With President Donald Trump trailing former Vice President Joe Biden in countless polls and the election less than three weeks away, Republicans are hoping for some type of "October surprise" that will derail Biden's campaign. To fulfill this wish, some right-wing media outlets have been obsessing over the contents of a laptop hard drive that, according to the New York Post, allegedly belonged to his son, Hunter Biden. Conservative Ed Morrissey discusses the laptop in an op-ed for Hot Air, arguing that the attacks on Hunter Biden are crossing the line.
"Rather than delve into business or political revelations," Morrissey explains, "the NY Post chooses today to report on personal e-mails, photos and the pain and partying they reveal. In a way, it's a more human side of Hunter than we've so far seen."
In the New York Post article, reporters Emma-Jo Morris and Gabrielle Fonrouge write, "Hunter Biden's e-mails and texts show not just a politician's troubled son angling for lucrative overseas business deals — they also reveal a concerned father, a fun-loving friend and a man tortured by the deaths that have devastated his family."
But Morrissey is critical of the Post's reporting, saying, "I suppose the Post can argue that they are trying to paint a more balanced portrait of Hunter, but I somehow doubt that he or his family will appreciate that nuance. There is something very creepy about publishing the personal e-mails of a public-figure-once-removed like Hunter, and especially those of his daughter in a time of financial crisis."
Morrissey adds, "On top of that, none of what's revealed in this report has anything to do with public policy. It's private conversations and private behavior with no connection to anything to voters' lives or choices. It's an unwarranted intrusion of privacy with no real purpose other than to offer a prurient look into Hunter's 'wild life (and) pained soul' when Hunter's not running for anything. Imagine the outcry that would arise if NBC did this to Tiffany Trump."
The conservative writes although the Post is claiming that the material on the hard drive is entirely Hunter Biden's, he has his doubts.
"It's possible that it's all Hunter's," Morrissey writes, "but it's also very possible that some of it isn't."
Morrissey stresses that the material on the laptop still needs to be "authenticated."
"The potential for dirty tricks looks rather large," Morrissey warns. "Until this data gets fully authenticated by an outside agency — hopefully the FBI, which reportedly has the laptop — the earlier reporting isn't reliable, and this manipulative story doesn't do much to boost the Post's credibility either. The best we can assume is that this story signals that the Post doesn't have much more to wring out of this October surprise."