Decide for yourself!

Regardless of the credibility or veracity of the allegations regarding Trump, Buzzfeed’s justification for publishing them, as pointed out by Erik Wemple, is pretty pathetic:

To its credit, BuzzFeed notes prominently that the “allegations are unverified, and the report contains errors.” In fact, that qualification comes in the sub-headline. To its discredit, the BuzzFeed story offers this motive for publishing the allegations: “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.”

Americans can only “make up their own minds” if they build their own intelligence agencies, with a heavy concentration of operatives in Russia and Eastern Europe. [emphasis mine]

I love Wemple calling out this “we’ll let the readers/viewers decide for themselves” BS we’re always getting.  The job of journalists is to help news consumers determine fact from fiction, credible from non-credible.  Not to just throw it all out there and say, “well, it’s up to you, whatever you think.”

And, as for the worst of the allegations, what I find sad and amusing is the fact that regardless of whether they are true, pretty much anybody can realistically believe that they could be about Trump.  Hard to imagine that being the case for too many other past presidents.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

2 Responses to Decide for yourself!

  1. R. Jenrette says:

    “…pretty much anybody can realistically believe that they could be about Trump. Hard to imagine that being the case for too many other past presidents”

    Did you see what the National Enquirer put on their front pages about Hillary during the campaign? So many allegations, one nastier than the other. Enough that one wondered what was left to put on their next edition. But they did find even worse charges, some defying all logic,
    And I think many people who have access to that tabloid did believe them.
    Rachel Maddow had a lead segment about this not long ago. Shocking.

  2. Stefan says:

    BuzzFeed’s editor-in-chief, Ben Smith, was just on MTP Daily with Chuck Todd, who quizzed him about putting out “fake” news and for denigrating journalism. Smith’s explanation was that media elite and politicians had access to the information and were using it in decision-making. Given that fact, he felt that the public had a right to see the information. I only wish that my brother, Marty, were alive to weigh in on this issue as I don’t think there has been another news director who displayed more ethical behavior in deciding what news should be disseminated. I think that he would be appalled at the current state of what passes for journalism.

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