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Daily Beast corrects articles and apologizes to Hunter Biden’s laptop repairman after being sued

The Daily Beast corrected at least two articles that claimed the laptop belonging to President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was stolen by a computer repairman.

The website published an article on December 9, 2020 about the laptop which said that the computer had been “stolen”.

This word was removed on May 25. An editor’s note has been added.

“An earlier version of this story incorrectly labeled Hunter Biden’s laptop as ‘stolen’. We have removed that wording and apologize to Mr. Mac Isaac for the error,” the Daily Beast said in the note.

It is unclear what evidence the outlet had cited, if any, for the stolen claim. Older versions of the article were not available. The Daily Beast did not return a request for comment.

“John Paul thanks The Daily Beast for coming to the table to settle this matter out of court,” said Brian Della Rocca, an attorney representing John Paul Mac Isaac, owner of the shop where Hunter Biden allegedly filed the laptop. Epoch Times in an email.

Another story appears to have been stealthily edited to remove the word “stolen”. This story contained no evidence of the allegation. Stealth editing means that a story has been changed without any indication given to readers as to what was changed or why the change was made.

Della Rocca said the actions were taken as part of a settlement of the part of the lawsuit he filed on Mac Isaac’s behalf earlier this month.

The suit noted that the Daily Beast interviewed Mac Isaac in October 2020 and published an article about the interview, so he was aware that the laptop had not been stolen.

Mac Isaac says he acquired the laptop directly from Hunter Biden, who he says dropped off the computer at the store and did not return for it.

“The false and defamatory statements made about the plaintiff by the Daily Beast charged the plaintiff with committing the crime of theft,” the lawsuit states. “The false and defamatory statements made by Daily Beast were made negligently; without reasonable care as to its truth or falsity; with knowledge of its falsity; and/or with a reckless disregard for the truth.

Mac Isaac sought damages in excess of $75,000 and additional punitive damages, including a “public retraction of all false statements” and “a public apology.”

Politico, CNN and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California) were also named in the lawsuit.

Politico has not updated the article for which it was sued. The article claims that dozens of former intelligence officials said the laptop was “Russian disinformation”.[rmation]”, while the officials never used the word disinformation.

CNN was sued for having Schiff as a guest; Schiff said he confirmed the source of the laptop was Russia, while CNN previously published an article detailing how Mac Isaac said he obtained the laptop from Hunter Biden.

“Despite the fact that CNN knew the complainant was the source of the information, it aired the interview [with] Schiff in which the plaintiff was defamed,” the lawsuit states.

Politico, CNN and Schiff did not respond to requests for comment.

Rita Li contributed to this report.


Zachary Stieber covers US and world news. He is based in Maryland.