Each week, AllSides Media Bias Alerts examine media bias in coverage of a major or important story using the AllSides Media Bias Ratings™ and our AllSides Media Bias Chart™.
A former business partner of Hunter Biden is now cooperating with the U.S. House investigation into the Biden family, according to James Comer (R-KY), Chairman of the House Oversight Committee. The news came on the heels of Hunter Biden missing a deadline issued by the committee to hand over information on his foreign business dealings.
The Daily Caller (Right) and Just The News (Center) first reported the story, and several outlets on the right picked it up. Meanwhile, no left-rated outlets reported on the story.
Left-rated media have a record of covering stories related to Hunter Biden less prominently than right-rated outlets, which tend to cover those stories extensively. On the right, focusing on stories about Hunter Biden can advance the notion that the Biden family is corrupt. On the left, not covering the Hunter Biden laptop story and subsequent federal investigation can sow mistrust and accusations of elitism bias.
- Didn't cover the Hunter Biden news directly
- Focused on White House's counter-strategy
- Highlighted the Hunter Biden news prominently
- Some framed Biden family corruption as plausible
The former business partner, Eric Schwerin, worked at a private equity firm co-founded by Hunter Biden called Rosemont Seneca Partners.
According to emails discovered in Biden’s laptop when it was turned over to the FBI in 2019, Schwerin had reportedly discussed financial matters with Joe Biden. An email to Hunter Biden on July 6, 2010 states, "Your Dad just called me (about his mortgage) and mentioned he'd be out a lot soon and not really back until Labor Day. So it dawned on me it might be a good time (also he could use some positive news about his future earnings potential!)."
Schwerin visited the White House at least 27 times between 2009 and 2016, while Joe Biden was Vice President of the United States.
Hunter Biden’s ex-wife said Schwerin “managed almost every aspect of our financial lives,” according to NTD.
One of Hunter Biden’s business relationships under scrutiny is his ties to CEFC, a Chinese energy company, which reportedly gave the Biden family a no-interest, forgivable multi-million dollar loan, and an expensive diamond. Schwerin was involved in facilitating and vetting Hunter Biden’s deal with CEFC.
In relation to Schwerin’s cooperation, Comer said, "Thus far, I have good news. He is cooperating with us. His attorneys and my counsel are communicating on a regular basis. Now, I feel confident that he's going to work with us and provide us with the information that we have requested.” Comer said that others are being less than cooperative and that the committee intends to start issuing subpoenas for the private sector and financial institutions.
How the Media Covered It
In addition to The Daily Caller and Just The News, NTD (Lean Right), The Washington Examiner (Lean Right), InfoWars (Right), and The Washington Free Beacon (Right) covered the story.
As of February 27, AllSides found no Left- or Lean Left-rated outlets have reported on the story, demonstrating story choice bias and bias by omission.
Coverage from the right was similar across the board, quoting Comer and Hunter Biden’s emails. Outlets also framed Schwerin as being close to Joe Biden, mentioning how many times he visited the White House and how he was involved in both President Biden’s and Hunter Biden’s finances.
One article from NPR (Lean Left bias) instead focused on how the White House is preparing to fight the investigation and other probes from House Republicans.
“Polls indicate many Americans are skeptical of these investigations,” NPR wrote, pointing to a Pew Research Center (Center bias) poll which found that 65% of U.S. adults are more concerned that Republicans will focus too much on investigating the Biden administration at the expense of other priorities. NPR continued, “The White House strategy is to reinforce that whenever possible.”
Get Balanced News
This is just one of many recent examples of political bias appearing in news stories. See our other recent media bias breakdowns of right-rated media omitting Fox News’s election lawsuit claims and the U.S. response to the Chinese spy balloon.
Clare Ashcraft is the Bridging & Bias Assistant at AllSides. She has a Center bias.
This piece was reviewed by Managing Editor Henry A. Brechter (Center bias), Bias Research Manager and Data Journalist Andrew Weinzierl (Lean Left bias), and Julie Mastrine, Director of Marketing and Media Bias Ratings (Lean Right bias).