Wa-Po editorial board talks of media ‘reckoning’ over Hunter Biden laptop story, ‘cover up’ allegations

In a rare moment of self-reflection, The Washington Post editorial board has admitted that the media’s handling of the now infamous Hunter Biden laptop scandal warrants a “reckoning.”

In a Sunday editorial, WaPo’s editorial board asked the question, “Why is confirmation of a story that first surfaced in the fall of 2020 emerging only now?”

While the editorial board continued to insist that the contents of the laptop, which includes a trove of emails detailing Hunter Biden’s questionable business dealings in China and Ukraine, do not in any way implicate President Joe Biden in any wrongdoing, it does concede that the media “balked” at the narrative the damning emails painted in the days leading up to the 2020 election.

“When the New York Post published its blockbuster exclusive on the contents of a laptop said to have been abandoned at a Delaware repair shop by Hunter Biden, mainstream media organizations balked at running with the same narrative,” the editorial board wrote.

“Social media sites displayed even greater caution,” the board continued. “Twitter blocked the story altogether, pointing to a policy against hacked materials, and suspended the New York Post’s account for sharing it; Facebook downranked the story in the algorithms that govern users’ news feeds for fear that it was based on misinformation.”

“Now, The Washington Post and the New York Times have vouched for many of the relevant communications,” the board stated, as though their validation of a story is somehow more relevant than the reporting from a competing news outlet.

“This series of events has prompted allegations of a coverup, or at best a double standard in the treatment of conservative and liberal politicians by mainstream media and social media sites,” the editors conceded.

The editorial board offered several explanations for their failure to cover the laptop story when it first broke — including, of course, Russian shenanigans — and claimed “it was only prudent” to suspect Moscow must have delivered the device to then-President Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani.

Still, WaPo admits, that “context” doesn’t excuse all the actions taken by social media platforms and news publications to squash the story.

“It makes obvious sense for newspapers to wait to verify information before turning it into a story; the harder conundrum is what to do with true information that comes from a hack, and harder still is how to treat true information that hasn’t been stolen but has been selectively shared to further an agenda,” the editorial board said, adding that there are no “easy answers” to the “dilemmas.”

“The lesson learned from 2016 was evidently to err on the side of setting aside questionable material in the heat of a political campaign,” the editorial board concluded, referring to the bombastic Podesta emails released by Wikileaks just before voters headed to cast their ballots for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. “The lesson learned from 2020 may well be that there’s also a danger of suppressing accurate and relevant stories.”

While the WaPo editorial may not be the mea culpa hoped for by many frustrated conservatives who recognized the explosive nature of the laptop story when it was first published, journalist Glenn Greenwald, who had previously called out the Washington Post for not covering the laptop story sooner, was willing to give the paper some props for “admitting the fraud.”

“The Editorial is filled with self-justifying caveats about why it was reasonable to have gotten the story so wrong,” Greenwald tweeted. “It downplays the full extent of the joint CIA/media/Big Tech lie. But at least the Post now stands alone in admitting the fraud and that an accounting is due.”

“As welcome as it is, much of what’s in the Post’s Editorial is arrogant ad hoc rationalizing,” Greenwald continued. “They think a story is only confirmed once the NYT & WP say so — lol. The evidence of the archive’s authenticity was overwhelming from the start. Many of us staked our careers on it.”

 

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