Remarks: Miranda Devine
Editor’s note: The following is a transcript of Miranda Devine’s remarks upon receiving the Barbara K. Olson Woman of Valor Award, delivered at the 2023 Annual Awards Gala.
Heather Higgins: So, this has been a tremendous evening, and I have the great fun of presenting the next award. Since 2004, the Barbara Kay Olson Woman of Valor Award has been bestowed upon some of the most influential female leaders in the country. It recognizes extraordinary women who have demonstrated a firm commitment to fearlessly standing for what is right. The 18 past honorees include most recently Kim Strassel of the Wall Street Journal, Janice Dean of Fox News, Maria Bartiromo of Fox Business, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Ambassador Nikki Haley, and the extraordinary Ayaan Hirsi Ali, among many other outstanding women who are listed in your dinner programs. This year, we are so proud to honor a true woman of valor, Miranda Devine. Miranda is a witty and savvy New York Post columnist and Fox News contributor. She is best known for being the trusted hands in which the infamous Hunter Biden laptop drive was placed, and all of us should be very grateful that it was. Miranda, an insightful source of commentary on many facets of American culture and politics, has been tirelessly and soberly unpacking for the American public what was on the laptop, and then following an ever-expanding story through its many twists and turns to the buried treasure they have tried so hard to hide. As a no-nonsense New Yorker, but one with the good humor of an Australian, she didn’t shy away from Hunter Biden as a reckless drug user and womanizer, and God, she had to endure some unbelievably gross pictures on that drive, let me tell you, but the real story, and the one that Miranda blasted out, was how Hunter Biden was abusing his access to his father and his father’s political position for financial gain. And that financial gain was not limited just to enriching himself, but the entire Biden crime family. Today, everyone in America knows that Miranda’s exposés were true, yet when she was first telling this story in the New York Post, not only were her findings censored by social media and dismissed by mainstream media, they were also labeled bogus Russian government disinformation by powerful government officials, including those in an intelligence community that now apparently believes that we, the American people, are the proper targets for disinformation. Miranda was herself attacked and berated as a peddler of lies. Simply put, the mainstream media and its allies wanted to silence her. Well, those trying to squash this story didn’t know who they were dealing with. Miranda is nothing if not a fighter and a truth teller. She epitomizes the best of journalistic integrity and sheer toughness. She stands her ground and makes sure that the facts come out. I am very grateful to be able to call Miranda a dear friend as well as an ally. Miranda, please join me on stage to accept the Barbara Kay Olson Woman of Valor Award.
Miranda Devine: What an honor to be here tonight and to accept the Barbara Kay Olson Award for being a woman of valor. I’m very chuffed to be called that and to be walking in the footsteps of these outstanding women who’ve received it before me. And thank you, Heather, for your generous words, and your generosity of spirit, and your friendship, and your mentorship of, you know, so many women, and the way that you model a kind of formidable, tough woman who still maintains her womanly wiles. And I think that’s a mark of Independent Women’s Forum, that everyone knows and loves being a woman, and doesn’t try to become something else, become a man. So, I’m here because of the laptop from hell, for better or worse. And I wrote my book Laptop from Hell because I thought that the American people deserved to know the story that was kept from them before the 2020 election. When I and my colleagues at the New York Post broke this story about Hunter Biden’s laptop that he’d abandoned at a repair shop in Delaware and that had on it all the evidence to damn his father and his entire family for this corrupt influence-peddling scheme that they’d been running really since Joe Biden’s earliest days as a senator in Delaware half a century ago, but more crucially for America’s national security during the period that he was vice president, when his son and his brother were getting millions of dollars from America’s adversaries around the world to buy basically Joe Biden’s influence, and, you know, contrary to then-candidate Joe Biden’s constant protestations to any journalist that dared ask that he knew nothing about his son Hunter’s overseas business dealings, in fact, what the laptop showed and our subsequent reporting, was that Joe Biden was intimately involved in the selling of himself. And so, this was a story that we tried to get to the American people so that they at least knew the truth about one of the candidates for president, and we were blocked and surprised about how that happened. First of all, social media censored our story, our stories, locked our account. Twitter locked our account. And then a few days after the story was published, 51 former intelligence officials, most of them from the CIA, wrote this very dishonest letter saying that the laptop and therefore our reporting was Russian disinformation, and what we didn’t know then and we know now, and we know so much more three years later, a lot of it thanks to the work of the Republicans in the House Oversight Committee and the Judiciary Committee once they took power, and of course, a lot of this would have come out earlier if the Republicans had had any power in the House or the Senate beforehand, but and also the revelations from the landmark free speech case Missouri v. Biden, the Twitter files, and various other reporting. So, what we know now is that the Biden campaign, Antony Blinken, then a senior advisor, now our erstwhile Secretary of State, prompted Mike Morell, former acting director of the CIA, who believed that he would be Biden’s choice for CIA director, Antony Blinken prompted him to write that dishonest letter and get 50 of his former colleagues, including five former CIA directors or acting directors, people like John Brennan and Leon Panetta, to sign onto this thing, which was deliberately, and we now know because it was in Morell’s testimony, it was designed to help Joe Biden win the election, to help him get out of a tough spot in the final debate against Donald Trump, and it worked a treat. And so, you know, it’s important, I think, that not just that the American people know the true nature of Joe Biden—the sort of influence-peddling corruption that he is involved in is sort of as old as Washington itself and it’s bipartisan—but the biggest scandal and the biggest story, of course, is the cover up as in Watergate. And the fact that these, you know, the CIA, the FBI, the DOJ, these institutions that were supposed to be protecting the American people from this kind of corruption were actually protecting it for their own purposes because I guess they, Joe Biden was their favored candidate, Donald Trump was not. So, they subverted the will of the people at the 2020 election. They interfered in an election. And so, I think it’s important that, you know, the truth is exposed, whether or not people are brought to account, at least it should shame and alert the American people into trying to ensure that these security apparatus are not used against the American people, that they, you know, we pay their, we—our taxes pay for them. They’re supposed to be there to protect us, and instead they’ve been turned against us. So, it’s important to fight for the truth, and that’s why I’m so honored to be here with Independent Women’s Forum, because that’s what Heather and her team are all about. And the people, the women that they champion, the men, Enes Freedom, of course, paying tribute to his mother, which was wonderful, the incredible words that seem to be seminal for him, you know, “I’m not going to tell you what to do, son, but just don’t hate people.” Mothers rule the world, and I think Independent Women’s Forum empowers women to be proud of being mothers and to know that being a mother and teaching your children how it’s important to stand up for truth; and in a world and an era where lies are easy and prevalent, it’s difficult to stand up for the truth, but I think Independent Women’s Forum is one of the few outfits around that actually cares about the truth and shows people that telling the truth is a reward in itself, as you see from all the women and the one man who have stood up tonight. Telling the truth is difficult at first, but it actually is the most wonderful freedom in itself, so all power to Independent Women’s Forum, all of you here who are supporting this wonderful operation, and I’m incredibly honored, as I said.