There was a convention called the Un-Convention last week in Philadelphia that supposedly was to cover “an exploration of political reforms to improve our election systems and policy ideas to govern a divided country.”
Among the speakers they had at the Convention were former CNN head Jeff Zucker and former MSNBC head Phil Griffin. Zucker was booted from CNN in 2021, after being there since 2008 and essentially turning the previously respected network into a Democratic operation. Griffin left MSNBC in 2022.
CNN host Michael Smerconish asked them a great question. He said that he thought it was wrong that there hadn’t been more coverage of the Hunter Biden laptop in the lead-up to the election in 2020. He asked Zucker and Griffin if they regretted anything they had done [in their failure to properly cover the story].
Fmr CNN boss Jeff Zucker defends the network ignoring evidence of Hunter/Joe Biden corruption before the presidential election: "We didn't know enough about it .. the messenger on that story was Rudy Giuliani"
"Do I think it's a legitimate criticism [we ignored it]? Not really" pic.twitter.com/q4rDUNTAbw
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) October 14, 2022
“I think that the Hunter laptop was worthy of more airing than it received right before the election,” Smerconish began, setting up his question.
“Either of you agrees with me on that? Do you regret? How about if I ask you this way, specifically, do you regret not dealing with it before the election?” he then asked Zucker.
Now do either of these guys have a conscience about what they did? What do you think the answer is? Not so much.
Zucker claims they did deal with it, to the degree “you would have thought was appropriate.” He put down the story, claiming it came from Rudy Giuliani so that influenced how CNN looked at it. He said that it dropped without time to know enough about it. While it involved the son of the candidate, Zucker said that even the Wall Street Journal didn’t find anything to connect Joe Biden.
What a crock of bull on every level.
First, there was plenty of time to cover and investigate it, we certainly did. And there was more than just the laptop itself. As I wrote at the time on October 22, 2020, Tony Bobulinski nailed Joe Biden for lying about his connection to Hunter Biden’s business that was connected to the Chinese. So there was a ton of stuff in the laptop and a live witness testifying to its veracity. Oh, and contrary to what Zucker is saying now, the Wall Street Journal did cover the Bobulinski part and the connection to Joe Biden a day after we did.
Moreover, it was a conscious decision by CNN to not cover the NY Post story about the laptop when it dropped in the middle of October and to try to spin it, as we learned when Project Veritas dropped the tape of the conversations that went on at the time.
“Obviously, we’re not going with the New York Post story right now on Hunter Biden and, which seems to be giving its marching orders to Fox News and the right-wing echo chamber about what to talk about today,” CNN political director David Chalian said. “Obviously, Hunter Biden’s lawyer is quoted in that New York Post piece, and we’ll just continue to report out this is the very stuff that the president was impeached over. This is the stuff that Senate committees looked at and found nothing wrong in — Joe Biden’s interactions with Ukrainians — and, now having an email that, perhaps there was a meeting with someone from Burisma is, it seems, Rudy Giuliani’s sort of ‘dream-a-vision’ of how to throw stuff at the wall in these closing days of the campaign.”
“Hey, Jeff, it’s just David on the Burisma story, and we should be awfully careful about that obviously, but I do think there’s a media story,” CNN Executive VP David Vigilante said. “What in the world are Maggie Haberman and Jake Sherman doing retweeting that story?”
As I wrote at the time:
So not only are they saying they wouldn’t cover it, but they’re also talking about how they’ll try to spin the scandal, to make it about Trump rather than about Biden and how there’s a “media story,” how dare the New York Times Maggie Haberman and Politico’s Jake Sherman actually retweet this news.
In fact, it was new and very important news showing that Biden had allegedly met with the Burisma executive, blowing apart Biden’s claims that he knew nothing about his son’s business dealings and showing exactly how they were trying to manipulate that relationship to help the company when Joe Biden was Vice President.
All of that was before the election.
That was a pretty bad response from Zucker, just full of lies.
Griffin’s response wasn’t much better. His excuse was that Hunter Biden wasn’t arrested and he was “[just] the son of the candidate,” again ignoring all the connections to Joe Biden and/or how Hunter’s involvement with foreign connections might compromise him.
MSNBC’s Phil Griffin likewise defends their refusal to do journalism: “He was never arrested … I don’t think it was a big story before the election because he was never charged with anything” pic.twitter.com/fV0Eo570EJ
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) October 14, 2022
That’s their standard? President Donald Trump was never arrested, yet they ran all kinds of nonsense about him. That’s not the standard — the standard is whether it was newsworthy. When there’s potentially influence-peddling and connection to foreign governments you bet that’s newsworthy.
We should also note that the FBI was reportedly sitting on the story — that might have impacted him being arrested as well. According to whistleblowers, although the FBI got the laptop in December 2019, they didn’t start investigating it until after the 2020 election.
So everyone seemed to be doing all they could to stomp on the story and help Joe Biden over the line.
Zucker, who had no shame, tried to come back on Smerconish and ask why Smerconish didn’t cover it. At least Smerconish said he publicly regretted it and said they looked partisan by not covering it.
But what did Zucker regret? Giving as much coverage as he did to Trump in 2016, “Of course I do. I’ve admitted this publicly,”
This is why Americans don’t trust the media.