NBC Finally Covers Devon Archer Hearing; Nets Insist It Was a Nothingburger

August 1st, 2023 2:05 PM

After being no-shows on Monday’s NBC Nightly News, NBC arrived via Tuesday morning’s Today to Devon Archer’s damaging remarks behind closed doors to the House Oversight Committee about what he saw in his time as Hunter Biden’s longtime business partner and confidant, including their stint on the infamous Ukrainian energy company, Burisma.

This wasn’t entirely surprising as Today had been the only flagship network morning or evening newscast to allude to the hearing in the run-up to Monday with a seven-second nod on Friday.



However, the segment mirrored those on ABC and CBS in downplaying the seriousness of Archer’s testimony that Hunter did, in fact, put his father on speaker phone while in the presence of his odious pals. Across the three networks between Monday night and Tuesday morning, the coverage total stands at eight minutes and 37 seconds.

“Ah, we’re following some new developments in the investigations that surround Hunter Biden. His former business partner testifying behind doors on Capitol Hill,” Today co-host Craig Melvin began, tossing to chief White House correspondent Peter Alexander by asking “what did we learn from” what’s leaked out.

Alexander caught viewers up to speed with what’s not in dispute, which was that he was “Hunter Biden’s former business partner” and “answered questions for about four hours”.

Then, the spin games began with Alexander touting the Democratic line that Archer believes Hunter merely “sold the illusion of access to his father” and the elder Biden “was never directly involved in” their shady ventures.

This was despite the fact that “Hunter put his father on speaker phone with clients and former business associates roughly 20 times over ten years”.

Alexander continued, treating the spin from Congressman Impossibly Good Stock Portfoilio (aka Daniel Goldman) as gospel:

The committee’s top Republicans say that Hunter was selling the Biden “brand” here. Still, a leading Democrat is pushing back on that, saying that this was all niceties, including asking about the weather that Archer said there was not a single conversation about Hunter’s business dealings. Republicans have made the argument that Joe Biden lied, that he had no involvement in his son’s work, saying it’s grounds for impeachment. Overnight, the White House, by the way, said the Republicans keep promising bombshell evidence, Craig, but keep failing to produce any, calling the attacks ridiculous. 

ABC’s Good Morning America had co-host and former Clinton flack George Stephanopoulos set the table with the GOP arguing Archer’s “testimony raised questions about President Biden” while “Democrats concluded that it showed the President had no involvement in Hunter's business.”

Correspondent Aaron Katersky was also dour: “Republicans have been trying to use Hunter Biden's behavior against the President. And, this time, with testimony about how the son would use the dad to drum up business.”

He continued (click “expand”):

KATERSKY: Hunter Biden's former business partner testifying the President's son sold the illusion of access to his powerful father. Lawmakers who were in the room telling us Devin Archer said Hunter Biden took calls from his dad in the presence of clients and often put him on speaker phone.

CONGRESSMAN DANIEL GOLDMAN (D-NY): Approximately 20 times over the course of ten year relationship Hunter may have put his father on the — the phone with any number of different people and they never once spoke about any business dealings. As he described it, it was all casual conversation, niceties, the weather.

KATERSKY: While Democrats say the closed door testimony proved nothing, Republicans say it shows President Biden lied when he said he never talked business with his son.

JACQUI HEINRICH [TO BIDEN] [on 06/25/23]: Did you lie about never speaking with Hunter about his business dealings.

BIDEN [on 06/25/23]: No.

KATERSKY: Archer's attorney saying in a statement, “we are aware all sides are claiming victory, but all Devon Archer did was show up and answer the questions.” The White House has been asked repeatedly whether the President ever communicated with his son hunter about his business dealings.

JEAN-PIERRE [on 07/24/23]: The President has — was never in business with his son.

Going finally to CBS Mornings, co-host Nate Burleson took the left’s framing in the Eye Opener to go along with a clip of Goldman screeching on CNN that investigating Hunter Biden “needs to end now”: “Republicans summon Hunter Biden’s former business partner to testify behind closed doors. Democrats say it’s time to move on.”

Fill-in co-host Natalie Morales began the segment with a muted take about how the two parties “disagree about whether” Hunter offered “real access or the illusion of access” to his father.

Senior investigative correspondent Catherine Herridge reported that Archer spoke to “the Republican-led probe” with added interest given Burisma.

“Both Republicans and Democrats said Archer testified that Hunter Biden put his father on speaker phone around business associates. Last night, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee called the testimony damaging,” she explained.

Following a clip of Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-KY), Herridge gave the other side by cuing up, of course, Goldman: “But a Democrat that was there during Archer’s interview said he never heard any evidence of wrongdoing by President Biden.”

Herridge could have continued with this back and forth, but she stuck to Hunter and his defenders (click “expand”):

HERRIDGE: And the White House went further saying, “House Republicans’ own much-hyped witness testified that he never heard of President Biden discussing business with his or his son’s associates, or anything wrong.”  But, in a 2019 interview, Hunter Biden said his family name opened doors in the business world.

HUNTER BIDEN [TO AMY ROBACH] [on 10/15/19]: I don’t think that there’s a lot of things that would have happened in my life that if my last name wasn’t Biden.

HERRIDGE: The final transcript should help clarify some of these issues, but a Republican committee aide told CBS News it won’t be publicly released before it’s gone through a formal review process and that could take days or days[.]

Tuesday’s spinning for the Biden family was brought to you by advertisers such as Amazon (on CBS), Cadillac (on NBC), and Dick’s Sporting Goods (on ABC). Follow the links to see their contact information at the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.

To see the relevant transcripts from August 1, click here (for ABC’s Good Morning America), here (for CBS Mornings), and here (for NBC’s Today).