The Media's Hidin' of Hunter Biden: Self Sabotage or Cover-Up?

December 12th, 2020 4:00 PM

Hunter Biden finally confessed there was something amiss. 

On Thursday, the prince of Bidenland put out this statement: 

“I learned yesterday for the first time that the U.S. attorney’s office in Delaware advised my legal counsel, also yesterday, that they are investigating my tax affairs. I take this matter very seriously, but I am confident that a professional and objective review of these matters will demonstrate that I handled my affairs legally and appropriately, including with the benefit of professional tax advisers.”

Of course, back there during the campaign it was pretty obvious something serious was amiss in Bidenland. The New York Post, in a stunning revelation back there in October of this year, headlined their scoop this way: "Laptop connected to Hunter Biden linked to FBI money-laundering probe." 

The story was the very model of serious investigative journalism.

And what did the liberal media do? Over there at Fox News, media reporter Joseph Wulfsohn has a detailed breakdown of exactly who and what in the media said and did about the story. The headline: 

From 'smear campaign' to 'Russian disinformation,' liberal media teamed up to dismiss Hunter Biden story

NPR declared, 'We don't want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories.'

Wolfsohn writes that “the media went far beyond simply ignoring the controversy.”

Exactly right. On his long list of examples, he says: 

“Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent quickly declared the day after the New York Post first began reporting on the alleged contents of Hunter Biden's laptop that it was ‘Trump's fake new Biden scandal,’ calling the allegations ‘laughably weak.’

That same day, The New York Times ran a report sounding the alarm about ‘Russian disinformation,’ claiming that President Trump was warned that Russians were ‘using’ his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, who was given the laptop before providing its contents to the press, to spread false claims about the Bidens. 

…’We don't want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don't want to waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just pure distractions,’ NPR managing editor Terence Samuel told McBride. ‘And quite frankly, that's where we ended up, this was … a politically driven event and we decided to treat it that way.’”

On goes Wulfsohn’s list.

There was CNN, now revealed by James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas tapes of CNN editorial discussions as saying: "Obviously, we're not going with The New York Post story right now on Hunter Biden.” And also this from network president Jeff Zucker: . “So, I don't think that we should be repeating unsubstantiated smears just because the right-wing media suggests that we should.” 

Wulfsohn recalls this exchange between CNN’s Christiane Amanpour and GOP spokesperson Elizabeth Harrington. 

“CNN's discomfort in covering the Hunter Biden story was put on full display when GOP spokesperson Elizabeth Harrington challenged CNN chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour to dig into the Biden family's foreign ties during a heated exchange.  

‘As you know perfectly well, I'm a journalist and a reporter and I follow the facts and there has never been any issues in terms of corruption,’ Amanpour asserted. 

‘Wait, wait, wait, how do you know that?!?’ Harrington pushed back. 

‘I'm talking about reporting and any evidence,’Amanpour responded. 

‘OK, I would love if you guys would start doing that digging and start doing that verification,’ Harrington said, referring to the published Hunter Biden emails. 

‘No, we're not going to do your work for you,’ Amanpour scolded the GOP spokesperson. 

‘That's a journalist's job!’ Harrington exclaimed. ‘It's a journalist's job to find out if this is verified.’”

(For more on that, see NewsBusters executive editor Tim Graham on the dust-up.)

Flip from CNN to CBS and there was this classic exchange between President Trump and 60 Minutes anchor Lesley Stahl. The President said that Joe Biden was “in the midst of a scandal.” The exchange went like this

“He's not,” Stahl gleefully replied. 

“Of course he is, Lesley,” Trump sternly doubled down. 

“No, c’mon," Stahl continued to reject the president's claim, before lecturing him, “This is '60 Minutes' and we can't put on things that we can't verify.”

There was more of this kind of denial and cover-up - oh so much more - all across the liberal media dial and cyber/print spectrum. 

Now to a person and institution, they all have egg on their face. (And don’t forget Big Tech, with Twitter censoring The Post story and refusing the paper access to its own account.) On Thursday, Good Morning America, a two hour program, allowed a scant 39 seconds. The morning show coverage, little that it was, all repeated the talking points and statements from Joe and Hunter Biden. On Wednesday night, ABC and CBS barely covered it. ABC's World News Tonight managed another 29 seconds. 

The question here is…why? Why would serious journalists set themselves up for such obvious self-humiliation? 

Awhile back The Wall Street Journal’s columnist Holman Jenkins mused about the once powerful and decidedly famous Walter Lippmann’s thoughts along these lines. Lippmann, a founding editor of The New Republic, wrote from 1931 until retiring in 1967, winning a Pulitzer Prize along the way. Jenkins says this of Lippmann in his own column that was titled “100 Years of Media Lying.”

“What stands out for me, though, is his repeated invocation of phrases such as the ‘uses of evidence,’ ‘standards of evidence,’ ‘a sense of evidence.’ A century later ours is still a profession that doesn’t treat evidence seriously, that a hundred times a day blithely asserts propositions that the reported facts don’t support. A culture of actual stupidity reigns in many newsrooms where careful reasoning is jauntily eschewed in favor of treating facts as unrelated adornments on predetermined story lines.”

It would be hard to find a better description of what went on in the newsrooms of the networks and newsrooms cited above, and so many more that I have not mentioned.

The New York Post clearly had a very serious story. And considering what was already known about Hunter Biden’s activities in terms of using his father’s position as Vice President to make a big buck, it should have been an easy decision for these news organizations to do their own investigating of Biden Incorporated.

But no. Instead, as Jenkins says the evidence that was well out there that something was amiss in Bidenland was deliberately ignored. As he says, “A culture of actual stupidity reigns in many newsrooms where careful reasoning is jauntily eschewed in favor of treating facts as unrelated adornments on predetermined story lines.”

What amazes is the result of this “actual stupidity” in terms of the credibility of the various Trump-hating media outlets. In another WSJ column back in July, after the President’s remarks celebrating Mt. Rushmore for the July Fourth holiday, Jenkins wrote this

“Seemingly effortlessly, though, he has incited people and institutions that do have something to lose to wreck their own reputations: The FBI, CNN, our universities, etc.”


With the latest news on the Hunter Biden story, and the revelation of just how wildly wrong the “mainstream media” has been in dismissing it, that reputational wreckage continues. 

Not to mention that it also raises the question of whether any of the people in these various news rooms actually did know something was afoot in Bidenland - and deliberately, willfully covered it up.