Buzzfeed officially has no credibility left, not like they should’ve had any in the first place.
The shot themselves in the foot when the website responsible for such journalistic wonders as “What is your inner potato,” “Leonardo DiCaprio might be a human puppy,” and “15 hedgehogs with things that look like hedgehogs,” published an unverified dossier “believed to have been written by a member of the British intelligence community, which contains unverified allegations that Russian operatives have been “cultivating, supporting and assisting” Trump for years.”
Why would they release something they knew for a fact contained unverified information? So that the public could “make up their own mind,” or something. There’s nothing wrong with having your audience make up their own mind on an issue – but only if you’re presenting them with factual information with which to process and come to a conclusion.
As The Blaze reported: Buzzfeed and its editor Ben Smith are being sued for publishing a controversial and unsubstantiated dossier which documented damaging intelligence on President Trump allegedly collected by the Russian government. Buzzfeed published the report after CNN broke the news that Trump had been notified by intelligence agencies that they suspected such information existed and could be used against him.
The lawsuit was filed not by Trump, but by XBT Holdings, a “Russian-tied tech firm” that was named in the dossier and that says they were falsely maligned by the spy who wrote the document, whom they’re also suing. They charged that the dossier contained “libelous, unverified and untrue allegations” about their company and the owner, Aleksej Gubarev.
XBT Holdings stated “We were shocked to see our good name wrongly included and published in this unsubstantiated report. We are confident that the courts will review the evidence of our non-involvement and provide fair and reasonable compensation from the perpetrators of this outrageous allegation.”
Buzzfeed has already taken action to limit their exposure in the wake of the lawsuit announcement: In a statement to McClatchy, BuzzFeed spokesman Matt Mittenthal said Friday night, “We have redacted Mr. Gubarev’s name from the published dossier, and apologize for including it.”
The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages, based on the dossier article being viewed nearly six million times. Whoa.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]