There is a new “scandal” brewing in Trump World as they desperately search for a way dig Donald Trump out of his political abyss. The recent rash of feigned outrage stems from an interview by Senior Fox News Trump-fluffer, Maria Bartiromo. She gifted her platform to the Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe, a Trump appointee who has no experience in intelligence. And the the result was a made-for-State-TV segment intended to rescue a floundering campaign.
The gist of the so-called scandal concerns a mysterious laptop computer that allegedly belonged to Hunter Biden, the son of Joe Biden. The New York Post reported that it was left with a computer repair shop in Delaware where the owner claims to have found “incriminating” e-mails that he passed on to Rudy Giuliani and the FBI.
The whole story was rife with contradictions, unverifiable claims, and outright falsehoods. It was so bad that when Giuliani first brought it to Fox News, they declined to air it with sources saying that…
“…the lack of authentication of Hunter Biden’s alleged laptop, combined with established concerns about Giuliani as a reliable source and his desire for unvetted publication, led the network’s news division to pass.”
Fox anchor Bret Baier called the story “sketchy,” and Chris Wallace said it was “suspicious.” Nevertheless, the primetime Ministers of Trump Propaganda (Sean Hannity, et al) were more than happy to jump feet first into the bogus hit piece.
During the Bartiromo interview, Ratcliffe sought to rebut the debunking that threatened to defuse the budding scandal. He insisted that there was no evidence that the information about the laptop, and the data supposedly found on it, were the product of Russian disinformation. He blamed the allegation of Russian involvement on Rep. Adam Schiff, but in fact, it came from the FBI that is currently run by Trump appointee Chris Wray:
“Federal authorities are investigating whether a Russian influence operation was behind the disclosure of emails purporting to document the Ukrainian and Chinese business dealings of Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic nominee Joe Biden, a person briefed on the matter said Friday.
“The FBI’s examination is tied to the New York Post’s reporting this week on the contents of a computer hard drive it obtained from President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.”
What’s more, the associates who Giuliani relied on for his smear campaign have been positively identified as Russian intelligence operatives by Trump’s Treasury Department:
“Treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin, declared, ‘[Andriy ] Derkach and other Russian agents employ manipulation and deceit to attempt to influence elections in the United States and elsewhere around the world.’ Previously, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence told Congress that Derkach is ‘spreading claims about corruption’ as part of the Kremlin’s effort to undermine Biden’s campaign. And he worked with Guliani to do so.”
The New York Post’s story has been the talk of the Trump Cult. Trump himself has tweeted about it repeatedly since its publication. He called it the “smoking gun” proof that Biden is “a corrupt politician,” and that it’s “the second biggest political scandal in our history!” But the actual reporters were less convinced by the material they had assembled themselves. They wouldn’t even allow the Post to attach their names to the story:
“On Sunday night, the New York Times reported that the New York Post had a difficult time finding a reporter to put their byline on the story amidst internal concerns about its dubious sourcing. The Times reported that the staff writer who mostly wrote the story, Bruce Golding, refused put his name on the report because he doubted its credibility.” […]
“The story’s bylines eventually went to Emma-Jo Morris, a former associate producer on Fox News show Hannity, who joined the Post as an editor this year and had yet to publish a story with her byline, and Gabrielle Fonrouge, a Post reporter since 2014. According to the Times, Fonrouge only learned her name was on the story after it was published.”
So this story is so untrustworthy that its own authors don’t believe it. It is filled with contradictions and implausible allegations that were sourced to Russian intelligence operatives. And this is what Trump and Fox News and the rest of the Confederacy of Deplorables thinks will bring about the end of Joe Biden. But it isn’t quite working out that way. In fact, they’re about to learn something about how the boomerang effect works.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.