morris’s words, “All Hunter Biden mostly does is get wasted and do lines, usually with multiple women hanging out, paid for by random oligarchs, who he gets on the hook for millions of dollars, and never goes to jail for any of it. Genius, and also, chill, as we have long said.”
There is no one in the country who has done the things that Hunter has done and gotten away with them. Not even his Presidential pop. It was inevitable that some people were going to eventually arrive at the conclusion that this is kinda bad ass.
It is progress that the New York Times is finally starting to understand.
So, are we being ironic?
I’ll leave that the the reader to decide.
What’s more, I’m sure Hunter got a huge laugh reading the Time’s piece because it was the New York Times itself, after all, that set Hunter Biden’s art grift into motion with an absurd puff piece I break down in Breaking Biden.
Hunter, in a moment that is devious, audacious, and yet brilliant, trolled the New York Times with drug and alcohol references latent in his “art,” and got the paper to print about it earnestly.
Yes, while Joe was running for the presidential nomination in 2020, Hunter positioned himself to get a limitless flow of foreign cash into his bank account via payment for his artwork, and he got the New York Times to help him do it.
Here are the details:
In February 2020, the Grey Lady ran a story headlined “There’s a New Artist in Town. The Name Is Biden.” The very top of the article, as it appears online, shows Hunter looking hip, handsome, and happy, surrounded by mediocre paintings he sells at a premium price.
After his stint in rehab, Joe’s son set off to become an artist, and the Times was right there with a puff piece to give him publicity that no other 50-year-old budding painter could have gotten in their wildest dreams.
Scrolling through the article, you will see a photo of Hunter, leaning over a table with his lips around a hollow glass cylinder. No, he wasn’t doing drugs—he was puffing on paint.
It was as clear as crystal meth: Hunter was trolling the whole world with an homage to his past life as a junkie.
And the Times turned it into an advertisement for Biden and Son, Inc.
“His process with alcohol ink—it can take 14 layers for the material to adhere—includes blowing it with a metal straw,” read the caption underneath the photo. “You have to be really focused in order to be able to alter it to your own imagination,” he said.
Alcohol ink. “Altering your imagination.” “Painting” with an instrument that looks like a cocaine straw or maybe a crack pipe. It was all a colossal joke, made by Hunter, on the rest of us.
There was artistry to what he was doing, but it wasn’t on the canvas: it was his performance.
A consensus among art critics emerged that these paintings should not fetch a high price, but that did not stop Hunter for asking as much as $500,000 for a single piece. That number would be shocking for any new-comer to the art scene, but Biden was in such hot demand that he sold five prints—not even original pieces—for $75,000 apiece before he even had his first show in 2021.
“It is absolutely, 100 percent certain that what is being sold is the Biden name and story,” art critic Ben Davis told Politico. I don’t think you need to be an authority on art to have figured that out.
The planned sale sparked outrage from the public as well as ethics experts. How could the Biden administration, after promising to finally address Hunter’s ethical problems, allow him to hawk overpriced paintings (that is, his name) to the notoriously shady art world? The White House had to intervene.
Intervene they did, but not in the way you would have hoped. Instead of stopping the sale, the White House worked with Hunter’s art dealer to concoct a scheme that would keep the buyers secret, theoretically keeping Hunter and the White House from showing any possible favor that would be done for those who wrote the checks. Nothing in the arrangement keeps the buyer from informing Hunter after the fact; the only secrecy it guarantees is from the public.
In case there was any doubt that Hunter’s art was a gigantic hoax so he could sell the family’s name, his art dealer refused to turn over the buyers’ identities to the House Oversight Committee.
(What little is known about the buyers of the art is detailed in Breaking Biden.)
Hunter and Joe’s heist was immaculate. Now everyone knows that if you want to do a favor for Hunter and the “Big Guy,” here is how you do it: buy some of Hunter’s prints and privately let him know you did so. The public will be none the wiser, the Biden family will be quite a bit richer, and they’ll know exactly who their friends are. It was clearly unethical, and thanks to a tweak to the law from Joe’s administration, it all appeared to be legal. It wasn’t merely done in plain sight: it was done with a highly publicized media campaign.
It is the strongest bit of evidence yet that Hunter really is the smartest guy Joe knows.
He certainly outsmarted the valedictorians who run the New York Times.
Alex Marlow is the Editor-in-Chief of Breitbart News and a New York Times bestselling author. His new book, Breaking Biden: Exposing the Hidden Forces and Secret Money Machine Behind Joe Biden, His Family, and His Administration, is available now. You can follow Alex on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @AlexMarlow.