Wow! Look who’s attacking Buzzfeed for publishing ‘fake news’

A major network anchor, a person previously personally ridiculed by Donald Trump with an insulting nickname, jumped on board the “fake news” bandwagon, attacking the editor of Buzzfeed who decided to publish a scurrilous opposition research memo that was peddled to the media for months.  Is this what Osama bin Laden meant when he said that people are naturally attracted to a “strong horse”?

Nothing could better symbolize the triumph of Donald Trump’s stance toward the media than this appearance on the daily version of Meet the Press by Ben Smith, editor of Buzzfeed, and the tough remarks he received from “sleepy Chuck Todd,” of NBC News, widely regarded as the most anti-Trump network of all.

  

Ian Hanchett of Breitbart summarizes the entire interview:

Todd said BuzzFeed’s decision to publish the dossier was an instance where they “would not have made the same decision in the pre-Trump era.”

Smith stated that it was more “the pre-Internet era.” And that there was a time “where we could act as gatekeepers. Where we could say, you know what, crazy people are claiming that Barack Obama’s birth certificate is forged, but we’re not going to write about that, that’s crazy.”

He continued that this era doesn’t exist, and that while they had reporters trying to confirm or deny specific details, the dossier was “in play,” and “having consequences for the way our elected leaders are acting. The — you do have to ask the question of, why should I suppress that? There are then good reasons, right? Once though, it emerges, as it did last night in the public conversation that there is this secret document floating around, full of dark allegations that we will not repeat to you. That I feel like in this era, you really have to share [with] your readers what that is in an appropriate context. And our original report, I mean, if you read what we wrote, it stressed that there were real solid reasons to distrust this. It noted two specific errors.”

Todd then asked if BuzzFeed had a responsibility to not spread false information. Smith responded that, like with the Obama birth certificate issue, it’s a “difficult balance that everybody in our business navigates every day.”

Todd then asked if BuzzFeed would publish a false birth certificate. Smith answered, “We certainly quoted the president-elect of the United States making false claims about it, and years ago we debated whether we should quote regular citizens in Iowa saying, I don’t believe his birth certificate. And I remember us thinking at first, we probably shouldn’t. That we we shouldn’t pass that on and then saying, you know what, this has become a force that is impacting the conversation.”

Todd countered, “I know this was not your intent. I’ve known you a long time, but you just published fake news.” Smith countered that people throw the term “fake news” around to diminish things they don’t like, and that “this was a real story about a real document that was really being passed around between the very top officials of this country. And then the question you say is, okay, it’s okay for you — to Chuck Todd see this document. It’s okay for me to see it. Okay for Senator John McCain (R-AZ). Okay for the CIA. What’s — why is it not okay for your audience?”

Todd then countered that BuzzFeed could have published a redacted version of the document. Smith answered that there was fair disagreement, but didn’t think you could defend acknowledging the dossier’s existence but then not say what was in it and that this was saying it was okay to summarize false claims.

Smith further stated that if there wasn’t a “public conversation” about the dossier, they would have just continued to report the story out.

A major network anchor, a person previously personally ridiculed by Donald Trump with an insulting nickname, jumped on board the “fake news” bandwagon, attacking the editor of Buzzfeed who decided to publish a scurrilous opposition research memo that was peddled to the media for months.  Is this what Osama bin Laden meant when he said that people are naturally attracted to a “strong horse”?

Nothing could better symbolize the triumph of Donald Trump’s stance toward the media than this appearance on the daily version of Meet the Press by Ben Smith, editor of Buzzfeed, and the tough remarks he received from “sleepy Chuck Todd,” of NBC News, widely regarded as the most anti-Trump network of all.

  

“You just published fake news!”

Ian Hanchett of Breitbart summarizes the entire interview:

Todd said BuzzFeed’s decision to publish the dossier was an instance where they “would not have made the same decision in the pre-Trump era.”

Smith stated that it was more “the pre-Internet era.” And that there was a time “where we could act as gatekeepers. Where we could say, you know what, crazy people are claiming that Barack Obama’s birth certificate is forged, but we’re not going to write about that, that’s crazy.”

He continued that this era doesn’t exist, and that while they had reporters trying to confirm or deny specific details, the dossier was “in play,” and “having consequences for the way our elected leaders are acting. The — you do have to ask the question of, why should I suppress that? There are then good reasons, right? Once though, it emerges, as it did last night in the public conversation that there is this secret document floating around, full of dark allegations that we will not repeat to you. That I feel like in this era, you really have to share [with] your readers what that is in an appropriate context. And our original report, I mean, if you read what we wrote, it stressed that there were real solid reasons to distrust this. It noted two specific errors.”

Todd then asked if BuzzFeed had a responsibility to not spread false information. Smith responded that, like with the Obama birth certificate issue, it’s a “difficult balance that everybody in our business navigates every day.”

Todd then asked if BuzzFeed would publish a false birth certificate. Smith answered, “We certainly quoted the president-elect of the United States making false claims about it, and years ago we debated whether we should quote regular citizens in Iowa saying, I don’t believe his birth certificate. And I remember us thinking at first, we probably shouldn’t. That we we shouldn’t pass that on and then saying, you know what, this has become a force that is impacting the conversation.”

Todd countered, “I know this was not your intent. I’ve known you a long time, but you just published fake news.” Smith countered that people throw the term “fake news” around to diminish things they don’t like, and that “this was a real story about a real document that was really being passed around between the very top officials of this country. And then the question you say is, okay, it’s okay for you — to Chuck Todd see this document. It’s okay for me to see it. Okay for Senator John McCain (R-AZ). Okay for the CIA. What’s — why is it not okay for your audience?”

Todd then countered that BuzzFeed could have published a redacted version of the document. Smith answered that there was fair disagreement, but didn’t think you could defend acknowledging the dossier’s existence but then not say what was in it and that this was saying it was okay to summarize false claims.

Smith further stated that if there wasn’t a “public conversation” about the dossier, they would have just continued to report the story out.

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