NYT Accuses CNN, BuzzFeed Of Peddling "Fake News" Over Russia Report

Tyler Durden's picture

In a fascinating retort by the left-leaning NYT to the story of the day, namely the CNN-BuzzFeed narrative based on an unverified 35-page memo allegedly prepared by a UK intelligence officer, even "the paper of record" takes the two media outlets to town, and in an article titled "BuzzFeed Posts Unverified Claims on Trump, Stirring Debate" essentially accuses them of doing what CNN has accused so much of the 'alternative media' in doing when distributing "fake news."

Here are the key excerpts:

The reports by CNN and Buzzfeed sent other news organizations, including The New York Times and The Washington Post, scrambling to publish their own articles, some of which included generalized descriptions of the unverified allegations about Mr. Trump. By late Tuesday, though, only BuzzFeed had published the full document.


BuzzFeed’s decision, besides its immediate political ramifications for a president-elect who is to be inaugurated in 10 days, was sure to accelerate a roiling debate about the role and credibility of the traditional media in today’s frenetic, polarized information age.

And the punchline, where the NYT essentially accuses both CNN and BuzzFeed of stooping to the level of "fake news" disseminators:

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.

It then continues its scathing critique of what now passes as "journalism"

CNN said that its journalists had reviewed the full 35-page compilation of memos, the same document later published in full by BuzzFeed, but declined to include some details, saying that the network “has not independently corroborated the specific allegations.” CNN said its reporters spoke with multiple high-ranking intelligence and government officials before publishing its report.

Meanwhile, the NYT held off for one simple reason: "In a brief interview in the Times newsroom on Tuesday evening, Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The Times, said the paper would not publish the document because the allegations were “totally unsubstantiated.” We, like others, investigated the allegations and haven’t corroborated them, and we felt we’re not in the business of publishing things we can’t stand by,” Mr. Baquet said.

But BuzzFeed could.

It wasn't just the NYT who lashed out at the "report" - on social media, some left-leaning writers who generally oppose Mr. Trump expressed skepticism about the document published by BuzzFeed. “An anonymous person, claiming to be an ex-British intel agent & working as a Dem oppo researcher, said anonymous people told him things,” wrote Glenn Greenwald.

Immediately after BuzzFeed’s publication, some reporters volunteered that they, too, had received copies of the report. “Raise your hand if you too were approached with this story,” Julia Ioffe, a journalist who has written extensively on Russia, wrote on Twitter, adding that she had not reported on the information in the document “because it was impossible to verify.”


Writers at the blog Lawfare, which covers national security issues, said they had been in possession of the document “for a couple of weeks” but opted not to publish because the allegations were unproven.


“Yes, they are explosive; they are also entirely unsubstantiated, at least to our knowledge, at this stage,” the site wrote on Tuesday night. “For this reason, even now, we are not going to discuss the specific allegations within the document.”

To be sure, BuzzFeed’s move was welcomed by some people, who expressed concern that news outlets and government officials with access to the allegations had not disclosed them sooner. Almost immediately, the report’s publication prompted questions from Hillary Clinton’s camp about why the claims had not surfaced earlier.  “Today has brought a gush of reporting that outlets knew about and sat on prior to November 8,” Brian Fallon, Mrs. Clinton’s chief campaign spokesman, wrote on Twitter. He added, in a second message: “I repeat: certain media outlets were told this prior to November 8.”

Meanwhile, John Podhoretz takes it even further: "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.

Ultimately, the reaction to the report simply confirmed just how polarized US society has become, and that when it comes to information, virtually anything can now pass as "fake news" if not factually checked and corroborated by evidence, which incidentally in the entire "Russia hacking" means everything.

Finally, we would find it supremely delightful if, indeed, it was 4Chan who hoaxed not only CNN and BuzzFeed but the US intelligence agencies, into posting the "golden showers" scene. If so, then faith in conventional US media (and US intelligence) will fully disintegrate.

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GunnerySgtHartman's picture

CNN = Fake TV network

D Nyle's picture

Follow the Money, Soros is the big loser if America is friends with Russia

Ignatius's picture

I think it's a good sign to see factions of the corporate MSM turn on one another.

knukles's picture

Methinks we're just seeing the start of a few MSM Propaganda Distributors breaking with the Tripe as somebody's gotta call BS on their fellows to remain "credible" as in have a business in the future.
Somebodys are waking up to the fact they're lemmings running off a cliff.
Not that they'll totally reform their ways, but some distance will be attempted.
As for the NYT, they once were a newspaper of record.  As in long ago.

RiverRoad's picture

"CNN said its reporters spoke with (former) multiple high-ranking intelligence and government officials before publishing its report."

Fixed it for him.    LOL.

Joe Davola's picture

The 4chan dude (major props!!!) behind all this better live it up - cause someone gonna come calling at this door before this is all over.

Heavy's picture

so if the CIA and their news fronts are getting fucked by 4chan, shouldnt we just pay 4chan instead...and fire the cia et al

Keyser's picture

It appears that the MSM and US Intelligencia have sunk to the level of the Jerry Springer show... Might as well bring out the midget mud wrestler that claims to be Trump's love child... It's going to be a bumpy and very weird ride... 

Stainless Steel Rat's picture
Stainless Steel Rat (not verified) Keyser Jan 11, 2017 10:38 AM

4chan can overthrow governments.

Motasaurus's picture

As the markets of these media organisations shrink (I.e. people stop listening to them) expect more and more infighting as they try to make up for their dwindling revenues by grabbing greater amounts of market share. 

These companies are going to cannibalize each other in their fast run to the bottom.

Giant Meteor's picture

Exactly right. That nails it. As the world turns .. 4.0 The Search for Relevancy  .. 

Good luck to them , they're gonna need it.

ThaBigPerm's picture

So ... TwoGirlsAndATrumpGate turns out to be ... drumroll please ... a hoax?  damn, and that was such potential comedy goldmine.

Shemp 4 Victory's picture

But but but chindit13 said it was real! So it has to be!

The Saint's picture
The Saint (not verified) Shemp 4 Victory Jan 11, 2017 12:53 PM

Drudge is claiming this whole thing came from John McCain who was handed the file from an un-named British diplomat.


Confucious 222's picture

McCain and Arnold, two famous names among the U.S. Military

quite the club

knukles's picture

Jerry Springer Rocks
The end of civilization right there up front writ large for your "viewing" pleasure.

Giant Meteor's picture

Hmmmm. what is this "Buzzfeed" that they speak of? Sounds like like to me, the snakes are turning on one another ..

Another positive development. Let them eat their own.

eatthebanksters's picture

Ben Smith and a few from CNN need to be taken out to the woodshed.  Trump was right...these guys are failing and needed a shot in the arm from a ratings standpoint...they went low to get the lead headline out first, as irresponsible as that was.  Today there is no real journalism and ne real investigative reporting....most news organizations rely on independent sources and rarely confirm news.

eatthebanksters's picture

Ben Smith and a few from CNN need to be taken out to the woodshed.  Trump was right...these guys are failing and needed a shot in the arm from a ratings standpoint...they went low to get the lead headline out first, as irresponsible as that was.  Today there is no real journalism and ne real investigative reporting....most news organizations rely on independent sources and rarely confirm news.

CuttingEdge's picture

As if the New York Times can preach to others for peddling fake news.

Pot, Kettle, Black.

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

All of this "fake news" bullshit comes after Hillary loses the election.  They are flooding the country with the "fake news" bullshit meme.  Is it so they can claim "fake news" when the child porn/child trafficking charges are brought against these fuckers if Pizza Gate is true??  Seems all to fishy to me.

J S Bach's picture

"... a practice that fueled some of the so-called fake news — false rumors passed off as legitimate journalism — that proliferated during the presidential election."

Yes.  And then there was the "real news" like the substance of the treasonous Hillary emails - that was totally ignored and un-proliferated by journalists during the presidential election.  This practice of omission is often more powerful in its "influence" than peddling fake news.

Giant Meteor's picture

Real news, truth, - Treason in the empire of lies. Been said many times, Orwellian rules. From what I can tell, nothing new under the sun, as well. Certainly these last many years, I am reminded of early last century, and other times in our short history,, yellow journalism, and certainly that is the case now .. the fake and the irrelevant, has been made fashionable, many times over. Never apparently for any major good, or long lasting effect.

Uzda Farce's picture
Uzda Farce (not verified) J S Bach Jan 11, 2017 2:03 PM

Time-Warner, owner of CNN, is a corporate sponsor of the Rockefeller/CFR. TW chairman Jeffrey Bewkes is a CFR member. Also David Gergen, Christiane Amanpour, Paula Zahn, Jake Tapper, Fareed Zakaria, and James Sciutto. Also Bill Clinton, John McCain and George Soros. See member lists at cfr dot org.

Raging Debate's picture

Beam Me Up - The meme seems that the Democrats are saying they got cheated out of the election because of hacking and fake news. 

Giant Meteor's picture

Damned Russians ...

Hopefully no sarc tag needed ..

BennyBoy's picture


New York Times new slogan:

All The News That's Fit To Fake.


CNN's new slogan:

If It brings eyeballs to our site it's News! Next up: Porn!

The Black Bishop's picture



Twitter account of the guy who made the initial "fanfiction" as I understand it :-)


Fucking hilarious.

Joe Davola's picture

Mom come quick my fan fiction got puplished by the CIA

That's gold Jerry, gold!

Manipulism's picture

aaaaand the Twatter site is gone!

MsCreant's picture

Uh, it was porn. What do you call a description of a scene where russian hookers are peeing on a bed while Trump watches?

OfAllElaboratePlans's picture
OfAllElaboratePlans (not verified) MsCreant Jan 11, 2017 1:25 PM

That's CIA porn (as opposed to SEC porn, or DNC porn, or other types)

overbet's picture

4chan should plaster their homepage with pizzagate stuff with all the new traffic theyll be getting today.

Handful of Dust's picture

The media is giving Americans a Golden Shower.

Giant Meteor's picture

And a few more folks, wake daily, wondering where is all this rain coming from.

tenpanhandle's picture

It's the ones not waking up who are wondering where the rain is coming from.

Serfs Up's picture

Ha ha ha!

Brings new meaning to "Rick rolled"

RiverRoad's picture

So glad ALL of the Deep State CIA crap is on the table and up for discussion finally:  Can't haul any of us off to Gitmo now that they've become a "household word."  The spooks have outed themselves.      LOL.

Whoa Dammit's picture

The CIA has only hired idiots since November 22, 1963. Otherwise someone working there might figure out that they were behind it.

RiverRoad's picture

Soon we will ALL know who was behind it.......best thing that could happen.

Killer the Buzzard's picture

When the snake eats it's own tail = pure love.

RiverRoad's picture

Fact is the whole thing was caused by a typo:  It was George Soros who did the Golden Showers.

Handful of Dust's picture

Soros showering Pelosi with his warm (wet) love.

MsCreant's picture

I, er, uh, really don't want to see that. I don't want to see that with two attractive people...

OfAllElaboratePlans's picture
OfAllElaboratePlans (not verified) MsCreant Jan 11, 2017 1:26 PM

Yeah, that one ain't on my bucket list either.

OfAllElaboratePlans's picture
OfAllElaboratePlans (not verified) Killer the Buzzard Jan 11, 2017 10:50 AM

When it becomes jues vs jues, all hilarity ensues

LoneStarHog's picture

Yeah, but did they ask Million Dollar Bonus (MDB)?...They live and learn.

RiverRoad's picture

Haven't seen MDB around here much lately.  Is he with Eric Braverman?