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News orgs that dismissed Hunter Biden laptop story ‘absolutely need to correct the record,’ watchdogs say

The New York Times on Wednesday subtly confirmed the Hunter Biden laptop story that was largely written off by mainstream news outlets as disinformation when the New York Post first reported it ahead of the 2020 presidential election and media watchdogs want to see the organizations that initially dismissed it correct their reporting and analysis. 

“Outlets who actively tried to cover up the original New York Post laptop story absolutely need to correct the record,” journalist Drew Holden told Fox News Digital. 

“These weren’t simple misgivings — they smeared the accurate, significant scoops of a competitor as disinformation, and they absolutely have an obligation to correct the record,” Holden said. 

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NEW YORK TIMES SCOLDED FOR HANDLING OF HUNTER BIDEN LAPTOP STORY

The Post reported the laptop’s contents included emails, text messages, photos and financial documents between himself, his family and business associates that showed how he used his political influence in his foreign business dealings, specifically in his work as a board member of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company. However, voters who relied on the mainstream press for information ahead of the presidential election were told not to believe the report. 

Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent quickly declared the day after the Post first began reporting on the laptop that it was “Trump’s fake new Biden scandal,” calling the allegations “laughably weak.”

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NPR public editor Kelly McBride addressed a listener’s question about the news outlet’s blackout of the Hunter Biden story at the time. After claiming the Post’s reporting had “many, many red flags,” including its potential ties to Russia, NPR determined the “assertions don’t amount to much.”

“We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want to waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just pure distractions,” NPR managing editor Terence Samuel told McBride. 

NEW YORK TIMES FINALLY CONFIRMS HUNTER BIDEN’S LAPTOP AFTER DISMISSING IT AMID 2020 CAMPAIGN

NPR famously declared it wouldn’t "waste our time on stories that are not really stories" regarding Hunter Biden’s laptop. 

In December 2020, Project Veritas published leaked audio recordings of conference calls featuring CNN’s top executives urging staff to avoid the Biden scandal during the election. 

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“Obviously, we’re not going with the New York Post story right now on Hunter Biden,” CNN political director David Chalian said during a conference call on Oct. 14, the same day the Post published its first story on Hunter Biden’s emails. 

MSNBC anchor Katy Tur mocked the Post’s story, saying it “dropped like a bomb,” but to “wither under scrutiny, not really dropping like a bomb,” while MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle attacked those who were covering the Hunter Biden controversy, referring to it as a “so-called story” with “unverified claims.”

These are just a small sample of the corporate media’s overwhelming attempt to silence the story, which was even censored on Twitter. 

NPR, CNN, MSNBC and the Washington Post did not respond to requests for comment. 

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GLENN GREENWALD BLASTS THE NEW YORK TIMES OVER HUNTER BIDEN LAPTOP ADMISSION

DePauw University professor and media critic Jeffrey McCall isn’t surprised that many outlets have failed to correct their reporting, as “news organizations are historically hesitant to acknowledge mistakes,” but he thinks they need to be more transparent going forward. 

“That includes admitting errors of fact and errors in decision-making. News credibility is in deep decline and that is partly because news organizations can’t bring themselves to honestly explain to the public when they have made mistakes. Further, when mistakes are acknowledged, they should get sufficient space and placement that readers can actually see them,” McCall told Fox News Digital. 

“The Hunter Biden laptop story is important on several levels. First, the story was ignored by most establishment media when it first broke, and what little coverage it received was largely to dismiss or debunk the scoop of the New York Post. The journalism of omission in this case was totally glaring in that the establishment media were clearly trying to protect the Biden family as the 2020 election was winding down,” McCall added. “The lack of curiosity by most media outlets was puzzling, to say the least.”

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FLASHBACK: BIDEN OFFICIALS PUSHED ANGLE THAT HUNTER LAPTOP WAS ‘RUSSIAN DISINFO’

NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck doesn’t feel that simply correcting stories is enough at this point. 

“Not only do they need to correct their stories, but they need to fess up to their blatant disinformation campaign to not only censor those who shared the truth, but their adolescent temper tantrums about how it was Russian disinformation to suggest the First Son’s laptop and contents were legitimate or, at a minimum, explore in full,” Houck told Fox News Digital. 

“Aside from their general perpetuation of a false narrative about Team Trump and Russia, this was the biggest single media scandal of the decade and there needs to be accountability, both on the ethics side and people losing their jobs,” he added. 

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Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn and Brandon Gillespie contributed to this report. 

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