It would not be long before the mainstream media ran for cover. BuzzFeed gave them a gem, and they were happy to base much of their reporting on it. But, in these times of fake news, euphoria turned into panic. The Trump dossier filled with salacious allegations with tapes supposedly held by the Russians is unverified. And BuzzFeed reported it as such.
A dossier making explosive — but unverified — allegations that the Russian government has been “cultivating, supporting and assisting” President-elect Donald Trump for years and gained compromising information about him has been circulating among elected officials, intelligence agents, and journalists for weeks.
The dossier, which is a collection of memos written over a period of months, includes specific, unverified, and potentially unverifiable allegations of contact between Trump aides and Russian operatives, and graphic claims of sexual acts documented by the Russians. BuzzFeed News reporters in the US and Europe have been investigating various alleged facts in the dossier but have not verified or falsified them. CNN reported Tuesday that a two-page synopsis of the report was given to President Obama and Trump.
Now BuzzFeed News is publishing the full document so that Americans can make up their own minds about allegations about the president-elect that have circulated at the highest levels of the US government.
Of course, every major news outlet ran with the story even with the various disclaimers. After Donald Trump vehemently denied the allegations and called out BuzzFeed and CNN for delivering ‘Fake News,’ the mainstream media panic started to set in.
The Atlantic’s David Graham wrote “Smith’s reasoning is sincere and considered, but the conclusion is highly dubious. Even more perturbing was the reasoning in the published story.” Ben Smith is the Editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed.
The New York Times’s Kelly McBride wrote ‘”By publishing an unverified report alleging the Russians have compromising information on President-elect Donald J. Trump; BuzzFeed made it less likely that truth will be journalists’ only goal and less likely that when the truth surfaces, the public will believe it.”
Chuck Todd interviewed Ben Smith and outright accused him of publishing fake news. Later in the same interview, Todd had a striking statement. He quoted Washington Post Margaret Sullivan who said, “it’s never been acceptable to publish rumor and innuendo.”
Hypocrites populate the mainstream media. BuzzFeed’s releasing unsubstantiated dossier on Trump is no different than Trump’s unsubstantiated birther utterances that the press ran with throughout President Obama’s presidency.The Trump dossier is still rumor and innuendo while birthirism was always a verifiable lie given traction by the mainstream media.
The concern for press believability that New York Times’s Kelly McBride expressed is way too late. Much of the mainstream media just allows their airwaves and space to be taken over by those expounding lies to ensure that an ill-uniformed and confused electorate will continue to empower the few, the plutocracy that continues to pilfer them.
Allowing proponents of trickle-down economics to get on the airwaves and promote it as a policy that creates jobs and encourages wealth building for the masses when reality and deterministic numerical analysis proves otherwise, is fake news. The mainstream media lies with their acquiescence or virtual silence.
Obamacare even with all of its flaws can be shown to be mathematically superior to the laissez-faire, evil, and inhumane healthcare orthodoxy practiced by this country. And yet, the mainstream media prostitute their airwaves to give a platform to those who lie for ideological reasons.
In today’s climate where very few justifiably have little faith in the mainstream media, it was justified for BuzzFeed’s calculation to release the dossier. In fact, they should have released it before the election.
Trump’s irrational love for Vladimir Putin and his inability to accept that Russia was destabilizing our election justifies the publication of the dossier. Exploring why he would endanger Americans by adopting Putin’s desired policies for NATO means examining all of the pertinent data in the public domain.
Trump’s deafness to the Russian attack on our election even with all our intelligence agencies coalescing on that reality leads one to believe Russia just might have something on him. The ubiquitously circulated dossier thus deserves examination.
The mainstream media’s condemnation of BuzzFeed on this issue is unjustified. First, they do not have the credibility to do so given their inability to prevent their airwaves and other properties from being used for disseminating life altering lies. Second, they continue to function as wards of the plutocracy by only promoting their ideology over what is best for Americans and humanity as a whole.
It is now time that the alternative media stand up. Until the mainstream media live up to its constitutional role, they will remain irrelevant.