If you think back to last January, you might remember the night that BuzzFeed decided to do what no other media outlet would do despite all the buzz: it published, in its entirety, the Trump dossier compiled by Christopher Steele and paid for by the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign.
What you probably don’t remember is the furious hype surrounding it. Here’s are a few tweets from that day (before BuzzFeed published the dossier) to give some context:
CNN now reporting that Russian spies claim to have personal and financial information that compromises Donald Trump.
— Matt Viser (@mviser) January 10, 2017
How are we going to have an inauguration next week? I mean, really. I need to know more about this CNN story on Trump and the Russians…
— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) January 10, 2017
I don't want to be dramatic, but just FYI, the biggest scandal in American political history may be breaking as we speak…. https://t.co/Io1wWd8AYE
— Susan Hennessey (@Susan_Hennessey) January 10, 2017
It is impossible to overstate the significance, if true, of Russia possessing compromising info of 'personal & financial nature' on Trump
— Ken Gude (@KenGude) January 10, 2017
CNN might have had the story, but BuzzFeed went ahead and published the “pee pee tape” dossier itself, with editor-in-chief Ben Smith noting (after publication) that there was “serious reason to doubt the allegations” contained within and that none of it had been verified.
Nate Silver, founder and editor of FiveThirtyEight, somehow thinks BuzzFeed’s decision to print what we now know to be opposition research by the Democrats and the Clinton campaign holds up.
In a world of obfuscation, BuzzFeed's decision to publish the Steele memo is holding up as a good journalistic choice.
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) February 3, 2018
— Mark Noonan (@Mark_E_Noonan) February 3, 2018
That is funny. https://t.co/gbQDHFUOZO
— KayBDay (@DayontheDay) February 3, 2018
This take is too hot even 18 hours later https://t.co/0SPJjuS3Tc
— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) February 3, 2018
This is a cancerous take. https://t.co/kTeT8LsDeH
— Just Sham ?? (@itsShamsFault) February 3, 2018
Yeah nope. Still a profoundly irresponsible one. https://t.co/LBsDE2GRvC
— James Hasson (@JamesHasson20) February 3, 2018
AYFKM? Ben Smith's choice to publish a document he admitted he couldn't confirm should have been the end of his career outside of tabloids. https://t.co/P3C2BbAtsR
— Jeremy (@knowsknothing) February 3, 2018
I disagree strenuously, because nothing in that dossier was verified. BuzzFeed published rumors and made it news. https://t.co/E8i8saMpHp
— Robby (@RobotFencer) February 3, 2018
This may be one of the dumbest tweets I have ever read. I am ashamed to share an Alma Mater with this moron. https://t.co/err8Ctx74r
— Brent Skilton (@brent_skilton) February 3, 2018
Yeah great choice, shows us they publish salacious and unverified information. https://t.co/OaFltHHGtK
— Greg Lee (@realGGGLee) February 3, 2018
There you have it. The media has zero issues publishing unverified and slanderous accusations that do nothing but add to confusion. One of the checks and balances to our system is a free press that is unbiased, moral, honest, and refuses to allow themselves to be used as pawns. https://t.co/HsMI4ss4go
— Nigel's Mustache (@baileylewis23) February 3, 2018
It's certainly allowed us to see what democrats consider a good investment.
— Ben Rhodes' Echo Chamber (@dindunuffinyt) February 3, 2018
This is a true statement because it made the public aware of the depths the Democrats would go to to remain in power. As a Left leaning organization, however, they may regret waking the bear when it tears their party apart and banishes it from power for decades 🙂 https://t.co/RptcyF1zUZ
— CA Consrv Goin Nuts (@Russell10515059) February 3, 2018
In a world inundated with memetic propaganda, nothing would be more refreshing than real journalism. That wasn't and this defense of it is only more obfuscation. Lessons of #MemoDay https://t.co/z7YwfnS3CN
— Ron Pyle (@rreactor) February 3, 2018
It's also done untold damage to the credibility of the Russia investigation, no matter how much people want to pretend otherwise, so maybe not. https://t.co/Y5RduPJzOO
— Varad Mehta (@varadmehta) February 3, 2018
Buzzfeed will end up paying millions in defense fees alone due to the defamatory nature of the dossier. https://t.co/1e3nfle9Y4
— Robert Barnes (@Barnes_Law) February 3, 2018
Until the defamation lawsuit bankrupts them. https://t.co/l0iH9z2zYI
— David Paul (@PowerElement) February 3, 2018
Well, BuzzFeed had to have made a buck or two off of the “Failing Pile of Garbage” T-shirts it sold after Trump weighed in.