January 12, 2017

Chuck Todd to Buzzfeed's Ben Smith: "You just published fake news!"

Smith defends the decision: "This was a real document that was really being passed around by the very top officials of this country...."

74 comments:

Unknown said...

Fake but accurate, remember! Who cares about the truth, as long as it advances the Narrative!

That's the modus operandi of today's left.

--Vance

Original Mike said...

"You just published fake news!"

Doesn't Smith know that that privilege is reserved to the big boys?

gspencer said...

"This was a real document that was . . ."

"Real" in the sense that it was tangible being a 8.5" by 11" piece of paper with all sorts of official Russian gobbledygook & symbols written on it using images that they had downloaded from the internet.

"Good enough for us to run with."

Journalism as a major easily fits in with all those other phony degree "disciplines" (cough), such as any college major that has "Studies" in its title.

rehajm said...

The last time we dealt with parsing these briefings I recall, like this one, they are consistently full of buzzy, trending rumor and innuendo. Often unsubstantiated. Some media felt an obligation to substantiate the content while Buzzfeed felt an obligation to substantiate only the existence of a document of rumor and innuendo and unsubstantiated data. How convenient.

Henry said...

I'm still unclear about when Buzzfeed was considered a legitimate news source.

What is obvious is that Ben Smith's excuse is daisy-chained all the way up the news-feed hierarchy. All CNN has to say is:

"This was a real news report that was really being reported by the very top reporters of this country...."

Original Mike said...

"You just published fake news!"

We should reserve judgement until Unknown weighs in.

Nonapod said...

4-Chan is claiming they completely invented the whole micturition tale. If true, that's pretty epic level trolling.

Bob Boyd said...

I'm glad the ridiculous nature of the charges were revealed. Chuck Todd's way would have been to say, "We in the media have seen the charges and believe me they are shocking and horrifying and no way should this guy be President. We can't reveal the details, but trust me on this, it is bad beyond anything I've seen in my long career covering scandals. And high Officials all over DC are struggling with how to handle this perilous situation." They'd have milked it forever.

In the end, sunlight proved a disinfectant once again.

rcocean said...

I'm glad Buzzfeed put up the whole thing, because now we can all read it, and see that its FAKE. If they hadn't, CNN would've kept on telling us that some "Intelligence Document" showed Trump had been compromised by the Russians.

Now, we know that's crap, because the document is crap.

Robert said...

It was thanks to someone releasing the actual contents of the dossier that the public could find out how ridiculous it was. CNN's article earlier that day left the public with the impression there was some very serious things in the report that came from a legitimate investigator.

When I read CNN's article, I grew alarmed for our country, which is what I think was the intention of the rogue intelligence official who planted he story with CNN. When I looked at Buzzfeed's article, however, I laughed. The dossier was not credible on its face, and parts of it were then very quickly discredited.

Only by it becoming public was it exposed as lacking credibility.

John Borell said...

Dan Rather - Fake, but accurate.

Buzzfeed - Real, but inaccurate.

n.n said...

Buzzfeed, your partisan bent, perhaps personal prejudice, and fake but accurate reporting, is a double-edged scalpel. You may be Planned.

tcrosse said...

If you can't make it good, make it up.

Original Mike said...

Blogger Robert said..."It was thanks to someone releasing the actual contents of the dossier that the public could find out how ridiculous it was. CNN's article earlier that day left the public with the impression there was some very serious things in the report that came from a legitimate investigator."

Hmmm...Interesting point. Maybe Todd was pissed the jig was up.

AprilApple said...

It was a real piece of paper...with words on it.... just like Dan Rather and Mary Mapes.

AprilApple said...

Piers Morgan is the voice of reason?

The only hookers in this story are the cheap, lazy journalists who ran with fake Trump sleaze to urinate on his presidency"

mccullough said...

If the intelligence officials actually included this or part of it in a report to Trump and Obama then that is news. The news is that our intelligence officials are morons.

Sebastian said...

@mcc: "If the intelligence officials actually included this or part of it in a report to Trump and Obama then that is news. The news is that our intelligence officials are morons." No. That we knew. The news is that they are actively trying to subvert the new president.

mockturtle said...

I have come to the conclusion that journalists are among the most gullible people on the planet.

mccullough said...

The CIA tries to subvert every president. That's why Obama made an example of a few of them by having them prosecuted under the Espionage Act for leaking classified information to reporters. Trump will step up these prosecutions. And the CIA needs to be stripped of civil service protections. It's a bureaucracy of fools

robother said...

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a real document that has been passed around for centuries, making allegations which, if true, constitute a serious threat to our entire civilization. We should (1) have the FBI and CIA investigate the claims (keeping us informed by leaks as to its progress) and (2) reprint the entire document in every major newspaper and website so that the people can see for themselves what the fuss is all about.

Leslie Graves said...

I am glad Buzzfeed published it because it clued me in on something I did not previously realize, which is that senior intelligence officials, top Democrats and Republicans in DC, and a number of elite journalists apparently have about the same ability to distinguish things that really did happen, from things that really did not happen, as some of my friends on Facebook. This is genuinely alarming to me.

mccullough said...

And what's with the FBI? Does the I stand for Innuendo?

Susan said...

It's true if you believe it.

And they are true believers.

Rae said...

We need to remember that NBC has invested $400,000,000 in Buzzfeed. So they have a vested interest in that crappy blog being taken seriously.

PackerBronco said...

We publish real news about fake stories!!

PackerBronco said...

Blogger John Borell said...
Dan Rather - Fake, but accurate.

Buzzfeed - Real, but inaccurate.


-----------

CNN - Fake, inaccurate, but newsworthy

Left Bank of the Charles said...

It seems to me that publishing this report by analogy to accepting evidence in court falls into the hearsay exception for statements not offered for their truth but for their effect on the listener. One obvious category of listener is the media and another is the intelligence community. But do we know yet which opposition campaign commissioned the report? I've read that it was at least initially a Republican primary opponent. Was it Jeb Bush? Ted Cruz? John Kasich? Or was it Hillary Clinton all the way down?

Bay Area Guy said...

Buzzfeed is now on my B List of news-sites - subject to a great deal of caution and skepticm, because of an inherent unreliability.

It joins the sorry ranks of the NYT, the New Yorker, CNN and almost all nightly news programs:)

Howard said...

By publishing the full fake document, Buzzfeed did Trump a solid by unmasking to what extent the establishment will go to destroy his presidency.

Bruce Hayden said...

@Rae - when I first saw your $400,000,000 invested by NBC, I lost three of the zeroes, and figured it chump change, not well spent. But $400 million is real money (at least for most of us), and that means that Drudge can get away with NBC/Buzzfeed (or similar) in his headlines, etc. which could ultimately cost them in reputability more than that. We shall see. A couple days left with Comcast (owner of NBC, which has a major stake in Buzzfeed, that published the obviously fake hit piece on Trump).

Lyle Smith said...

Whom is Chuck Todd defending?

Drago said...

Howard: "By publishing the full fake document, Buzzfeed did Trump a solid by unmasking to what extent the establishment will go to destroy his presidency."

Quite so.


Drago said...

Howard, not only did Buzzfeed do Trump a solid, but CNN's role also exposes them as well.

CNN is hanging their hat on the old "hey man, we are just reporting that senior intel officials were briefing astonishing stuff to Obama and Trump and we can't tell you what that stuff is but if you were to wander over to Buzzfeed, well..."

Buzzfeed is the garbage dump.
CNN became the superhighway built to take all the drivers to the dump.

That thin little fig leaf is precisely how CNN is trying to avoid responsibility.

And it's not working. Well, it's working for leftists and some "lifelong republicans", but no one else.

John said...

This Fake News (tm) story about Michelle Obama's beed has been floating around for 3-4 months and nobody would touch it. Mainly because they realized it was a fake story.

Monday BuzzFeed and CNN ran with it. All the rest of the media ran with stories about it. All the hoopla has sucked all the air out of any media coverage for anything else.

Why did it go public Monday after all these months? What happened?

Sunday night (Sunday night? WTF?) the FBI released part 5 of their report on Clinton's emails.

https://vault.fbi.gov/hillary-r.-clinton/hillary-r.-clinton-part-05-of-05/view

I suspect that it is pure coincidence that the bed story came out when it did. Nobody would ever try to keep people talking about the FBI report on purpose, right?

John Henry

EMD said...

"Piers Morgan is the voice of reason?"

Morgan is writing for the Daily News now, so he's come back around to being "sensible."

Still don't know if he hates guns and gun owners though.

MikeR said...

Saw some of the usual suspects saying, We all know that if Breitbart, RedState, and Fox News had had a similar thing on their opponents, they would have published it without question or demur.
I don't know if I've ever read Breitbart, RedState, or Fox News, but what do people think?

John said...

Just out of curiosity, how many here had heard or read about the 300 page FBI release? I know I've seen next to nothing about it other than a couple blogs.

On a more macro level, I've been wondering if all this hooplah about the Russian's hacking the DNC is simply a smokescreen. It does an excellent job of smothering any discussion about hacking of Crooked Hillary's server.

Does anyone believe that the Russians hacked the DNC and did NOT hack Crooked Hillary's private server?

Please contact me. I know this Syrian prince that needs help getting some gold out of the country. Lots of money in it for you.

John Henry

Anglelyne said...

OK, this week's Trump-destroying scandal seems to be sputtering out. What's up next? New episodes weekly, right?

Michael K said...

"4-Chan is claiming they completely invented the whole micturition tale. If true, that's pretty epic level trolling."

The story is starting to seep out that this was oppo research for Rick Wilson who was probably working for a NeverTrump candidate or group. We may find out who it was. The "chicken feed" to use a John LeCarre term, was collected by this former MI-6 type. We may even learn why he is "ex-MI6." Wilson probably paid for this and tried to flog it to McCain and other large brained DC types.

It is blowing up in their faces and will give Trump a huge club to beat the CIA with if they let out a peep of support for it.

mccullough said...

This Russian hacking stuff makes Hillary's private server worse. The DNC and Podesta emails didn't contain any classified information. So if Russian hacking is now important enough. Hillary and her aides should be prosecuted. Basic cyber security.

Matthew Sablan said...

"I don't know if I've ever read Breitbart, RedState, or Fox News, but what do people think?"

-- Breitbart has been a bit aggressive and burned themselves once or twice; Red State is a blog, so I doubt it. Fox is usually very, hah!, conservative with the news they put out. Remember: Combine this with McCain's lobbyist affair and we see a pattern emerging on what kind of accusations get printed without all the evidence compared to the "Even your pictures aren't enough proof" standard we had for Edwards.

rcocean said...

Piers Morgan is an asshole that almost no likes in either the USA or the UK. Yet, he constantly gets newspaper columns and TV shows.

He must have something on somebody in the news business.

Alex said...

It may be fake, but Trumpistas are trembling at the prospect that it really is true. Scared shitless.

rcocean said...

"Breitbart, RedState, or Fox News,"

Redstate is bizarre collection of Never-trumper neo-cons, and neo-liberals who can't figure out who they hate more, extreme leftists or social conservatives. It seems that anyone in favor of bad trade deals, amnesty, and wars in the Middle East they love. Anyone like trump, Rush, Coulter, Palin, etc. that's actually conservative they hate.

Its a weird site.

Matthew Sablan said...

"We need to remember that NBC has invested $400,000,000 in Buzzfeed. So they have a vested interest in that crappy blog being taken seriously."

-- NBC reported that the papers were never briefed, as opposed to what CNN/BuzzFeed said though. Unless that was NBC trying to do put BuzzFeed out of its misery.

Michael said...

The contents were said to be vetted by a British expert, possibly a retired spy. Said "British" expert in the report noted that something occurred at the time of the "World Soccer Championship" Now what is the tell in that? Anyone note something amiss? No "British" refers to the beautiful game as "soccer." ever

HoodlumDoodlum said...

What a pathetic attempt at a defense. That's the bar for publication, is it? Well, ok: someone write down "Ben Smith molests livestock" and send that around (with some poorly-photoshopped pictures) to some high-level people in DC. Then "leak" the story of that fake being "passed around" and viola!
Headline: Many In DC Talking About Allegations Ben Smith Molests Livestock.

Perfectly ethical to run, according to this jackass. Er, Smith, I mean. Pathetic.

Original Mike said...

"This Russian hacking stuff makes Hillary's private server worse. The DNC and Podesta emails didn't contain any classified information. So if Russian hacking is now important enough. Hillary and her aides should be prosecuted. Basic cyber security."

Something I am not seeing reported anywhere except from Andrew Napolitano regarding a document dump the FBI did Sunday night. Hillary apologists claim the FBI can't prove that Hillary's server was hacked. Apparently, however, they have determined that people Hillary was sharing classified material with were hacked. I sure would like to know more about this.

Michael said...

Piers Morgan is now writing for the Daily Mail. He still hates guns but it appears that he is not an idiot on all topics non-gun related. This is the third or fourth article that has been not just sensible and readable but cogent.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I think it was someone on Twitter yesterday who said: If you're running a story that begins "We don't know if this is true or not but..." then you're not doing journalism.

Can we blame Obama? He made the argument "there are some who say" (when there really aren't any who say that) a centerpiece of his communication for 8 years. Buzzfeed's saying "there are people who believe this unbelievable stuff," right?

chuck said...

> No "British" refers to the beautiful game as "soccer." ever

Maybe he ran the report through Google Translate.

Michael K said...

The New York Times is trying to put a good face on this stuff, but failing.

CNN drew Mr. Trump’s hostility by breaking the news on Tuesday that a former British spy had compiled the dossier on alleged efforts by Russia to compromise Mr. Trump and that intelligence officials included a synopsis of it in briefing materials for the president-elect. Once CNN opened the door, BuzzFeed followed by publishing the dossier.

There is no evidence for any of this. The Golden Showers story seems to have been invented by another bulletin board.

The Times really looks pitiful here.

Michael said...

Michael K

The Times may look pitiful but it is really alarming that the "intelligence" agencies were taken in by this obvious invention.

Drago said...

Alex: "It may be fake, but Trumpistas are trembling at the prospect that it really is true. Scared shitless."

LOL

Yeah, run with that one and whatever you do, never stop telling yourself that!

That's almost "lifelong republican" Chuck level pathetic!

Static Ping said...

Alex: It may be fake, but Trumpistas are trembling at the prospect that it really is true. Scared shitless.

A good enema can be hard to find. Maybe Trump could open up a new venture to take advantage. Trump's Shitless: Fake News Moves Your Poos.

Drago said...

Anglelyne: "OK, this week's Trump-destroying scandal seems to be sputtering out. What's up next? New episodes weekly, right?"

You can get a headsup on what the next lefty slime attack will be either by perusing far left sites like Democrat Undergroun, watching the "brilliant" Rachel Maddow or just wait until "lifelong republican" chuck shows up.

Original Mike said...

"CNN drew Mr. Trump’s hostility by breaking the news on Tuesday that a former British spy had compiled the dossier on alleged efforts by Russia to compromise Mr. Trump and that intelligence officials included a synopsis of it in briefing materials for the president-elect. Once CNN opened the door, BuzzFeed followed by publishing the dossier."

This is news to me. I thought BuzzFeed went first. I was kind of giving CNN's defense of their actions the benefit of the doubt. Foolish me.

Original Mike said...

"You can get a headsup on what the next lefty slime attack will be either by perusing far left sites like Democrat Undergroun, watching the "brilliant" Rachel Maddow or just wait until "lifelong republican" chuck shows up."

I'm lazy. I just wait for Chuck.

Michael K said...

The Times may look pitiful but it is really alarming that the "intelligence" agencies were taken in by this obvious invention.

This story is still trickling out. One story is that Trump set a trap for them by not mentioning the "briefing" he got to any of his staff, even his long time personal assistant. Apparently, the two page "summary" of the fake story was included in background materials but not mentioned.

He waited to see if it would leak and prove it was no one on his staff doing it. Sure enough, it leaked the next few hours.

This reminds me of the "canary trap" of Tom Clancy novels.

mockturtle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mockturtle said...

Hoodlum offers: Headline: Many In DC Talking About Allegations Ben Smith Molests Livestock.

Followed by, "Ben Smith Questioned About Inappropriate Touching of Livestock"

"PETA Activists Demonstrate Outrage at Smith Bestiality Reports"

"Ben Smith Denies Wrongdoing. Livestock Keeping Mum--Fear Retaliation."

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Chuck Todd to Buzzfeed's Ben Smith: "You just published fake news!"

Hammond X. Gritzkofe to MSNBC's Chuck Todd: "You just spent your airtime waving fake news around!"

readering said...

Cruz must be having a good laugh over this.

mccullough said...

So The NY Times and other media outlet believe the intelligence sources that leak to them are credible. And the intelligence sources think a retired M1-6 agent who now runs a private detective agency is a credible source. Andthe former Brit spook turned PI thinks his sources in Russia are credible.

So the FSB feeds misinformation to a gullible British ex-spook and the shit snowballs from there.

The Russians are pretty smart. (Snowden ran to them with millions of documents of classified info) and pretty ruthless (they assasinated a former FSB officer who moved to the U.K. and became a consultant to MI-6).

Meanwhile, the CIA is pretty stupid and pretty weak.

And the national media are very stupid and very weak.

gadfly said...

@rcocean said...
"Breitbart, RedState, or Fox News,"

Redstate is bizarre collection of Never-trumper neo-cons, and neo-liberals who can't figure out who they hate more, extreme leftists or social conservatives. It seems that anyone in favor of bad trade deals, amnesty, and wars in the Middle East they love. Anyone like trump, Rush, Coulter, Palin, etc. that's actually conservative they hate.

Its a weird site.


Rush has often used Erick Erickson of Redstate as substitute host on his show.

All mentioned "news" sources are weird, but none weirder than the Alt-Righters at Brietbart. As for their being something bizarre about Never Trumpers and neo-cons, I disagree. True Never Trumpers know that never means never and they believe that the country will end up suffering from Trump policies not well considered. As for neo-cons, the calls for ramping up military spending are resounding among Trumps cabinet selections.

Yancey Ward said...

It is funny reading this, and some things seem to make sense now- at least having Smith state it explicitly confirms what I was thinking the other day when this story first broke.

I don't think anyone in the CIA really took these documents seriously, but someone in the Obama Administration was annoyed that the news media still apparently had enough professional integrity to not report on pretty extreme claims that had no actual verifiable facts to back them up. Indeed, it appears these claims have been circulating since last Summer. I thought the other day that the Clinton supporting media hadn't printed them openly because they did realize that without factual support, it would backfire on Clinton herself, and I am almost 100% sure they are correct in that judgment, especially considering how it has played just this week. So what changed? The only thing that changed was that the Obama Administration decided to take the claims and make them a part of some briefing given to Donald Trump, and interstingly, didn't even bring them to Trump's attention at the briefing. I think what happened is that someone in Obama's administration eventually figured out that the only way to get anyone of stature in the media to report these claims was to make them part of some official intelligence packet, and then leak that detail to the press. Of all the people this new angle was linked to, Buzzfeed took the bait and the rest then followed.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Here's how David Corn of Mother Jones reported the funding of the dossier back in October:

"This was for an opposition research project originally financed by a Republican client critical of the celebrity mogul. (Before the former spy was retained, the project's financing switched to a client allied with Democrats.)"

That's quite a parenthetical, isn't it?

Gk1 said...

O.k so then if this is the case why hasn't Ben Smith/Buzzfeed been passing around "Pizzagate" stories and allowing the public to "draw its own conclusions"? Jackass.

Michael said...

Michael K

The author of the "dossier" is a former English spy, Or so claimed. The former English spy wrote in the "dossier" that something occurred around the time of the "World Soccer Championship". No Englishman, spy or no, refers to football as "soccer."

More to come.


mockturtle said...

No Englishman, spy or no, refers to football as "soccer."

Good catch, Michael.

John said...

I had seen that mentioned somewhere else, about soccer. I wonder what Brit would refer to the "World Soccer championship"

First, as noted, they would call it football (Futbal or balompie in Spanish)

Second, it would not be the "championship", would it? Wouldn't it just be World Cup? Everyone knows that the World cup is football and that it is the championship.

It is kind of like an American talking about the World Series stick and ball championship. An American would know what the World Series is with no more extraneous words.

John Henry

John said...


Blogger Original Mike said...

Something I am not seeing reported anywhere except from Andrew Napolitano regarding a document dump the FBI did Sunday night.

Well I mentioned it earlier and asked if anyone else had seen it. Apparently you are the only one.

You can download the 300 pages of the report on the ongoing counterespionage investigation here:

https://vault.fbi.gov/hillary-r.-clinton/hillary-r.-clinton-part-05-of-05/view

Kind of fishy that it was released Sunday evening. Kinda fishy that the day after it was released we have the wettergate fake scandal taking up every minute of news time.

I downloaded it yesterday to my tablet and plan to start on it tonight.

John Henry

rcocean said...

"Rush has often used Erick Erickson of Redstate as substitute host on his show."

Rush stopped using him over 1 year ago, after Erick Erick Erickson refused to invite Trump to Redstate's big, important (LOL) gathering. Trump had hurt Erick Erick Erickson feminist feelings by insulting Megan Kelly. Of course, Erickson is an asshole who made vulgar anti-woman remarks for years about Palin and any other woman he didn't like. He's the ultimate gutless cuck.

And given Erickson's support for Hillary in 2016, I don't think Rush will be having him back on for quite some time.