To say that the Murdoch-owned New York Post is just one step above The National Enquirer is an exaggeration. Because it’s really just a hop to the right.
The Post is mostly known as America’s bastion of bad taste, salacious headlines, and photoshopped front pages. This is the paper that put a black helmet on Ruth Bader Ginsburg and called her “Darth Bader.” Its regular term for Nancy Pelosi is “swamp mistress.” And, of course, they’re ready with a hatchet job for anyone who is so much as suspected of not falling in line for Trump.
So the question on Wednesday morning isn’t why the Post is running a ludicrous story based on a supposed copy of a supposed Ukranian hard drive from a supposed repair shop very definitely handed over by Rudy Giuliani. The question is: Why are other reporters, including those at The New York Times, promoting this story?
The answer is simple enough: The same reporters, like America’s premiere access journalist Maggie Haberman, who filled the front page of the Times in 2016 with stories about Hillary Clinton’s emails, are so desperate for a repeat, they’re willing to promote this concoction stirred up in by Giuliani and the Post. The same goes for Politico’s Jake Sherman, who finds it highly suspicious that Biden has not replied to claims about a story that has all the earmarks of a smear.
And it’s not even a good smear.
The charge in the Post story is that a recovered hard drive contains emails showing that Hunter Biden arranged for another member of the energy company Burisma board to meet with Joe Biden. This is memorialized in a single email supposedly authored by the board member in which he thanks Hunter for the opportunity to meet Joe Biden, with absolutely zero information about that meeting. The Post being the Post, they don’t even wait until the second paragraph before attempting to tie this to Biden pressing for the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor. A prosecutor who, despite the claims in the Post story, was not investigating Burisma.
The story conveniently does not include anything like a date this meeting supposedly took place, or a location, or a length, or … anything. If the idea that Joe Biden might have once shaken hands in passing with a businessman who worked for the same company as his son seems like a huge nothing … don’t worry. The Post story actually spends far more time on claims that the hard drive also contains sexually explicit images of Hunter Biden engaging in sex with an unidentified woman. Because “raunchy sex video” is exactly the kind of story that the Post can turn into a running, multi-week series.
So … what was the source of this mystery hard drive? Well, that’s a funny story. Supposedly, it came from a laptop that was dropped off at a repair shop in Delaware because it got wet. Only the customer never came back for it. The customer also apparently never gave a name, but some clever sleuthing—like reading all the emails that were unencrypted on the drive—caused the store owner to conclude that it was the property of Hunter Biden. So he called the FBI to tell them that he had Hunter Biden’s soggy hard drive … but not before making a copy which he gave to Rudy Giuliani.
That would be the same Rudy Giuliani who was working directly with a known Russian disinformation agent in an attempt to plant false stories about Joe Biden’s actions related to Ukraine. That Giuliani.
So … an unidentified store owner. An unidentified customer. A series of conveniently obvious, and conveniently vague, emails. That’s what’s in the story. Oh, and Rudy Giuliani.
There is a scandal here. It’s that supposedly reputable reporters are actively promoting this trash.