After Attacking Conservatives as ‘Fake News’ BuzzFeed Now Caught Publishing Worst Fake News of the Year

-By Warner Todd Huston

As 2016 came to an end, cat video and click bait website BuzzFeed became the toast of the liberal media by publishing a piece supposedly “proving” that conservative media is all “fake news.” But now, just as we prepare for the inauguration of our next president, BuzzFeed itself has been slammed by nearly everyone — left and right — for publishing the ultimate in fake news with a false story smearing Donald Trump.

On January 10, cable news network CNN published a story talking of allegations dreamed up by a British opposition researcher who maintained that Trump hired prostitutes to urinate on him while he made secret financial deals with Russia.

Oh, yes, you read that right.

The allegations in this dossier included the Russian prostitutes claim right along with the tales that Trump and his operatives were making secret financial deals with Russian oligarchs.

Now, CNN didn’t publish the full contents of this dossier because it could not prove any of the allegations contained in the file. CNN knew it was all false flag nonsense. But CNN isn’t alone. In fact, it’s hard to figure out why CNN even bothered with this story — especially this late in the game — because this pile of allegations and defamations has been around at least since last July. Despite that it’s been floating around for months, no other news organization has ever touched it because not a single thing in it has ever been proven out to be true.

In any case, after CNN posted its story on these false allegations — without really saying they are false — cat video and click bait website BuzzFeed decided to publish the entire dossier quite despite that everyone knew it’s all a steaming pile of garbage.

Almost immediately, BuzzFeed began taking heat for posting this dossier because everyone in the media already knew it was all fake news.

Even extremist, left-wing screedist David Corn of far left Mother Jones magazine quickly jumped to his Twitter to note that he had this dossier months ago but didn’t rely much on it because he couldn’t prove a single thing in it.

Certainly Donald Trump slammed the BuzzFeed release as the fake news that it is.

Feeling the pressure, BuzzFeed’s own Ben Smith tried to explain away why his site published the false allegations as “news.”

Notice how Smith admits right off that they all knew the story was bullhockey. But they published it anyway.

No one was satisfied by Smith’s blasé explanation for the release of the false documents. Even CNN rushed out to denounce BuzzFeed and to distance itself from the discussion it had itself started by bothering to write about the fake news in the first place.

CNN was not the only news outlet to attack BuzzFeed for publishing the dossier even though everyone in the media knew months ago that it was garbage.

For The New York Post columnist John Podhoretz made an excellent point by noting that BuzzFeed took “fake news” to a new, higher, and more destructive level. Not only that, but BuzzFeed made the job of real reporters even harder.

After describing the report and BuzzFeed’s part in it, Podhoretz ends his piece saying:

At a moment when journalists are up in arms about “fake news,” what BuzzFeed has done here is take fake news to a new level. Its editor, Ben Smith, acknowledges “there is serious reason to doubt the allegations.” In other words, there is almost certainly fake news inside these memos, and it might all be fake, or some parts of it might be true but buried so deeply under falsity that it would be impossible to separate it out.

“Publishing this dossier reflects how we see the job of reporters in 2017,” Smith writes. This is an amazing thing to say, because if you think it through, it means publishing open libels and slanders is the job of reporters in 2017.

“Fake news will become more sophisticated, and fake, ambiguous, and spun-up stories will spread widely,” warned an important American editor at the end of December 2016. His name: Ben Smith. His publication: BuzzFeed.

I didn’t make that up.

Yes, Podhoretz is a right of center writer. Sure. But we don’t have to restrict ourselves to conservatives to see BuzzFeed being condemned.

While not condemning the site in strong terms, The New York Times also pointed out that BuzzFeed was essentially passing on fake news by saying in its story discussing the BuzzFeed release:

Of particular interest was the use of unsubstantiated information from anonymous sources, a practice that fueled some of the so-called fake news — false rumors passed off as legitimate journalism — that proliferated during the presidential election.

Reading that correctly show that the Times just accused BuzzFeed of publishing fake news.

Remember, the Times had all this stuff for months, too, and never published it because they knew it was fake news.

Even left-wing cable news network MSNBC talking head Chuck Todd went after BuzzFeed, slamming Ben Smith to his face for publishing fake news.

“You talk about context and you talk about putting responsibility on the readers,” Todd said during an interview with Smith. “But at the same time, don’t you have responsibility of not spreading false information? Are you knowingly spreading false information?… you just published fake news.”

When liberals have lost MSNBC, you have to know how badly they flubbed it!

Again, this isn’t just a partisan accusation of “fake news” thrown about by conservative who don’t like BuzzFeed’s story. It is literally fake news because it has been known far and wide that the story is filled with false charges.

Now, all that being said, this fake news controversy is even more interesting for where it is coming from. As I (and Podhoretz) alluded to above, BuzzFeed made a splash a few months ago by claiming to “prove” that conservative new sites are filled with “fake news.”

BuzzFeed, the far left clickbait site that it is, made the most noise over the cry of “fake news” with an October 20 piece entitled, “Hyperpartisan Facebook Pages Are Publishing False And Misleading Information At An Alarming Rate,” a story that essentially relied on a liberal “professor’s” list of “fake news” websites heavy on right leaning sites and almost empty of left leaning sites.

BuzzFeed’s intention was less to explain fake news and more to undermine the legitimacy of center right websites.

Without question BuzzFeed was also attempting to set itself up to be the arbiter of what is or isn’t fake news. But BuzzFeed’s October article was not the first effort to smear the center right press and Internet. BuzzFeed’s salvo in the war against the right was just the latest (and maybe one of the loudest) shots in a war that has been being waged for some time.

Yet, here is BuzzFeed using fake news to smear a man just about to take the oath of office to become America’s 45th president. And all with the intention of undermining him and destroying his presidency before he even takes that oath.

The very group that claimed it was the watchdog for exposing “fake news” had become its most blatant purveyor.

Typical, hypocritical leftism, isn’t it?
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Follow Warner Todd Huston on:

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing news, opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that wrote articles on U.S. history for several American history magazines. Huston is a featured writer for Andrew Breitbart’s Breitbart News, and he appears on such sites as,, BizPac Review, and many, many others. Huston has also appeared on Fox News, Fox Business Network, CNN, and many local TV shows as well as numerous talk radio shows throughout the country.

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