ConWebWatch home
ConWebBlog: the weblog of ConWebWatch
Search and browse through the ConWebWatch archive
About ConWebWatch
Who's behind the news sites that ConWebWatch watches?
Letters to and from ConWebWatch
ConWebWatch Links
Buy books and more through ConWebWatch

The MRC's Hunter Biden Derangement, Fall 2023

The Media Research Center continued to cheer that Hunter faced more legal issues -- and to be angry that he's fighting back against the right-wing critics who are trying to destroy him.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 3/27/2024

After spending the summer cheering the collapse of a plea deal involving Hunter Biden and being unsure whether the appointment of a special prosecutor was a cover-up of some kind, the Media Research Center went into the fall months with renewed hatred and determination to continue to destroy Hunter's life as a gotcha to his father, the president. A Sept. 6 post by Kevin Tober cheered that the Hunter obsession slipped into non-right-wing media:
On Wednesday afternoon, special counsel David Weiss revealed in a new court filing that he planned to file felony charges against President Joe Biden’s crackhead son Hunter due to his illegal firearm purchase and intentional lying on a background check form. The news was so big that even the “big three” evening news networks were forced to cover the story.

In total, the three networks ABC’s World News Tonight, CBS Evening News & NBC Nightly News spent a combined 4 minutes and 50 seconds somberly reporting the indictments. ABC spent the most time on the news with a grand total of 2 minutes and 3 seconds. While CBS spent 1 minute 35 seconds, and NBC spent 1 minute and 12 seconds.

Tober is inventing a lot here, purporting to read the minds of the networks by claiming the reported this news "somberly" without demonstrating that was done any more or less "somberly" than any other news story. He also misled in the headline by portraying the indictments as having already happened.

The MRC then bided its time with more Hunter obsession:

When the expected indictment of Hunter finally dropped, Tober returned in a Sept. 14 post to read the minds of non-right-wing outlet, claiming without evidence that they "bitterly" and "somberly" reported on it:

On Thursday afternoon, a federal grand jury in Delaware indicted Joe Biden’s crackhead son Hunter Biden on three felony charges of lying on a gun background check form. Despite trying their hardest to ignore each new development in the rolling crime spree known as Hunter Biden, all three networks were forced to cover this massive news. In fact, they each lead with the story. 

“The President's son Hunter Biden indicted. Three felony gun charges,” ABC’s World News Tonight anchor David Muir somberly reported the news to his audience. “Accused of lying about his drug use when he bought a firearm in 2018. And then illegally possessing that weapon for 11 days,” Muir added.

Tober also played a little Trump whataboutism:

Meanwhile, on NBC Nightly News, anchor Lester Holt whined that the indictment of Hunter will give Republicans “wide avenues of political attack for Republicans who have been investigating Hunter Biden and the legality of some of his business dealings.”

Did Holt ever complain that the numerous indictments against former President Donald Trump by Soros-backed Democrat prosecutors and rigged juries would give Democrats ammo to attack Republicans?

Tober didn't mention that the gun charge is one rarely charged, especially without an accompanying drug-related charge, and seem to be happening because right-wing congressmen have been aggressively attacking Hunter for years.

Alex Christy spent a Sept. 15 post being angry that a commentator dared to show a tiny bit of sympathy for Hunter and his father:

CNN political director David Chalian joined the Thursday edition of CNN News Central to discuss Hunter Biden being formally indicted on three gun charges and to wax poetic about “this unbelievable Biden story” as it relates to President Joe Biden’s life.

Chalian tried argued that for Biden, “There's the political for him and then there's the personal. The political, obviously, this is an unwelcome development for any White House. As we said it's the first time ever a president's child is indicted on criminal charges. Nobody would want that. It's an unwelcome development for this campaign season getting under way. It's a distraction from what the White House and his team want to focus on.”


Wrapping up his thoughts, Chalian repeated himself, “There have been more emotional ups and downs for this family, and this is now another day where the president is going to suffer an emotional down that his son is under these criminal charges, so I know—I am certain he's not just viewing this through a political lens, but obviously, he is somebody so identified with his children and his grandchildren as at the very center and core of his being."

Naturally, the idea that Joe Biden was something other than a heartbroken, empathetic father when it comes to all of Hunter’s “troubles” was something Chalian never considered.

The same day, Mark Finkelstein whined that someone pointed out that questions can be raised about the indictment:

The once-fierce pit bull has lost his bite! As Robert Mueller's closest aide during the Russia, Russia, Russia investigation, Andrew Weissmann earned the moniker, "the pit bull," for his hyper-aggressive approach to prosecution. But now that Weissmann has become an MSNBC analyst, and asked to comment on the indictment of Hunter Biden on gun charges, the pit bull has suddenly become a Biden lap dog.

On today's Morning Joe, Weissmann said of the indictment: "This really strikes me as an abuse of the enormous discretion that a prosecutor has." He said special counsel David Weiss "obviously can do it, there is probable cause that a grand jury found -- but should you be bringing the charges?"

The panel also focused on alleged Republican hypocrisy in hailing the indictment under a federal statute whose constitutionality they have challenged on Second Amendment grounds. But no word from the Morning Joe crowd on the mirror image: the hypocrisy of Democrats in challenging a gun control law, passed by a Democrat Congress, that they have vigorously defended. 


The bottom line is that Weissmann, and the entire Morning Joe crew, circled the wagons around Hunter, doing their best to undermine the case against President Biden's son.

Is that like how Finkelstein's MRC crew circled the wagons around Trump over his multiple indictments? He didn't want to talk about that.

Curtis Houck irrationally raged in a Sept. 18 post that someone else said nice things about the Bidens:

NBC’s chief Biden tool and apple polisher Mike Memoli hit send Sunday on a puketastic item with colleagues Carol Lee and Monica Alba that painted President Biden with nothing but sympathy from the get-go in “Biden allies worry son Hunter’s indictment could strain the president’s 2024 focus”.

The trio did its best in the first paragraph to make one’s eyes roll 180 degrees to the back of their head: “During the period between his vice presidency and presidency, Joe Biden was often asked about the campaign he didn’t run. In explaining why he passed on a White House bid in 2016, Biden would describe how the death of his eldest son, Beau, weighed heavily on him and his family.”

Like concerned family members, Memoli and co. fretted that while Biden wanted another term, “people close to the president are increasingly worried about how the legal troubles of his remaining son, Hunter, could divide his attention at a time when he needs to be fully focused on what’s expected to be a razor-close election.”


Cue the laugh tracks for this zaniness from former Biden aide Michael LaRosa, who surmised that the President likely “wakes up and thinks about his deceased son and probably cries every day” about Beau and Hunter’s life of ruin.

They also made Biden seem like, yes, a child: “The president relies most heavily on his wife at these moments, and they were apart for about a week with her Covid diagnosis and his trip to India and Vietnam, which came hours after the news that Hunter would be indicted by the end of the month.”

Yes, someone as devoid of basic human empathy as Houck (and most other MRC employees) would find it "puketastic" that Biden might continue to grieve for his deceased son.

As the MRC is prone to do, a Sept. 18 post by Tober expressed new outrage that Hunter is committing the offense of fighting back against his critics (though he switched from smearing Hunter as a "crackhead" to merely a "drug addict," despite providing no evidence of a current addiction):

President Joe Biden’s drug addict son Hunter Biden launched a frivolous lawsuit Monday against his father’s own IRS due to the agency allegedly releasing his tax records during a whistleblower report against the agency.

While ABC's World News Tonight ignored this escalation from Hunter Biden's team, the CBS Evening News chose not to simply report on it. Instead, they touted Hunter “going on the offensive” against the IRS. In a random act of journalism, NBC Nightly News played it straight and reported the facts of the story. 

“Tonight Hunter Biden's legal team is going on the offensive, filing a lawsuit against the IRS for the alleged unlawful release of his private tax details,” CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell hyped in her biased report. 

“Attorneys claim two agents violated Biden’s privacy rights when they disclosed his tax information during media interviews including with CBS News,” O’Donnell added.

By contrast, on NBC Nightly News, left out the editorializing of Hunter Biden “going on the offensive.”

Tober didn't explain how he decided Hunter's lawsuit was "frivolous" or why Hunter should not even be allowed to respond to his critics.

The MRC's Hunter derangement continued throughout the fall:

Tim Graham, meanwhile, spent an Oct. 14 post complaining it was pointed out that initial doubts about the veracity of the Hunter laptop story were reasonable:

In the latest episode of What Liberals Won't Ask, Fox Special Report host was interviewing Obama's former CIA director (and former Democrat congressman) Leon Panetta about the latest developments in the Israel-Hamas war. But before it was over, Baier said "I'd be remiss" not to ask about the 2020 campaign and "that letter you signed onto from [51] former intelligence officials saying that the laptop and e-mails had all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation."

Baier noted the original New York Post story that was so energetically suppressed by the news media and social media. Later, The Washington Post investigated and acknowledged in 2022 the laptop was authentic (as did The New York Times). Baier asked: "Do you have regrets about that now looking back, knowing what you know now?"

Panetta replied: "Look, Bret, I was extremely concerned about Russian interference and misinformation, and we all know intelligence agencies discovered that had Russia had continued to push disinformation across the board, and my concern was to kind of alert the public, to be aware that these disinformation efforts went on. Frankly I haven't seen any evidence from any intelligence agency that that was not the case."

"You don't think that it was real?" Baier asked him, incredulous. 

"I think that disinformation is involved, here," Panetta claimed. "I think Russian disinformation is part of what we're seeing everywhere. I don't trust the Russians. And that's exactly why I was concerned that the public not trust the Russians either." 

Baier was stunned enough to kick the tire on more time: "I don't want to dwell on this because we have bigger things to talk about and bigger urgency, but obviously Hunter Biden said it was his laptop and this investigation continues. So you don't have any regrets about doing what you did?"

Panetta smiled and said "No, I don't have any regrets about not trusting the Russians."
In his headline, Graham called the letter a "fraud," despite offering no evidence that anyone who signed it had knowledge to that effect -- as ConWebWatch has documented, there was little reason to trust the story at face value when it first appeared, given the New York Post's status as a pro-Trump organ, the shady pro-Trump operatives like Rudy Giuliani who were promoting it, and the Post's failure to provide independent evidence to prove the laptop's veracity that would addressed such doubts. Graham also failed to directly challenge anything Panetta said; instead, he quoted his fellow right-wingers who appeared in a later "Special Report" segment ranting about the "Russian fallacy" -- which, of course, wasn't a fallacy given that even a Republican-led congressional report agreed that there was sufficient evidence of regular contacts between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russian operatives to warrant an investigation.

When Hunter committed the offense of defending himself in a USA Today op-ed, Curtis Houck had a meltdown -- as the MRC tends to do whenever he defends himself -- in a Nov. 2 post

On Thursday, USA Today partnered with Hunter Biden for a cartoonishly dumb op-ed that accused Republicans, Fox News, the New York Post, and Biden critics writ large of “demoniz[ing]....addiction,” arguing he’s the victim of “a vile and sustained disinformation campaign” that threatens the sobriety of addicts writ large.

Talk about a rich case of low-brow politics by USA Today to have a story such as this inside the column, proving how the liberal media are shameless about their 2020 election interference and look to do so in 2024: “Conspiracy theories: GOP's Hunter Biden hysteria makes even less sense after plea deal gets put on hold”.

The headline was gag-worthy: “I fought to get sober. Political weaponization of my addiction hurts more than me.” The subhead with even dumber with Biden whining that “[m]y struggles and my mistakes have been fodder for a vile and sustained disinformation campaign against my father, President Joe Biden, and an all-out annihilation of my reputation.”


Biden then flipped the script, stating explicitly that he’s “not a victim” because, “[b]y any standard, I grew up with privilege and opportunity, and fully accept that the choices and mistakes I made are mine, and I am accountable for them and will continue to be.”

Clearly, he hasn’t accepted responsibility since he's fighting charges tooth and nail and filing lawsuits.

Feigning concern for average Americans, he proclaimed in a skyscraper-sized strawman that he’s “trouble[d]” by “the demonization of addiction” and “human frailty” from the American public.

Wait, so he’s claiming anyone condemning him means they’re also smearing anyone suffering or suffered through addiction of some sort?

We don't recall Houck ever accusing Donald Trump of not "accepting responsibility" for his actions because he's "fighting charges tooth and nail and filing lawsuits," and he doesn't explain why Hunter is not allowed to defend herself. Houck further complained that Hunter called out his attackers:

Biden went onto whine about “being bombarded by the denigrating and near-constant coverage of me and my addiction on Fox News (more airtime than GOP presidential candidate Ron DeSantis) and in The New York Post (an average of two stories a day over the past year).”


Biden even addressed the laptop from hell: “My recent haircut turned into a wild conspiracy to evade drug tests, tabloids steadily splash nude pictures of me on their covers, and even a member of Congress displayed revenge porn of me on national television.”

Houck didn't even bother to justify posting the vicious right-wing attacks on Hunter, such has posting nude images of him online -- but he bizarrely insists that Hunter's a whiner for pointing that out. It's almost as if he knows that the right-wing jihad against Hunter is all about vicious personal destruction; he and his fellow right-wingers would be dancing in the streets if Hunter was driven to overdose or suicide as is their goal.

Graham similarly mocked Hunter for defending himself in his Nov. 3 podcast:

USA Today published a ridiculous column by Hunter Biden claiming Republicans were somehow demonizing all addicts with their investigations of his business dealings with Dad. "What troubles me is the demonization of addiction, of human frailty, using me as its avatar and the devastating consequences it has for the millions struggling with addiction," he claimed.
Don't investigate the Biden influence-peddling business! It will "devastate millions of addicts"!


He kept returning to his ridiculous thesis: "It is already a near-impossible decision for addicts to get sober, and the avalanche of negativity and assault of my personal privacy may only make it harder for those considering it." He praised his family for giving him the space for "sincere redemption," and then, as if it's impossible to ignore, he drags in his brother Beau's death from brain cancer in 2015: "After what I have gone through since my brother died in 2015, and the perpetual public humiliation of me, I am now certain I can survive anything (except a drink or a drug)."

Graham didn't explain why it was "ridiculous" for Hunter to defend himself, nor do we recall him ever similar judgment on Trump's actual ridiculous defenses against the criminal acts he appears to have committed.

Tax charge

There are few things that the MRC hates more than Hunter Biden daring to defend himself. When Hunter faced the possibility of a closed-door hearing with House Republicans -- who have a penchant for dishonestly leaking excerpts of the testimony that don't hold up when the full transcript is later released -- Alex Christy spent a Nov. 29 post complaining that Jimmy Kimmel made that point:

ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel expressed his concern with Hunter Biden possibly going before the House Oversight Committee on his Tuesday show claiming Republicans’ desire for a closed-door hearing will lead them to “make stuff up” because “they’ve seen no evidence that Joe Biden had anything to do” with Hunter’s business operations.

Kimmel actually began with a rare joke about Hunter himself, “Hunter Biden may be heading to Congress. He said—Hunter said he is willing to testify before the House Oversight Committee, but only if it is televised. He wants to do it in public, preferably nude, in a hot tub, smoking an unfiltered cigarette with a hooker.”

However, Kimmel quickly shifted to the substance of the matter and, like Hunter’s legal team, demanded a televised hearing, “but his legal team wants him to testify out in the open, but Republicans don’t want that. They don't want it on TV. They're like, ‘If we don’t do this behind closed doors, how are we supposed to make stuff up?’" 

If the positions were reversed, Kimmel would probably accuse Republicans of wanting the hearing televised so they could get their 30 seconds of fame by confronting Hunter and putting the clip on the internet while fundraising off it.

As it is, Republicans are seeking to deny Democrats the opportunity to get their own 30 second clips that would end up on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Christy was silent on the fact that Republican dishonesty on leaked testimony has been well documented.

The same day, Curtis Houck whined that non-right-wing media outlets aren't obsessing over this as much as he is:

Tuesday saw a possible monumental twist in the Hunter Biden saga as Biden said he would be willing to comply with a House Oversight Committee subpoena and testify publicly (even though the committee currently wanted a private deposition) about his life of ruin, corruption, and allegations of malfeasance involving his father, the current President. 

But like most Biden scandals, it barely received any attention on the flagship morning and evening news programs on ABC, CBS, and NBC, with only 31 seconds on Tuesday’s CBS Evening News.

Tim Graham spent a Dec. 2 post whining even more at the idea that Hunter defending himself could possibly be seen as a good thing:

On CNN’s The Chris Wallace Show on Saturday morning, they talked about Hunter Biden, but it was framed as Hunter making Republicans look dumb.

Wallace began: "Sometimes the best defense is a good offense. The president's embattled son Hunter Biden taking on House Republicans this week, agreeing to testify in their impeachment inquiry, but only if it’s in public. House Republicans quick to reject the offer, calling for Hunter to testify first in private."

After a soundbite of Rep. James Comer, Wallace then asked leftist podcaster Kara Swisher: "Kara, did Hunter Biden outsmart House Republicans, saying sure I'll testify -- in public?" The screen also asked 'DID HUNTER BIDEN OUTSMART HOUSE REPUBLICANS?'

Swisher agreed: "Yes, I thought it was brilliant actually, because he's a somewhat appealing character. People will get to see him for the first time rather than the cartoon and now they have to say 'no we don't want to see you,' and after all this time, we have to see Hunter Biden."

That's a weird flex, because Hunter Biden did a weird round of interviews when his addiction memoir Beautiful Things came out in 2021.

Graham didn't give CNN credit for having conservatives on the panel, though he eagerly quoted those conservatives portraying Hunter defending himself as a "stunt."

After Hunter faced new tax-related charges, Christy came back in a Dec. 8 post to complain that someone pointed out the charges disprove right-wing claims that the Department of Justice has been "weaponized":

New York Times correspondent and author Michael Bender joined Friday’s CNN This Morning to react to Hunter Biden’s latest indictment on tax evasion where he proceeded to memory holed the IRS whistleblowers who alleged he received preferential treatment in order to proclaim that in “a normal world” these latest charges would debunk the idea that the Justice Department has been weaponized.

Host Poppy Harlow began with more of a statement or observation than a question, “Michael, this is a complete collision course between, you know, the political system and the legal system. What's fascinating is for both the president's son and for the former president, all at the same time.”

Bender concurred, but on the political ramifications, he accused Republicans of living in some sort of fantasy land, “normally the American people are less likely to penalize a candidate for his family's charges, and you would think, in, maybe, a normal world, all these charges against Hunter Biden might take some steam out of the Republican argument that Joe Biden has weaponized the Justice Department against his -- against his political enemies but, you know, the keyword there, in a normal time.”

Christy didn't explain how these charges don't disprove the right-wing "weaponization" narrative.

Graham returned to serve up his own complaint in a Dec. 8 post that the charges were being questioned:

While ABC, CBS, and NBC dryly and seriously addressed the new Hunter Biden indictment on tax charges in California, MSNBC’s Morning Joe didn't discuss the new Hunter indictment until a half-hour had elapsed, and then they implied this shouldn’t have happened.

Co-host Willie Geist walked legal analyst Lisa Rubin through all the reasons not to prosecute. Hunter repaid the tax debt, “maybe not by him specifically, but they were repaid.” And not in a timely manner, Rubin added, but “Hunter’s tax liability has been cleared."

Rubin then explained that back when Hunter’s plea deal collapsed, she told the MSNBC anchor that other people would have never been prosecuted for this, so the fact that these charges are added “shows me that there is a two-tiered system of justice, it just doesn’t go the way Donald Trump thinks it does."


They're so energetically doing Democrat Talk that they can't acknowledge that all of Hunter's millions came from selling access to his father. Joe Biden obviously knew his son was selling access. He cooperated with it, and met with his clients. next? [Jonathan] Lemire then made a speech that this indictment is "not a coincidence." (Like Biden's Justice Department is working with Republicans?)

Graham didn't explain that it's entirely possible there could be partisan DOJ holdovers from the Trump years who would act against Hunter the way he accuses DOJ operatives of acting against Trump.

Houck served up a Dec. 8 coverage time-count post (that oddly excluded Fox News), adding: "While the liberal media seem increasingly comfortable with throwing Hunter overboard, they’ve made sure to continue sheltering his father, President Joe Biden." Nicholas Fondacaro grumbled in his own Dec. 8 post:

First son Hunter Biden got an early Christmas gift from Special Council David Weiss in the form of a brand new federal indictment on felony tax charges. That didn’t sit well with MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell, who opened her eponymous show on Friday by lamenting that Weiss “quoted gritty details from Hunter's own memoir to build his case,” how it was bad “optics” for White House, and that it could hurt President Biden’s 2024 chances.

Christy huffed in a Dec. 9 post: "With Hunter Biden being charged with multiple tax-related felonies, the cast of Friday’s PBS NewsHour wanted to emphasize what it considered the main takeaway “the indictment does not in any way implicate President Joe Biden.” He then ranted about "all the evidence that Joe was involved in those ill-gotten gains that he said doesn’t exist," though the MRC post he offered as proof failed to demonstrate that any of it was credible evidence.

A Dec. 10 post by Jorge Bonilla complained that an ABC panel discussion "threatened to veer into 'a father’s undying love' territory, but it only took former DOJ spokesperson Sarah Isgur 39 seconds to bring the discussion back into focus." He censored the fact that Isgur is a conservative activist who was a DOJ spokesperson in the Trump administration. Bonilla also groused that the panel discussion didn't get into "the firing of Victor Shokin," but failed to disclose that Shokin (a prosecutor in Ukraine) was fired because he wasn't doing his job of prosecuting corruption, not because he was.

Send this page to:

Bookmark and Share
The latest from

In Association with
Support This Site

home | letters | archive | about | primer | links | shop
This site © Copyright 2000-2024 Terry Krepel