New York Times Quietly Scrubs 'Unsubstantiated' from Hunter Biden Laptop Story

September 15th, 2021 4:42 PM

Andrew Kerr at the Daily Caller reported The New York Times quietly scrubbed the word "unsubstantiated" from a story disparaging the Hunter Biden laptop scoops in the New York Post in the weeks before the 2020 election. 

In the original version of this story, Times reporters Shane Goldmacher and Kate Conger wrote

The Federal Election Commission has dismissed Republican accusations that Twitter violated election laws in October by blocking people from posting links to an unsubstantiated New York Post article about Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s son Hunter Biden, in a decision that is likely to set a precedent for future cases involving social media sites and federal campaigns.

This is rather ludicrous, since they could have easily verified that this was Hunter's laptop and the emails came from Hunter's email account. This is a routine media trick: it's "unsubstantiated," and we won't attempt to substantiate it because we want to disparage it as fake. 

The Times removed the word “unsubstantiated” from its story Monday night with no editor’s note to mark the change. 

Kerr noted the original Times tweet is still sitting there on Twitter: 

Back in October 2019, Clay Waters highlighted how much the Times reported that Biden loved the "U word" on Ukraine revelations, and the Times repeatedly employed it: 

Mr. Biden’s advisers have not been shy about offering advice to journalists. Earlier this month, the campaign sent a memo to an elite group of campaign reporters warning that any news story would be “misleading” if the Trump camp’s claims about Mr. Biden were unsubstantiated.

The U-word was also a Times favorite back in 2004 when the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ran a campaign alleging John Kerry's actions in Vietnam were not heroic. 

The Goldmacher-Conger story was buried in the print edition, on page B-3 under the dull headline "Election Agency Dismisses Allegations." That's so vague, it's a don't-read-this headline. At the bottom of the web story, the Times lists their headline (perhaps in the New York edition) as "2 Rulings Protect Social Media’s Control."