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‘Isn’t It Irresponsible?’: Tucker Carlson, Fortune Writer Clash Over BuzzFeed Dossier Report

Tucker Carlson tonight faced off with Fortune senior writer Mathew Ingram after Ingram argued that BuzzFeed was right to publish that dossier with unverified allegations against President-elect Donald Trump.

Ingram made this argument in a piece for Fortune:

The allegations have potentially significant implications, including the suggestion that the Russian government is not only trying to pressure Donald Trump but has succeeded in cutting deals with him.

Even if they are currently unverified, that makes publishing the full documents justifiable on journalistic grounds. Doing so may even make it easier to verify the claims made in them, since it is likely to flush sources of all kinds out of the woodwork. But even if it didn’t, there is a solid argument to be made that BuzzFeed did the right thing in publishing them.

The case against publishing amounts to arguing that journalists are the only ones who are qualified to see such allegations, and that only a handful of media organizations are entitled to make the decision about what is credible and what isn’t. Like it or not, that isn’t how journalism works any more… Finding the truth is no longer something that journalists get to do inside newsrooms, armed with information that is distributed only to them. It is something everyone gets to do. That may sound like total chaos, and it clearly has negative as well as positive aspects—as Donald Trump himself has shown us time and time again. But it is the reality of media today, so we had better start figuring out how to do it properly.

Carlson argued that journalists shouldn’t be publishing information if they’re not certain it’s true, asking, “Isn’t it irresponsible to pass on something you can’t verify?”

Ingram countered that there were reports about Hillary Clinton emails going out during the campaign that weren’t 100 percent verified, so there shouldn’t be a double standard here.

Carlson asked him point-blank if he would publish the dossier as BuzzFeed did and Ingram said yes. Carlson shot back, “Then you have low standards, I’m sorry.”

You can watch the full back-and-forth above, via Fox News.

[image via screengrab]

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Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac

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