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The MRC's Hunter Biden Derangement, Summer 2023: The Other Stuff

The Media Research Center obsessed about many minor Hunter Biden-related things in addition to bigger items, but it was split on whether the appointment of a special counsel for him was a good thing or a cover-up.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 12/15/2023

Nicholas Fondacaro

The Media Research Center had an extremely busy summer of Hunter Biden derangement, obsessing over the various legal issues he faces that it and other right-wing activists have chosen to exploit in order to destroy his father's presidency (and Hunter himself as a bonus). But it obsessed over many more minor things over the summer as well. Here are a few of them:

Meanwhile, the MRC got mad whenever the right-wing obsession with Hunter was called out for what it is. Kevin Tober complained in a July 11 post:

On MSNBC’s The ReidOut, host Joy Reid brought on leftist activist and turncoat former Republican Kurt Bardella to smear and mock Republicans in Congress for wanting to hold Joe Biden’s drug addict criminal son Hunter accountable for his many crimes. Proving that he has no self-awareness at all, Bardella claimed some Republicans secretly think House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer and other members of the committee investigating Hunter look like “a bunch of morons.”

First, Reid made the case that the Trump family are the ones who should be investigated, not the Biden crime family. “If they wanted to investigate a family that’s got some like, I don’t know, corrupt vibes, you had a Chinese spy,” Reid proclaimed. “This is where the Chinese spy was! At Mar-a-Lago while he had all our documents and all our national security, she was walking all through there and ended up getting arrested.”

“You've got Donald Trump profiting off a hotel in DC where all the Saudis and all the people were paying him and the Republicans were paying him off,” Reid shrieked.

Choosing to ignore the flagrant corruption of the Biden family, Reid huffed about Trump instead: “I mean the corruption is so clear but they don't care.”

Tober made no attempt to defend the Trumps family's actions or explain why it's not worse than what right-wingers accused the Bidens of doing.

Peter Kotara huffed in a July 19 post:

On Wednesday’s Morning Joe, co-host Mika Brzezinski and former RNC chairman turned MSNBC political analyst, Michael Steele, teamed up to laugh off any concerns about the crimes of Hunter Biden and his father, President Joe Biden.

They discussed how to shape the narrative about Trump and Biden, emphasizing how former President Trump was supposedly a criminal, but that Hunter Biden was just a “distraction” and a “boogieman” for the right. Steele went on to argue that Republican characterizations of President Biden were ridiculous.


Her claim that Republicans were “just going after people” also held no water. Hunter Biden committed crimes in the open - his laptop that the media denied existing proved that. He also was considered by many conservatives to have been behind the cocaine found in the White House. To not go after Hunter Biden would be an affront to the rule of law and would tell the world that people in positions of power can do whatever they want, and are above the law.

Yes, we're quite aware that Kotara's co-workers obsessed over the idea that the cocaine belonged to Hunter despite a complete lack of evidence to back up that speculation. Kotara continued to rant:

In terms of Hunter Biden, many parts of the truth that he committed criminal acts have already been exposed, hence the plea deal with federal prosecutors, and will continue to be probed by the House Oversight Committee and Chairman James Comer (R-KY).

The MRC was never this demanding of justice when Donald Trump was indicted for the crimes he committed -- in fact, it did everything it could to distract attention away from Trump's criminality.

Alex Christy similarly whined in a July 26 post:

Before Hunter Biden’s plea deal fell apart on Wednesday, MSNBC’s Ana Cabrera and political chameleon Kurt Bardella offered up what their big takeaway from all of the drama surrounding him: Republicans are hypocrites.

Cabrera thought it was interesting that former assistant FBI director for counterintelligence “Frank Figliuzzi brought up that under the Trump Administration Republican lawmakers were not interested in investigating then-President Trump's family business dealings or Jared Kushner's dealings and possible conflicts of interest.”

If Figliuzzi said so, then according to Cabrera, it must be true, “given the recent development and what we're seeing playing out there on The Hill, of all being Hunter Biden and this investigation, what do you make of this apparent hypocrisy?”

Why Republicans are hypocrites, but Democrats aren’t is something neither Cabrera nor Bardella would ever attempt to explain. Bardella would, however, claim “it's pretty glaring and, again, it just underscores and illustrates how this is purely political and not actually evidentiary or fact-based in any way.”

When Bardella pointed out that "the Trump family has been the beneficiary of from questionable sources and questions about how they arranged those financial dealings, it completely dwarves anything compared to Hunter Biden," Christy groused, "At least Kushner actually managed to accomplish something in the White House, which is more than one can say about Hunter’s business credentials," linking to his previous touting of the so-called Abraham Accords, in which Kushner got a few minor Muslim-led countries to normalize relations with Israel. Christy has previously insisted that Kushner earned and deserved his $2 billion Saudi payoff.

The derangement continued through late July and August. For instance:

Tober raged in a July 26 post that President Biden wasn't being criticized as a bad father because of Hunter's issues:

On MSNBC’s All In, guest host Jen Psaki invited failed former Democrat Senator and MSNBC contributor Claire McCaskill to huff and puff about how poor Hunter Biden has been unfairly targeted by Republicans in light of the debacle Wednesday in which his sweetheart plea deal was revoked. McCaskill even went so far as to suggest that President Joe Biden is being targeted by Republicans because he loves his son Hunter.

Teeing up McCaskill, Psaki noted that “Hunter Biden is a favorite target of Republicans in the House. Republicans from the Trump wing of the party, and others.” She then asked McCaskill: “What accusations & arguments do you think they're gonna make, given this didn't go exactly as planned today?”

“They're going to keep doing what they’ve been doing,” McCaskill shrieked. “They're gonna try to indict a father for loving his son, who has been addicted to drugs and or alcohol. And without evidence of the father doing anything other than loving that son.”

Yeah, forget the mountains of evidence showing Joe & Hunter Biden shaking down foreign governments for cash, and Biden admitting on tape that he got the Ukrainian prosecutor fired who was investigating his son. According to McCaskill, Joe’s only crime is loving his son Hunter.

Cassandra DeVries spent an Aug. 1 post being annoyed that it was pointed out Hunter does not work in the Biden White House and that the Trump kids are more directly connected to their father's credibly alleged criminality:

Devon Archer testified on Monday that his former business partner, Hunter Biden, called then-Vice President Joe Biden during business meetings to “sell the illusion of access to his father” and America’s government. Tuesday’s CNN This Morning dismissed Hunter’s use of his father’s position as vice president for business advancement as typical political behavior, more suitable than that of Trump’s children, irrelevant to voters compared to Republican extremism, and unimportant to the public.


When asked if Hunter’s use of his father’s position for monetary gain would resonate with voters, Jessica Washington, senior reporter for The Root, parlayed and asserted that Trump’s children shared tighter business ties with former him than Hunter and President Biden:
I think to a certain extent it will resonate with some voters. But I do think this kind of -- we have no direct connection to Biden in anything unethical at this point. And so, right now, we're talking about Hunter Biden who isn't in the administration. It's not like the Trump kids, where they had these close business ties, where he brought them into the administration. So, I don't think it resonates in the same way what happened with Jared or Ivanka or the Trump kids does.
Brownstein remained unconcerned that Hunter’s conduct would matter politically. He reminisced about 2022, claiming Democrats won despite disapproval of Biden’s performance because Republicans were ‘extremists’:

Alex Christy groused in an Aug. 3 post that his fellow right-wingers' Hunter derangement was being called out:

Former White House Press Secretary and current weekend MSNBC host Jen Psaki joined the network’s Thursday coverage of President Trump’s third indictment and arraignment to discuss the GOP’s reaction, specifically their attempts to equate the situation with Joe and Hunter Biden’s problems. Psaki was not thrilled with the comparison, claiming to do so in reminiscent of Vladimir Putin.

After co-host Jose Diaz-Balart observed Republicans are trying to tie Joe and Hunter Biden together, Psaki recorded, “Of course they are. And there is no evidence of that, but they're going to keep trying because that is the argument that they want to fuzzy the waters out there, muddy the waters, not fuzzy them, muddy the waters out there.”

“That, by the way, is a tactic that Vladimir Putin and other authoritarian dictators use, but that's their strategic objective, to make it all seem the same,” Psaki continued.

Interestingly enough, the man who allegedly paid the Bidens a $10 million bribe at Burisma, Mykola Zlochevsky, worked in the administration of Viktor Yanukovych, who ran away to Russia in 2014 after the Ukrainian people got tired of being governed by a Putin stooge. If a Republican father-son were facing these allegations involving Putin-aligned foreigners, the media would be paying far greater attention.

In fact, Devon Archer -- the same guy whose testimony DeVries credibly cited -- also testified that he had no knowledge of any bribe paid to the Bidens by Zlochevsky and that the Form 1023 released by Republicans as purported evidence of the bribe doesn't actually support it.

Split on special counsel for Hunter

When a special counsel was named to handle the right-wing-hyped case of Hunter Biden, the HBDS sufferers at the MRC were initially supportive. Nicholas Fondacaro wrote in an Aug. 11 post:

As NewsBusters reported Thursday evening, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer appeared on CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper and laid out the evidence he had so far that pointed to President Biden being involved in his family’s “sleazy” (Jake Tapper’s word) business dealings. It broke open the floodgates of cable coverage as CNN and MSNBC (36 minutes and 37 seconds combined) reacted by claiming Comer had nothing at all. This was all before U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland elevated U.S. Attorney David Weiss to special counsel status to investigate Hunter Biden further.

Following Comer’s appearance on CNN, the network ignored it the rest of the night before spending 7 minutes and 11 seconds Friday morning trying to convince viewers not to believe what they heard from the Oversight Chairman the previous evening.

Alex Christy also seemed excited by the development:

CNN Inside Politics host Dana Bash and legal analyst Shan Wu reacted negatively to the news that Attorney General Merrick Garland as appointed Jack Weiss as special counsel in the Hunter Biden investigation by wondering why he still has a job and worrying it implies that Joe Biden is now a subject in Weiss’s investigation.


For years, the media accused former President Donald Trump of viewing his attorneys general as his own personal lawyers and here is a former Janet Reno counsel lamenting that Garland isn’t doing enough to protect Biden.

Curtis Houck, meanwhile, decided that Weiss' appointment was an effort to protect the Bidens:

Friday afternoon began with a bang as Biden Attorney General Merrick Garland made a move to further protect President Biden, Hunter Biden, and his own tail by giving David Weiss the title of special counsel (while also keeping U.S. Attorney status) to further investigate Hunter.

As CBS’s Catherine Herridge and others sniffed out, Garland’s decision after the collapse of the plea deal between Hunter and the Justice Department encases damaging evidence and shields Weiss from having to appear before Congress. That didn’t matter to ABC, though. Instead, chief Biden apple polisher Mary Bruce and anti-Trump author Jonathan Karl were beside themselves.

Houck didn't mention that his fellow right-wing activists had been demanding for months that Weiss be name special prosecutor and are now moving the goalposts to keep the anti-Biden outrage machine alive.

Fondacaro returned to cheer that some are concerned by the appointment:

Immediately following U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s announcement on Friday that he was appointing U.S. Attorney David Weiss as special counsel to further investigate Hunter Biden, CNN’s panelists were beside themselves. But given a little bit of time, during CNN News Central’s 2 p.m. hour, the feelings didn’t wane as White House correspondent and President Biden’s apple polisher, Arlette Saenz lamented that the investigation was becoming “a more challenging legal and political issue” for Joe.

Tober hyped how the appointment is supposedly forcing non-right-wing media to focus on the right-wing anti-Biden narrative:

Sunday’s Meet the Press was the first since Biden Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed David Weiss as special counsel to oversee the investigation into Hunter Biden. Due to this big news, it was impossible for moderator Chuck Todd to ignore the mounting investigations into Hunter Biden’s multiple crimes and he was therefore forced to discuss it with his assembled roundtable. Things got so dire for the assembled leftists that one of them admitted the investigation could damage Biden “pretty seriously.”

Todd fretted that Donald Trump had succeeded in dragging down the “Biden brand” and suggested somehow that Trump was responsible for the appointment of Weiss due to sending former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to Ukraine.

Another post by Tober, though, lamented that all this wasn't enough to keep people from talking about Donald Trump's criminality:

Much like Meet the Press, ABC’s This Week was forced to discuss the special counsel investigation into Hunter Biden’s multiple crimes. This of course wasn’t without their usual caterwauling about former President Donald Trump’s indictments and the one that’s reportedly coming up later in the week. New Yorker staff writer Susan Glasser huffed that America is living in Trump’s alternate reality.


A woman from the same political party that thinks men can get pregnant, or that humans can control the global temperature, wants us to think Trump is creating an "alternate reality."

This is what we call gaslighting.
What does Tober call it when someone introduces irrelevant transphobia into a post that's not about it at all? Anything to distract from Trump's criminality, apparently.

Houck, meanwhile, stuck to his own particular narrative, insisting again that Garland was "rescuing" the Bidens by appointing a special counsel in an Aug. 14 time-count post that concluded by huffing: "With a fourth Trump indictment imminent handed down Monday night, expect any and all allegations – specific or vague – of Biden family bribery, corruption, and/or malfeasance to vanish in favor of fixating on Trump and have it be the driving focus of the 2024 election. And, not surprisingly, the liberal media wouldn’t have it any other way." As ConWebWatch has noted, the MRC doesn't think Trump's multiple indictments are news at all.

Tim Graham repeated this narrative in his Aug. 14 podcast: "Republicans were angry that the Biden Justice Department "promoted" David Weiss to Special Counsel in the Hunter Biden probe. A special counsel, in the legal definition, should be someone new, not someone who's been on the case for five years. But PBS (and NPR's legal reporter Carrie Johnson) didn't think House Republicans were worth quoting or mentioning." No mention (in the writeup, anyway) that Republicans were actually demanding that Weiss be named special counsel, making that alleged anger more than a little hypocritical.

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