Trump Keeps Slinging Mud, but This Time It's Not Sticking - 2020-10-19
The contrast between Clinton's various e-mail pseudo-scandals and the one around the laptop is striking. The new pseudo-scandal appeared not in The New York Times but in the New York Post, a partisan tabloid. Giuliani told The New York Times he gave the story to 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."
Even within the Post, the story was regarded with suspicion. A Times report makes clear that the article appeared in the Post only after strenuous internal battles: "The New York Post's front-page article about Hunter Biden on Wednesday was written mostly by a staff reporter who refused to put his name on it, two Post employees said. Bruce Golding, a reporter at the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid since 2007, did not allow his byline to be used because he had concerns over the article's credibility, the two Post employees said, speaking on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retaliation." The byline was given to two other writers, one a former Fox News producer who had never had a byline in the Post before and the other a staff writer who learned that her name was on the article only after it was published.
The shifty origins of the article in the Post show why the current pseudo-scandal is unlikely to gain mainstream credibility. The genius of the Trump campaign's 2016 mudslinging was that Trump's team figured out ways to do it behind the screen of trusted allegedly neutral parties: mainstream newspapers like Times, the FBI, even Wikileaks. None of these institutions were seen as partisan.