‘Disinformation’ Conference Confronted With Hunter’s Laptop, MRC Poll

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During a hilariously titled conference “Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy” at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics on Wednesday, The Atlantic staff writer Anne Applebaum and Democratic strategist David Axelrod were caught completely off guard when questioned about the lack of media coverage of Hunter Biden’s laptop and their quickness to dismiss it as “Russian disinformation” by senior editor Daniel Schmidt of the university’s conservative/libertarian newspaper The Chicago Thinker.

During the Q&A portion of the discussion, Schmidt had the opportunity to ask Applebaum about her dismissal of the importance of Hunter Biden’s laptop during the 2020 elections. “In 2020, you wrote those who live outside the Fox News bubble do not of course need to learn any of the stuff about Hunter Biden,” Schmidt said referring to her comments regarding Hunter’s laptop from Hell.

He then brought up a poll conducted by the Media Research Center which showed 17 percent of Biden voters wouldn’t have voted for Joe Biden if they had been aware of many of the stories the media hid from them, including the laptop: “A poll later after [sic] found that if voters knew about the content of the laptop, sixteen [sic] percent of Joe Biden voters would’ve acted differently.”  

Despite their claims to the contrary during the election, The New York Times has confirmed the authenticity of the laptop as Schmidt also prudently pointed out to Applebaum: “Now of course we know a few weeks ago The New York Times confirmed that the content is real.”

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Schmidt subsequently pointed out the media’s hypocrisy for labeling the Hunter Biden laptop as “disinformation” while also preaching about fighting disinformation: “do you think the media acted inappropriately when they instantly dismissed Hunter Biden’s laptop as Russian disinformation? What can be learned from that and ensuring that what we label as disinformation is truly disinformation and not reality?” 

A clearly flummoxed Applebaum mumbled and stuttered her way through her answer to the college freshman: 

My problem with Hunter Biden’s laptop is I think totally irrelevant. I meant it’s not whether it’s disinformation or I mean I don’t think the–Hunter Biden’s business relationships have anything to do with who should be President of the United States. So, I didn’t,–I don’t find it to be interesting. I mean that would be my problem with that as a major news story. 

When she was done, she looked to Axelrod for his answer which was even worse. He refused to even answer and claimed they were “going to talk about more of this tomorrow” Alexrod mumbled, “so stand by.” He then subsequently shut down the panel discussion.

Two of the most established reporters or political operators couldn’t handle being questioned by a college freshman. Another win for the talented student reporters at The Chicago Thinker.

This isn’t the first time they made national headlines, the paper’s editorial board wrote an op-ed slamming the University of Chicago’s ridiculous COVID vaccine mandates, which led to their editor in chief and co-founder Audrey Unverferth’s appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight on the Fox News Channel among other appearances.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy Conference
University of Chicago Institute of Politics
4/6/2022

DAVID AXELROD (PANELIST): Let’s take a—

DANIEL SCHMIDT (SENIOR EDITOR, THE CHICAGO THINKER): Amazing! Thank you, thank you for doing this, I really appreciate it. I’m Daniel Schmidt, I’m a freshman at the University of Chicago. My question is for Miss Applebaum. So in 2020, you wrote those who live outside the Fox News bubble do not of course need to learn any of the stuff about Hunter Biden. Referring to his laptop of course. A poll later after found that if voters knew about the content of the laptop, sixteen percent of Joe Biden voters would’ve acted differently. Now of course we know a few weeks ago The New York Times confirmed that the content is real. Do you think the media acted inappropriately when they instantly dismissed Hunter Biden’s laptop as Russian disinformation? What can be learned from that and ensuring that what we label as disinformation is truly disinformation and not reality?

ANNE APPLEBAUM (STAFF WRITER, THE ATLANTIC): My problem with Hunter Biden’s laptop is I think totally irrelevant. I meant it’s not whether it’s disinformation or I mean I don’t think the–Hunter Biden’s business relationships have anything to do with who should be President of the United States. So, I didn’t,–I don’t find it to be interesting. I mean that would be my problem with that as a major news story.  

AXELROD: We’re going to talk about more of this tomorrow in our first panel so stand by. And I think we have run out of time.  

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