National Public Radio issued a correction after repeating a false statement about Hunter Biden’s laptop in a piece about Biden’s upcoming memoir, “Beautiful Things.” NPR’s correspondent repeated the partisan media falsehood that the laptop story had been discredited by news organizations. Neither Hunter nor his father the President denied that what had been identified as Hunter Biden’s laptop or the files and pictures found on it were genuine. They just ducked the issue with reporters’ complicity, running out the clock to the election as the news media pretended there was no story, and social media engineered a near blackout on the story to ensure a Biden victory.
NPR’s correction read that “A previous version of this story said U.S. intelligence had discredited the laptop story. U.S. intelligence officials have not made a statement to that effect.” That’s deceit. There has been no denial that the laptop belonged to Hunter Biden and that the contents were genuine. Nonetheless, NPR along with the rest of the partisan mainstream media worked diligently to hide the implications of the laptop until Joe Biden was safely moved into the White House, and more to the point, Donald Trump was moved out.
Then, Hunter Biden weirdly acknowledged in an interview, after avoiding the clarification before November 8, that the infamous laptop might be his. In an interview with CBS’s Tracy Smith, he was finally asked about the incriminating laptop, which somehow never occurred to reporters while Joe was a candidate. When she raised the matter, Hunter answered: “There could be a laptop out there that was stolen from me. It could be that I was hacked. It could be that it was the — that it was Russian intelligence.”
Prof. Turley, who is obviously disgusted with the media (and Hunter) but too much of an academic to push the issue beyond his blog, notes that the CBS interviewer couldn’t raise the necessary courage to ask in response, “You can remember details from your period of addiction going back 20 years but you cannot remember this laptop?” Another suggestion from Turley: “Even if you cannot remember your own laptop, you have seen the pictures and emails. Are those authentic pictures and emails?”
Turley concludes that “Hunter Biden remains in a protected media space on questions about the specific emails and photos, including emails showing raw influence peddling worth millions.”
But NPR has corrected its misstatement now, after the news media’s hiding of the story lasted long enough to accomplish its partisan mission.
Turley, to his credit, continued to excoriate NPR after discussing the recent correction, pointing to other false reports with partisan intent that remain on its website. He concluded,
NPR is particularly concerning in such controversies because it is subsidized by the federal government. While private media is often accused of acting like a state media in controversies like Hunter Biden blackout, NPR is supported by the state. Claims of bias to support the current Administration is therefore more concerning.
Concerning. The news media’s now undeniable effort (it was really undeniable years ago) to manipulate our politics and government by actively deceiving the public is “concerning.”
The professor has an ethical obligation to do better than that, and to stop muffling important ethics alarms with scholarly restraint. He is a public figure with credibility and gravitas. Occasional articles in “The Hill” and blog posts mostly read by students are not going to fix anything. As someone who has the power to help fix a serious national crisis, or at least to exercise some leadership in seeking a remedy, Prof.Turley has an obligation to do more than express “concern.”