The New York Times has finally admitted that the Hunter Biden laptop story is real.
What is the background?
The New York Post ignited controversy in October 2020 after publishing an explosive story about a laptop abandoned at a Delaware computer repair shop. The Post reported the laptop belonged to Hunter Biden, son of then-Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, and explained the FBI had seized it in December 2019.
Emails recovered from that laptop, which were shared with allies of then-President Donald Trump, suggested corrupt activity involving the Bidens and Burisma Holdings, a large natural gas company in Ukraine.
When the story broke just weeks before the 2020 presidential election, the media immediately ran interference for Biden, working overtime to cast doubt on the story. Twitter and Facebook even actively suppressed the story on their platforms, decisions that essentially amounted to censorship.
What happened now?
The Times, the so-called "paper of record," published an innocuous story late Wednesday about the ongoing investigation into Hunter Biden with admissions — albeit buried deep in the story — verifying key elements of the story the paper once dismissed.
Specifically, the Times authenticated the laptop emails and admitted that then-Vice President Biden attended a meeting in 2015 that a Burisma executive was slated to attend.
- Emails: "People familiar with the investigation said prosecutors had examined emails between Mr. Biden, [Hunter Biden business partner Devon] Archer and others about Burisma and other foreign business activity. Those emails were obtained by The New York Times from a cache of files that appears to have come from a laptop abandoned by Mr. Biden in a Delaware repair shop. The email and others in the cache were authenticated by people familiar with them and with the investigation."
- Burisma Meeting: "In another set of emails examined by prosecutors, Hunter Biden and Mr. Archer discussed inviting foreign business associates, including a Burisma executive, to a dinner in April 2015 at a Washington restaurant where Vice President Biden would stop by. It is not clear whether the Burisma executive attended the dinner, although the vice president did make an appearance, according to people familiar with the event."
Not only did the New York Times refer to the Hunter Biden laptop story as "unsubstantiated" as recently as September 2021 — a description the paper stealth-edited from its online story — but according to the New York Post, the Times also promoted claims that the story was Russian disinformation.
The Times now says, "No concrete evidence has emerged that the laptop contains Russian disinformation."
Meanwhile, the Times cast doubt on the April 2015 meeting by reporting, "A Biden campaign spokesman said Mr. Biden’s official schedules did not show a meeting between the two men."
What was the reaction?
The New York Post reacted to the admissions by writing in an editorial, "Forgive the profanity, but you have got to be s**tting us."
Regarding the Times' authentication of the emails, the Post mocked, "Authenticated!!! You don’t say. You mean, when a newspaper actually does reporting on a topic and doesn’t just try to whitewash coverage for Joe Biden, it discovers it’s actually true?"
And for admitting that Biden attended the April 2015 meeting, the Post said, "Funny how this works when you don’t just take someone’s word for it."
Describing the Times as a "perfect stenographer" for Biden, the Post also criticized its rival for not explaining how they authenticated the emails, something the Post explained.
"The Times does a hand wave to anonymous sources. No facts have changed since fall 2020. They knew the laptop was real from the start. They just didn’t want to say so," the Post editorial board wrote. "There’s never any shame with these 180s. Sorry that we wrote a 'fact check' that turned out to be bull! Sorry we wrote a piece claiming something wasn’t a story and you were stupid for thinking so!
"Twitter banned us for supposedly publishing 'hacked materials' that weren’t hacked. The company’s CEO apologized, but by that point they had accomplished what they wanted," the editorial continued. "Like The Times, they cast enough doubt to avoid making their preferred candidate look bad."