BuzzFeed, who published the widely discredited ‘Trump Dossier,’ wrote two pieces on Wednesday criticizing the left for falling for false stories on Donald Trump’s connections to Russia.
BuzzFeed editors and journalists published two pieces Wednesday criticizing the left for falling for fake Trump-Russia news. The first article detailed the story of Buzzfeed‘s investigation into a false report that various bank transactions connected President Trump, Rex Tillerson, and Vladimir Putin. The second article, an opinion piece by BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith, warned the left-wing to not fall for fake news connecting Trump to Russia.
The first article, “The 1.6 Billion Dollar Hoax,” was essentially a 3,700 word self-congratulatory note that BuzzFeed wrote to itself for adhering to proper journalistic conduct.
BuzzFeed admitted that both The Washington Post and The New York Times received the bank documents and refused to publish the false allegations in question. Neither publication felt the need to write an article congratulating themselves for discrediting documents that made outlandish claims.
Incredibly, BuzzFeed still published the allegations and parts of the fake documents in the article, essentially facilitating the spread of false information, while patting themselves on the back for not spreading fake news. Neither The Post nor The Times published any mention of the forged documents.
The second article, an opinion piece by editor Ben Smith titled, “Beware The False Temptations Of The Russia Story,” warned liberals not to believe every fantastical story about connections between Trump and Russia.
The piece discussed BuzzFeed’s earlier story, “Progressive activists fell for a hoax that told them exactly what they wanted to hear, paid thousands of dollars for a forgery, and passed it on to journalists.”
Instead of rejecting Trump-Russia conspiracy theories, it cautioned activists against looking for a “smoking gun,” and advised them to look at “the damning big picture.”
Smith then addressed BuzzFeed’s January publishing of former British Intelligence Officer Chris Steele’s ‘Trump Dossier‘ in terms of allegations of fake news:
And if that’s not enough, you can examine the allegations in a dossier that BuzzFeed News published in January and in a series of anonymous law enforcement comments to the New York Times, us, and many others, of contacts between Trump aides and Russian officials. Some of those — involving Paul Manafort and Roger Stone — appear to have been confirmed in their outlines. Others remain, as we wrote when we reported on the dossier, unverified.
Most of the allegations in the dossier have been downright discredited.
NBC News reported that former Acting CIA Director Michael Morell, who endorsed Hillary Clinton, “said he had learned that the former officer, Christopher Steele, paid his key Russian sources, and interviewed them through intermediaries.”
Both points undermined any claims published in the dossier coming from Russian sources. Playing ‘whisper down the lane’ with intelligence sources could garble the message, while paying sources could encourage them to make up information for monetary gain.
BuzzFeed‘s own article revealing the dossier threw major doubt onto the authenticity of the outlandish claims in the documents:
It is not just unconfirmed: It includes some clear errors. The report misspells the name of one company, “Alpha Group,” throughout. It is Alfa Group. The report says the settlement of Barvikha, outside Moscow, is “reserved for the residences of the top leadership and their close associates.” It is not reserved for anyone, and it is also populated by the very wealthy.
Still, without any verification, BuzzFeed found it proper to publish documents that smear and undermine the presidency of Donald Trump.
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