Ben Smith, Buzzfeed’s editor-in-chief sat down with CNN’s Brian Stelter to discuss the publishing of the undocumented Trump dossier. Smith said he has “no regrets” about Buzzfeed’s decision. The show is called “Reliable Sources”. I just wanted to point that out, because Irony is delicious. The two get a little heated defending their respective employers recent decisions.
You can watch the exchange here… Thanks to former Buzzfeed staffer, Andrew Kaczynski who now works for CNN.
“If you want your audience to trust you, our job is not to be gatekeepers to decide what to suppress and keep from the audience.” ~ Ben Smith, Editor-In-Chief
This is probably my favorite part, where Buzzfeed Ben tries to excuse the fact that they published something knowing that they couldn’t confirm any of it by saying they trust their readers, he later explains that this is how Buzzfeed plans to operate in 2017.
Brian Stelter pushed Smith on the future goals of Buzzfeed as a news organization: “I’m trying to figure out if you all are Washington Post or WikiLeaks, seems to me you’re trying to be both. You all aspire to be one of the world’s great news divisions. But aren’t you trying to be more like WikiLeaks in this case?”
Smith was quick to respond that if you’re reporting on a document, you should publish the document. This was of course a jab at CNN who also reported on the document, without publishing the raw report. There is a difference and Ben Smith should know that. Having said that, both stories ended up being tanked by Buzzfeed’s overzealous attempt to shame Donald Trump.
If there was any truth to the information in the dossier, Buzzfeed took away any credibility by publishing unconfirmed reports. Interestingly it appears that Ben Smith is making it clear that Buzzfeed will publish anything moving forward if helps them get clicks. So I guess that’s good to know.