The establishment media has shifted its position at least four times on the significance of Hunter Biden’s laptop story after more than two years since Breitbart News’s Political Editor Emma-Jo Morris broke the story at the New York Post.
On Thursday, Politico’s Heidi Przybyla and Jordan Carney claimed: “no evidence has publicly emerged that his [Joe Biden] decisions were affected by his son’s business.”
That President Joe Biden’s judgment has been uninfected by his family business with foreign actors is a different position than the media took just months and years prior.
Starting shortly after Morris’s bombshell broke in October 2020, the Washington Post’s “fact checker” suggested the laptop was not real, claiming the outlet “has not been able to verify or authenticate these emails.” The paper also claimed the emails were “unverified” and had not been “authenticated.” More than a year later, the WaPo would confirm Morris’s report.
While the media failed to report the laptop’s emails were “authentic,” many in the media started to spin a new story. The media claimed the “Laptop from Hell” was “Russian disinformation.”
At least 15 establishment media personalities suggested Hunter’s laptop emails were likely Russian disinformation. CNN’s Brian Stelter, who has since been fired, falsely claimed that “U.S. authorities are seeing if those emails we just talked about are connected to an ongoing Russian disinformation effort.”
Daily Beast reporter Wajahat Ali tweeted, “Good. Russian disinformation meant to harm our democracy shouldn’t be given mainstream platforms.” MSNBC contributor Ben Rhodes suggested a similar idea: “The right to spread false Russian disinformation about American political leaders on social media platforms is not the hill I would choose to die on,” he said.
Good. Russian disinformation meant to harm our democracy shouldn’t be given mainstream platforms. https://t.co/WWT6m90agY
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) October 14, 2020
7) Perhaps the biggest single source of the Hunter “disinformation” fake news was none other than @brhodes, who has actually bragged about his ability to manipulate gullible reporters pic.twitter.com/AhaZPoiQOS
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 21, 2021
The story changed yet again when the media finally acknowledged Hunter’s laptop was not Russian propaganda. The new, updated defense was that though the emails looked bad for Hunter, Joe Biden was not involved in the family’s business deals revealed in the emails.
“The Post did not find evidence that Joe Biden personally benefited from or knew details about the transactions with CEFC,” the Washington Post reported on the laptop’s authentication in March 2022:
But the new documents — which include a signed copy of a $1 million legal retainer, emails related to the wire transfers, and $3.8 million in consulting fees that are confirmed in new bank records and agreements signed by Hunter Biden — illustrate the ways in which his family profited from relationships built over Joe Biden’s decades in public service.
Politico’s Thursday story shatters the previous three media positions. The Politico reporters claimed that Joe Biden’s political judgement had not been affected by the family’s business dealings. The story did not deny Joe Biden benefitted from the family’s deals.
“Republicans [are] already preparing to elevate the probe to Joe Biden although no evidence has publicly emerged that his decisions were affected by his son’s business dealings,” Politico claimed.
This fourth evolution comes after Republicans retook control of the House and have launched a probe into Joe and Hunter Biden with subpoena power, which will likely enable Republicans to understand whether the president is compromised by his family’s foreign business dealings.
“I want to be clear, this is an investigation of Joe Biden,” Rep. James Comer stated Thursday upon officially opening the probe. “The Biden family’s business dealings implicate a wide range of criminality from human trafficking to potential violations of the constitution.”
Joe Biden has stated he has had no knowledge of his family’s business dealings. But Republicans appear to believe otherwise.
“This is an investigation of Joe Biden, the president of the United States, and why he lied to the American people about his knowledge and participation in his family’s international business dealing schemes,” Comer said. “National security interests require to conduct an investigation and we will pursue all avenues – avenues that have long been ignored.”
While House Republicans appear to be the only institution investigating Joe Biden, Hunter Biden is reportedly under investigation by the FBI for tax violations and lying to law enforcement about illegally purchasing a firearm.
Joe Biden’s Justice Department has reportedly delayed its “final decision” on whether to charge Hunter for alleged tax- and gun-related violations due to his drug abuse. Yet critics of the president’s family say Hunter’s altered mental state seemed to have no negative impact on his ability to sell access to Joe Biden via business deals with Chinese and Ukrainian entities.
In 2018 and 2020, Breitbart Senior Contributor and Government Accountability Institute President Peter Schweizer published Secret Empires and Profiles in Corruption. Each book hit #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and exposed how Hunter Biden and Joe Biden flew aboard Air Force Two in 2013 to China before Hunter’s firm inked a $1.5 billion deal with a subsidiary of the Chinese government’s Bank of China less than two weeks after the trip.
Schweizer’s work also uncovered the Biden family’s other vast and lucrative foreign deals and cronyism. Breitbart Political Editor Emma-Jo Morris’ investigative work at the New York Post on the Hunter Biden “laptop from hell” also captured international headlines when she, along with Miranda Devine, revealed that Joe Biden was intimately involved in Hunter’s businesses, appearing to even have a 10 percent stake in a company the scion formed with officials at the highest levels of the Chinese Communist Party.