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Conservative commentator Mary Katharine Ham masterfully exposed on Friday the double standard the media are using to protect President Joe Biden from allegations of corruption.
The "original sin," Ham told Maher and Sam Harris on HBO's "Real Time," and why Republicans distrust the media and government institutions is the concerted effort to make Donald Trump guilty of Russia collusion when the evidence was, in the end, never there.
That distrust has been exacerbated, she explained, by institutions that hold a Democratic president to a different standard.
"The standard of evidence used for the Russia thing for three, four years vs. the standard of evidence used now in media for Biden and Hunter Biden's shenanigans and fairly obvious influence-peddling is worlds apart — worlds apart — and voters deserve fairness in how these two people are treated," Ham said. "They do not get it, and they sometimes don't get it from law enforcement."
Harris actually agreed that if "Hunter Biden had been Don Jr., if it had been Don Jr.'s laptop, everything would change in terms of the reception." He acknowledged the "unfair asymmetry" of the situation but blamed it on Trump because the former president, in his view, violated democratic norms.
In response, Ham quickly pointed out that Trump is not the only guilty party to violate the "norms."
"I agree with you about the norms, and here's the problem," she explained. "A bunch of people, including in the justice system, looked at Trump and said, 'He's going to bust all the norms, and you know what we need to do? Bust all the norms to stop him!' And that was a very, very unhealthy decision.
Once again, Ham forced Harris into agreement.
"It's unhealthy, I'll grant you that," he said.
Mary Katharine Ham challenges Bill Maher & Sam Harris on Russiagatewww.youtube.com
Earlier in the segment, Ham sent Harris and Maher into a tizzy by calling out the Trump-Russia conspiracy.
"The reason that so many [Republicans] accept so much of Donald Trump's behavior is because the Russia stuff was a lie, and nobody paid for it," she said.
Both Harris and Maher immediately objected. They claimed it "wasn't all a lie" and alleged part of the infamous Steele dossier "was true." And despite special counsel Robert Mueller finding no collusion between Trump and Russia, Maher claimed the collusion was "unprecedented."
"This was always David Frum's line: Everything [Trump is] doing is in plain-view and it's not illegal. He's just violating every political norm we have," Harris rebutted.
"There were things that were illegal," Ham fired back. "Like using the FISA Court to spy on American citizens in ways they shouldn't have done. And the fact that the Hillary Clinton campaign was partially funding the dossier, which partially came from — oh, wait for it — Russian disinformation. And it started this cycle of media circle-jerk, and then we had four years of that."
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Chris Enloe is a staff writer for Blaze News