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Tuesday, May 10, 2022
MRC's Hunter Biden Derangement Syndrome: The So-Called Study
Topic: Media Research Center

Of course, the Media Research Center had to work a misleading "study" into its Hunter Biden Derangement Syndrome, and Geoffrey Dickens did the honors in an April 18 post:

It was a bombshell story that could have swayed the 2020 presidential election. 

Just weeks before Election Day, the New York Post printed an explosive story on the morning of October 14, 2020, that alleged Hunter Biden had corrupt business dealings with Ukraine and Joe Biden knew about them.

The Post story was full of stunning revelations. The “No.3 exec” of the Ukrainian firm Burisma (the firm that was paying Hunter $50,000 a month) asked Hunter Biden for “advice on how you could use your influence” to help the company. “The blockbuster correspondence&rdquo countered Joe Biden’s assertion that he “never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.” The “correspondence” came from emails found in a laptop dropped off at a Delaware computer store. Also found in the laptop was video evidence of Hunter’s “raunchy” sexual behavior and drug use.


Broadcast networks systematically buried the devastating laptop story. From October 14, 2020 (the day the New York Post broke the laptop story) through the morning of April 18, 2022 — a period of 18 months — MRC analysts looked at the ABC, CBS, NBC evening and morning shows and their Sunday roundtable programs. That analysis found the total amount of time spent on the Hunter Biden laptop story came to a miniscule 25 minutes, 6 seconds.

LIke his MRC co-workers, Dickens convenient omits the fact that the Post offered no independent verification of the laptop or the information on it, and the fact it is a pro-Trump, anti-Biden media outlet repeating information from pro-Trump, anti-Biden activists like Rudy Giuliani. Those factors made it easy for media outlets outside of the MRC's right-wing bubble to ignore the story. The fact that information on the laptop couldn't be confirmed until just a couple months ago further demonstrates how questionable the original sourcing was.

As usual for an MRC "study," there was no attempt to document how much time Fox News spent on the story, let alone the amount of time Dickens and the MRC believe should have been an adequate amount for non-right-wing outlets to spend on the story. After all, if you're complaining that too little time was spent covering a story, you need a metric to determine what, exactly, "too little" actually means.

He went on to huff:

It all worked. Research conducted by The Polling Company for the Media Research Center after the 2020 election found that the media’s censorship of Biden scandals had a significant impact on the election. The survey found that 45.1% of Biden voters in seven key swing states said they were unaware of the financial scandal enveloping Biden and his son, Hunter. According to our poll, full awareness of the Hunter Biden scandal would have led 9.4% of Biden voters to abandon the Democratic candidate, flipping all six of the swing states he won to Trump, which would have given the former president 311 electoral votes.

Dickens didn't disclose the fact that, as we've noted, The Polling Company was founded by former Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, raising the issue of another conflict of interest and throws doubt on the accuracy of the poll.

In short, yet another shoddy, biased, incomplete MRC "study." Did anyone expect anything different?

Posted by Terry K. at 11:56 PM EDT

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