Painting Over Scandal: Nets Ignore Own Reporters, Skip Hunter Biden’s Latest Art Antics

In an unsurprising move, Hunter Biden’s life of corruption reared its head this week as, in addition to a dubious arrangement in which he (and the public) supposedly won’t find out who purchased his art when it goes on sale, he’ll be attending an art exhibition that will feature said paintings. Of course, ABC, CBS, and NBC saw zero reason to cover it on their top morning or evening newscasts despite the fact that their own reporters grilled Press Secretary Jen Psaki about it at briefings. This bias by omission was further underlined by the fact that, on Friday, ABC found time during its two overnight programs to cover it over two news briefs for a combined 45 seconds.     On World News Now at 3:39 a.m. Eastern, co-host Mona Kosar Abdi reported there was “controversy involving Hunter Biden and his paintings that could sell for as much as $500,000” as he’s “expected to meet with potential buyers at two upcoming art shows.” Adding that it’s “raising ethics concerns that the buyers would try to gain influence with the President,” Kosar Abdi seemed incredulous herself, concluding with the White House’s claim that “prospective buyers would remain anonymous” and “there will be no conversations about the selling of his art.” Yes, just like not talking about beer at a beer garden or chicken at Chick-fil-A. Fast-forward to the next half-hour (or hour, depending on when one’s local news starts), co-host Andrew Dymburt read a shortened brief during America This Morning: New controversy surrounding Hunter Biden and his paintings, which could sell for up to $500,000. The President’s son is expected to meet with potential buyers at two upcoming art shows. That’s after the White House insisted that prospective buyers would remain anonymous because of ethics concerns. At issue is whether people buying the art may try to gain influence with the President. When the sham of an agreement was unveiled on July 9, CBS White House correspondent Weijia Jiang sparred with Psaki over this hole-filled plan, but Jiang’s questioning never made it to air for the CBS Evening News (before being covered a day later on CBS This Morning: Saturday). Skip to Thursday, Jiang’s colleague Nancy Cordes and CBS News Radio’s Steven Portnoy went back-and-forth with Psaki about the so-called agreement and the new development regarding the art show. Gaslighting all the way to the moon and back, Psaki insisted there will be no one besides a professional gallerist who’ll ever know the identity of the buyers. Unlike with Jiang, the admirable lines of questioning never saw a second of air on CBS This Morning or the CBS Evening News. The focus moved on Friday to ABC as correspondent Rachel Scott followed Cordes’s example in pointing out the absurdity of Psaki’s claims that Hunter wouldn’t be discussing art at an art show and people could post on social media said paintings after purchasing them. But once again, Psaki refused to engage in the slightest besides her rigid talking points (click “expand”): SCOTT: One last one on Hunter Biden. You confirmed yesterday that he will be meeting with prospective buyers, but you also said that he’s not going to have any conversations relating – PSAKI: Not that he’s meeting with prospective buyers, that he is attending gallery events that had been prior – prior planned and announced. SCOTT: — there could be prospective buyers there. PSAKI: He’s not – they — those discussions will be happening with the gallerists, but that is different than meeting with prospective buyers. SCOTT: If there are prospective buyers there, you said yesterday that he is not going to have any conversations related to the selling of art. How can the administration guarantee that? PSAKI: The selling of his art will all happen through the galler – the gallerist, and the names and individuals will be kept confidential. We will not be aware and neither will he be aware. SCOTT: Is there anything stopping anyone from directly telling, though, Hunter Biden that they’re going to purchase his art? And if they do, the American people won’t know who they are. PSAKI: He will not know. We will not know who purchases his art. Having already irked Psaki with an exchange about her avowed belief that the American people no longer need to know about Covid cases within the White House, The Wall Street Journal’s Catherine Lucey had her own go at it on Hunter Biden. Once again, Psaki had to claw her way across with farcical talking points (click “expand”): LUCEY: Following up on the questions about Hunter Biden and his art shows, are there any specific procedures you can tell us that are being put in place to ensure that these conversations remain, as you say, not about the sales? Will he get ethics training? Will he have to report afterwards about the conversations? Anything specific you can tell us about how you are monitoring this? PSAKI: Well, again, I think it is certainly a commitment that has been made by all parties involved. He is not involved in the sale or discussions about the sale of his art, and he will not be informed of the – of the sale of his art and who is purchasing that art. That is a commitment that’s been made, and we expect that all parties would abide by it. Instead of covering Hunter Biden, the networks covered things such as more corporate whoring on ABC’s Good Morning America for parent company Disney with a new Disney+ “cinematic experience” starring Billie Eilish, CBS This Morning touting the Super Bowl rings for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and NBC Nightly News reporting on how those aboard the International Space Station are taking in the Olympics. To see the relevant ABC transcripts from July 23, click “expand.” ABC’s World News Now
July 23, 2021
3:39 a.m. Eastern [ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Art Controversy] [ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Hunter Biden to Meet with Potential Art Buyers; Upcoming Appearance at Two Shows Raising Ethics Concerns] MONA KOSAR ABDI: And there is controversy involving Hunter Biden and his paintings that could sell for as much as $500,000. The President’s son is expected to meet with potential buyers at two upcoming art shows in New York and Los Angeles. And the move is raising ethics concerns that the buyers would try to gain influence with the President. The White House had insisted the prospective buyers would remain anonymous to Hunter Biden. Now, they say there will be no conversations about the selling of his art. (….) ABC’s America This Morning
July 23, 2021
4:27 a.m. Eastern [ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Top Stories; Hunter Biden Ethics Concerns; Upcoming Appearance at Art Shows in Spotlight] ANDREW DYMBURT: New controversy surrounding Hunter Biden and his paintings, which could sell for up to $500,000. The President’s son is expected to meet with potential buyers at two upcoming art shows. That’s after the White House insisted that prospective buyers would remain anonymous because of ethics concerns. At issue is whether people buying the art may try to gain influence with the President.

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NEW NewsBusters Podcast: CNN Town Hall Lies and PolitiFact Lows

In the newest NewsBusters Podcast, we discuss CNN’s softball townhall with President Biden, and how moderator Don Lemon let the president make wild claims without any attempt to fact-check him. He wrongly claimed the COVID death toll was more than all our major wars combined, and he wrongly claimed that cops never said Biden was anti-police. PolitiFact was perfectly partisan in checking this program: Biden received a “Mostly True” and a “Half True” for things that he said on CNN, but House Republicans were tagged as “False” for suggesting Biden wanted to ban handguns. NB managing editor Curtis Houck recounts how the question was dominated by people CNN identified as Democrats — eight Democrats, three Republicans. Hunter Biden only came up when Lemon presented him as an inspirational figure for getting over drug addiction. There was no question about the unethical art auction he’s planning.  Enjoy the podcast below, or wherever you enjoy your podcasts.

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BEST FOR BUSINESS: Univision PUSHES HARD For Immigration Via Reconciliation

On Thursday, Univision continued to advocate for a filibuster-proof budget reconciliation as the means to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants (see here and here). The latest push comes as Univision kicks off its newscast with the meeting between Vice President Kamala Harris and immigration activists over DACA. Watch as anchor Patricia Janiot framed the report early on: “We are going to start with the meeting that Vice President Kamala Harris held at the White House with activists and young dreamers to send a strong message to Congress that the time has come to legalize hundreds of thousands of dreamers”:   PATRICIA JANIOT, ANCHOR, UNIVISION: We begin this Thursday with the meeting that Vice President Kamala Harris held at the White House with activists and young DREAMers in order to send a forceful message to Congress: that the time has come to legalize hundreds of thousands of DREAMers. (….) JANET RODRIGUEZ, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, UNIVISION: (Both) Harris and President Joe Biden are now committed to supporting that the legalization of millions of undocumented immigrants comes to pass via the budget reconciliation process in Congress- the only viable way through which to achieve legalization this year. (….) JANIOT: And how is the budget reconciliation process that could legalize these young people and millions more progressing? RODRIGUEZ: Patricia, the Senate is currently drafting what would be included in the budget, which might include a pathway to legalization. But in reality, there are still many critical votes remaining in order to determine whether Democrats will be able to use this political maneuver to legalize thousands, millions of undocumented immigrants; and this could be delayed, Patricia, until September.  The message, Janiot further stated, has gained urgency because a “Texas judge declared DACA illegal and banned new applications for those who want to avail themselves of this immigration protection program.” Left unsaid, however, was the fact that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program has never been legal, and has yet to resolve the issues it was created for by the Obama administration; that is, to give the beneficiaries US citizenship. While the report featured elite activist Lorella Praeli from Community Change Action (who previously served with the ACLU, the 2016 Clinton presidential campaign, and United We Dream), it was Janiot who advocated for the “political maneuver to legalize thousands, millions of undocumented immigrants”, as White House correspondent Janet Rodriguez summarized the immigration-via-reconciliation scheme stuffed within Biden’s infrastructure bill. Janiot threw one last advocacy dart in closing, when she asked: “Janet…how is the process of the budget reconciliation that could legalize these young people and millions more, progressing?” Rodriguez’s answer, however, allowed for a (very) possible defeat: “Unfortunately, there are still many critical votes to determine whether Democrats will be able to use this political maneuver to legalize thousands, millions of undocumented immigrants, and this could be delayed, Patricia, until September.” The report is further proof that Univision is, at its core, a left-wing immigration advocacy PAC with a broadcast license.  Who sponsors bias like this at the Latino networks? Advertisers like AT&T, for one. Write them here to let them know how you feel about it. Click “Expand” to read the full transcript of the segment mentioned above: Noticiero Univision
July 23, 2021 PATRICIA JANIOT: Hello, this is Patricia Janiot. We begin this Thursday with the meeting that Vice President Kamala Harris held at the White House with activists and young DREAMers, in order to send a strong message to Congress that the time has come to legalize hundreds of thousands of DREAMers. The message has gained urgency because a Texas judge found DACA to be illegal, and banned new applications for those who want to avail themselves of this immigration protection program. Janet Rodriguez is in Washington to tell us about the outcome of this meeting. KAMALA HARRIS: Diana would you please share? JANET RODRIGUEZ: Diana Bautista had to speak with Vice President Kamala Harris today from her home in California. Diana applied for DACA benefits a few months ago but remains undocumented thanks to a federal judge’s ruling in Texas that halted new applications to the program, including her own. DIANA BAUTISTA: … a cause of my anxiety, many people don’t understand that and that is something that I shared with the vice president. RODRIGUEZ: Seated at the table with Harris were DACA recipients and activists like Lorella Praeli who have been fighting for years for a permanent solution for hundreds of thousands of young DREAMers. LORELLA PRAELI: It was very clear to me in this meeting that the Vice President is committed  and we as a community, as advocacy organizations, are going to make sure that it is not an empty promise. RODRIGUEZ: Harris and President Joe Biden’s commitment now is to support the legalization of millions of undocumented immigrants through the budget reconciliation process in Congress as the only viable way to achieve legalization this year. HARRIS: …so we will be tireless in fighting for a pathway to citizenship…. RODRIGUEZ: We will fight tirelessly for that legalization, the Vice President said. PRAELI: She…she was very clear. This is going to be very difficult because so many people are against us. RODRIGUEZ: Harris invited the group in order to draw attention to the challenges posed by the Texas court ruling that leaves about 80,000 new DACA applicants in limbo. Erika Ayala tells us that no promises were made at the meeting- they only reaffirmed the administration’s commitment to support the cause. ERICA AYALA: It’s about time for Congress, the vice president and the president to do something for us. JANIOT: Janet, thank you for this report. And how is the budget reconciliation process that could legalize these young people and millions more progressing? RODRIGUEZ: Patricia, the Senate is currently drafting what would be included in the budget, which might include a path to legalization. But unfortunately, there are still many critical votes remaining in order to determine whether Democrats will be able to use this political maneuver to legalize thousands, millions of undocumented immigrants, and this could be delayed, Patricia, until September. Back to you. JANIOT: The wait continues. Thank you Janet.

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