News groups dedicated to discrediting misinformation have a history of amplifying misinformation. On Wednesday, The New York Times conceded the authenticity of a laptop abandoned by Hunter Biden whose content was found and published in October 2020 then censored as “fake news.”
The computer’s files, first obtained by the New York Post after the laptop was abandoned at a Delaware repair shop, exposed new layers of family corruption as then-former Vice President Joe Biden ran for the White House, with mere weeks to election day.
“Emails,” the Times wrote on a story related to Hunter Biden’s federal tax investigation, “were obtained by The New York Times from a cache of files that appears to have come from a laptop abandoned by Mr. Biden.”
Had the same statement been made in October 2020, and by a right-leaning news outlet, the Times’ article would have been suppressed across Twitter and Facebook and its Twitter account suspended while rival outlets smeared the paper and any other publication as parroting Russian disinformation. That’s exactly what happened to the New York Post when it revealed Joe Biden had been lying when he denied ever discussing business with his son, “or with anyone else.” Another story revealed Joe Biden stood to personally profit from his son’s potentially criminal overseas business ventures.
The state-funded editors of National Propaganda Radio (NPR) announced days after the first trove of stories from the laptop were published that the government news operation would continue to ignore the blockbuster revelations.
“We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories,” NPR editors wrote.
Jake Sherman, a Politico writer at the time, apologized for even tweeting the story from the New York Post.
Politico then claimed nearly a year later in September to break a major scoop by confirming the authenticity of the Hunter Biden laptop, after it published dozens of former intelligence officials claiming the computer was likely an operation of Russian disinformation.
In a hostile interview with “60 Minutes” days before the election, CBS’s Lesley Stahl categorically rejected the emails put the Biden family under any scandal at all.
“It can’t be verified,” she said of the laptop. “It can’t be verified.”
Never mind that a forensic analysis of the hard drive days later would verify the laptop.
What’s changed in the 18 months since? Joe Biden is now in office. There was never any significant evidence to suggest the laptop was anything but authentic. On the contrary, rare on-the-record statements from the FBI, the Department of Justice, the Department of National Intelligence, and the Department of State refuted the assertion Hunter Biden’s hard drive was a fabricated artifact of Russian interference.
NewsGuard is a “fact checking” partner that works to determine whether news stories are “misinformation” and therefore merit censorship. Its website says it partners with Bing, MSN, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of State, the World Health Organization, and Microsoft.
Nearly every outlet that opted to ignore or discredit the Post’s reporting maintains a near-perfect rating from NewsGuard’s accuracy and credibility score. Politico, NPR, and The New York Times maintain a favorable 100/100 rating while CBS scores a 95/100. The New York Post, on the other hand, suffers a grade of 69.5/100, and The Federalist, 12.5/100.
The same left-wing misinformation group whose leaders also claimed the Hunter Biden laptop was Russian disinformation has teamed with the American Federation of Teachers to implement its “Nutrition Label” reviews of outlets into classrooms nationwide.
The partnership aims to “champion legitimate journalism and fact-based reporting and to help educators and their students navigate a sea of online disinformation.”