Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has been a major cheerleader in the right-wing media bubble in trying to personally destroy Hunter Biden -- adhering to the official Republican script during Donald Trump's first impeachement, obsessing over his alleged laptop and mocking him for writing a book. A poll the MRC bought from Trump's pollster focused on Hunter Biden was the center of the MRC's own version of Trump's Big Lie about election fraud.
You can call this Hunter Biden Derangement Syndrome.
After the New York Times apparently verified the authenticity of emails found on what has been alleged to be Hunter's laptop, Curtis Houck went into derangement overdrive in a March 17 post:
In a story posted Wednesday night, The New York Times finally came around to implicitly admitting to what many knew in 2020 but, like the intrepid New York Post, were censored for saying: The emails on Hunter Biden’s laptop are indeed real. And, worse yet, the specific e-mails that The Times confirmed involved Burisma.
Worse yet for Hunter, it was revealed he took out a loan to pay millions in back taxes while a “broad federal investigation” of his life has expanded, including testimony from the woman who’s alleged he fathered a child with. Of course, this was of no interest to Thursday’s broadcast network morning newscasts on ABC, CBS, and NBC.
Speaking of burying information, The Times ended with five paragraphs about Luden Alexis Roberts, a former employee of Hunter, former stripper, alleged baby mama that sued him “for child support and paternity in 2019” and spoke with both prosecutors and the grand jury.
Hours before The Times piece, the Fox Business Network’s Evening Edit covered the news about the FOIA request.
Of course Houck praised a Fox channel for pushing the story -- he's effectively Peter Doocy's PR agent, after all.And note his enthusiasm for the more salacious details of the story, showing his ultimate motive here is personal destruction, not factual accuracy, something that can be said for many of the right-wing promoters of the story.
What he didn't do, however, is explain why this story should matter to anyone outside his right-wing bubble, or even why the pro-Trump New York Post should have been taken at face value when the story first surfaced there. As Vox pointed out, the story about the alleged Hunter laptop surfaced before the 2020 presidential election as an obvious attempt at an October surprise, the laptop itself had been handled only by pro-Trump operatives, no verification was offered of the laptop and its contents at the time and even the owner of the repair shop the laptops were dropped off at -- who is conveniently blind so he couldn't even identify who dropped them off -- is a Trump supporter. (One New York Post reporter refused to put their byline on the story.) Even though the emails may be real, it doesn't mean the laptop belonged to Hunter Biden; its provenance and chain of custody remain a mystery. The emails also failed to prove any actual corruption they could like to Joe Biden; as Vox noted, "The emails didn’t dominate mainstream media because, at least so far, they didn’t have the goods."
But when has a lack of goods stopped anyone in the right-wing media from embracing a narrative they think will work? The MRC cranked out numerous posts about it in the following days:
- Republicans WHACK Big Tech After NYT Confirms Hunter Biden ‘Laptop from Hell’
- Column: Years Late and Millions Short on Hunter Biden (Tim Graham column)
- Hey Media, What Happened to Hunter's Laptop Being 'Russian Disinformation?'
- Editor’s Pick: Federalist on High Grades for Media That Ignored Hunter Biden Scandal
- CBS's Lesley Stahl Scolded Trump In 2020: Hunter Biden Laptop Emails 'Can't be Verified'
- Top Liberal TV Networks OMIT NY Times Story on Hunter Biden Emails (Stelter Hardest Hit)
- The New York Times, Hunter Biden and the Suicide of Media Credibility
- FLASHBACK: CNN En Español Dismissed NYP Hunter Biden Laptop Story as 'Slanderous' (also in Spanish)
- Juan Williams Lies on Hunter Biden Laptop Reaction: 'Nobody Said It Wasn't True'
- Great Job! TV News Spent Two ENTIRE Seconds on Hunter’s Laptop Since Thursday
- Shameful 60 Minutes Fails to Admit: Hunter Biden Laptop Story Is True
- NEW NewsBusters Podcast: Hunter Biden Excuses from Stelter, Williams & Bump
- ABC Entertainment Breaks Silence With 6 Seconds on Hunter: 'Made Up Stories'
- The Many Forms of Censorship Converge on Hunter’s Laptop (Cal Thomas column)
- Former AG Barr SCORCHES Big Tech, Biden for Claiming Hunter Laptop Story was Disinfo
- Jesse Watters Slams Media for Ignoring Hunter Biden Laptop Story
- New York Times Columnists Discuss Uncomfortable Topic of Hunter Biden Laptop
- Stelter Refuses to Address Hunter's Laptop, Lets Guest Filibuster
- It’s Been 259 Days Since the Network Newscasts Said the Words ‘Hunter Biden’
- Joe Scarborough's 2020 Hunter Biden Rant Aged Like a Carton of Milk
- 261 Days Later: NBC Finally Mentions Hunter Biden’s Name
- CNN Hack Harwood Dismisses Hunter Biden Investigation: 'Not Much Public Import'
- MSNBC: ‘Lot of Smoke’ With Hunter Biden Scandal; CNN: ‘Very Bad’
Some of these posts went beyond established fact to claim the entire "Hunter Biden laptop story" has been proven real -- which it hasn't.And all of these posts avoid mentioning the fact that the story would have been believed much earlier had irrefutable verification of the contents of the laptop been presented at the time to overcome the natural reflex to not believe salacious claims made during the heat of an election.
Then again, offering logical arguments are not the intent of this torrent of content -- keeping a dubious story alive by flooding the zone is. And despite this torrent, the MRC has yet to explain why anyone outside of its right-wing bubble should care about Hunter Biden for reasons that don't involve the obsessive right-wing war against the Bidens.