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The MRC's Hunter Biden Derangement, Winter 2024

The Media Research Center continues to be angry that Hunter is taking steps to fight back against those plotting to destroy him (and his father). Plus: Does Christian Toto want to see Hunter dead?

By Terry Krepel
Posted 4/23/2024

The Media Research Center is so consumed with Hunter Biden Derangement Syndrome that gets irrationally angry whenever Hunter dares to defend himself. When Hunter took a stand outside the Capitol building by declaring he would take questions from hostile Republican congressmen only in a public forum, not the private session from which they would selectively leak out-of-context excerpts as is their practice, the MRC’s Hunter Derangement Syndrome reached new levels of rage. Nicholas Fondacaro raged in a Dec. 13 post (repeated misspelling of "publicly" in original):
In a brazen act of defiance, on Wednesday, President Joe Biden’s delinquent son Hunter publically refused to comply with a congressional subpoena to appear before Congress in the closed committee hearing. It was an act scored by the liberal media when former President Trump’s allies did it, but now that the parties were reversed MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell cheered it on as “extraordinary” during her eponymous show.

She also falsely claimed that Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH) was held in contempt for similarly defying a congressional subpoena.

Near the top of her show, Mitchell touted Hunter’s statement to the press outside the Capitol. “A defiant Hunter Biden speaking publically about all of this for the first time,” she announced. She then admitted it wasn’t the first time he spoke publically about his additions since “he wrote a book.” “[B]ut this was really an extraordinary statement today,” she added.

Mitchell followed up by falsely claiming that Representative Jordan had previously been held in contempt of Congress by Democrats for the same thing. “By the way, Jim Jordan ignored a subpoena. He was, you know, in contempt really of Congress for refusing to testify,” she erroneously suggested.


Ignoring the lies and games the Democrats had played with their Russia Collusion Hoax, Coley suggested it was Republicans who “have a history of cherry-picking things said in private and releasing them publically without context ... all in an effort to shape a public narrative.”

Fondacaro is ignoring that there was plenty of evidence to warrant an investigation into Donald Trump’s Russian connections, and that most observers agreed -- and, thus, was not a "hoax." He also failed to mention that Republicans do, in fact, have a history of selectively leaking private testimony that tends to be disproven when the full transcript is ultimately released. We also don’t recall Fondacaro ever accusing Jordan of a “brazen act of defiance” in defying his congressional subpoena.

Curtis Houck followed with a post playing whataboutism over selective leaks:

[NBC correspondent Garrett] Haake noted that Republicans “argue that this impeachment inquiry — formalizing it — will force the administration to be more responsive to their questions and to their subpoenas” while Democrats “see this entire effort as just a distracting political stunt”.

Haake and co-host Savannah Guthrie then went through the minutiae of why Hunter Biden and his team only want a public hearing while Republicans want both. Hilariously, Haake repeatedly Team Hunter’s demands for a public-only hearing would be “to prevent the committee from twisting his words with what they release.”

Alex Christy spent a Dec. 14 post being angry that Stephen Colbert called out Republicans’ obsession with nude pictures of Hunter:

In December 2022, CBS’s Stephen Colbert proclaimed the reason why conservatives were all upset over Twitter censoring the New York Post story on Hunter Biden’s laptop was because they wanted to see “Hunter Biden’s penis pictures.” Fast forward a year to the Wednesday edition of The Late Show and Colbert was at it again, claiming the only dirt Republicans have on President Joe Biden as they launch their impeachment inquiry is “his son’s penis pics.”

After playing a clip of GOP Rep. Pat Fallon on Fox, Colbert declared, “This started with you not liking Joe Biden and spending a year not finding a crime he committed. It’s just like an episode of Law & Order.”

Of course, as Colbert’s CBS colleagues informed us not that long ago, you don’t need to come committed an actual crime to be impeached, but Colbert continued with a Law & Order parody that included the narrator declaring, “In the criminal justice system, sometimes you really want to have done something bad even if they probably didn’t so you spend many months and millions of taxpayer dollars on an investigation, but the best you come up with is his son’s penis pics.”


Liberal comedian minds think alike as Jimmy Kimmel has essentially the same thing a few weeks back. Still, Colbert then played a clip of Hunter declaring that “For six years, MAGA Republicans, including members of the House committees who are in a closed door session right now have impugned my character, invaded my privacy, attacked my wife, my family, and my friends, They’ve ridiculed my struggle with addiction. They’ve belittled my recovery and they’ve tried to dehumanize me all to embarrass and damage my father.”

To which Colbert added in another jokes that was not told four years ago, “Come on, that’s not fair, Hunter. They also did it to fundraise.”

Christy didn’t dispute Colbert’s assessment.

In another Dec. 14 post, Jorge Bonilla accused anyone of telling Hunter’s side of the story of promoting a “narrative” (as if he’s not being paid to push right-wing anti-Hunter narratives):

After Hunter Biden’s wild press conference in lieu of appearing to testify before the House committees investigating the Biden family’s foreign business dealings ahead of yesterday’s vote on an impeachment inquiry, it appears that the communications strategy is lacking consensus. And on CNN NewsNight with Abby Philip, an opportunity to shape that post-presser consensus narrative.


Of course, the purest victim in all of this is not Hunter Biden, but the presidential reelection prospects of his father, hence the expression of concern over Hunter’s silent strategy. But then, a reassurance. “It is important that Hunter does not appear guilty” seems like it came from Hunter does, quite frankly, the whole segment.

There is, of course, no time to examine or discuss any of the public evidence against the Bidens, such as the FD-1023 discussing payments to Burisma or the damning IRS whistleblower testimony. There is only concern for the relationship between Hunter Biden, his appearance of innocence in the face of damning evidence, the electoral prospects of Joe Biden, and the shaping of public perception in a light most favorable to all.

This is little more than crisis comms strategy disguised as “news analysis”.

Bonilla, of course, is promoting right-wing talking points disguised as “media research.”

Clay Waters used a Dec. 15 post to complain that PBS was almost too balanced in reporting on Hunter:

On the Wednesday edition of the PBS NewsHour, host William Brangham neutrally noted the launch by House Republicans of a formal impeachment inquiry into President Biden. Congressional reporter Lisa Desjardins also set the scene in straightforward fashion, observing that House Republicans are aiming to get more leverage in court to enforce subpoenas, especially against Hunter Biden, the president’s son, who has just defied a congressional subpoena to testify behind closed doors as opposed to in public.

Desjardins even relayed data from a new poll from NPR, PBS and Marist, including the rather surprising figure that “24 percent of Democrats saying a Democratic president, they approve of an impeachment inquiry is significant.”

Waters then groused that an expert on impeachment PBS had on “has deep ties to Democrats, including donating to Barack Obama’s two presidential campaigns, serving as deputy media director of Al Gore’s first U.S. Senate campaign, and acted as special counsel to former Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) regarding Obama’s nominations of Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor,” then served up more right-wing spin after the expert pointed out there’s no “credible evidence” so far in the Biden impeachment push:

It’s ludicrous to claim there’s no “credible evidence” linking Hunter Biden to his father, which requires ignoring all the phone calls between Joe and Hunter’s clients (where they “only talked about the weather”) and the restaurant meetings and the photographs. Evidence keeps pouring out, like the big checks to Joe from his brother James (never mind, it’s a “loan repayment.”)

Bonilla returned to once again try and make “Acela media” happen in another Dec. 15 post:

As part of the ongoing Acela Media effort to enable Hunter Biden’s new media strategy, MSNBC’s Alex Wagner was joined by Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-CA), where he was given free rein to smear conservatives and impugn the motives of those who investigate the Biden family corruption. 

Watch as the public flatulator and Chinese spy romancer proceeds, with smiling assent from Wagner, to link the existing impeachment inquiry with the January 6th Capitol Riot[:]


The entire interview went pretty much like this, but this clip is representative. All the elements were there for Swalwell. Recovering addict. Personal mistakes were made. A father’s love. No proof of wrongdoing or criminality. MAGA. 

Of course, it wasn’t that long ago that Swalwell saw the value in closed-door hearings in furtherance of impeachment inquiries. None of that mattered to Wagner, who was there to facilitate this new, performatively assertive Biden media strategy. 

We don’t recall Bonilla ever complaining that Donald Trump acted in a “performatively assertive” manner.

A Dec. 16 post by Tim Graham complained that someone else praised Hunter for defending himself:

When the Bidens need a really syrupy approach to its public statements, they can count on Matt “Biden Adviser” Viser to lay it on thick. After Hunter’s stunt statement before snubbing a congressional subpoena, Viser’s Thursday valentine was headlined: 
‘I am here’: Hunter Biden makes a defiant appearance
The subheadline underlined that Hunter’s stunt reflected “a desire to wrest control of his own narrative.” Viser is certainly under Hunter’s control. He wrote the speech “was by turns emotional, plaintive and contentious. It appeared to have two main aims: humanizing him after years of vilification, and emphasizing that his father had nothing to do with his business affairs despite the impeachment inquiry.” Nothing? Really? 


The only feint toward an opposing viewpoint was a brief quote from Rep. James Comer: “He does not get to dictate the terms of the subpoena.” Viser let shameless Hunter Biden accuse someone else of being shameless.

The president’s son said House Republicans continue to focus on “a nonexistent bribe.” He noted that Greene displayed naked photos of him during committee hearings. “They have taken the light of my dad’s love for me and presented it as darkness,” Hunter Biden said. “They have no shame.”

At least Viser noticed that Hunter not only snubbed the committee, he snubbed reporter questions: “Hunter Biden reiterated that he was willing to answer questions anytime as long as it is in a public session — although he ignored the questions reporters shouted at him after he gave his statement.”

Jorge Bonilla, by contrast, was much happier in a Dec. 19 post when a non-right-winger criticized Hunter for speaking out:

During a panel discussion regarding the impeachment inquiry against Hunter Biden, former White House Press Secretary and current MSNBC host Jen Psaki let loose on what she (and probably her former comrades at the White House) think of Hunter’s Capitol press conference prior to blowing off his scheduled closed-door testimony: to wit, very little.

Watch as Psaki, in no uncertain terms, conveys her desire for the younger Biden to remain quiet and “go away”:


There is so much in that clip that reveals what is wrong with the state of media today. The incestuousness, the valuation of access, and the rank partisanship. Here again, the purest, truest victim of Hunter Biden’s illegalities is the reelection prospects of his father. His loving, doting father.

If you watch closely, Psaki laid out a crisis comms strategy in real time. Muzzle Hunter (good luck), and go to “a father’s love”. Oh, and make Hunter go away.

Watch that playbook unfold over the next few weeks, as the impeachment inquiry proceeds and Hunter Biden is arraigned over his tax charges.

Bonilla, meanwhile, would love nothing more than the right-wing weaponization of government against Hunter to continue — and even, hopefully, drive Hunter to suicide as an own-the-libs moment to destroy his father.

Christian Toto spent his Dec. 23 column whining that “Saturday Night Live” won’t make fun of Hunter the way right-wingers like him would:

The First Son’s adult life could fuel a thousand sketches. Drugs. Prostitution. Tax evasion. Cocaine suddenly appeared in the White House. Dodging child support payments. The “Laptop from Hell.” Texting the n-word. His art career. 

That’s not to mention the allegations summed up by the “Biden Crime Family” moniker.

Plus, he’s constantly offering up new material. Earlier this week, Hunter Biden refused to testify behind closed doors. He could face contempt of Congress charges for his defiance.

Now, quick, name a classic “Saturday Night Live” sketch that featured Hunter Biden as the main attraction. You can’t because it’s never happened.

Pete Davidson briefly played the First Son in a sketch three years ago. The comic actor made Hunter Biden look cool, entering the courtroom on a hoverboard.

Davidson’s Hunter literally said, “[Trump] is just pointing at me to distract from his own crimes.”

That’s a talking point, not a punch line.


“Saturday Night Live,” once a bipartisan sketch series, now relentlessly promotes progressive talking points. Democrats are defended or ignored. Republicans get skewered week after week.

The show can barely mention President Biden in any of its signature sketches.

If it won’t hold the most powerful man in the world accountable with humor, there’s no chance it’ll mock a First Son with serious, and sobering, ties to his pappy.

Toto, meanwhile, doesn’t want Trump held accountable with humor — or anything else.

Graham cranked out a year-end post on Dec. 31 complaining that reporters didn’t harass President Biden about Hunter to his (and Fox News’) satisfaction:

In a year-end review, Fox News media reporter Joseph Wulfsohn underlined that 2023 was another year in which President Biden largely avoided solo press conferences (three!) and serious newsmaker interviews. He ended the year on a podcast with comedian Conan O’Brien, not with a press conference or a hard-hitting journalist one-on-one.

Biden promised he would be kinder to the press than Trump, but that has only meant he hasn’t trashed them as “fake news,” and why would he? They’re all in his corner. But he doesn’t grant access unless an interviewer demonstrates they won’t be “trouble.” Interviewers have mostly skipped asking Hunter Biden questions.


Wulfsohn reported it’s been all puffery without scandal questions since then:
Since then, Biden granted interviews with MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, British wellness podcast host Jay Shatt, The Weather Channel’s Stephanie Abrams, ProPublica’s John Harwood, CBS correspondent Scott Pelley on “60 Minutes,” Spanish radio host Tony Arias, CNN’s Anderson Cooper on his podcast about grief and comedian Conan O’Brien, marking his final sit-down of 2023.

All of them avoided the subject.
This should underline the suspicion that Team Biden makes it a condition of getting an interview that you don’t “get personal” and ask about Hunter or his brother Jimmy influence-peddling with our enemies. 

Graham refused to admit that Wulfsohn is a biased anti-Biden reporter — something he would not hesitate to point out if a reporters’ bias was anything but right-wing.

New year, still getting triggered

The MRC took getting triggered over Hunter Biden defending himself to the next level when Hunter showed up in the audience of a congressional hearing about him, effectively daring them to swear him in (which they didn’t) — foiling the plans of Republicans who want him to testify in private, followed by selective leaking of out-of-context snippets of that testimony to further their right-wing narratives, as they usually do. The MRC didn’t take it well at all, of course, desperate to dismiss it as a “stunt.” Alex Christy complained in a Jan. 10 post:

As Hunter Biden showed up for his publicity stunt on Capitol Hill on Wednesday where he briefly sat in on the House Oversight Committee hearing on a vote to hold him in contempt both CNN News Central and MSNBC’s Ana Cabrera Reports claimed that the move proves that Hunter defying his subpoena is actually proof he’s willing to comply with that same subpoena.

CNN Congressional reporter Melanie Zanona recalled that, “Now, it’s all fluid now, but this is the expectation that he is going to show up and it is similar to what he did when he was scheduled to appear for a closed door deposition in December.”

Closed door testimony was par for the course when Democrats were conducting the initial stages of their impeachment of Donald Trump, but neither network cared to remember that.
Christy didn’t mention how it’s well-documented that House Republicans selectively leak out-of-context testimony from those closed-door sessions — the fate Hunter is trying to avoid.

In his writeup of the Jan. 10 White House press briefing, Curtis Houck noted there were “a smattering of questions about Hunter Biden’s latest D.C. stunt as he appeared in-person for a House Oversight Committee hearing to discuss holding him in contempt of Congress” to “testify[] about his life of ruin." Christy returned to comedy-cop mode for a Jan. 11 post to grumble that Jimmy Kimmel talked about it:

When it comes to Republican battles with Hunter Biden, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel knows which side he’s on. As Hunter showed up at his contempt vote at the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday, Kimmel claimed that the stunt showed that it was Republicans who “were the ones on crack.”

Kimmel began by feeling the need to provide some background information, “The backstory is a MAGA-happy gang of Republicans, they made it their mission to paint Hunter Biden — you’re familiar with the crackhead Hunter Biden—okay, as some kind of criminal mastermind who’s charged with bringing money into the family. So they served him with a subpoena, they ordered him to testify, as part of this manufactured impeachment query they’re doing and Hunter said, ‘All right, I’ll testify, but only if I can do it in public.'”

Of course, closed door testimony is how Democrats began their 2019 impeachment of Donald Trump, but Kimmel thinks a different set of rules should apply now, “He wanted to do it on TV, presumably so we can see what a joke this is and they said, no, no, we have to do it in secret so we can spin it however we like afterwards and Hunter says no deal either we do it in public or we don’t do it at all. So, this morning, the Oversight Committee meets, with cameras rolling, for a hearing on whether to hold Hunter in contempt for not showing up. And guess who shows up? Hunter Biden.”

Preparing to play some video clips from the proceedings, Kimmel declared “It was incredible. It was like when the polar bear showed up on Lost. It was like C-SPAN meets The Maury Povich Show. They didn’t know what to do. They were planning to do a big grandstanding routine where they give the little speeches they hope will get on Fox News, but instead they ended up looking like they were the ones on crack.”


If Kimmel alleges that Republicans were only trying to get on Fox then Hunter was only trying to get on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Kimmel was happily to oblige.

A Jan. 11 post by Houck whined that non-right-wing outlets didn’t frame Hunter’s actions in the right-wing “stunt” narrative:

Regarding the latest network coverage (or lack thereof) Wednesday night and Thursday morning concerning Hunter Biden’s life of corruption, we’ve got some good news and we’ve got some bad news. The bad news? ABC, CBS, and NBC saw no problem with Hunter’s shameless stunt appearing before the House Oversight Committee as they debated a contempt of Congress resolution.

The good news was Thursday’s CBS Mornings became the first newscast to do a deep dive calling out Hunter’s shady, shadowy Hollywood bankroller.


Nobles explained Hunter opposed an initial closed-door deposition because of a fear “Republicans would selectively leak what he said” and his presence triggered “shouting matches and chaotic moments with Republicans accusing him of taunting them.” Nobles being in Los Angeles meant a full segment on Thursday’s NBC Nightly News and an overall coverage tally of two minutes and 25 seconds. During his report, Nobles fretted about how naked photos of Hunter Biden became public (via his laptop, which Nobles omitted):

Houck omitted that the main way naked photos of Hunter Biden became public was through right-wingers posting them online (which caused the MRC to whine that accounts posting them were being suspended because they violated policies against posting of non-consensual nude images) and displaying them in congressional hearings, neither of which Hunter caused to happen.

Does MRC's Toto want to see Hunter dead?

Christian Toto spent his Jan. 13 column gushing over a new action movie:

Jason Statham’s character in “The Beekeeper” takes his gig literally.

He’s a retired military asset who once worked for a secret group of spies dubbed the Beekeepers.

And, in his spare time, he’s a beekeeper.

If literal action movies are your bag, Statham’s latest is Manna from Heaven. Everyone else will wish the film’s poetic opening didn’t get fumigated so quickly.

Toto went on to note that Statham’s character, Adam, “is a former ‘beekeeper,’ an assassin of sorts tasked with keeping the “hive” AKA the U.S. government in order,” though he admitted the movie is kind of a mess: “The rest is a mess, from plot threads that go nowhere (sorry, Minnie Driver) to great actors forced to say the silliest lines possible (et tu, Jeremy Irons?)” But there was one character in the film that drew Toto’s interest:

Josh Hutcherson gives the film a jolt as Derek, an entitled brat who oversees several scam outfits. Derek has connections, the kind that would protect almost anyone from harm.

Tell that to ... The Beekeeper!

If Derek reminds you of someone it may not be coincidental. Derek snorts coke in the White House, drops serious cash on prostitutes and runs to his mother (Jemma Redgrave), the President of the United States, for cover.

Sound like anyone we know?

Toto didn’t actually mention that person’s name in his column, but he made it clear in his headline: “Jason Statham’s ‘Beekeeper’ Takes Out the Trash (Including Hunter Biden?)” Never mind, of course, that Derek is not the president’s son — he’s a tech executive. Toto was curiously silent about Derek’s fate in the film, as summarized elsewhere: “Derek attempts to kill his mother, but Clay kills him first and escapes through a nearby window and onto the beach.”

It appears that Toto wants to see Hunter Biden dead — and in as violent a way as possible. He seemed to be pushing things that way as he wrapped up his column:

We’ve seen such chronic malfeasance from the modern FBI and White House that Adam’s vigilante work feels more timely than ever. He’s exposing corruption at the highest levels, and as crude as Kurt Wimmer’s screenplay might be, there’s a cathartic kick to Adam’s handiwork.

In real life, the bad guys get away with almost everything. Not on the Beekeeper’s watch.

Toto could have easily referenced Donald Trump (or Elon Musk, to more closely align to Derek’s occupation) instead of Hunter Biden as his real-life example of “bad guys” who “get away with almost everything.” Wonder why he didn’t...

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