Hunter Biden’s Book is released today. The memoir will center on President Biden’s son’s struggles with substance abuse. Here’s what both sides are saying. To have stories like this and more delivered directly to your inbox, be sure to sign up for our newsletter.
Top Story: Hunter Biden’s Book
Hunter Biden will release his new book today. Jordan Williams, writing in The Hill, reports that “the memoir, titled ‘Beautiful Things,’ will center on President Biden’s son’s struggles with substance abuse. The memoir was acquired in the fall of 2019 but kept under wraps during the tense 2020 presidential race.” For context, “The election saw the younger Biden become a target for conservatives following a New York Post article that alleged that Hunter Biden had organized a meeting between a Ukrainian businessman and his father, who was vice president at the time.” The New York Post published these claims after discovering “a massive trove of data recovered from a laptop computer,” that allegedly belonged to the President’s son, as the outlet reported at the time. Here’s what both sides are saying about Hunter Biden being back in the spotlight:
On The Left
In Hunter Biden, Democrats see a touching story of addiction and family sacrifice. They dismiss the political attacks from the right as hypocritical and insensitive.
Maureen Dowd, writing in the New York Times, describes Hunter Biden’s book as “ineffably sad and beautifully written,” saying it “tears the tabloid face off the story about an American family that has experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.” She says that Trump-ally Matt Gaetz’s “sexual conquests” make him, not Hunter Biden, the real villain.
Dowd does acknowledge that Hunter made a tactical mistake accepting the board position at the Ukrainian gas company while his father was Vice President because “it allowed Trump to target him and his dad.” Overall, Dowd sees a book that “illuminates the underworld of addiction — our national shame — that left the son of a vice president and presidential candidate sharing an apartment with his crack connection in the shadow of the White House.”
A quartet of writers for NPR quote Hunter Biden during his interview with CBS Sunday Morning. This past weekend, Hunter defended himself by highlighting that he was “on about a dozen boards” before joining Burisma. He claimed he had “expertise in corporate governance” and was a lawyer with a major law firm. Hunter does, however, concede that “it was certainly not wise in this political environment to create that perception [of corruption],” which is why he “would not do it again.” He ends by elaborating on his struggles with addiction and his family’s support, saying that “their light was never not seeking me out. Never a moment, never a moment that they weren’t trying to save me.”
Lastly, Brian Stelter of CNN characterizes the book as “extraordinary” and criticizes the “tabloid coverage” originating from “a right-wing media” that is “obsessed with him.” Stelter recalls reading about “how many times Hunter Biden could have died” and describes it as “breathtaking” that he didn’t. Stelter sees Biden’s book primarily about addiction, not politics. As he puts it, if you “take out the last name Biden, this is about addiction, and how to help people and it’s going to resonate for that reason.”
While acknowledging Hunter Biden’s shortcomings, commentators on the left are dismissing Republican attempts to turn a story of addiction into a political scandal.
On The Right
The right sees Hunter Biden as an exemplar of Washington DC nepotism and corruption. They call out his book tour as a spin attempt enabled by the same media institutions that covered up for the Bidens in the weeks leading up to the 2020 election.
Byron York, Chief Political Correspondent for The Washington Examiner, points out that Hunter Biden has all but confirmed his original ownership of the laptop that was the subject of so much controversy last October. He accuses “Biden’s defenders” of denouncing the story as “Russian disinformation,” while social media giants Twitter and Facebook suppressed it, and “many big media organizations did their best to ignore it.” Now, however, Hunter says it “certainly” could have been his laptop. York believes that the recent revelations by Biden raise some serious questions, including whether “the elder Biden was actually a part of some of those dealings,” as well as other “questions that were suppressed as media organizations scrambled to keep the laptop story away from the public.” York is pushing for further media inquiry, writing that “the public deserves to know more about the Hunter Biden laptop story, especially since the information was suppressed earlier.”
Miranda Devine agrees with York’s claims of a media coverup but goes further in painting the family as thoroughly corrupt. In The New York Post, she dismisses the Democrat spin that Hunter is a good guy, citing a “2-year-old girl he refuses to acknowledge despite a paternity test connecting them,” an illegal gun he disposed of at a school, and numerous corrupt dealings in Ukraine and China. Maureen Callahan, also in the New York Post, holds Joe Biden himself responsible for Hunter’s shortcomings since Hunter depicts him in the book as “an absentee father.” This matters to Devine because “Hunter’s father is president and…when he was vice president and afterward, Joe Biden was involved in Hunter’s business.” She cites a 2017 e-mail where Hunter said he “would hold 10 percent…of one lucrative Chinese deal for ‘the big guy,’ with Hunter’s former business partner testifying that “the ‘big guy’ is Joe Biden.”
Lastly, the New York Post’s Michael Goodwin calls the coverup of the Hunter Biden story a “successful dirty trick that helped Biden win the election.” He cites polling that shows that 45% of Biden voters claim to have never heard of Hunter’s business deals, while 9.4% of them say they wouldn’t have voted for Biden had they known. Goodwin claims that Biden’s family, “including brothers Jim and Frank, managed to make tens of millions of dollars off contracts and connections to Joe’s government power.” Goodwin pulls no punches saying the Biden family sold “access and foreign governments and oligarchs were happy to buy at exorbitant prices.” He says “These are serious concerns, yet too much of the media doesn’t even care.” Ultimately, he believes, “It’s up to the few remaining honest journalists to find the facts.”
Republicans are calling out the Hunter Biden book tour as a Democrat PR campaign — laundered through their media allies — which seeks to deflect serious inquiry away from the Biden family’s apparent corruption.
So why does this all matter? Well, according to The New York Post, a majority of Americans believe the media buried the Hunter Biden story in October 2020 to aid his dad’s campaign. Citing a poll from Rasmussen this past December The Post notes that 52% of likely voters “think the absence of Hunter Biden coverage was intended to boost the [Biden] campaign, while 32% considered it a partisan hit job.” Now, The New York Post is considered a right-leaning outlet so take this with a grain of salt, but it’s some of the most recent public polling data available on Hunter Biden. In the same poll, 56% said it was “likely” the elder Biden was consulted about his son’s business with Ukrainian energy company Burisma and ties to China and perhaps profited.”
Flag Poll: Hunter Biden’s Book
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