Last week, The New York Post posted an expose of what it claimed were contents of Hunter Biden's laptop, supposedly abandoned at a Delaware repair shop. It "revealed" access-trading to his father, Joe Biden—with more sensational October surprises to come. But the "hard drive" came courtesy of Steve Bannon, recently bailed on fraud charges, and Rudy Giuliani, the personal lawyer of Donald Trump. Suspicions about its provenance and authenticity were overwhelming from the outset. On Sunday, The New York Times revealed that the story is so shaky that its own author refused to let the Post add his byline to it—and that Giuliani says he only shopped the story there because he knew it wouldn't verify it before publication.
Mr. Giuliani said he chose The Post because "either nobody else would take it, or if they took it, they would spend all the time they could to try to contradict it before they put it out." …
As deadline approached, editors pressed staff members to add their bylines to the story — and at least one aside from Mr. Golding refused, two Post journalists said. A Post spokeswoman had no comment on how the article was written or edited. …
Ms. Fonrouge had little to do with the reporting or writing of the article, said three people with knowledge of how it was prepared. She learned that her byline was on the story only after it was published, the people said.
Today, the Post's own reporters are openly (but anonymously) criticizing the story, telling New York Magazine's Peter Sterne that it is "very flimsy" and "should never have been published."
"I think it was very flimsy," one Post reporter told Intelligencer.
Another journalist at the paper was even more blunt.
"It's not something that meets my journalistic standards," they said, adding that the piece "should not have been published." …
It seems at this point that the story (and any others that come from this extremely dubious "hard drive") is a real dud. But the ass-covering from Post staffers themselves started after GOP Senator Ron Johnson insinuated that there was child porn on the "hard drive".
Given that this "hard drive" is possibly a fraudulent body of material and that the claimed source of it verges on absurdity, Johnson's insinuation would mean that everyone involved in the story has been sitting on a pile of child porn for weeks or even months, waiting to use it to smear Joe Biden. I'm not a laywer, but that seems bad.