MSNBC talking heads applaud mainstream media’s handling of Hunter Biden story

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MSNBC national security correspondent Ken Dilanian on Monday appeared supportive of “mainstream media” efforts to suppress and censor incriminating allegations of corruption involving Joe and Hunter Biden first reported last week by the New York Post.

In a segment claiming that the story is fizzling out, Dilanian first repeated unfounded claims by his network and others that the information cited by the Post, which was reportedly discovered on a laptop Hunter Biden dropped off at a Delaware computer repair shop and then abandoned, was planted there by Russian intelligence.

“The New York Post story that dropped like a bomb last week, seemingly implicating Hunter and Joe Biden continues to wither under scrutiny, not really dropping like a bomb,” host Katy Tur claimed to launch the segment, despite the fact that some additional corroborating reporting has been aired or published in the days since the original NY Post report.

Tur swung it to Dilanian, who intoned:

NBC News is reporting that federal investigators are examining whether this – the emergence of these emails, texts, and videos that were supposedly left on a laptop in Delaware, a really fishy story, whether that was actually the product of a foreign intelligence operation. And obviously, Russia would be the chief suspect there.

In a Monday interview with Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said pointedly there is no evidence linking Russia to Hunter Biden’s laptop.

“Let me be clear: the intelligence community doesn’t believe that because there is no intelligence that supports that. And we have shared no intelligence with Adam Schiff or any member of Congress that Hunter Biden’s laptop is part of some Russian disinformation campaign,” he said.

“Hunter Biden’s laptop is not part of some Russian disinformation campaign,” Ratcliffe said, adding again that “this is not part of some Russian disinformation campaign.”

Also Monday, Fox News reported on a computer repair shop receipt the network discovered allegedly with Hunter Biden’s signature detailing work on three laptops.

Nevertheless, Dilanian continued to cast aspersions at the allegations contained on at least one of the laptops — materials turned over to the Post by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani for the story — and the Post itself, not on the corruption the Bidens are accused of.

“Now, look, there are so many questions about the provenance of this material. A lot of it does look legitimate, there are pictures of Hunter Biden, there are videos, there are emails. But we have no idea, and neither does The New York Post, whether any of it was doctored or forged or faked,” Dilanian said. “And that’s why the mainstream news media has declined to really touch the story, because it just lacks credibility.”

In fact, the Post has verified that the materials on the laptop are genuine.

Dilanian then appears to suggest that the media ignoring the allegations altogether is a good thing.

“And the fact that it appeared in The New York Post and that they chose to report on it extensively, sort says a lot about where we are in 2020 as opposed to 2016, where a lot of news organizations reported on emails that had been hacked by the Russians, Democratic emails, and then leaked,” he said.

“And they were newsworthy and people reported on them. We’re in a much different situation now because we now know that Russian disinformation or foreign disinformation or even dis – you know, campaign disinformation period is as dangerous to our democracy as anything exposed in these emails,” he continued.

During the 2016 election cycle and beyond, scores of media outlets including MSNBC reported on unsubstantiated claims that the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia on the word of anonymous sources — without hard evidence like emails, photos, and videos found on the Hunter Biden laptop.

Also, the outlets reported extensively on uncorroborated claims made in the so-called “Steele Dossier” after Buzzfeed News published it in January 2017 with the caveat that no information contained in it had been verified.

The same outlets also regularly feature Democratic lawmakers like House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) who has repeatedly made debunked claims of Trump-Russian collusion.

As for the laptop materials, notably, the NY Post’s Miranda Divine wrote in a Sunday column that neither Joe Biden nor his campaign has claimed they are fake.

Jon Dougherty

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