This is rich. One fake news reporter criticizing a fake news editor for publishing a fake news story – on a show ironically named “Reliable Sources.”
For months, these people have been on a crusade to eradicate “fake news” from social media. Both of these guys have done exactly what they’ve accused conservative websites of doing – publishing or reporting false, misleading, or otherwise unsubstantiated claims in order to drive traffic.
BuzzFeed’s editor-in-chief Ben Smith is still quite happy with his and his staff’s decision to publish the 35-page dossier on Trump. CNN’s Brian Stelter somewhat echoed Jake Tapper’s sentiments in saying that it was irresponsible.
“Let’s be honest, you rushed this out,” Stelter said in his interview Sunday with BuzzFeed’s editor-in-chief. “CNN published, and you published a couple hours later trying to get this on the internet as fast as possible.”
“I mean, it is both of our jobs to be as fast and as accurate as we can,” Smith replied.
“Accurate and then fast,” Stelter clarified.
That’s interesting. It was Stelter who tweeted out the hoax story about Adam Saleh – an internet prankster – and his friend getting kicked off a Delta flight because he “spoke a different language.”
[Read related article: CNN’s Brian Stelter Caught Tweeting Out Fake News (VIDEO)]
Never mind the fact that Saleh has pulled these sorts of pranks – or “social experiments” – before on airplanes. Stelter didn’t seem to care so much about accuracy in that case.
That goes pretty much for most media outlets. The accuracy of a story is not as important as who reports it first.
[Read related article: CNN Spreads Fake News Story About Russia Retaliating Over U.S. Sanctions]
At one point during their interview, Stelter said that BuzzFeed was trying to be both the Washington Post and WikiLeaks.
It’s obvious that CNN and BuzzFeed really don’t like WikiLeaks, so being compared to them is supposed to be an insult. And being compared to the Washington Post is supposed to be a complement. But there’s a huge difference between what BuzzFeed did and what WikiLeaks has done for years.
[Read related article: WaPo: Russian Hackers Breached the U.S. Power Grid!]
WikiLeaks doesn’t publish rumors or tabloid material. Their sources are whistleblowers inside government or political organizations who leak official emails and documents to WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks is careful to vet their sources and verify the accuracy of the documents before they publish it.
Neither the Washington Post nor BuzzFeed does that. They publish it without asking any questions so they can be first.