EdgeTheory Logo
← Back to Resources

Hunter Biden Charged: A Narrative Analysis of U.S. Media Bias

June 20, 2023EdgeTheory


Multiple media narratives have emerged, asserting that Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, has agreed to plead guilty to two federal tax charges and one firearm offense. Additionally, emails obtained from his laptop have raised questions about his involvement with a Ukrainian gas firm. This article examines the significant aspects of the charges and their potential implications.

Rolling Updates

Our Kudzu Narrative Intelligence briefs auto-update every few hours with fresh analysis:

Headline Issues

  • Hunter Biden's Acknowledgment: Hunter Biden has acknowledged the ongoing inquiry into tax matters concerning his financial affairs.
  • Tax Charges: Biden faces two misdemeanor tax charges, related to his failure to pay taxes for the years 2017 and 2018. He has since repaid back taxes and fines, including a reported $2 million paid to the federal government in the previous year.
  • Firearm Offense: The charges also include a felony offense for falsely stating on a federal gun purchase form that he did not have a drug addiction. The plea deal will involve an admission that drug use was a contributing factor to the offense.
  • Involvement with Ukrainian Gas Firm: Emails retrieved from Hunter Biden's laptop reportedly reveal his collaboration with Burisma, a Ukrainian gas firm. The emails contain income statements, passport details, and utility bills provided to Burisma executive Vadym Pozharskyi.

Key Insights

  • White House Response: The White House has dismissed the inquiries into Hunter Biden's business dealings as hyper-partisan and politically motivated. Attorney General Merrick Garland has assured Congress that the Department of Justice's decisions in the case would not be influenced by politics.
  • Relevance to Re-election Campaign: The charges against Hunter Biden carry potential implications for President Biden's re-election campaign and his relationship with Republican lawmakers.
  • Ongoing Probe: Apart from the tax and firearm charges, a separate investigation is underway concerning classified materials found at President Biden's home and former office.
  • Plea Approval: The plea deal reached between Hunter Biden and the U.S. attorney in Delaware requires approval from a federal judge in Delaware.

Top Editorial Summaries

  1. Hunter Biden to Plead Guilty to Tax and Firearm Offenses: Hunter Biden has reached a tentative deal with the U.S. attorney in Delaware, agreeing to enter guilty pleas for two misdemeanor tax charges and admitting to a felony firearm offense. The deal is subject to approval by a federal judge in Delaware. This development concludes a five-year investigation into Biden's financial dealings abroad.
  2. Emails Reveal Hunter Biden's Ties to Ukrainian Gas Firm: Emails extracted from Hunter Biden's laptop shed light on his involvement with the Ukrainian gas firm Burisma. The emails contain sensitive documents such as income statements and passport details, illustrating the extent of Biden's collaboration with Burisma executive Vadym Pozharskyi.
  3. Implications for President Biden's Administration: The charges against Hunter Biden have the potential to impact President Biden's administration. House Republicans have demanded information from Special Counsel Jack Smith regarding early decisions made in the related investigations, creating additional scrutiny.
  4. Conflict of Interest Laws and Criminal Intent: Hunter Biden's lack of federal employment exempts him from certain conflict of interest laws. To press charges against him, it would be necessary to establish probable cause that he intended to influence his father's official duties as Vice President and his involvement in Ukraine policy.
  5. Hunter Biden's Guilty Plea and Its Ramifications: Hunter Biden's agreement to plead guilty to tax evasion and a firearm-related offense marks a significant development in the ongoing investigation. The plea deal, which is not equivalent to a guilty plea, requires the approval of a federal judge in Delaware.

In this Kudzu Narrative Intelligence Brief, we analyze the most relevant CSV values of top surfaced keywords to gain insights into the competing narratives. The comparative analysis reveals interesting patterns and highlights the keywords that appear more frequently and their relationship to the competing narratives. Here's a breakdown of the findings:

  1. Keywords Found in U.S. Media:
    • Hunter Biden: 67
    • Joe Biden: 62
    • Donald Trump: 62
    • Classified Documents: 47
    • President Joe Biden: 45
    • Keywords Found in Left-Leaning Sources:
    • Political Rival: 7
    • William Barr: 7
    • David Weiss: 7
    • Federal Indictment: 7
    • Keywords Found in Right-Leaning Sources:
    • Son Hunter Biden: 18
    • FBI Director: 18
    • Mykola Zlochevsky: 18
    • Counsel Jack Smith: 18

Comparative Analysis:

  • The keywords "Hunter Biden," "Joe Biden," and "Donald Trump" dominate the overall keyword count, indicating their central role in the narratives.
  • Left-leaning sources focus on keywords related to legal proceedings, such as "Federal Indictment" and "David Weiss," suggesting a narrative emphasizing potential legal actions against Hunter Biden.
  • Right-leaning sources place emphasis on "Son Hunter Biden," "FBI Director," and "Mykola Zlochevsky," suggesting a narrative that explores connections between Hunter Biden, international figures, and law enforcement.

The differences in the surfaced keywords highlight the divergent narratives from left-leaning and right-leaning sources, showcasing the varying priorities and perspectives surrounding the Hunter Biden case.

Hunter Biden Charged amplification distribution by keyword-dynamics

A comparative analysis of media coverage across different political leanings reveals significant variations in the number of articles published. Here's a breakdown of the numerical differences:

  • Right Bias: 122 articles (54.7%)
  • Right-Center Bias: 47 articles (21.1%)
  • Left-Center Bias: 22 articles (9.9%)
  • Left Bias: 21 articles (9.4%)
  • Least Bias: 11 articles (4.9%)

The right-leaning sources dominate the coverage, accounting for over half of the total articles. Right-center sources follow with a significant portion, while left-leaning and least biased sources have comparatively smaller shares. The difference between right bias and left bias is more than double, with right bias having triple the coverage of left-center bias. These findings highlight the varying emphasis and perspectives presented by different political leaning sources in their media coverage.

Hunter Biden Charged amplification distribution by bias

Note: Kudzu Narrative Intelligence briefs update every few hours. Very likely, the Narrative Analysis data visualization depicted in the graphic above will have changed as well.

Image Credit: Center for Strategic & International Studies, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

hello world!

AI-Powered Narrative Intelligence

Request A Demo