Even after a year that was characterized by some of the most biased, shameful, left-wing “journalism” we’ve seen in our lifetime, BuzzFeed’s decision to publish unsubstantiated opposition research under the guise of news Tuesday is simply stunning. After building up their straight-news division over the past couple of years, the clickbait website had miraculously obtained a small modicum of respectability in Washington. But any gravitas they had earned was wiped out in an instant when they went to press with this anti-Trump trash intelligence.
BuzzFeed (and CNN) tried their best to confuse their readers as to what it was they were actually reporting. The initial wave of stories implied that the pages of “Donald Trump is a secret Russian agent” garbage were presented to the president-elect as part of an intelligence briefing last week. It’s still unclear if that’s true or not, but either way, it doesn’t lend the information any additional credibility. U.S. intelligence officials have been very clear about saying that they have not verified a single sentence of the allegations contained in the report, and it was not generated by the domestic intelligence community.
In fact, it was paid for by anti-Trump Republicans and Democrats months ago. They made a deal with a former British intelligence agent who worked the Russian counterintelligence beat back in the day, and he gave them their money’s worth. Unfortunately, since no news organizations could verify the information, Trump’s enemies failed to get any mileage out of the sensational stories.
But leave it to BuzzFeed to ultimately go where the rest of the media wouldn’t. Reporters and editors from outlets like The New York Times, the Washington Post, Mother Jones, Newsweek, and The Atlantic – none of which are even slightly friendly in their Trump coverage – blasted the site for publishing the material. Many in Washington have said that this dossier has been an open secret for several weeks inside the media world, and everyone knew it was unverifiable and unpublishable.
Everyone but BuzzFeed…with an assist from CNN.
“Americans can make up their own minds,” said BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith in explaining the choice to run the allegations.
That sentiment can be used to excuse publishing straight fiction, rumors, innuendo, and all kinds of other trash. If you want to be a news organization, though, you should check your sources, limit your stories to the facts, and exercise some responsibility over what you print.
Or, be labeled as fake news, which is what you are.