Tuesday, January 17, 2017

In the Age of Social Media, BuzzFeed's Publishing of the Trump Dossier is More Than Just 'Reckless'

Sunday, BuzzFeed News Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith appeared on CNN's Reliable Sources to discuss his organization's publishing of the leaked Trump dossier.
During the segment, host Brian Stelter repeatedly noted the irresponsibility of publishing such a document, as it not only contains numerous errors, but is completely unverified by intelligence agencies. Smith argued that Americans should be able to make up their own minds about the dossier, and that BuzzFeed made sure to mention the document's unverified status, as well as some of its errors.
An illuminating exchange occurred between Stelter and Smith beginning at the 4:49 mark:
View the interview above
SMITH: "We are, I think, well within the tradition of American journalism, which is every time you use the word 'alleged' on your air, every time you see the word 'alleged' in print or on the web, that is saying 'we are repeating a claim that we can't verify.' That is totally within the standard...
From our perspective, if you are going to say that, your obligation then, if you've got the indictment, even if your think there's lots there that's false, in fact, if you can particularly--if you can point to things that are false--if I can see it, if it's not going to scald my eyes out, I think it's a question to reasonably ask your audience. If I'm up here saying 'I have a secret document. I'm gonna summarize for it. I'm not sure I'm comfortable showing it to you because I'm not sure I can trust you with it. Do you feel that you should see it?'"
Read the rest from Frank Camp HERE.

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