MSNBC’s Chuck Todd had Buzzfeed’s Editor in Chief Ben Smith on his show “MTP Daily” to discuss Buzzfeed releasing the documents about the “information” on Trump being leaked by Russian operatives. The documents first discussed by CNN were not released from the network due to the claims in the synopsis being completely unproven.
Interestingly enough, Todd was more interested in taking Smith to task over the release of the documents. It would appear that Todd was concerned about a major outlet such as Buzzfeed would damage the world of journalism overall.
“I know this was not your intent,” Todd said to Smith. “I’ve known you a long time, but you just published fake news. You made a knowing decision to put out an untruth. Why is that unfair description?”
“I think people love to throw the phrase ‘fake news’ around to diminish anything they don’t like,” responded Smith. “I think this is a real story about a real document. You see these things spread and you have to engage them.”
Smith went on to talk about how he believes it’s “appropriate” for his audience to see documents that top officials are making decisions on.
“It seems to me – it’s almost as if you’re saying there was only two choices you had here,” said Todd. “Not publish, or publish. There is a gray area. I understand this idea in this day and age that there are many readers that feel as if proof – show me that you have the goods.”
“There are redactions,” answered Smith.
“You didn’t do many,” responded Todd. “You did very very few, and in some cases not enough…”
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) January 11, 2017
A poll TheBlaze reported on previously showed that many already do not trust the media, especially after this election. If Todd is correct, then Buzzfeed’s actions will probably not help this view of journalism at large.