When CNN hinted at the existence of compromising Russian memos targeting President-elect #Donald Trump on Tuesday, the news was greeted with hurrahs by liberal media outlets and purveyors of #fake news, while other more credible journalists adopted a wait-and-see approach before weighing in on the matter.
However, at least one mainstream media outlet has gone "all in" by reporting the allegations against Trump as fact -- in spite of CNN's own warning that the information contained in the Russian memos is unverifiable, and may eventually prove to be another example of fake news.
BuzzFeed gambles with secret dossier on Trump
Ben Smith, editor-in-chief of #Buzzfeed, issued a statement on Tuesday evening explaining his decision to publish the unsubstantiated allegations contained in the "secret dossier," stating that Americans can make up their own minds, and adding that BuzzFeed's risky decision to publish news that may very well turn out to be fake "reflects how we see the job of reporters in 2017."
The secret dossier alluded to by CNN, Mother Jones, Newsweek, and BuzzFeed, among others, contains potentially explosive allegations against Trump compiled by an anonymous British intelligence officer with a background in Russian counterintelligence. The British officer's report was initially produced as opposition research for the Clinton campaign, but never used as such.
Among the unsubstantiated claims is the allegation that Trump employed a number of prostitutes to perform graphic sexual acts inside the Moscow Ritz-Carlton room where the Obamas had once stayed. The report also alleges that Trump attorney Michael Cohen secretly met with Kremlin officials in Prague in August of 2016, presumably to forge a secret liaison between the Trump campaign and Russian leadership.
These allegations were so spotty that even David Corn, Washington Bureau Chief of ultra-liberal Mother Jones website, declined to publish the full "secret dossier" due to its unverifiable nature. Corn's prudent editorial decision was echoed by others, including Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic, who stated via tweet: "This report contains unverified information, sourced to anonymous figures whose existence has not been proven."
Cohen produces proof that he was not in Prague
It appears that BuzzFeed has positioned itself to become either the next Woodward and Bernstein, or the biggest joke since the day a Jewish rabbi and a Catholic priest decided to walk into a bar -- and now, thanks to Trump attorney Michael Cohen, the smart bet is to put your money on the bartender.
Cohen not only vehemently denied BuzzFeed's claim that he met with Kremlin insiders in Prague, but produced his own passport as irrefutable evidence that he has never been to Prague in his life. Rosie Gray, who writes for The Atlantic, investigated the claim and found that Cohen was was his son on a visit to the University of Southern California during the time the "secret dossier" on Trump alleged that he was meeting with Russian officials.