CBS News verifies Hunter Biden laptop two years after rejecting it; Republicans boo

CBS News has joined the slow parade of media belatedly confirming the authenticity of the Hunter Biden laptop, two years after ’60 Minutes’ headliner Lesley Stahl said his explosive videos and emails “don’t cannot be verified”.

In Monday’s report, CBS senior investigative correspondent Catherine Herridge said the laptop dropped in 2019 at a Delaware computer repair shop “showed no evidence that it was tampered with or faked,” based on an analysis by Minneapolis forensic experts Mark and Sean Lanterman.

The revelation came as no surprise to those on the right, who for the past two years have accused media and platforms of covering up then-candidate Joseph R. Biden, seeking to debunk and muzzle the story after the New York Post revealed it on October 1. 14, 2020.

“In 2020, CBS’ Lesley Stahl claimed Hunter Biden’s laptop ‘cannot be verified,’ and his shady business dealings ‘have been investigated and discredited,'” tweeted Senator Marsha Blackburn, Republican of Tennessee. “What has changed? The facts certainly haven’t.

The New York Post headlined, “CBS ‘confirms’ Hunter Biden’s laptop is real 769 days after Post published story.

NewsBusters from the conservative Media Research Center published a list of “12 things that took less time than CBS to recognize Hunter Biden’s laptop,” including the “combined presidencies of Garfield, Harrison, and Taylor” and “the banning Donald Trump’s Twitter”.

“CBS News is now reporting what Democrats told you for two years was a ‘Conspiracy Theory’,” tweeted Representative-elect Wesley Hunt, a Republican from Texas. “The Hunter Biden laptop is not Russian disinformation, it is real and very uncomfortable truth for the Biden White House.”

CBS represents the latest in a series of mainstream media outlets to backtrack on the so-called ‘laptop from hell’ after initially saying the device looked like ‘Russian disinformation’ or dismissing the content as unverifiable. .

In an October 2020 interview on “60 Minutes,” then-President Donald Trump called the laptop “one of the biggest scandals I’ve ever seen, and you won’t cover it. not”, prompting Ms Stahl to reply that “it can’t be verified.

Twitter and Facebook both limited the reach of the New York Post article, and Twitter froze the newspaper’s account for 16 days.

NPR said it would not cover the story because “[we] we don’t want to waste our time on stories that aren’t really stories, and we don’t want to waste listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are mere distractions.

In September 2021, however, Politico reported that it had authenticated some of the material on the laptop.

Other outlets followed in acknowledging the truth of some content, including CNN, NBC News, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.

In its Monday report, CBS linked the decision to order the forensic review to GOP plans to hold hearings into the Biden family’s business dealings after Republicans retook the House in January.

The laptop includes an email from May 2017 regarding a proposed trade deal with a Chinese energy company with the line “ten held by the H for the big guy”, which former Hunter Biden partner Tony Bobulinski says , refers to 10% to be held by Hunter. for his father.

Mr Biden said during the presidential campaign that he never told his son about his business dealings, although some content on the laptop suggests otherwise, including a voicemail from Joe himself. same.

A White House spokesman last week accused Republicans of carrying out “politically motivated attacks replete with long-debunked conspiracy theories.”

Ms. Herridge said in her CBS report that although the laptop and its contents are genuine, “after two years of careful examination, the laptop has produced no evidence that President Biden directly benefited from the his son’s business deals”.

Among those who brought up Stahl’s interview on Tuesday was Rep. Ronny Jackson, a Republican from Texas.

“Remember when CBS’ Lesley Stahl told President Trump that the Hunter Biden laptop story couldn’t be verified? TWO YEARS LATER, CBS finally admitted the laptop was real. Mainstream media hackers are LAZY and INCOMPETENT! President Trump was right all along!! Mr. Jackson tweeted.

NewsBusters editor Tim Graham said the two-year deadline “makes no sense, as hiring an expert to analyze the contents of the laptop cannot take two year”.

“They wouldn’t accept that kind of timing if the laptop belonged to a Trump,” he said.

CBS said its check was the first done on a “clean copy” of the laptop, noting it was obtained from the Delaware repair shop’s attorney. The network also pointed out that it did not pay the experts for their review.

The Lantermans said they obtained images of credit cards, a driver’s license and a Social Security number from the computer.

“Just the volume of what we’re dealing with would be difficult, if not impossible, to manufacture,” Sean Lanterman told CBS. “It built up over time, which is consistent with normal, everyday computer use.”

Among those unimpressed, Ms Blackburn tweeted that the network was “finally able to report Hunter Biden’s laptop and its contents are 100% real”.

“After laughing off the news reports for two years, the mainstream media want to claim a victory lap on their ‘independent review,'” she tweeted. “You can’t make this up.”


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