This morning the New York Post dropped an obviously bullshit story about some computer repair shop having discovered an incriminating email from Hunter Biden on a laptop he supposedly dropped off to be repaired, but then never picked up. Also a sex tape, and some dirty pics, apparently. The New York Post got this story from Rudy Giuliani and Steve Bannon. Bannon and Giuliani didn’t have the actual laptop – that got “turned over to the FBI.” They had a copy of the laptop’s hard drive.

The NY Post’s story was immediately amplified by Maggie Haberman of the New York Times and Jake Sherman of Politico and NBC News. Both have since spent most of the morning frantically retweeting skepticism and debunks of the article, attempting to claim that they, too, were initially skeptical of the story.

Which, obviously, they were not. Or they were and just didn’t care because hey, clicks and attention! W00t!

(Updated under the fold with more information.)

These two – and many other reporters – have a history of amplifying GOP and Trump administration bullshit to boost their own profiles. It’s one of the most disappointing things I’ve seen since 2016: A lot of journalists’ utter abandonment of their responsibilities.

Lots of people on Twitter talking about how dumb and clearly fake this story is this morning. Here’s a few:

🧵 Also, Judd Legum of the Popular.info newsletter has a pretty excellent thread about it that you can read starting here.

UPDATE: 🔗 The Daily Beast: Man Who Reportedly Gave Hunter’s Laptop to Rudy Speaks Out in Bizarre Interview

Isaac refused to answer specific questions about whether he had been in contact with Rudy Giuliani before the laptop drop-off or at any other time before the Post’s publication. Pressed on his relationship with Giuliani, he replied: “When you’re afraid and you don’t know anything about the depth of the waters that you’re in, you want to find a lifeguard.”

Seeming to realize he’d said too much, he added: “Ah shit.”

Also, a couple of other things to be aware of real quick…

First up, the Lincoln Project, the group of Republicans opposing Trump who’ve made a bit of a name for themselves by putting out a lot of anti-Trump ads on Twitter, are resistance grifters. Which shouldn’t come as any surprise. You can tell they’re grifters because there’s a Conway involved. Specifically, George Conway, Kellyanne Conway’s husband. Don’t trust anything involving a Conway – those folks are just out to scam you out of money.

Secondly, the White House has been pushing a “herd immunity” idea re: covid. As in, if we just let it run rampant through the population, we’ll all develop an immunity to it and then it won’t be a problem anymore. Which, no, is not how diseases or coronaviruses or basically anything works in real life. For one thing, that would cost us millions of lives. For another, “immunity” to covid probably only lasts, like, a year, maybe, after you catch it, as far as we can tell. Also, there’s no proof that the second time you catch it, it’ll be more mild.

But anyway, one of the things the White House has been citing as “evidence” for this approach working is a bullshit “open letter” signed by thousands of “medical practitioners.” These practitioners include homeopaths, therapists, and dozens of literal fake names, like – and I am not making this up – “Dr. I.P. Freely, Dr. Person Fakename and Dr. Johnny Bananas, who listed himself as a ‘Dr of Hard Sums.'” You can read about that here.