CBS News became the latest corporate media organization to confirm the authenticity of Hunter Biden’s scandal-plagued laptop on Monday, an about-face from the network that refused to take it seriously two years ago.
Hunter Biden’s laptop, first reported on with less than a month to go in the 2020 election by the New York Post, was widely dismissed as unreliable and even Russian disinformation by mainstream print and television outlets. In a shocking display of coordination, Twitter and Facebook blocked or limited sharing of the New York Post’s article on an email contained in the laptop; Twitter even locked the New York Post out of its account for weeks.
It has since been authenticated by multiple outlets, including The New York Times, Washington Post, NBC News and Politico, and CBS joined the group this week.
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“As Republicans take control of the House, Hunter Biden, the president’s son will be a target for investigations and that means data from a laptop purported to belong to Biden could be crucial to the investigatory process. CBS News has obtained its data, not through a third party or political operative, but directly from the source who told us they provided it to the FBI under subpoena,” CNS News anchor Tony Dokoupil said. “We commissioned an independent forensic review to determine its authenticity.”
CBS News then reiterated what many other news outlets have already reported and declared there is “no evidence” the laptop was fake or tampered with. CBS News claimed it wanted to “cut through the noise” and ultimately declared the laptop, which has troves of data, emails and other possibly damaging information on the president’s son, is legitimate.
Republicans, according to the report, have pointed to a 2017 email about a proposed business deal with a Chinese energy firm that they say raises questions about whether Joe Biden benefited. The report added no evidence has emerged that indicates the president in any wrongdoing.
After the report, “CBS Mornings” anchor Gayle King said perhaps Hunter Biden should have just paid his laptop bill and avoided a lot of trouble.
The admission about the laptop’s legitimacy is a far cry from previous CBS News reporting on the scandalous computer.
“60 Minutes” veteran journalist Lesley Stahl laughed off then-President Trump’s claim that Joe Biden was “in the midst of a scandal” in an interview that aired just days before the 2020 election.
“He’s not,” Stahl gleefully replied.
“Of course he is, Lesley,” Trump sternly doubled down.
“No, c’mon,” Stahl continued to reject the president’s claim, before lecturing him, “This is ’60 Minutes’ and we can’t put on things that we can’t verify.”
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She also told Trump the laptop “can’t be verified.”
At one point on the campaign trail, CBS News correspondent Bo Erickson faced hostile pushback by other journalists, including one of his own colleagues, just for asking about the laptop.
“My @CBSEveningNews report clearly lays out warnings about Giuliani & Russian disinformation,” then-CBS News White House correspondent Paula Reid tweeted, attempting to undercut the legitimacy of Erickson’s question to Biden.
CBS News did not immediately respond to a request for comment. CBS News also provided Hunter Biden with a platform to promote his book in 2021 with an interview that focused on his battles with addiction and his efforts to make amends.
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The laptop saga began in October 2020, when the New York Post reported about a 2015 email from a Ukrainian energy executive to Hunter Biden, thanking him for introducing him to his father, that it obtained from the hard drive of Biden’s laptop. Joe Biden was vice-president at the time of the message, and his son at the time enjoyed a lucrative position on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy firm, raising concerns of attempted influence-peddling with his powerful father. Additional reporting from the laptop has called Hunter Biden’s overseas business relationships into question.
The laptop also contains a plethora of lewd and X-rated videos and photographs of Hunter Biden with an assortment of women and doing illegal drugs.
The younger Biden remains under federal investigation over his tax and overseas business affairs.
Fox News’ David Rutz contributed to this report.
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