Corporate media ran with 'Russian disinformation' narrative about Hunter Biden's laptop despite having no concrete evidence. Now it refuses to retract any of it.

The New York Times published an article earlier this month that verified key aspects of the New York Post report from October 2020 regarding emails from a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden and reportedly abandoned at a computer repair shop in Delaware.

"People familiar with the investigation said prosecutors had examined emails between Mr. Biden, Mr. Archer and others about Burisma and other foreign business activity," the Times wrote. "Those emails were obtained by The New York Times from a cache of files that appears to have come from a laptop abandoned by Mr. Biden in a Delaware repair shop. The email and others in the cache were authenticated by people familiar with them and with the investigation."

Previously, the Times dismissed the bombshell story that broke during the 2020 presidential election campaign and questioned the Post's reporting process.

One day after the New York Post released its damning Hunter Biden laptop report, the Washington Post published an article claiming that then-President Donald Trump was being influenced by Russian misinformation.

"U.S. intelligence agencies warned the White House last year that President Trump's personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani was the target of an influence operation by Russian intelligence, according to four former officials familiar with the matter," the report alleged.

On Oct. 19, 2020, more than 50 former U.S. intelligence officials disregarded the New York Post's laptop story as Russian misinformation in a letter.

The letter was signed by Barack Obama's former director of the CIA, John Brennan – who is now the senior national security and intelligence analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. The letter was also signed by Obama's former director of national intelligence, James Clapper – who is now CNN's national security analyst. Former Director of the National Security Agency Michael Hayden – who was appointed by George W. Bush and is now a national security analyst for CNN – also signed the letter.

The former intelligence officials claimed that is their "view that the Russians are involved in the Hunter Biden email issue."

"We want to emphasize that we do not know if the emails, provided to the New York Post by President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, are genuine or not and that we do not have evidence of Russian involvement – just that our experience makes us deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case," the letter stated.

During the final presidential debate in Nashville, Tennessee, President Joe Biden parroted the letter, "Look, there are 50 former national intelligence folks who said that what this, he's accusing me of is a Russian plan. They have said that this has all the characteristics – four – five former heads of the CIA, both parties, say what he's saying is a bunch of garbage. Nobody believes it except him, his, and his good friend Rudy Giuliani."

During the second presidential debate, Joe Biden claimed that the election was about character and telling the truth. He then went on to blame Hunter's laptop on a Russian
— Hans Mahncke (@Hans Mahncke) 1647526990

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki amplified the letter on the day it was released.

Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say\u00a0\u2026
— Jen Psaki (@Jen Psaki) 1603161923

The Times declared days after the letter was published, "No concrete evidence has emerged that the laptop contains Russian disinformation."

In September 2021, the Times described the article about Hunter Biden as "unsubstantiated." However, the Times later removed the "unsubstantiated" description.

"Notably, the change was not accompanied by an editor's note or other acknowledgment of the original error," the National Review reported.

The New York Post recently reached out to all of the former intelligence officials who signed the letter asserting that the emails obtained from the alleged Hunter Biden laptop was Russian disinformation. The overwhelming majority of the officials did not respond or had no comment.

Of the 51 officials, only four provided responses – including James Clapper who said, "I stand by the statement made AT THE TIME, and would call attention to its 5th paragraph. I think sounding such a cautionary note AT THE TIME was appropriate." The other respondents said they stand by their decisions to sign the letter claiming Russian disinformation.

Corporate media outlets heavily spotlighted the report from the former intelligence officials despite the letter clearly stating that they "do not have evidence of Russian involvement."

Politico was the first to publish the letter, and ran with the headline: "Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say."

TheBlaze has reached out for comment to Politico as well as several other media outlets and cable news networks that ran with the Russian disinformation narrative. The media outlets were asked about issuing a correction or update to the Hunter Biden story in light of the New York Times authenticating the emails from the abandoned laptop. At the time of publication, TheBlaze did not receive a response from Mother Jones, MSNBC, NBC News, the Hill, the Daily Beast, or Huffington Post.

A 20-minute video compilation of legacy media pushing the narrative that the emails from Hunter Biden's abandoned laptop are Russian disinformation despite lacking actual evidence highlights how feverishly cable news networks attempted to dismiss the laptop story. The compilation was created by a political video editor by the name of "Kanekoa the Great."

Horowitz: While Fauci tells US to ‘hunker down,’ Sweden’s no-lockdown coronavirus results speak for themselves

The more we observe and learn about SARS-CoV-2, the more it becomes clear that this virus is not really that novel. It's only the governmental and societal response to it that is novel. Sweden, the only major country to treat this virus more as a typical viral pathogen, has been ridiculed as the country taking the dangerous and novel approach by shielding the vulnerable and letting the rest achieve herd immunity quickly. Who was right?

Well, the continued panic of all the governments that have been mandating lockdowns, masking, and fearmongering restrictions for six months speaks for itself. Dr. Fauci is now warning that Americans need to "hunker down" for the fall and winter and prepare for the doom of coronavirus alongside the flu, which will now become the new inflection point for panic. But it's becoming increasingly clear every day that one country doesn't even have to fear an intensification of the virus. Those who counted Sweden out in the first half of the game are going to watch them win it in the second half.

Here is Sweden's epidemiological curve of cases and deaths, from COVID-19 Data Visualization:

Image source: University of Oklahoma screenshot

Remember the abandoned trope of "flatten the curve"? Well, it looks like the country that did the best job of that is the one that did the opposite of what we were told would achieve that goal. Sweden is now averaging about one death per day in the entire country, and that is based on a very liberal definition of a COVID-19 death. In fact, Sweden has been over this epidemic for a long time. The country hasn't had a day of double-digit deaths since July 19.

Even as cases begin to increase in countries that previously thought they dodged the bullet with minimal cases, Sweden appears to have achieved de facto herd immunity.

The latest Covid map of Europe. Note Sweden. Blue indicates no infection.
— David Quinn (@David Quinn)1599737495.0

While Sweden always had a better result than Europe's larger countries, such as England, France, Spain, and Italy, the Swedes took heat for having a higher death rate earlier on than other Nordic countries. But Sweden's death rate is now under that of the U.S., and cases are increasing in other Nordic countries while Sweden's are flatlining. Norway is also seeing an increase in cases. Denmark, which was one of the earliest countries to close down, now has the most cases since April, rendering its "prudent" early lockdown meaningless. Clearly, there is no right way to do a lockdown, because human intervention like this can only harm but will never improve the net result.

While everyone focuses on the early death rate in Sweden, the point that is missed is that Sweden avoided all the lockdown deaths, economic destruction, and mental health crisis that are incalculable in other countries. We have some states where clinical depression has reached nearly half the population and where suicides and drug overdoses are skyrocketing. According to one study published in JAMA Network, just as of mid-April, just one month into the national panic, "prevalence of depression symptoms was more than 3-fold higher during COVID-19 compared with the most recent population-based estimates of mental health in the US." That is a crushing cost to a society that will reverberate here and in similar countries for years to come, but not in Sweden.

Moreover, how many people in Sweden really died of the virus? When you look at the excess deaths, despite having no lockdown, Sweden's all-cause deaths so far this year are actually unremarkable.

@RitaPanahi Can't you see how dangerous "COVID-19" is?
— Hans im Glück (@Hans im Glück)1599709893.0

The country experienced a worse year of excess deaths just five years ago. It has not experienced a week with any excess deaths relative to the average from the past five years since late May.

As much as other countries' leaders hate eating crow and admitting their mistakes, they will all eventually realize that Sweden took the right path. The mainstreaming of the Swedish approach is already occurring. Earlier this month, Johan Giesecke, one of the masterminds of Sweden's "herd immunity" strategy, was promoted by the World Health Organization to vice chair of the Strategic and Technical Advisory Group on Infectious Hazards. In other words, he will be advising WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on pandemic response. If Sweden were really the pariah country our media makes it out to be, a guy like Giesecke would be banished from a dog-catcher position at the WHO, much less a position of authority, in response to this very pandemic.

According to Newsweek, Giesecke, who served as Sweden's top epidemiologist between 1995 and 2005, mentored Anders Tegnell, the current epidemiologist, in the brave but lone approach to the pandemic. He wrote a paper in early May arguing that "everyone will be exposed" to the virus at some point and that "most people will become infected" — but that most of the people spreading it will have "no or weak symptoms."

"There is very little we can do to prevent this spread: a lockdown might delay severe cases for a while, but once restrictions are eased, cases will reappear," wrote Giesecke in his prophetic piece in the Lancet. "I expect that when we count the number of deaths from COVID-19 in each country in one year from now, the figures will be similar, regardless of measures taken."

Was it prophecy or just plain prudence? Either way, he got it right.

In March, the Guardian posted a frantic quote from a Swedish immunology researcher warning, "They are leading us to catastrophe." Well, if that is what catastrophe looks like, then how would you describe some of the other countries that now have shattered societies due to lockdown, plus increasing cases?