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NPR Explains Why They Haven’t Covered Hunter Biden Laptop Story: ‘Red Flags’ on Veracity and ‘Assertions Don’t Amount to Much’

Saul Loeb/AFP

NPR explained with laudable transparency the reasons why it has not reported on the controversial Hunter Biden laptop story that broke last week.

NPR Public Editor Kelly McBride responded to a listener who asked: “why NPR has apparently not reported on the Joe Biden, Hunter Biden story in the last week or so that Joe did know about Hunter’s business connections in Europe that Joe had previously denied having knowledge?”

McBride opens by citing the “many, many red flags in that New York Post investigation” that have been extensively detailed by Mediaite and many other outlets as well, before detailing exactly why the veracity of the sourcing of the computer hard drive that lays at the heart of the story.

McBride then explains the biggest reason listeners haven’t heard much on NPR about the Post story is that “the assertions don’t amount to much.” NPR Managing Editor Terrence Samuel said, “We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want to waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just pure distractions. And quite frankly, that’s where we ended up, this was … a politically driven event and we decided to treat it that way.”

NPR’s explanation for why they’ve ignored the Hunter Biden story could just as easily be used as a boilerplate for all other reputable outlets, and a model for proper journalism at large.

Read the entire explanation from McBride below:

There are many, many red flags in that New York Post investigation. NPR Media Correspondent David Folkenflik detailed most of them here. Intelligence officials warn that Russia has been working overtime to keep the story of Hunter Biden in the spotlight. Even if Russia can’t be positively connected to this information, the story of how Trump associates Steve Bannon and Rudy Giuliani came into a copy of this computer hard drive has not been verified and seems suspect. And if that story could be verified, the NY Post did no forensic work to convince consumers that the emails and photos that are the basis for their report have not been altered.

But the biggest reason you haven’t heard much on NPR about the Post story is that the assertions don’t amount to much.

“We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want to waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just pure distractions,” NPR Managing Editor for News Terence Samuel told me. “And quite frankly, that’s where we ended up, this was … a politically driven event and we decided to treat it that way.”

The handful of stories that NPR has produced about the NY Post investigation have been limited to how Facebook and Twitter are restricting distribution of the story or how families of those seeking treatment for addiction are impacted by the portrayal of Hunter Biden’s struggle. — Kelly McBride

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