It doesn’t take a particularly impressive imagination to predict how the liberal media would cover one of Donald Trump’s sons if he had a major crack and alcohol addiction. Stories would begin with the notion that Trump was a terrible father, obviously too self-absorbed and absent to raise his children right.
CNN would certainly strike that pose. But on Sunday’s Reliable Sources, host Brian Stelter was deeply impressed with the “extraordinary” and “breathtaking” Hunter Biden memoir. Stelter gleefully promoted every tabloidish Trump-trashing book -- from Omarosa to Scaramucci -- but he’s doing the exact opposite now.
“Take out the last name, Biden. This is about addiction, and how to help people, and it’s going to resonate,” Stelter promised. The wishful thinking is presented as analysis. Regular panelist and TV writer David Zurawik, seconded that emotion. “It’s going to have real resonance with people...I think the power of this is going to be positive for the Bidens." Isn’t that the whole point of this book strategy? To flim-flam past Hunter’s actual behavior by congratulating him for turning his life around? And congratulating the Bidens for their wonderful compassion and saving grace?
Stelter can’t even accurately describe the media coverage.
“Someone like Hunter Biden has been covered in the tabloids, he’s been covered on Fox. People never hear his side of the story,” Stelter claimed. What? Hunter granted an interview to ABC’s Amy Robach in October 2019 that was completely his side of the story. A year ago, The New York Times published a syrupy profile on “painting as therapy” headlined “There’s a New Artist in Town. His Name is Biden.” Then last fall, “objective” news outlets robotically mouthed the Biden mantra on Hunter. Any journalism on his laptop had the “earmarks of Russian disinformation.”
Despite being terribly un-factual, Stelter continued: “It’s rare to actually hear the principal or the celebrity, in this case, that’s the wrong word. But you know what I mean, the famous person actually tell their account after being in many cases smeared for years.”
Stelter has never heard of a celebrity writing an addiction memoir? People make lists of their top ten addiction memoirs. As for being “smeared,” Stelter isn’t specific. He seems to think it’s unfair to mention the cavalcade of Hunter Biden exploits. He wouldn't mention the “love child” with the stripper Lunden Roberts, or the wanton affair with his brother Beau’s widow, cheating on his own wife of 22 years, Kathleen Biden. The pro-Biden press pretends these are tabloid smears, not actual reckless and immoral behavior.
In the Reliable Sources newsletter, Stelter doubled down. “His first-hand account of drug addiction, tabloid culture, and political craziness is incredibly informative. It’s one of those ‘you think you know, but you have no idea’ stories.” He quotes an Entertainment Weekly reviewer touting Joe Biden as “the ultimate patriarch.”
Stelter also quotes CNN colleague John Avlon gushing over the book. It “not only humanizes Hunter,” but “it puts a point on Joe Biden’s refusal during the campaign to distance himself from his only surviving son.”
We think we know, but we have no idea? That only makes sense if you completely skip Fox News, skip the New York Post, and every other media site that doesn’t gather their “news” from Biden’s publicity handouts.
The most overlooked fact on the Hunter Biden book-and-sympathy tour is that he was committing many of these financial scams and behavioral debaucheries while his father was in the obscure job of... Vice President of the United States. Back then, CNN's motto could have been "Flacks First." That fits today.