“An earlier version of this story mistakenly referred to Hunter Biden’s laptop as ‘stolen,’” said The Daily Beast in a Wednesday update to a 2020 article. “We have removed that word, and we apologize to Mr. Mac Isaac for the error.”
The half-hearted statement almost two years later is being characterized as an apology, but is it? How did they “mistakenly refer” to Biden’s laptop as stolen? It strains credulity to imagine a legally blind computer repairman in a small Delaware town could penetrate Secret Service security around the Biden family to find and steal a laptop.
John Paul Mac Isaac, the Delaware computer-repair shopowner, made a declarative statement when claiming he was given the laptop by Hunter Biden, to recover data. Responsible journalism requires a reasonable basis to categorically refute that statement and further allege the laptop was stolen.
Mac Isaac explained that he was relentlessly harassed after news outlets like The Daily Beast and CNN published reports claiming the laptop story was Russian disinformation.
The Daily Beast’s “apology” was issued after Mac Isaac launched a defamation lawsuit against the publication. The computer-repair shopowner also sued CNN, Politico and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., over their portrayal of him. He claims they pushed a narrative during the 2020 presidential election that the content from Hunter Biden’s laptop was a Russian disinformation operation.
Mainstream media has been incrementally authenticating the material found on the laptop. In September, Politico reported on contents of a book describing the Biden family’s rise to power. In the book, author Ben Schreckinger provides evidence that some of the material in the laptop is factual.
“A person who had independent access to Hunter Biden’s emails confirmed he did receive a 2015 email from a Ukrainian businessman thanking him for the chance to meet Joe Biden,” noted Politico. “The same goes for a 2017 email in which a proposed equity breakdown of a venture with Chinese energy executives includes the line, ’10 held by H for the big guy?’”
A March New York Times report clearly indicated they believed the laptop and its material were Hunter Biden’s. In the report, the Times refers to emails found on the laptop and a tax investigation of the president’s son, Hunter.
“Those emails were obtained by The New York Times from a cache of files that appears to have come from a laptop abandoned by Mr. Biden in a Delaware repair shop,” the Times reported. “The email and others in the cache were authenticated by people familiar with them and with the investigation.”
The Washington Post did not issue a mea culpa but did acknowledge the veracity of the laptop contents in a March report:
“Thousands of emails purportedly from the laptop computer of Hunter Biden, President Biden’s son, are authentic communications that can be verified through cryptographic signatures from Google and other technology companies, say two security experts who examined the data at the request of The Washington Post.”