“He was not Arrested”: CNN and MSNBC Ex-Bosses Struggle to Justify Burying the Hunter Biden Story

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“Denial is not just a river in Africa.” Those sage words from SNL character Stuart Smalley seemed prophetic this week as ex-MSNBC boss Phil Griffin and ex-CNN boss Jeff Zucker were confronted about their burying of the Hunter Biden story. Their tortured and transparent rationalizations caused an immediate response from some of us who have written about the scandal since its inception. That included Griffin’s almost laughable claim that their approach before the election was justified because “he was never arrested.”

Zucker and Griffin were in full spin mode in explaining why they did not believe that it was simply not worthy pursuing an alleged multimillion dollar influence peddling scheme with foreign interests by the Biden family.

Zucker insisted:

Okay. No, I mean but I mean, that’s the problem…

We did. We did look into it. But first of all, you know, with regard to the son of the candidate, you know, he was the son of the candidate. He wasn’t the candidate. The question that you’ll come back with is, well, but what role did the candidate play in his business dealings? You know, frankly, with ten days or two weeks to go, it was looked at by very credible organizations, including The Wall Street Journal —Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal — and they found nothing at that time.

The problem is that the laptop makes repeated references to access to “the candidate” and millions in obvious influence peddling with Russian, Chinese, and other foreign sources. It is laughable to suggest that CNN would not have pursued such a story involving Trump children.

Joe Biden was not the vehicle of the influence peddling proceeds. He was the object of the influence peddling.

Nevertheless, CNN continued to report President Biden’s repeated and unchallenged claim that “I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.” Those denials continued even after an audiotape surfaced showing President Biden leaving a message for Hunter specifically discussing coverage of those dealings.

Some of us have written for two years that Biden’s denial of knowledge is patently false. It was equally evident that the Biden family was selling influence and access.

There are emails of Ukrainian and other foreign clients thanking Hunter Biden for arranging meetings with his father. There are photos from dinners and meetings that tie President Biden to these figures, including a 2015 dinner with a group of Hunter Biden’s Russian and Kazakh clients.

People apparently were told to avoid directly referring to President Biden. In one email, Tony Bobulinski, then a business partner of Hunter’s, was instructed by Biden associate James Gilliar not to speak of the former veep’s connection to any transactions: “Don’t mention Joe being involved, it’s only when u [sic] are face to face, I know u [sic] know that but they are paranoid.”

Instead, the emails apparently refer to President Biden with code names such as “Celtic” or “the big guy.” In one, “the big guy” is discussed as possibly receiving a 10 percent cut on a deal with a Chinese energy firm; other emails reportedly refer to Hunter Biden paying portions of his father’s expenses and taxes.

Yet, Zucker maintained:

Okay. So my point is, it’s easy to say we should have spent more time on that. Listen, do I think it’s legitimate to look at. Sure. Do I think that like it’s a legitimate criticism to say that in the ten days, 14 days prior to the election, you didn’t spend enough time on it? Not really.

The problem is that, even after the election, CNN did not even acknowledge the authenticity of the laptop for roughly two years despite key figures confirming the contents.

CNN continued to ignore the story even as more details emerged. The laptop contained details to the extent of his knowledge and involvement. It appears that Biden met with at least 14 of Hunter’s business associates from the U.S., Mexico, Ukraine, China and Kazakhstan over the course of his vice presidency. That includes Hunter’s Mexican business associates, Miguel Aleman Velasco and Miguel Aleman Magnani who visited the West Wing on Feb. 26, 2014. Joe was later photographed with Hunter giving Velasco and Magnani a tour of the White House Brady Press Briefing room.

Even as foreign intelligence involvement and millions in payments were being discussed, CNN engaged in willful blindness under Zucker, who previously admitted that ratings drove the unrelenting anti-Trump focus of his coverage. CNN is currently trying to undo much of Zucker’s work that led to plunging ratings.

Griffin then added his own spin on the refusal of MSNBC to pursue the story:

“He was never arrested. The Justice Department was looking into it, never reported it until he is the son of a candidate. I don’t think it’s a main story until that happens.”

So the millions in influence peddling or criminal acts featured on the laptop was not particularly newsworthy. It was the absence of a perp walk?

That may come as a bit of a surprise to Donald Trump Jr. who was the subject of 24/7 coverage on the Trump Tower meeting, including unsupported claims from CNN and MSNBC legal experts that there was strong evidence of criminal conduct. Some of us pushed back on these claims but CNN and MSNBC did wall-to-wall coverage with the same legal experts for weeks on the criminal enterprise revealed at Trump Tower.

On CNN, viewers were told that this is the long-sought “smoking gun” on collusion. Norm Eisen, a White House ethics czar under former President Obama, invoked the Logan Act — a law from 1799 that makes it a crime for citizens to intervene in disputes or controversies between the United States and foreign governments. (The law is widely viewed as facially unconstitutional).

Richard Painter, an ethics lawyer under former President George W. Bush, declared that the meeting “borders on treason.”  Others declared it a possible violation of the federal law banning foreign contributions to federal campaigns.

MSNBC justice and security analyst Matthew Miller said Trump Jr. could now go to jail because “it doesn’t have to be money … it can be, potentially, accepting information. So he’s potentially confessing in his statement to committing a crime.”

There was no circumspection or hesitancy at CNN or MSNBC in airing any and all such criminal theories on the meeting. Of course, no such charges were ever brought.

When the transcripts of the meeting came out, the media simply moved on. CNN, which had a bevy of legal analysts who have been flogging the Trump Tower conspiracy for months, ran the headline, “Trump Tower transcripts detail quest for dirt on Hillary Clinton.”  Nothing on the great conspiracy or collusion.

Notably, it was still news that Trump’s team wanted to hear about possible criminal conduct. Yet, the media pushed false Russian collusion claims from the Steele dossier that the Clinton campaign funded (while denying that it was doing so). That was not worthy of the attention on the “quest for dirt on Donald Trump.”

Likewise, stories rebutting the laptop allegations were considered important news on the networks. Both CNN and MSNBC eagerly spread the false claim of 51 intelligence experts who declared that the laptop was likely “Russian disinformation.”

That is why SNL’s Stuart Smalley might have been more useful than CNN’s Michael Smerconish in working through these “issues” with the former executives. It all had that Daily Affirmation feel as Zucker and Griffin seemed to assure each other “You’re good enough, you’re smart enough and doggone it, people like you.”


This column also appeared on Fox.com

130 thoughts on ““He was not Arrested”: CNN and MSNBC Ex-Bosses Struggle to Justify Burying the Hunter Biden Story”

  1. “The rules are simple: they lie to us, we know they’re lying, they know we know they’re lying, but they keep lying to us, and we keep pretending to believe them” — A Mountain of Crumbs by Elena Gorokhova

  2. So far as I could tell they all spiked the guilty plea of Kevin Clinesmith and the patty-cake probation he got from the mysterious Judge Boasberg (mystery how out of 12 on that DC court he kept getting assigned all the Trump-related cases). Oh all Kevin did was forge a secret document to trigger what looks like a coup attempt vs. Trump from inside the FBI. Apparently he was not even interrogated as to why he did it? In sync with the ghastly abuses of power tied to the Steele dossier? Many of us have now joined Dan Bongino’s call for the dissolution and reconstitution of the FBI. BTW Clinesmith got his law license back after the equivalent of perjury before a federal grand jury. I know, it’s only the DC bar, but still…

  3. Wow! How interesting that the MSM will not carry stories until the subject is arrested. So why have they attacked and vilified Trump since he rode the escalator in 2015? They know they screwed up, they know they are no longer in the “news,” but “opinion” business, but they don’t care. In May 1940, Lord Halifax, Chamberlain, and the Labor leaders put aside their disdain for Churchill for the good of the country. They were patriots. It terrifies me to think of what will happen when the next war breaks out because these guys will be rooting for the enemies of America–as they are now.

  4. When growing up, many Americans who are now young adults were subjected to families, friends, teachers, scientists, journalists, musicians, and actors dominated by the political left. It is no wonder so many of today’s reporters spend less time independently pursuing truth than attacking those who deviate from the mainstream beliefs of the left.

  5. And still you vote liberals in. How about we see the extent form 4473 can take us! With ALL our rules of law! No doubt Hunter will cite the 9\11\2014 Washington post article. In his defense. And will via his defense have to lay bare ….. That the “background check” does little to keep guns out of the hands of the “so called” dangerous.

    How can it be….a person can be on mental drugs….via insurance parity… can “Voluntarily” and their diagnosis doesn’t make them dangerous? But someone else with the same diagnosis….but no health care insurance; be “Found” by the co ps…. and drummed up for s 72 hour involuntary hold… “Thereby – involuntarily committed” ……is reduced to a second class citizen? With No fundamental rights?? or 2nd and rights?

    Especially when the later is court monitored there after? When Scalia in Heller said some infringement was tolerable…..he said…..reasonable! He invited reasonable. It’s not reasonable to think of x diagnosis is dangerous…..only if it’s found by the court….and monitored by the court. But not dangerous if it’s found by a shrink via health insurance parity care. And then only maybe because people don’t have access to paid for shrink care. … They become infringed on their constitutional rights!…forever! But by golly if you are a “voluntary” paranoid schizo….you get a gun!…But if you are involuntarily a same diagnosis….you don’t get a gun. So what is dangerous? And what is “reasonable”. You have to have both to make infringement rational…..There by be legitimate! Rational law. I hope Hunter is charged with gun violations……Because he can afford to defend from the absurdity! The not rational! On what’s dangerous. Boo!

  6. If there was any real justice in this world, thousands and thousands of folks On the left would be swinging from trees / light poles
    Scaffolds etc AND, DISEMBOWELED!! And I mean this 100%!! Besides China, every member of the Democrat party, and every person that supports them are the most dangerous thing to this country today.

    Every person that is took part in this cover up and took part in pushing the Russia collusion hoax, and every person on the left that has tried to destroy works of art and lay down in traffic, i’m talking about all the environmental terrorist, every single person on the left needs this done to them!!!!

    1. Wow, what a lame attempt to disparage this fantastic blog. No one should see you as someone other than a troll or a sick human being.

      1. Wow. What r u referring to? Your Biden’s ” universal check” if it will just sa
        Ve ” one kid!!!??? But all the school Hooters re chilly confused. Because you groomers confuse them! Maybe a
        To stop giving everyone trophy n acting like they re someone they r not! Might be start. But ok you care is the next generation to get your rocks off! Burn in hell!

  7. How can the American people possibly trust Joe “Mr. 10%” Biden to lead America through the Ukrainian crisis? How can Joseph Robinette, Jr. continue as our nation’s president given his family’s sordid history in Ukraine?

    The Ukrainians paid unfathomable amounts of filthy money to the Biden family while Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. ‘served’ our nation as vice president in charge of policy in Ukraine. Hunter “I might not know anything about the energy business but my father is vice president but I need money for hookers and blow” Biden was the luckiest guy in the world, ‘serving’ on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company called Burisma. A natural gas company in Ukraine? You can’t make this stuff up. Oh to have been in charge of business development for the Biden family.

    But, like bad karma, it comes back around. The problem with taking dirty money from Ukrainians is that the oligarchs fronting the money aren’t running a charity. They expect something in return. Biden already admitted that he forced the Ukrainian government to fire the prosecutor investigating Burisma under the threat of withholding American aid. How much of that aid money was channeled to the oligarchs?

    What else do the Ukrainians have on Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. and his family? Now that Mr. Biden is back in power, his regime is funneling billions of dollars in aid to the Ukrainian government. Is that part of the payback?

    How does his family’s sordid history in Ukraine affect Mr. 10%’s ability to lead our nation in this time of crisis? How does it affect his judgment? More importantly, how does it affect American policy? How far has it taken us down the road to Armageddon?

    Absent answers, and full transparency, Mr. Biden must resign. Immediately.

    1. He’s no intention. Buy your family iodine pills. He’s going to get us nuked! That’s coming from the “pure patience” lady admiral!

  8. CNN can not convict, prosecute or sentence Hunter Biden. CNN is a television program where people express their opinions and biases. The network is not an unbiased news organization. So why does JT consistently blame CNN for not investigating Hunter. It’s not their job. Why doesn’t he ever pick on Fox news for the bias reporting.

    1. If investigating stories that have a national interest isn’t the obligation of a news organization . . . What is?

    2. If investigating and reporting stories about national figures isn’t a new’s organizations job . . . What is?

    3. Because excepting Fox, the New York Post and blessed few others, the bias in Big Media and Big Tech is overwhelmingly pro-Democrat. It is so obvious this media cabal (enabled by the corrupt 51 “intelligence experts” whose false “Russian disinformation” letter gave them all the excuse they needed) buried the laptop story to get Biden over the finish line. Someone needs to pay dearly for this subterfuge of the electoral process…

    4. CNN needs to drop their “the most trusted name in news” tagline and perhaps replace it with “the most dependable source of democrat biases and opinions”.

    5. I think it might have to do with CNN standing for Cable News Network. News is not opinion. It is the reporting of the facts publicly known and investigating those known facts without bias as to where the investigation ends up. Sure, FoxNews has opinion programming, but they are very clear as to what is a news program vs an opinion program.

    6. Because CNN operates under the sacred shield of journalism, their anchors claim to be journalists, and great respected ones at that. If they admitted, upfront, to be opinion – that’s fine. They do not.

  9. The Supreme Court acted 50 years retroactively to strike down the flagrantly unconstitutional Roe v. Wade.

    The Supreme Court must act 150 years retroactively to strike down the flagrantly unconstitutional “Reconstruction Amendments.”

    The acts of Lincoln, and the consequences of those acts, were and remain unconstitutional. Those acts being the wholly unconstitutional denial of secession, undeclared war of aggression against a sovereign foreign nation, forced imposition of martial law, suspension of habeas corpus, denial of freedom of speech, denial of freedom of the press, imprisonment of political opponents, confiscation of private property, failure to enforce extant immigration law on January 1, 1863, failure to compassionately repatriate illegal aliens in 1863, election fraud and vote tampering in 1864, wanton destruction of cities, farms, industries and people as crimes against humanity by total war, corrupt and improper ratification of not one, but three near-impossible-to-ratify amendments in one fell swoop and under the duress of brutal post-war military occupation and oppression, etc.

  10. I’ve become cynical about the whole Biden situation. Keeping in mind that despite plagiarism and other alleged questionable behavior by Joe Biden, people looked the other way and elected him President.

    Regarding the Hunter Biden alleged questionable dealings that made him a millionaire, nothing has happened to him and nothing will. Worse of all, both he and his father know they’re untouchable. Cynical as they are, they continue to disregard the attacks against the two of them.

  11. Stop with the the false metric of legality.
    That is not the debate. Debate is the media burying NEWS. That’s it. NEWS.

    The People have the power to judge politicians, elect politicians by a moral score. It is not the medias role to make that judgement, by picking what is reported.

  12. Social media meddled in the 2020 election by deliberately burying a truthful but damning story that would have damaged Joe Biden in the election.

    Social media is not an ethical arbiter of information access.

  13. Geez Louise, People! Enough!

    Do not feed the Trolls….ignore them!

    Put Svelaz on a starvation diet!

    Hopefully he will dry up and blow away!

    1. Fat chance Ralph. S. Meyer can’t help himself from responding. He NEEDS to respond. He’s S. Meyer.

  14. The interview with ex-MSNBC boss Phil Griffin and ex-CNN boss Jeff Zucker could have been a lot shorter. All they had to say was, “Hey, look; we’re presstitutes, not journalists. Cut us a break!”

    1. True. The term also applies to many physicians who were once known as stellar scientists.


      If You’re Hunting for Heresy, You Aren’t a Scientist
      Joseph Ladapo is being condemned for something so-called public-health experts do all the time.

      Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo stirred a hornet’s nest when he released an analysis of state death and vaccine records that showed young men experienced an 84% increased risk of cardiac death within four weeks of receiving an mRNA vaccine. Actually, that’s unfair to hornets. They aren’t as mindless or vicious as the self-anointed experts attacking Dr. Ladapo.

      Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute and one of America’s leading Covid scolds, condemned Dr. Ladapo’s study as “baseless, reckless, and irresponsible” because it seemingly contradicted the expert consensus that myocarditis caused by vaccines is “typically mild and fully resolves in nearly all affected” (emphasis added).

      Eric Topol has become a “baseless, reckless, irresponsible” presstitute

  15. Does anyone here really think that Hunter would have had any of the contacts that he had if not for the position of his father. What is strangely missing is a list of Hunters qualifications that justified paying him millions of dollars. These titans of the media were fully aware of Hunter’s lack of credentials but they found the laptop not newsworthy. Their ratings are abysmal because the people have found them guilty as the prevaricators of lies and omissions. The judgement of these jesters is been made by the American people when they no longer employ the TV remote to tune in their channels. My recommendation would be that if you have any CNN or MSNBC Stock in your quickly depleting 401K I would put in a sell order post-haste. They deserve all the failure the have brought upon themselves.

    1. You can’t have it both ways…. He’s a crackhead drug addict/sex addict who’s not responsible for his actions and bad decisions, and he’s also a brilliant investor and businessman.

  16. Election corruption, election fraud and vote tampering are crimes.

    Zucker and Griffin are complicit accomplices by omission.

  17. All the rats are running from the sinking ship. Now Fauci is saying that he had nothing to do with school closures for two years. https://www.nationalreview.com/news/fauci-claims-innocence-on-school-shutdowns-i-had-nothing-to-do-with-it/. The chickens are now coming home to roost but their droppings still cover the floor of the national stage. They are now trying to cover it up but they knew it would make a mess from the very beginning. No need for concern for children when the quest for power is at stake. CNN and MSNBC have been Fauci’s BFL.

  18. They cold be honest – and admit they would do ANYthing to elect Biden? Oh, no … way too embarrassing for them, now that biden is on display for the whole world to laugh at.

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