WaPo Reporter Who Questions Validity of Hunter's Laptop Was Recently Awarded for Using It As a Resource


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It can be said there are degrees of hackery when it comes to the journalism industry. The standard Level 1 example is basic bias and partisanship in the reporting. Level 2 can be said to have a more activist role, avoiding particular details or working hard to slant undeniable evidence. This type is seen frequently at Politifact, to give an example. The lowest has been Level 3, where a journalist delivers information they know to be incorrect but forges ahead with their agenda as that is far more important than the actual facts. (This has been on display in rising numbers during the Israeli-Hamas conflict.)

However, at the Washington Post, we have White House reporter Matt Viser seeking to blaze new trails by delving deeper into the hack-mire and creating an even worse example. More than just knowing the facts differ, he has intimate knowledge that his claim is completely fabricated. Not only has he worked on the particular details professionally, he has been celebrated publicly for doing so, making his latest comment all the more asinine and laughable.

So, a brief backstory is needed. Viser has long been more than sympathetic to Joe Biden and the extended family; he takes on an affectionate defense of the clan. His profiles of Biden and the reporting on the vagaries the family endures are done as pure deflection. Scrolling through his archives, you are unlikely to find a critical piece on the president in Matt’s recent articles. He typifies the long-running gag of the press being the PR arm of the DNC.

This weekend, Viser was looking to address the current status of Joe’s recidivist son, Hunter, and you do not even need to begin the article to see the massaging taking place. Behold this subheader on Viser’s piece:

The president’s son had a complex, even tortured relationship with the ‘Biden brand.’

Already, we know where this B-ticket is taking us. Viser serves up plenty of the Hunter defensive tropes: He was a victim of addiction (which in no way excuses illegalities); Republicans unfairly targeted him (Trump’s family members were “fairly” targeted, we assume); there is no evidence proving Joe was complicit (just ignore all the presented evidence); and years of investigations have netted nothing (the GOP has only been in charge since the last midterms, and their committee has delivered copious pieces of proof.)

But in this boilerplate defense screed, Viser has one deeply curious sentence. It is in reference to emails (what some might call “evidence”) that implicate the progeny, and it is amazing in a number of ways.

Information drawn from congressional testimony and a review of emails found on a copy of Hunter’s purported laptop that have been authenticated by The Post, illustrate how the president’s son and his partners benefited from his last name. 

Try to imagine the feeling of writing that sentence and discovering an editor did not call you out on the sheer audacious prevarication on display. The use of “purported” is just the first red flag to go up, but to follow that up within the same sentence with how it has, in fact, been validated — by your own outlet, no less — should have led to a superior telling Viser to just go home for the Thanksgiving holiday and start fresh the following Monday. But all of this idiocy is far worse.

This is Viser delivering a pure falsehood, yes — one that he clearly knows to be the case, just on the basis of being a reporter who has not spent time in a coma the past few years. But more than this, Viser knows full well the laptop is valid and authentic, as he has used the contents of that computer as a reference for his work. And this was not done anonymously or by citing “sources close to the Bidens”; he has been praised for doing this.

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At this year’s “Nerd Prom” — the White House Correspondents Association awards ceremony held in April — Viser received accolades from his peers. Unsurprisingly, it was for his crown polishing work on behalf of the president, something the WHCA assuredly swoons over on the regular. He was granted the Aldo Beckman Award for Overall Excellence In White House Reporting. In introducing him to the podium, we were told specifically what “excellence” he provided.

Viser captured the spirit of Joe Biden, particularly with his stories on how the president’s brother and his Catholic faith influenced his strategic vision of the office. His sourcing on the James Biden story was unusual, plumbing emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop to illuminate the relationship of the two brothers, and winning a rare interview with James Biden. Viser’s articles on Joe Biden’s presidency also were reported with historic context, written with an easy accessible style.

I’m sorry — how is that again?! He was “plumbing emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop” as “his sourcing” of content??? Huh. I wonder if Matt was aware that the laptop was a dubious item on which to base articles rooted in facts — according to Matt. Interesting to learn that he could be celebrated for his work, given that it was rooted in content mined from only a “purportedly” valid item.

Perhaps the WHCA should be alerted that they have awarded a journalist for reporting that is now said to be based on a completely challenged and unsubstantiated resource. Again, according to Matt Viser himself.

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Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden is a news writer for LinkDaddy News. She writes health, sport, tech, and more. Some of her favorite topics include the latest trends in fitness and wellness, the best ways to use technology to improve your life, and the latest developments in medical research.

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