NPR Isn't 'Untangling Disinformation' on Hunter Biden Scandals, It's Spreading It

February 9th, 2023 1:18 PM

Right after the midterms, regular NPR analyst Jonah Goldberg appeared on Morning Edition and offered their preferred take on the notion that the incoming Republican majority in the House would have hearings on the Hunter Biden laptop. It’s “infotainment”: 

The incentive structure on the right is to do fan service and infotainment for the base. The incentive structure on big chunks of the left is the same. And the base of the Republican Party is going to want to see Hunter Biden's laptop and Hunter Biden's life dissected like he was a medical specimen in a 19th-century medical school.

He summarized: “I think that Biden probably will have the politics on his side” in 2024.

After the first Hunter Biden/Twitter Files hearing on Wednesday, NPR didn’t talk about it on its national network of radio stations. Instead, there was a dismissive hissing on their website under the heading “UNTANGLING DISINFORMATION.” Their headline kept the usual tone, that "disinformation" and "conservative Republican" go together: "Ex-Twitter officials reject GOP claims of government collusion."

It didn't really capture the point that the former Twitter officials performed the usual ritual of having incredibly lapsed memories of what they actually communicated with and to government officials on the Hunter story's suppression. 

NPR tech reporter Shannon Bond's beat is described as "covering how misleading narratives and false claims circulate online and offline, and their impact on society and democracy." But on the Hunter Biden story, the misleading narrative was the false claim that Hunter's laptop was "Russian disinformation." For conservatives, it's nice to see NPR forced to cover a Republican hearing on this topic they would rather avoid. Notice how Bond thinks accusing Big Tech of a liberal tilt is merely "alleged." 

Republicans accused the social media company of colluding with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Biden campaign to censor the Post story and aired long-held grievances over what they say is Silicon Valley's bias against conservatives....

Republicans hold up the incident as a prime example of Silicon Valley's alleged anti-conservative bias. More recently, seizing on the Twitter Files, they've pushed the claim that the government and the Biden campaign pressured Twitter to suppress the story — even though the Twitter Files disclosures do not include any evidence that was the case.

The White House slammed Wednesday's hearing as "a bizarre political stunt" and the latest effort by hardcore Republicans to "relitigate the outcome of the 2020 election."

Notice Bond didn't put "hardcore Republicans" in quotes, That's not "alleged." 

Bond wrote "At the time the [New York] Post article was published, it was unclear how much of the material said to come from Hunter Biden's laptop was authentic.,” but she didn’t note that the New York Times and Washington Post have since authenticated it.

Just as NPR did in Bond's last snotty story on the Twitter Files, they didn't offer the transparency of telling consumers they had aggressively trashed the Hunter laptop story as a waste of time, a non-story, a "pure distraction" -- in short, "fake news." It wasn't an "alleged bias" against conservatives. It was a real bias. 

Feel free to contact NPR's Public Editor and ask when they'll address their 2020 Hunter Biden mistakes.