“BUZZFEED EDITOR-IN-CHIEF BEN SMITH IS HAVING A TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO-GOOD, VERY-BAD DAY,” Twitchy notes; but we’ll come back to them in just a second. First up, Colby Hall of Mediaite writes, “Buzzfeed News Bombshell Reporter: No We Have Not Seen the Evidence Supporting Our Report:”
Anthony Cormier is one of the two investigative reporter at BuzzfeedNews who co-authored the bombshell report published Thursday night — a report which claimed President Donald Trump directed his former lawyer Michael Cohen to lie during Congressional testimony over discussions between the Trump Organization and Russian authorities about a Trump Tower Moscow project.
Cormier appeared on CNN’s New Day and revealed that he had not seen the evidence underlying his report.
Who is the other “investigative reporter” on BuzzFeed’s article? “One Of The BuzzFeed Reporters Behind The Trump Report Has A History Of Making Things Up” Joe Cunningham of RedState notes:
One of the authors, Jason Leopold, has quite the history when it comes to bad reporting. Most folks know of his claim that multiple sources told him Karl Rove was going to be indicted in 2006 and how it turned out to be utterly false.
But, as Columbia Journalism Review noted back then, it wasn’t his first problem with facts.
When Leopold’s story was first called into question a few weeks ago, Salon’s Tim Grieve reminded readers of Leopold’s checkered history with the publication. Salon removed Leopold’s August 29, 2002 story about Enron from its site after it was discovered that he plagiarized parts from the Financial Times and was unable to provide a copy of an email that was critical to the piece. Leopold’s response? A hysterical rant (linked above) which claimed that Salon’s version of events was “nothing but lies,” and that “At this point, I wonder why Salon would go to great lengths to further twist the knife into my back. I suppose the New York Times will now release their version of the events. I can see the headline now ‘Jason Leopold Must Die.’”
That is pretty big. But, like always in cases like this, there is more.
Read the whole thing. “There are reasons to believe there’s something to the story too, though,” NeverTrumper Allahpundit speculates at Hot Air:
Leopold, Cormier, and BuzzFeed’s editors are obviously keenly aware of the magnitude of the charge here. They’re accusing a sitting president of a crime that makes his removal from office conceivable, even with a Republican majority in the Senate. They also must be aware that we’ll know whether they were right or wrong sooner rather than later. This charge won’t hang out there forever unresolved, like Michael Cohen’s alleged trip to Prague per the Steele dossier. Mueller’s working on his report, it may be ready as soon as next month, and this claim — if true — will be a key part of it. If the report emerges and there’s nothing in there about suborning perjury, BuzzFeed’s reputation will never recover. This isn’t a case like the dossier where they’re publishing someone else’s work product with no claims as to its veracity. They’re putting their own names to it. Every political scoop they publish for the next 20 years will be challenged by citing to the Leopold/Cormier fiasco. It’s basically professional suicide unless they really do have good reason to be confident in the reporting.
And so maybe they do. We’ll know soon!
But in the meantime, back to Twitchy: “Rake, meet face! BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith accidentally admits his site’s guilty of lazy ‘journalism’ [screenshots]:”
In addition to his Freudian slip about BuzzFeed itself, that’s a pretty nasty (albeit likely unintentional) subtweet from Smith aimed at former BuzzFeed staffer Andrew Kaczynski, who has since taken his habit of “resurfacing” old news to Time-Warner-CNN-HBO.
UPDATE (FROM GLENN): Oops:
ANOTHER UPDATE: Shep Smith and Chris Wallace: Why haven’t any media outlets been able to corroborate BuzzFeed’s Trump story? Why, indeed?
STILL MORE: Yes.
Plus, from the comments: “This “story” was the top of hourly radio news all damn day today. And now we hear it’s crap, straight from the godhead, Mueller. The anti-Trumpers apparently just ate a dick the size of Oumuamua. Again.”