After Hunter called the Biden laptop story a waste of time, NPR went silent on its Twitter files

Taxpayer-funded NPR has remained silent on recent revelations about Twitter’s suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story — an incident the nonprofit previously called a “waste of time.”

Late Friday, Elon Musk and Substack reporter Matt Taibbi released the “Twitter Files,” which reveal new details about how the social media company tried to censor a story about then-presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son ahead of the 2020 election. presented.

While the story has generated a lot of interest online, NPR has not covered the new development on its website and did not respond to a request from the publication to know if it plans to cover the story in the future. Although NPR has posted many of its key radio segments on the website, it is unclear whether the story was told on the air.


Washington, USA – June 4, 2012: NPR (National Public Radio) building in Washington, DC. Founded in 1970, NPR is a nonprofit network of 900 radio stations across the United States.

NPR’s blackout of Hunter Biden’s story appears to be in line with previous comments on the subject, as he made no bones about why he took the unusual action. wouldn’t close the story.

In October 2020, NPR Public Editor Kelly McBride responded to a listener who asked why NPR had not reported on the scandals surrounding Hunter Biden, including his overseas business dealings. That same month, the New York Post dropped a story about Biden’s laptop, which was later suppressed by Big Tech giants Facebook and Twitter and dismissed as Russian disinformation by many outlets.

McBride said there were “too many red flags in the New York Post investigation” and that intelligence officials warned that “Russia went into overdrive” to keep the story in the news.

He also quoted NPR managing editor Terence Samuel, who took the publication’s position on the story in more depth.

“We don’t want to waste our time on stories that aren’t really stories, and we don’t want to waste listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just misleading. And frankly, that’s what we ended up with. , this is a … politically motivated story and we decided to treat it that way,” said Samuel.


Elon Musk and Matt Taibbi released the “Twitter Files” on Friday, revealing internal communications between Twitter employees and US lawmakers surrounding the NY Post’s censorship of Hunter Biden’s laptop.
(Fox News)

NPR’s position on the story comes as Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said Hunter Biden’s laptop was “not part of some Russian disinformation campaign.”

Just six months later, NPR issued a correction after initially reporting that the laptop had been “discredited by independent investigations by US intelligence and news agencies.” An updated version of the NPR story reads: “Many news organizations are questioning the credibility of the laptop story.”

However, the laptop has since been endorsed by several popular news networks, including Politico, The New York Times, The Washington Post, NBC News, and CNN.

Many of the same outlets covered the Twitter files over the weekend, though often with disdain.

Rolling Stone writer Adam Rawnsley yawned at Taibbi’s Twitter account, calling it “anticlimactic” and a “snoozefest”. He claimed that Musk was boring readers with old information.

The Washington Post waited until Saturday night to release the Twitter files, which the article described as a “bombshell” knocking on the “friendship.”


Hunter Biden's laptop was at the center of a Big Tech censorship campaign in 2020.

Hunter Biden’s laptop was at the center of a Big Tech censorship campaign in 2020.
(Kevin Lamarck/Reuters)

NBC’s left-leaning correspondent Ben Collin said Friday night that Taibbi’s case was an “unbelievable hack.” On Sunday, he shared comments that he declared to be the “reversal” of the scandal.

Sunday’s primetime shows on ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN devoted a total of seven seconds to the story, prompting Musk to remain silent.

While NPR has written numerous articles in the past week about Musk’s handling of Twitter, none of the stories have involved The Twitter Files or Hunter Biden.

After the New York Post story about Hunter Biden broke in October 2020, many major media outlets, including CNN, MSNBC and NPR, dismissed the story as “Russian disinformation” and not worthy of coverage.

In April, NPR investigative reporter Laura Sullivan tweeted, “Add @NPR to the list” of media outlets that should repent for dismissing the story. “Newsroom editors called it ‘not a true story.’ The “Hunter Biden laptop” investigation could end up in a tax case, a hill of beans, or something else.

Fox News’ Kristine Parks and Hannah Panrek contributed to this report.

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