NPR editor says network ‘turned a blind eye’ to Hunter Biden laptop story

A veteran National Public Radio journalist slammed the left-leaning broadcaster for ignoring the Hunter Biden laptop scandal because it could have helped Donald Trump get re-elected.

Uri Berliner, an award-winning business editor and reporter at NPR, penned a lengthy essay in Bari Weiss’ online news site The Free Press in which he called out his bosses for turning the public radio broadcaster into “an openly polemical news outlet serving a niche audience.”

“The laptop was newsworthy,” Berliner wrote. “But the timeless journalistic instinct of following a hot story lead was being squelched.”

Weeks before the 2020 presidential election, The Post was the first to reveal the existence of the laptop that Hunter Biden left at a Delaware computer shop.

Uri Berliner, a veteran journalist with National Public Radio, criticized his bosses on Tuesday. NPR

The Post published the contents of emails taken from the laptop, which shed light on Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine and China while his father, Joe Biden, was vice president during the Obama administration.

Initially, national security experts and former intelligence officials declared the laptop a hoax and was the product of a Russian disinformation campaign.

Social media sites like Twitter even barred its users from sharing links to The Post’s reporting.

The authenticity of the emails were later confirmed by independent experts and federal law enforcement officials.

According to Berliner, NPR’s managing editor for news at the time said that the outlet had no interesting in “[wast[ing] 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.”

Berliner wrote that NPR has become an “openly polemical news outlet serving a niche audience.” Getty Images

Berliner wrote in The Free Press that a well-respected colleague at NPR said they were glad the network wasn’t covering the story because it would help Trump win re-election. He did not name the journalist.

After the contents of the laptop proved to be authentic, NPR “could have fessed up to our misjudgment,” Berliner wrote.

“But, like Russia collusion [allegations against Trump that were debunked], we didn’t make the hard choice of transparency.”

Berliner faulted NPR for its refusal to cover the Hunter Biden laptop story. scalle

NPR’s Edith Chapin, the acting Chief Content Officer, defended the organization in a memo to staff.

“I and my colleagues on the leadership team strongly disagree with Uri’s assessment of the quality of our journalism and the integrity of our newsroom processes,” she said.

“With all this said, none of our work is above scrutiny or critique.”

Berliner also took NPR to task for its coverage of the Russia collusion saga — which was fueled by allegations that the Trump campaign was in cahoots with the Kremlin during the 2016 presidential campaign.

He said that NPR “hitched our wagon to Trump’s most visible antagonist” — Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).

Charges against Hunter Biden

COUNT 1: False Statement in Purchase of a Firearm

Faces a maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment; a fine of $250,000; 3 years of supervised release; a special assessment of $100.

COUNT 2: False Statement Related to Information Required to be Kept by Federal Firearms Licensed Dealer

Faces a maximum of 5 years’ imprisonment; a fine of $250,000; 3 years of supervised release; a special assessment of $100.

COURT 3: Possession of a Firearm by a Person who is an Unlawful User of or Addicted to a Controlled Substance

Faces a maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment; a fine of $250,000; 3 years of supervised release; a special assessment of $100.

“By my count, NRP hosts interviewed Schiff 25 times about Trump and Russia,” according to Berliner, who said he “eagerly voted against Trump twice but felt we were obliged to cover him fairly.”

When Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating the Trump-Russia collusion allegations, found no credible evidence to support the charge, “NPR’s coverage was notably sparse,” Berliner wrote.

Berliner also faults NPR for its intense coverage of claims that former President Donald Trump (left) colluded with Russia and its leader, Vladimir Putin, to win the 2016 election. AFP via Getty Images

“It is one thing to swing and miss on a major story,” Berliner wrote, adding: “What’s worse is to pretend it never happened, to move on with no mea culpas, no self-reflection.”

Berliner also called out NPR for pushing other left-leaning causes, such as subjecting staffers to “unconscious bias training sessions” in the wake of the May 2020 death of George Floyd.

Employees were ordered to “start talking about race,” he said.

NPR journalists were also told to “keep up to date with current language and style guidance from journalism affinity groups” that were based on racial and ethnic identity, including “Marginalized Genders and Intersex People of Color” (MGIPOC); “NPR Noir” (black employees at NPR); and “Women, Gender-Expansive, and Transgender People in Technology Throughout Public Media.”

According to Berliner, if an NPR journalist’s language “differs from the diktats of those groups,” then a “DEI Accountability Committee” would settle the dispute.

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