Hunter Biden acknowledged on Wednesday that the US Attorney’s Office in his home state of Delaware is investigating his “tax affairs.” The investigation began as an FBI probe in 2018, and, according to the Associated Press’s sources, focuses on his foreign business dealings, including those in China.
The story saturated the media on Wednesday and Thursday, but to many, it was old news. After all, a laptop obtained before the election by Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s attorney, contained droves of emails apparently linking Hunter and Joe Biden to numerous foreign graft schemes, with Chinese officials allegedly looking to pay Hunter tens of millions of dollars for “introductions,” most likely to Joe and his associates.
Before the election, however, the laptop and its contents were written off by the establishment press as a political sting, and in some cases, “Russian disinformation.” Twitter temporarily banned the New York Post for linking to its story on the laptop, and other media outlets rushed to debunk rather than investigate its revelations. CNN and the BBC were among those who defended censoring the story, and NPR flat out refused to “waste the listeners’ and readers’ time” on the scoop. There were many such cases.
Though neither Biden denied the authenticity of the laptop, the story was still buried or scoffed at.
Conservative officials and pundits hammered the media for ignoring the story until now. When CNN’s Jake Tapper broke news of the investigation on Wednesday, diplomat Richard Grenell, Trump’s former intelligence chief, took Tapper to task.
“The story broke in October,” Grenell tweeted. “You didn’t do it then. Were you instructed to ignore it until after the election?”
This story broke in October.
You didn’t do it then.
Were you instructed to ignore it until after the election? https://t.co/IZTsCRtywm
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) December 10, 2020
Commentators fired similar accusations at CNN, which told subscribers to one of its newsletters that the Hunter Biden story was less important than President Trump “trying to overturn the results of the US election” in court, at the Huffington Post for calling it the product of a “vast far-right web,” and at multiple outlets that discredited, ignored, and downplayed the story before November 3.
“CNN had been chasing this news”
Where the hell was CNN in the months before the election? pic.twitter.com/ERXPofch0R
— Cameron Cawthorne (@Cam_Cawthorne) December 10, 2020
Politico before & after the election 🧐 pic.twitter.com/xyb5pX8Qi0
— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) December 10, 2020
CNN before the election and after the election pic.twitter.com/sAFbnJkhQl
— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) December 10, 2020
This was pure BS then and is pure BS now.
Tapper and Maddow have created an entire frothy kook-fringe that have radicalized their side into believing this gooey discharge. pic.twitter.com/IDxfTaIHY2
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) December 10, 2020
— Sean Spicer (@seanspicer) December 10, 2020
Hunter Biden’s statement was not the first time the media heard the likely president’s son was being investigated. Some conservative outlets reported this news back in October, and the laptop itself had been subpoenaed by the FBI in 2019, from the Delaware computer shop where Hunter apparently left it behind after getting it repaired. The Biden campaign ignored reports of an FBI investigation, simply insisting that the story as a whole had been “discredited.”
Yet coverage of the incriminating laptop was so split along partisan lines that a poll by the Media Research Center – a conservative watchdog group – found that 45 percent of Joe Biden’s voters were unaware of the laptop story, with one in six saying it would have changed their mind at the ballot box.
Trump himself has seized on this figure, using it to further his argument that the election was “rigged” against him.
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