The press deliberately suppressed the Hunter Biden investigation story
The big but wrong lesson establishment newsrooms thought they learned following the 2016 presidential election was not that they’re trapped in an ideological echo chamber, but that they did not “resist” Donald Trump hard enough.
They have spent the past four years applying that lesson — and resist they have, going so far as to bury potentially explosive and legitimately newsworthy reports suggesting President-elect Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, may have leveraged his father’s political clout to line the family’s pockets.
The president-elect’s son confirmed Wednesday that he is under federal investigation. The Justice Department probe, which began in 2018, focuses specifically on Hunter Biden’s business ties in China and possible counterintelligence concerns, including that his dealings with Chinese executives may have included tax and money laundering violations. A joint force made up of federal prosecutors in Delaware, the IRS Criminal Investigation agency, and the FBI has already begun issuing subpoenas and interview requests.
As it turns out, details of the federal investigation first came to light in October, back when the New York Post scooped the entire news industry with reports on the existence of a laptop, which reportedly belonged to the president-elect’s son and has since been turned over to the FBI, and possibly incriminating documents and emails pertaining to his overseas business activities.
Included among the laptop materials published by the New York Post is an FBI document that includes a case number with “the code associated with an ongoing federal money-laundering investigation in Delaware,” according to the Daily Beast.
“Another document—one with a grand jury subpoena number—appeared to show the initials of two assistant U.S. attorneys linked to the Wilmington, Delaware, office,” the report adds.
At the same time that the New York Post was reporting on the emails, focusing mostly on Hunter Biden's business activities in Ukraine, the computer repairman who turned the laptop over to the FBI in 2019 showed reporters a copy of a subpoena. It was a subpoena that, as it turns out, is very much real.
And you know what happened after the New York Post revealed the existence of the laptop and its corresponding documents? Twitter locked the New York Post out of its account for supposedly spreading disinformation, Facebook likewise limited distribution of the group’s coverage, and establishment media assured everyone that the reporting was flimsy, that it was false, and that it was most likely the work of Kremlin operatives.
National Public Radio News Managing Editor Terence Samuel, for instance, stated publicly in October that his newsroom would not “waste” its “time on stories that are not really stories.”
“We don't want to waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just pure distractions,” he said.
“There are many, many red flags in that New York Post investigation,” NPR Public Editor Kelly McBride said elsewhere in her daily newsletter. “Intelligence officials warn that Russia has been working overtime to keep the story of Hunter Biden in the spotlight.”
CNN published an entire “anatomy” of the New York Post's “dubious Hunter Biden story.”
Politico meanwhile published a report on Oct. 19 titled, “Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say.”
Infuriatingly enough, after doing its part to dismiss the story as a Kremlin operation, Politico published a follow-up report after Election Day titled, “How 'Obamagate' and Hunter’s 'laptop from hell' fizzled.”
Yeah, funny how that works.
“Trump embraces reported Russian anti-Biden disinfo campaign,” MSNBC reported.
The New York Times reported, “Trump said to be warned that Giuliani was conveying Russian disinformation.”
New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman added some meat to the Kremlin conspiracy theory angle, reporting, “Confirming the WaPo reporting that Trump was given a warning about Giuliani and Russian misinformation late last year."
The Washington Post, which tells us that “democracy dies in darkness,” even published a report with the totally unintelligible headline, “Biden relies on pattern of activity to blame Russia for release of data from what is said to be his son’s laptop.”
Reminder: Evidence of the Hunter Biden investigation was out in the open following the New York Post's publication of the laptop’s contents. It was right there for establishment journalists with the full backing of their newsrooms to authenticate and investigate. But they didn’t. Instead, they took their cues from the likes of former CIA director John Brennan, the man who lied on national television about spying on U.S. Senate staffers, and former intelligence chief and perjurer James Clapper and claimed an insidious plot by the Russians. They alleged it without a single shred of actual evidence to that effect. Not one.
“U.S. intelligence agencies believed that Rudy Giuliani was being worked over by Russian intelligence assets as a conduit to feed misinformation to the president of the United States,” said the Washington Post’s Philip Rucker.
NBC News’s Ken Dilanian claimed elsewhere, “The picture here is that Rudy Giuliani, the president’s lawyer, seems to have been in the crosshairs of Russian intelligence who were trying to peddle disinformation and discredit Joe Biden.”
NBC 4Chan correspondent Ben Collins claimed that reporters simply could not cover the Biden allegations because the press is not in physical possession of the laptop.
“Reminder for your uncle,” he explained, “the press can’t cover ‘Hunter’s hard drive’ because … we don’t have access to it.”
For the record, this is a completely made up editorial standard.
When the president mentioned the New York Post’s coverage during a public event, HuffPost White House correspondent S.V. Date remarked, “So he is now actively pushing Russian disinformation as part of his scripted campaign message. Just like 2016.”
It is worth noting that neither Joe Biden nor his presidential campaign disputed the authenticity of the emails, which came into the New York Post’s possession via President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
Yet, the press pushed the Russian disinformation narrative anyway during the 2020 election season, even after Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe asserted that the information contained on the laptop “is not part of some Russian disinformation campaign.” The Justice Department and the FBI, which is in possession of the laptop, concurred with Ratcliffe’s assessment.
What a ride.
We know now that not only is there a federal probe into possibly illegal overseas business activities by Hunter Biden, but that the Justice Department has been investigating said activities since 2018. And we know about all of this only because Hunter Biden confirmed this week that he is under investigation, not because the New York Times, the Washington Post, NPR, or some other establishment newsroom got the scoop.
So, congratulations to the Justice Department for plugging all those Trump-era leaks. Not a single whisper in the press about this two-year-old investigation.
And congratulations to establishment journalists. After years of Russian collusion “bombshells,” reports based entirely on anonymous sources, and dozens of ultimately worthless “Gorpman and Bleemer” news cycles, you all not only took a pass on reporting on a genuine federal investigation that first came to light with the New York Post’s reporting, but you actively worked to bury the story, mendaciously dismissing it all as Kremlin disinformation.
Excellent work, everyone.
The Trump-era of news reporting was never a “golden age for journalism,” as Vanity Fair described it. It was always just an exercise in political “resistance.”