Hunter Biden, Abbe Lowell, House Oversight and Accountability Committee
Hunter Biden, center, and his attorney Abbe Lowell, left, address the media after leaving the House Oversight and Accountability Committee markup titled “Resolution Recommending That the House of Representatives Find Robert Hunter Biden in Contempt of Congress” on January 10, 2024. Photo credit: © Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via ZUMA Press

Hunter Biden will face a gun charge in court next month. His trial blows the “President Biden is weaponizing the DOJ against Republicans” diatribe out of the water. Is that why Fox News has stopped talking about Hunter?

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Not so long ago, Fox News regaled its viewers with nonstop Hunter Biden coverage. Back in those good old days, i.e., last fall, hardly a day went by without Reps. James Comer (R-KY), Jim Jordan (R-OH), or some other Republican going on the air to pontificate about their investigation into “the Biden crime family.” And, if you don’t speak Republican, in this case “family” usually just means “Hunter,” and “crime” means “sometimes questionable business relationships for which there is no evidence of illegality.”

One would think that Fox News executives and GOP lawmakers would be downright giddy now that the president’s son is about to go on trial for a gun charge (and later this year for tax fraud).

After all, the right-wing propaganda outlet was itching so much for this to happen that it even made a TV miniseries about “The Trial of Hunter Biden.” Of course, that one was about the fictitious crimes that Comer et al. had tried to conjure up. Recently, Fox had to take its miniseries down because of the threat of a lawsuit… and they have already spent their defamation budget on their settlement with Dominion Voting Systems.

But, shockingly, they are not trumpeting Hunter’s legal troubles on air .

In fact, the opposite is true.

Last year, Fox mentioned Hunter Biden more than 30 times per day on average. That figure is not for one particularly busy day, it’s for every day.

However, since the Congressional “investigation” into “the Bidens” has fizzled out, Fox’s appetite for covering the president’s son has also waned (to the detriment of Comer, by the way, who had been on the network nearly 150 times since the start of last year but has only made a handful of appearances since March).

This year, Hunter Biden references are waaaaay down… and still sharply declining. While his name was still mentioned 786 times in January, that figure dropped to double digits in April. In other words, Hunter’s name only came up a couple of times per day.

Now, why do you think that is?

After all, Fox is essentially a super PAC for Donald Trump. Everything the network does, from the issues it covers to the guests it invites, is geared toward getting him elected this fall.

So, why stop talking about the president’s wayward son (especially because Republicans are still tilting at this particular windmill and are even bringing back the classics, like the “Hunter’s laptop” stuff from four years ago)?

Don’t worry, we won’t keep asking, we’ll just tell you.

Because while covering Hunter Biden to smear his dad served the main goal of getting Trump elected, seeing him on trial does not.

That’s because it doesn’t really fit in the GOP’s and Fox’s narrative that “Joe Biden is weaponizing the justice system” and “there is one justice system for Republicans and another for Democrats” when the president’s only living son goes on trial twice within a few months (including once, on the more serious charge, a few weeks before the election).

Think of the elder Biden what you want (which Fox News is certainly prompting its viewers to do), but there is no doubt that he loves his troubled son.

And, seeing how he has already had to bury two of his kids, including his son Beau, who was, objectively, a lot better than Hunter, you’d think that the president would do everything in his power to keep him out of trouble.

But here is the thing (which torpedoes that entire GOP narrative): There is nothing he can do for Hunter now because the judiciary is still independent of the executive branch.

Intervening on behalf of his son would be an egregious abuse of power, the likes of which Republicans accuse Biden (and that Trump openly fantasizes about).  

By the way, that’s why we said that the judiciary is “still” independent of the executive branch… because that won’t be the case anymore if Trump gets elected and tries to end the prosecutions of him for his attempted 2021 coup, hoarding classified documents, obstruction of justice, and various other crimes. In addition, he has also threatened many times to use the Department of Justice to go after his “enemies.”

Making a big deal out of Hunter’s trial(s) would alert even the most thick-skulled Fox viewer to how silly that whole “weaponization” argument sounds when the president’s own son could be convicted.

Then again, they might not care. After all, it hasn’t bothered Fox viewers that Republicans complain about the weaponization of government while spending millions of dollars on harassing a private citizen.

Finally, there are the charges themselves.

The GOP would love to show that Hunter Biden engaged in nefarious and illegal schemes involving US adversaries. Sadly for them, all the time and money they have spent on investigating him has been for naught so far.

While they try to assure Fox News viewers of the opposite, they have not been able to provide any actionable evidence yet, which is why even their impeachment probe of President Biden has stalled.

A gun charge is something different.

Hunter Biden is accused of having lied about his drug use when he purchased a firearm in 2018. That doesn’t sound like a thing Republicans would ordinarily be upset about. After all, Americans have a God-given right to arm themselves to the teeth, so whatever law Hunter may have broken was probably put there by some Second Amendment-hating libs.

And don’t expect the right-wing propaganda machine to spin into overdrive when Hunter Biden faces tax fraud charges in September. First, because it is a more serious crime that really blows the “weaponization” argument out of the water during the home stretch of the presidential campaign, and, second, because this is just the kind of crime Trump is accused of having committed many times.

It stands to reason that Fox News executives fear that even their hard-core viewers might realize that all of this seems very hypocritical.

But they may be giving them too much credit.


  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a writer, editor, former congressional reporter, and director of the WhoWhatWhy Mentor Apprentice Program. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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