After several intense conversations with Rudy Giuliani and his lawyer, Bob Costello, Miranda Devine—the New York Post star columnist with the distinctive Aussie accent—sent Col Allan, the legendary editor, a text message: “Huge. Hard drive. 20 k emails and texts.”
Devine was referring to the contents of Hunter Biden’s “laptop from hell,” which Biden had left behind at the Mac Shop, a computer repair shop. The Post already had been pursuing the story, but guardedly. Devine’s call was a game-changer.
“The next day the Post was all in. Reporters were hitting the phones and knocking on doors. A photographer headed to the Mac Shop in Delaware for pictures of the FBI subpoena and Hunter Biden’s signature on the work order,” Devine recalled in her best-selling book The Laptop from Hell.
The results of the Post investigation were published in October 2020, shortly before the presidential election. It was a smashing bit of reporting by Emma Morris and Gabrielle Fonrouge, indicating that Hunter Biden, then-candidate Joe Biden’s troubled son, had used his father’s position as Vice President to sell influence to foreign entities for vast sums of money. “Revealed: Ukrainian Exec Thanked Hunter Biden for ‘Opportunity’ to Meet Veep Dad,” blared the headline over a story about “Biden Secret Emails,” the letters in all caps. Most stunningly, Hunter’s emails contained evidence that appeared to contradict his father’s public statements that he had never discussed business with Hunter. The breakdown of the distributions of funds from a state-connected Chinese firm included “10 held by H for the big guy.” A former business partner of Hunter’s, Tony Bobulinski, stated publicly that “the big guy” was Joe Biden.
This was the kind of reputation-making story that, in the good old days of journalism, would have had rival reporters stumbling over each other, furiously scrambling to scoop each other. It should have been like Watergate, when Sy Hersh vied with Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein to get the latest juicy revelation in the unfolding scandal.
But it was not the good old days of journalism. It was the age of Trump and all legacy media efforts were aimed at ridding an inbred capital city of a detested interloper. Big Tech found flimsy pretexts to shield the public from the information in the Post investigation, and the mainstream media played along, buying into transparently political claims that the laptop was part of a smear campaign of “Russian disinformation” against candidate Biden.
Miranda Devine has journalism in her DNA. Frank Devine, Miranda’s New Zealand-born father, was a prominent journalist, who worked for Australia’s Melbourne Herald, where he rose to become the newspaper’s bureau chief in New York, London and Tokyo. Frank served as editor of the Chicago Sun-Times and the New York Post before joining Reader’s Digest, where he worked first in Australia and then in New York. Jacqueline Devine, Miranda’s mother, grew up on a farm in Western Australia. She worked as a nurse and journalist and went to Duke University in North Carolina. “My father was a hotshot journalist, and they went out one night and the rest, as they say, is history.” Miranda was born in New York but grew up partly in Tokyo, where she attended the International School of the Sacred Heart. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., and a B.A. in mathematics from Macquarie University in Sydney. She also studied architecture at Sydney University. The daughter of a father who prayed privately at work, “Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us,” Miranda Devine is a practicing Catholic, who has described her faith as a bulwark against relativism. She and her husband live in New York and are the parents of two grown sons.
Before coming to the New York Post, Devine had a varied career in journalism—from tabloids in London and Boston, to police reporting and writing columns in Australia. Throughout her professional life, it is safe to say that nobody ever accused Miranda Devine of relativism. When Australian politician Penny Wong announced her intention of rearing a child with her female partner, Devine responded with a column that blamed the 2011 London Riots on fatherlessness. “[I]f you want to break the cycle of violence, end the welfare incentive for unsuitable women to keep having children to a string of feckless men,” Devine argued in another provocative column. She accused teen scold Greta Thunberg of taking “literally what irresponsible adults have told her, that the planet is going to end in 11 years…”, comparing Thunberg to a “totalitarian dictator.”
“Joe has always wanted to emulate and outdo the Kennedys,” Devine continues. “And he copied the Kennedys in so many ways. And Beau was going to be a president.”
Col Allan, then editor-in-chief of the New York Post, brought Devine to her current perch at the nation’s oldest newspaper, in 2019. Devine, who appears frequently on Fox News, has acquired a large and fanatical fan base. One member of the Miranda Fan Club was former President Donald Trump, who once retweeted her work and said she was his favorite journalist. The man who replaced Trump, however, is probably significantly less fond. Not only was Devine the catalyst for the Post’s pre-election investigation of the Biden family’s business deals, she has written the whole sordid saga of Hunter Biden in her bestselling book, Laptop from Hell: Hunter Biden, Big Tech and the Dirty Secrets the President Tried to Hide.
Though not widely reviewed in the mainstream press, Laptop’s straightforward reporting is a hit with the public. Devine went painstakingly through everything on the Hunter Biden hard drive to extract Biden family secrets and Hunter’s decadent lifestyle, documented by emails. Hunter appears to have been the designated deal maker for his family, a role he bitterly resented at times. The book features scenes of Hunter Biden’s drug-fueled debaucheries in $10,000 a night hotel rooms. The hard drive contained explicit, homemade pornography, and pictures of Hunter and prostitutes, revealing Hunter’s amazing drug episodes.
“It takes a lot to get blacklisted from the Chateau Marmont, the HQ of Hollywood debauchery for ninety years,” writes Devine. “But in the summer of 2018 Hunter Biden managed to do just that.” The note in Hunter’s file indicated drug use. “Drug use????,” Hunter recorded. “I was banned for drug use at the Chateau Marmont. You have to be f—ing kidding me.” “Lol exactly,” the night manager responds. Hunter had learned to cook crack in baby food jars in his digs at the Chateau, certainly a sentimental moment, but it was onto Le Peer, another pricey hotel in West Hollywood, where the party continued. “They’d drink the entire minibar, call room service for filet mignon and a bottle of Dom Perignon,” Hunter complained of the guests who filed in and out of his room.
Why on earth, IWF asks, would President Biden, or any responsible adult, pick somebody like Hunter for the designated driver of financial deals? After all, Biden had another son, the upstanding Beau Biden, who served as Attorney General of Delaware and an officer on the Judge Advocate General’s staff in the Delaware National Guard before his death in 2015. Surely, if involved, Joe would have selected Beau to handle the business?
“Oh no! But see that is the exact point,” Miranda responds emphatically. “Joe had two sons and one of them, Beau, was the golden boy. And he was older than Hunter by one year and one day. They were Irish twins. And Hunter always felt that he was in the shadow of his beloved older brother, whom he adored, but always had a chip on his shoulder about being less than and about being treated like the inadequate son, while Beau was the golden child. And Joe had put all his ambitions into Beau. And Beau was going to fulfill the dynastic ambitions that Joe Biden has had all his life.
“Joe has always wanted to emulate and outdo the Kennedys,” Devine continues. “And he copied the Kennedys in so many ways. And Beau was going to be a president. And so, Beau had to be squeaky clean. He had to have no dirty money associated with him. But Hunter was the bag man for the family, designated, so Joe and therefore Beau eventually could tell everybody, as Joe always does, that he’s the poorest man in Congress, he’s honest Joe, that, he’s a poor man on a senator’s salary and a very humble guy, even though he lives the life of a very rich man.
“He has caviar tastes and so does his entire extended family. He has always lived in lavish mansions that are well above the ability of his salary. They live a life of immense privilege, which is why it’s so ironic when you hear Joe Biden claim to be this humble working-class man from Scranton and rail against white privilege. His family is the absolute epitome of white privilege.”
With U. S. journalism in decline, we’re lucky to have feisty and fearless Miranda Devine to dig for the truth and remind us of how journalism was done in its golden age.
“Joe Biden was the oldest son in his family and they all doted on him,” Devine continues. “I don’t know if this is true or not, but he says that to overcome a stutter, he used to stand in front of a mirror and practice reading aloud the speeches of John F. Kennedy, who was another Irish Catholic who had done well, a politician. And so, he started to think of himself as a Kennedy but without the money. And that’s why he is so hungry for money. He needed this dynasty, even to the point of having a big compound that he put together in Delaware where his advisors would come and they’d plot his presidential ambitions, emulating that Kennedy style.”
While Hunter Biden and his father may be fascinating subjects for psychological analysis, the core of Laptop from Hell is the dizzying array of international business deals mentioned in Hunter Biden’s emails. All seem to revolve around Hunter’s father’s influence. In one email, Hunter bragged that Ye Jianming, a well-connected Chinese billionaire was willing to guarantee Hunter $10 million a year “for introductions alone.” “Despite his debaucheries,” Devine writes, “Hunter was acutely aware of what he brought to the table: access to his powerful father.”
“Dad will be there but keep that between us for now. Thanks,” Hunter replied to an associate with whom he was working on a deal for eco-friendly trains in Greece. The occasion was a 2015 dinner Hunter was organizing for possible clients from Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Russia at Café Milano, the in-spot in Georgetown. On the guest list for the Milano affair was a representative from Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company that would famously pay Hunter a retainer of $83,000 a month. (This would be halved after Joe stepped down from the vice presidency.)
A picture of the Vice President smiling with Hunter’s guests went public. Joe Biden threatened to withhold a billion dollars in U.S. aid to Ukraine unless a prosecutor, said to be hot on the trail of Burisma, was fired. “Well, son of a bitch, they fired him,” Biden said in a public forum. When Joe took his son with him to China, on Air Force Two, the Chinese understood that Hunter was a “princeling” with whom they could do business, according to Devine. He had the backing, they understood, of the powerful man behind him.
While the mainstream media has spent enormous energy and resources pursuing the business deals of Donald Trump, Joe Biden’s family finances have been left alone. That notation that Hunter is to hold ten percent of a fee for “the big guy”—who Tony Bobulinski, a former business partner of Hunter’s, has said publicly, most notably on Tucker Carlson’s show, is President Biden—says it all. Devine says, “when you know that tens of millions of dollars have flowed into bank accounts in America in the name of Hunter Biden, Jim Biden, Joe’s brother, and their business partners from these countries, and you know Hunter and Joe share bank accounts and Hunter pays some of his dad’s bills, it’s obvious that Joe Biden is compromised.”
What is more clearly compromised is American journalism, which refuses to pursue stories that might not redound to the credit of their favorite politicians. “When I went to journalism school at Northwestern and later when I worked for newspapers in the U.K. and Australia,” Devine says, “I thought that American journalism was the absolute pinnacle—the attention to detail, the need for accuracy, making sure the quotes were really true to the person. “But over the last twenty years I think—or maybe ten years—certainly since Donald Trump was elected, it’s become really evident that, especially in the very prestigious brands in American journalism, that it is okay to be dishonest and to prosecute a false narrative and to be willfully gullible when anonymous sources feed you false information, as long as it fits with your political ideology or your particular mindset. For reporting on Donald Trump, anything goes. And American journalism, which was the finest in the world, just decided to jettison all its values.”
With U.S. journalism in decline, we’re lucky to have feisty and fearless Miranda Devine to dig for the truth and remind us of how journalism was done in its golden age. Miranda Devine makes us believe it can happen again.