October 30, 2020

DARN THOSE EDITORS, INSISTING ON FACTS:

Here's what happened when NBC News tried to report on the alleged Hunter Biden emails (Ken Dilanian and Tom Winter, 10/30/20, NBC News)

The lack of major new revelations is perhaps the biggest reason the story has not gotten traction, but not the only one. Among others: Most mainstream news organizations, including NBC News, have not been granted access to the documents. NBC News asked by email, text, phone call and certified mail, and was ultimately denied.

And, although no evidence has emerged that the documents are the product of Russian disinformation, as some experts initially suggested, many questions remain about how the materials got into the hands of Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who has met with Russian agents in his effort to dig dirt on the Bidens.

U.S. intelligence agencies have informed the White House that Giuliani has been in contact with alleged Russian intelligence agents. The FBI has been looking into whether the Russians played any role, and no official has ruled that out.

At the same time, dozens of former intelligence officials have said the story has the hallmarks of a Russian intelligence operation. After the election interference of 2016, the news media is especially wary of doing anything to further an effort by a foreign government to intervene in a presidential campaign.

Another factor tamping down coverage of the story is that there isn't much new in what the laptop documents appear to reveal. The allegation that Hunter Biden has traded on his family name has been thoroughly explored in previous news stories, including a lengthy New Yorker investigation last year in which Robert Weissman, the president of the advocacy group Public Citizen, said, "It's hard to avoid the conclusion that Hunter's foreign employers and partners were seeking to leverage Hunter's relationship with Joe, either by seeking improper influence or to project access to him." Reports published while the elder Biden was still vice president raised ethical questions about the Burisma deal.

Posted by at October 30, 2020 7:35 PM

  

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