November 30, 2022

Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner spent much of Tuesday morning trying desperately to defend the network she works for, as well as Twitter, the $44 billion trash-fire social media platform Elon Musk bought at what seems to be the peak of his very public midlife crisis. And it’s no wonder that defending one means defending the other: Both excuse their firehoses of right-wing propaganda and disguise unfounded conspiracies as actual verified news under the blanket of “free speech.” That’s not what free speech means, but you try telling Fox News that. We’ve been at it for 20 years.

Faulkner opened her monologue on Fox & Friends by indicting what she called “legacy networks,” meaning mainstream news sources like MSNBC, and alleging that they’ve “come clean” about the Hunter Biden laptop nonsense as an actual story.

But all this is just a way for Fox to keep the bullshit Hunter Biden laptop story in the minds of their viewers. At one point, Faulkner asks what the “punitive damages” should be for outlets she claims committed “censorship” in reporting the laptop story as fake news.

Faulkner praised Musk as a “smart guy” and then actually had the nerve to riff about “integrity” and “building trust” in your product.

“So people have to know that when they go on this platform, they really are seeing the last bastion, the fight, kind of what we are at Fox, for the truth. And make sure that it sits there without fear.”

Wow! There’s so much hypocrisy to unpack there.

Let’s dig in.

So, first off, it’s true that most recently, CBS News admitted—along with The Washington Post and The New York Times—that Hunter Biden’s laptop did have some stuff on it. But here’s the other part that Fox News leaves out: the actual report of the findings in the laptop’s examination.

According to reporting by Empty Wheel, The Washington Post asked security experts Matt Green and Jake Williams to investigate the hard drive on Hunter Biden’s laptop. What Williams and Green uncovered was that it was impossible to know what was really on the drive because people were adding new content to the laptop.

The Post writes:

In their examinations, Green and Williams found evidence that people other than Hunter Biden had accessed the drive and written files to it, both before and after the initial stories in the New York Post and long after the laptop itself had been turned over to the FBI.

Maxey had alerted The Washington Post to this issue in advance, saying that others had accessed the data to examine its contents and make copies of files. But the lack of what experts call a “clean chain of custody” undermined Green’s and Williams’s ability to determine the authenticity of most of the drive’s contents.

“The drive is a mess,” Green said.

He compared the portable drive he received from The Post to a crime scene in which detectives arrive to find Big Mac wrappers carelessly left behind by police officers who were there before them, contaminating the evidence.

That assessment was echoed by Williams.

“From a forensics standpoint, it’s a disaster,” Williams said.

Empty Wheel adds that much of the data needed to accurately authenticate the drive had been deleted.

“No evidence of tampering was discovered, but as noted throughout, several key pieces of evidence useful in discovering tampering were not available,” Williams’ reports concluded.

Empty Wheel goes on to highlight and question the Post’s report and the veracity of several more of the GOP’s key pieces of evidence.

“In any case, the “laptop” is a completely unreliable shitshow precisely because Rudy Giuliani and Steve Bannon were in such a rush to make it a political scandal,” Empty Wheel writes.

Republished with permission from Daily Kos.

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