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NPR criticized for launching 'disinformation reporting team' despite dismissing Hunter Biden story

NPR did issue a correction about the Hunter Biden laptop story until April 2021, about six months after initially reporting that the story was "disinformation"

Published: July 18, 2022 7:48am

Updated: July 18, 2022 9:31am

NPR is facing criticism for launching a "disinformation reporting team" after the publicly funded news outlet initially dismissed the Hunter Biden laptop story as disinformation. 

Casey Morell, producer of the NPR Politics Podcast, announced the "disinformation team" on Twitter on Friday.

Critics quickly pointed to National Public Radio's previous stories that they considered biased or inaccurate.

Conservative commentator Mike Cernovich replied to Morell, "Start here," with a link to an October 2020 NPR tweet defending the outlet's choice to not report on the laptop story.

The New York Post reported in fall 2020, during the homestretch of the presidential elections, that a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden, the son of then-Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, had been discovered in a Delaware repair shop and perhaps had information related to his overseas business dealings while his father was vice president.

The so-called mainstream and liberal media largely and only until recently dismissed the story as "disinformation."

"We don't want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don't want to waste the listeners' and readers' time on stories that are just pure distractions," NPR stated at the time. 

Jon Levine, a New York Post reporter, commented: "Hey – let’s start with this one!" with a photo of the same NPR tweet referenced by Cernovich. 

Gregg Re, a producer for Tucker Carlson Tonight, asked the NPR editor, "Does your managing editor still think the hunter Biden laptop is not a real story ?"

Conservative commentator and veteran Col. Rob Maness stated, "Goodness, we’ll even be paying taxes to be censored now."

Despite first reporting that the laptop story was "discredited" by U.S. intelligence, NPR issued a correction until April 2021.

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