After years of ignoring, downplaying, and defending Hunter Biden’s scandals, the mainstream media appear ready to throw in the towel. It looks like the first son may have to take the fall to protect his dad, President Joe Biden.
How long till the media come for Devon Archer, Hunter Biden's former best friend and business partner, who testified on Monday that Joe Biden spoke to his son's business partners on speakerphone "over 20 times"?
Then: When news broke in June that Hunter Biden had been given a sweetheart plea deal to wrap up a wide-ranging investigation by Joe Biden's Justice Department, the media rushed to declare the case closed. Coverage often treated Hunter Biden as a victim of drug addiction and ruthless partisan politics, as the Washington Free Beacon previously reported.
If anything, the charges against Hunter Biden are too harsh, per NBC News experts:
The federal gun charge, which makes it unlawful for a drug addict to possess a weapon, is a rarely used statute that is facing legal challenges and has recently been used as a catch-all charge against white supremacists.
Like the gun charge, the tax charges are rarely brought against first-time offenders and even more rarely result in jail time, Andrew Weissmann, a former FBI general counsel and NBC News contributor, tweeted Tuesday. "This is if anything harsh, not lenient," he wrote. ...
If you think about it, Biden is really a victim of his own brave honesty, CNN suggested:
It is a fascinating thing, though, certainly for Hunter Biden and the candidness of him talking about his substance abuse problems is what ended up causing some issues for him.
Looking ahead, the network predicted a national dialogue about Biden's "personal agonies and struggles with addiction":
Debate over the exact terms of the deal will likely play out until a federal judge finalizes the terms. As will the question of whether Hunter Biden’s conduct caused unnecessary political problems for his father or whether his family circumstances meant that his personal agonies and struggles with addiction played out on a far more public level than would have been the case for many people. ...
Meanwhile, MSNBC wanted to know: "How does Hunter Biden feel?"
"I think Hunter feels happy to move on with his life and his recovery," Biden's lawyer informed viewers. ...
There's just one problem, per ABC News: "It is clear Republicans are not going to drop [their investigations of Biden's corruption] despite the fact that there is nothing in this agreement to substantiate their concerns."
Reported CNN: "Hunter Biden ... is set to play a starring role in the 2024 election as Joe Biden’s political enemies seek to weaponize his son’s legal struggles—those that are real and those that are hyped by conservative media."
On MSNBC, former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.) vented: "I don’t know what America [Republicans] live in. And I don’t know how they sleep at night. What do these jerks in the House want Joe Biden to do, throw [Hunter Biden] out, refuse to speak to him, say he doesn’t love him publicly?"
Now: After a series of developments in recent days credibly implicated Joe Biden in his son's scandals, the media pulled a motte and bailey and ditched Hunter Biden to defend the president, aka "the big guy."
To review the news: Archer told the House Oversight Committee under oath on Monday that Joe Biden talked to his son's foreign business partners all the time—rather than "never" as the White House had repeatedly claimed. Last week, a judge refused to "rubber stamp" the plea deal that would have given Hunter Biden sweeping immunity. Before that, two IRS whistleblowers testified that the Justice Department protected Biden from being charged with felonies in the case.
According to the New York Times, CNN, and others, the noteworthy part of Archer's testimony was that he said Biden sold the "illusion" of access to his father. In other words, Biden supposedly tricked his clients into paying him millions of dollars over many years for influence that Joe Biden never delivered as vice president.
How CNN is covering Devon Archer's testimony: After running Dan Goldman's remarks, CNN cites a "source" who says Archer said Hunter Biden was selling the "illusion" of having access to Joe Biden.
"Really a stunning development...apparently business was never discussed." pic.twitter.com/dxilCbrvSB
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) July 31, 2023
On MSNBC, Hunter Biden's business dealings were suddenly agreed to be "obviously unseemly and problematic" "profiteering."
Politico's @SamStein: "[Republicans] actually made the case yet ... Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings are obviously unseemly and problematic. But by their own admission, Republicans have not tied the President Joe Biden to profiteering from them." pic.twitter.com/Woz5widQwj
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) July 31, 2023
But it was equally obvious, as Politico's Jonathan Lemire put it, that Republicans "are trying to create a scandal when there's no evidence that they have one."
Lemire and the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson excused Joe Biden's involvement by noting that he was grieving during Hunter Biden's influence peddling.
"We know how important family is to the president," said Robinson. "So, do you hang up on your son?"
Morning Joe defends Biden & Hunter's working relationship:@Lemire: "We should put this in context; this is the time when Beau Biden, the president’s other son, was ill & dying & then passed away. So perhaps he wasn’t as attentive to what he should have been"@Eugene_Robinson:… pic.twitter.com/N47jSklbrC
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) August 1, 2023
Meanwhile, the Times reported that Joe Biden's interactions with his son's business partners are old news anyway.
They're really going with this:
"It never happened"
"If it actually happened, it was totally fine"
"Of course everyone knew it was happening" pic.twitter.com/CG9kUvQwo0
— Fusilli Spock (@awstar11) August 1, 2023
Flashback: The media's standards for proof of presidential wrongdoing haven't always been so demanding.
Why was President Trump investigated for collusion? Who else is involved? What's up with the dossier?
Your questions, answered: https://t.co/Rtnys3Wowe
— NPR (@NPR) March 23, 2019
See the key takeaways from our investigation into President Trump’s efforts to end the inquiry into his campaign’s possible coordination with Russia during the 2016 U.S. presidential election https://t.co/CrqkdJT3xu
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 20, 2019
Analysis: The 4 ways Russian collusion might have occurred https://t.co/CuRpbS7LIw
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) December 4, 2018
Former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe says he thinks "it's possible" President Trump could be a Russian asset.
— CNN (@CNN) February 20, 2019
— New York Magazine (@NYMag) July 9, 2018