TThe New York Times quietly suppressed its claim that an October New York Post article about Joe Biden’s son Hunter’s business dealings was “unfounded.” In the reworked report, the outlet reported on a decision by the Federal Election Commission that dismissed a Republican complaint arguing that Twitter violated election laws by preventing users from sharing the story during the heat of the 2020 election. .
When the New York Times published the report early Monday afternoon, it read: “The Federal Election Commission has dismissed Republican accusations that Twitter violated election laws in October by preventing people from posting links to an article New York Post’s unfounded son of Joseph R. Biden Jr. Hunter Biden.
Neither tweets were deleted on Monday night, but the New York Times article was edited without an editor’s note, which is happening in the media industry. However, this article stands out, as the rewrite was substantial and the original version drew intense scrutiny and reaction with its choice of words.
The new version, released hours later with tech reporter Kate Conger added to the signature, removed the “unsubstantiated” claim and other important details from the story. Without the screenshots taken previously, the full version of the original report might have been difficult to find, as the original URL now redirects to a new one.
“Twitter made a brief decision last fall to block users from posting links to an article about Hunter, the son of Joseph R. Biden Jr.,” the revised report said.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word “unfounded” as “having no basis in any reason or fact,” which did not escape the frustrated Republicans who railed against The New York Times on Monday. These same people have attacked Big Tech and the media for their widespread rejection of unflattering reports about Hunter Biden before and after the 2020 election.
“It was not ‘unfounded'”, conservative radio host Dana Loesch said in a tweet. “Media restoration in Bidens is an in-kind contribution.”
Republican National Committee spokeswoman Emma Vaughn said on Monday that the group “was weighing its options to appeal this disappointing decision by the FEC.” An October complaint from the RNC claimed: “Through its ad hoc and partisan oppression of media critical of Biden, [Twitter] makes illegal and corporate in-kind contributions as it provides unreleased media services for Joe Biden’s campaign. “
The New York Post report in question, released in October, said the publication received a copy of Rudy Giuliani’s laptop and hard drive believed to have belonged to Hunter Biden. Giuliani, a personal lawyer for former President Donald Trump at the time, claimed to have obtained the hard drive from John Paul MacIsaac’s computer store in Delaware.
The store owner said he also provided a copy to the FBI after Hunter Biden left it for repair in April 2019. Hunter Biden did not deny that it was his material.
SILENT EX-INTEL OFFICIALS BY LETTER DEMANDING RUSSIAN PARTICIPATION IN THE HUNTER BIDEN LAPTOP SAGA
The outlet reported that emails showed evidence of a possible meeting between Hunter Biden, his father, who was at the time vice-president, and Burisma Holdings adviser Vadym Pozharskyi, which the elder Biden denies having taken place as described in the report.
The newspaper also detailed Hunter Biden’s financial dealings with shady Chinese businessmen. Hunter Biden served on the board of directors of Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company, from 2014 to 2019.
When the New York Post attempted to post the articles on its Twitter account, the social media company claimed it had broken its rule against sharing “pirated” material. In fact, Twitter and Facebook have blocked users from sharing it for a while.
Earlier this year, the Daily Mail reported emails showing Hunter Biden hosting a dinner in April 2015 at Cafe Milano in Georgetown with a guest list that included several international figures, including Pozharskyi.
A March 2017 email from Hunter Biden said of the dinner: “Dad will be here, but keep that between us for now.”
Hunter also wrote in an email on March 20, 2015 about a guest list, including one for “Vadym”.
Pozharskyi emailed Hunter Biden on April 17, 2015, saying, “Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving me the opportunity to meet your dad and drop by. [sic] a little time together.
The White House did not respond to questions from the Washington Examiner in June about whether current President Joe Biden attended the dinner.
Joe Biden’s presidential campaign denied that the meeting took place on the basis of “Biden’s official schedules at the time.” However, former senior advisers later conceded: “It is technically conceivable that Pozharsky approached Biden on the sidelines of a larger event between the United States and Ukraine.”
Amos Hochstein, Joe Biden’s longtime adviser on Ukrainian affairs, insisted the meeting “never” took place.
Although he offered no evidence, Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign and many media outlets dismissed the October laptop story as part of a Russian disinformation operation. However, the then director of national intelligence John Ratcliffe said the laptop was not a Russian intelligence effort.
Concerns over Hunter Biden gained greater attention in late 2020 after several outlets reported that he was under federal investigation regarding his taxes and potentially related to his overseas business with China and other countries. Biden said in April he was “fully cooperating” with the investigation and insisted he was “100% certain” that he would be cleared of wrongdoing.
Joe Biden’s son took part in a media blitz to promote his memoir, Beautiful Things, in which he admitted the laptop could be his. However, he said he did not remember it and that it could have been stolen, that it could have been hacked or that Russian intelligence services could have been involved, without providing any evidence. A forensic analysis of the emails from the laptop is said to have concluded that “no evidence was found to suggest that the time stamps or data were altered or fabricated.”
Several news outlets picked up on the New York Times’ use of the word “unfounded” on Monday.
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show website website directly cited the New York Times article as “unfounded.” And the Lawfare blog wrote that the FEC “has dismissed Republicans’ accusations that Twitter illegally prevented users from posting links to an unsubstantiated New York Post article on Hunter Biden, according to the New York Times.” Both outlets linked to the original article, which no longer contains the language they cited.
The updated version of the New York Times article also deleted the following section that appeared in the original: “FEC documents reveal a reason why Twitter was particularly suspicious of the article by Hunter Biden. The company’s site integrity official, according to the FEC, said Twitter had “received official warnings throughout 2020 from federal law enforcement that” malicious state actors “could hack and publish documents associated with political campaigns and that Hunter Biden could be the target of such an operation. ‘ The FEC said it had found “no information that Twitter was coordinating” its decisions with the Biden campaign. In a sworn statement, the U.S. public policy official at Twitter said she was unaware of no contact with the Biden team before the company makes its decisions, according to the FEC document.
The FEC’s decision itself was released last month and was not made public on Monday evening.
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The day after Twitter blocked New York Post articles from mid-October about Hunter Biden, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted, “Direct URL blocking was wrong, and we’ve updated our policy and app to fix it. Our goal is to try and add context, and we now have the capabilities to do so. “
Twitter continued to lock down the New York Post’s Twitter account, insisting that the outlet delete its tweets about Biden’s story, although it apparently no longer violates any Twitter policies. Two weeks later, the New York Post tweeted published a newspaper headline “Free Bird,” and the outlet celebrated, “Twitter backed down in its battle with The Post on Friday and unlocked its main account after a two-week standoff over the Hunter Biden exhibit.”
Dorsey testified about the controversy before the Senate Judiciary Committee in November after Biden defeated Trump.
“We made a quick interpretation, using no other evidence, that the material in the article was obtained by piracy, and, in accordance with our policy, we have prevented its dissemination,” said Dorsey. “Upon closer examination, we admitted this action was wrong and corrected it within 24 hours.
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Key words: News, Hunter Biden, Joe Biden, Media, New York Times, FEC
Original author: Daniel Chaitin, Jerry Dunleavy
Original location: New York Times Quietly Drops Claim That Hunter Biden Laptop Story Was ‘Unfounded’