Brian Stelter defends media not covering Hunter Biden in 2020, says critics don’t know ‘how newsrooms work’

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CNN’s left-wing media correspondent Brian Stelter was on cleanup duty on behalf of the entire legacy media industry that by and large chose not to cover the Hunter Biden laptop story during the 2020 presidential election. 

“I think there’s a tension between big American newsrooms that want to check something out themselves that don’t want to rely on other outlets, that don’t want to just repeat and regurgitate, but then there’s an audience expectation of being able to instantly cover every story and have every answer,” Stelter said during a panel discussion on Thursday at the “Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy”  conference in Chicago. “And so in September or October of 2020, when the New York Post has something, other outlets can’t match it, there’s this pressure- ‘Why aren’t you confirming this? Why aren’t you focusing on this? Why aren’t you leading on this?’ Because we haven’t matched it, we haven’t confirmed it.”

CNN BOSS, POLITICAL DIRECTOR SPIKED HUNTER BIDEN CONTROVERSY, AUDIOTAPES REVEAL: ‘WE’RE NOT RUNNING WITH’ STORY

“Now lately, the [New York] Times and the [Washington] Post have and that’s notable, and CNN had a story last week about the federal investigation into Hunter, but I think there’s this tension between fast and slow journalism, perhaps, between people who know how newsrooms work and the vast majority of those who don’t.”

CNN host Brian Stelter.

CNN host Brian Stelter.
(REUTERS/Andrew Kelly)

What’s also “notable” is that Stelter has yet to acknowledge how The New York Times and The Washington Post have verified the authenticity of Hunter Biden’s laptop neither on his Sunday program “Reliable Sources” nor on his regular CNN+ program “Reliable Sources Daily.” 

Something else Stelter refrained from telling the conference attendees was how top executives at CNN were caught spiking the Hunter Biden scandal as it was unfolding, according to recordings released by Project Veritas in December 2020. 

CNN’S BRIAN STELTER DIVES INTO SOURCES OF ‘DISINFORMATION’ AS LIBERAL MEDIA LARGELY IGNORES HUNTER BIDEN

“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 New York Post published its first story on Hunter Biden’s emails. Chalian later insisted the report was “giving its marching orders” to the “right-wing echo chamber about what to talk about today.”

“The Trump media, you know, moves immediately from — OK, well, never mind — the [Michael Flynn] unmasking was, you know, found to be completely nonsensical to the latest alleged scandal and expects everybody to just follow suit,” then-CNN president Jeff Zucker told his staff on Oct. 16. “So, I don’t think that we should be repeating unsubstantiated smears just because the right-wing media suggests that we should.”

Former CNN president Jeff Zucker, CNN political director David Chalian and Hunter Biden. 

Former CNN president Jeff Zucker, CNN political director David Chalian and Hunter Biden. 

Stelter himself engaged in a disinformation campaign to dismiss the New York Post’s reporting during the 2020 election, suggesting the Hunter Biden scandal was “manufactured” and a product of pro-Trump “whataboutism.”

“For all we know, these emails were made up, or maybe some are real and some are fakes, we don’t know,” Stelter told his viewers at the time. “But we do know that this is a classic example of the right-wing media machine.”

CNN SAYS GIULIANI ‘TRIED TO GENERATE MEDIA ATTENTION’ WITH HUNTER BIDEN LAPTOP IN 2020 AS NETWORK SPIKED STORY

While CNN has reported in recent weeks that the Department of Justice has verified that the contents of the laptop did belong to Hunter Biden, the network continues to downplay the events that unfolded in 2020.

“During the 2020 campaign, former President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani tried to generate media attention for what he said was damning evidence on that laptop,” CNN correspondent Paula Reid characterized the laptop story, which was spiked by her bosses at the network.

Tthe New York Post's bombshell reporting on Hunter Biden's laptop during the 2020 presidential election.

Tthe New York Post’s bombshell reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop during the 2020 presidential election.
(Getty images | New York Post)

To this day, some of CNN’s biggest stars continue to dismiss the Hunter Biden scandal. 

CNN White House correspondent John Harwood claimed there was “zero evidence” that President Biden is connected to his son’s alleged corruption.

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“It seems pretty clear that Hunter Biden was trading on his father’s name to make a lot of money, he’s had a difficult life, but until someone makes a nexus between what Hunter Biden has done and official activities of Vice President Biden or President Biden, it’s a not-pretty picture, but it’s not really of much public import in terms of the policy of the United States or the administration of the government,” Harwood said on Wednesday.

“There is zero evidence that Vice President Biden, or President Biden, has done anything wrong in connection with what Hunter Biden has done,” Harwood added as anchor Brianna Keilar declared it was “an important distinction.” 



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