Making his latest appearance on the Fox News Channel’s Fox News @ Night, NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck and host Trace Gallagher slammed CBS News early Tuesday for having finally admitted 768 days after the New York Post’s first report to concede Hunter Biden’s laptop is real and anything but a conspiracy theory.
“And another black eye for CBS. After dismissing the Hunter Biden laptop as disinformation and unable to be verified, the network once called Tiffany now having an epiphany, yet sadly it comes two years too late,” said Gallagher in a tease.
Going later to Houck, he noted that “the phrase better late than never...might not apply this time” with CBS waiting until two major elections passed to consider the laptop’s “authenticity” as well as the fact that CBS’s 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl mocked the idea it was real in an October 2020 interview with then-President Trump.
Houck began by concurring with the prevailing notion that CBS waited until they “[felt] that the coast was clear and they could let...the great Catherine Herridge” take it up and give her five minutes and 41 seconds on Monday’s CBS Mornings.
He added that Herridge brought in “a former Secret Service agent and his son to look at a copy of the hard drive” and not only did they tell her it was real, but one said, “the sheer volume...would be difficult, if not impossible to fabricate.”
Of course, he noted that was in contradiction to Stahl’s antics and cited a new study by our Bill D’Agostino that found “Casablanca was put together in less time and...William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, and James Garfield combined to last less time that it took CBS to acknowledge Hunter’s laptop...was real.”
Houck later agreed with Gallagher’s recognition that CBS made this call in order “to get ahead of” next year’s House probes, adding it could be that as well as simply being “on the other side the midterm elections, but I think it's definitely more about wanting to get ahead of the House Oversight Committee”.
He also threw two more numbers into the equation with the observation that CBS’s story arrived “250 days after The New York Times and 236 days after The Washington Post that CBS joined this case.”
More importantly, he revealed it was “a one-off story” as the CBS Evening News didn’t mention it and ABC and NBC have yet to join in.
Gallagher’s final question wondered about where CBS goes from here and if any future stories would “dig deeper” and claims made by former Biden family business partner Tony Bobulinski.
Houck seized on the Bobulinski angle with the stark reality that his name came up in Herridge’s story and served as “the first time in network news that Tony Bobulinski's name has been mentioned, which is just absolutely astonishing in and of itself.”
Houck gave CBS a few pointers:
Yes, the next question for CBS is you want to go deeper about the contents of the laptop? You want to talk about specific e-mails, you want to follow up on the reporting of the Daily Mail and others. And for the others, yes, you want to get to that point because they take their cues from The New York Times and The Washington Post, these major papers. So, you would think that they too, would want to follow to at least get ahead of this story.
To see the relevant transcript from November 22, click “expand.”
FNC’s Fox News @ Night With Trace Gallagher
November 22, 2022
12:00 a.m. Eastern [TEASE]
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: CBS News Verifies Hunter Laptop...Two Years Later]
TRACE GALLAGHER: And another black eye for CBS. After dismissing the Hunter Biden laptop as disinformation and unable to be verified, the network once called Tiffany now having an epiphany, yet sadly it comes two years too late.
12:09 a.m. Eastern
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Media Spotlight; Hunter Gatherers; CBS News Finally Verifies Hunter Biden Laptop]
GALLAGHER: Well, you know the phrase better late than never? Well, it might not apply this time. CBS News after two years and two elections has finally verified the authenticity of the contents of Hunter Biden's laptop when the story broke, in the run up to the 2020 presidential election, 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl repeatedly said the laptop could not be verified. Let's bring in NewsBusters Managing Editor Curtis Houck. Curtis, always great to see you. I mean I just look at this in CBS, you go back two years, and first it was disinformation, and then it couldn't be verified. And Leslie Stahl said it time and time again, and now, suddenly, no more elections. Guess what? We verified it. Your thoughts?
CURTIS HOUCK: Yes, exactly, Trace. Yes, five minutes and 41 seconds. That's what we got. You know, I think there was definitely feeling that the coast was clear, and they could let, you know, the great Catherine Herridge on the case. And that's exactly what they found. She found a former secret service agent and his son to look at a copy of the hard drive. And they said, “the sheer volume...would be difficult, if not impossible to fabricate,” which Leslie Stahl said it can't be verified. Those were exact words to Donald Trump at the time. CBS, you point out the delay. Casablanca was put together in less time and three presidents that didn't last very long. William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, and James Garfield combined to last less time that it took CBS to acknowledge Hunter’s laptop existed — was real.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Late to the Game; CBS Verifies Hunter Biden Laptop Two Years Later]
GALLAGHER: The New York Post the following here the headline: CBS confirms Hunter Biden laptop is real, 769 days speaking of time, after the post broke the story going on to say, “Most news outlets ignored the laptop's contents until recently. CBS's report follows belated verification of the laptop in March by The Washington Post and The New York Times.” What's the motive, though? I mean, that's the whole thing, Curtis. I want to know, what's the mode? How does it benefit them by coming out now? Are there more coming out and they're trying to get ahead of this? What do you think?
HOUCK: Yes, it's certainly possible, Trace. I think that they — A. definitely want to get ahead of this; B. they're on the other side of the midterm elections. But I think it's definitely more about wanting to get ahead of the House Oversight Committee and whatever Congressman Comer and his team want to look at. You know, as you mentioned, yes, but the New York Post, it was 250 days after The New York Times and 236 days after The Washington Post that CBS joined this case. But again, they didn't cover it tonight. So, it was kind of a one-off story. It wasn't covered on ABC or NBC. So, I think we'll go back to not hearing about it for a while.
GALLAGHER: And that's my, my last question to you, Curtis. If you are covering this in earnest, you are legitimate about this, why not dig deeper into the President's potential involvement in the laptop? Why not focus more of the report on the president and some of the indications that Tony Bobulinski gave and all the various facts that weave into that?
HOUCK: Yes, and first, I'll just say, Tony, Bobulinski came up today on CBS. That was the first time in network news that Tony Bobulinski's name has been mentioned, which is just absolutely astonishing in and of itself. Yes, the next question for CBS is you want to go deeper about the contents of the laptop? You want to talk about specific e-mails, you want to follow up on the reporting of the Daily Mail and others. And for the others, yes, you want to get to that point because they take their cues from The New York Times and The Washington Post, these major papers. So, you would think that they too, would want to follow to at least get ahead of this story. But CBS is now out there saying it's real, it's not fake after years of conspiracy theories, so they have eggs on their faces.
GALLAGHER: And you would think that if you're going to mention Tony Bobulinski's name that you would put some context there and you would say, and by the way, this is the guy who made these accusations. Never saw him Curtis Houck. Thank you for coming on. We appreciate it.
HOUCK: No problem, Trace.