Fox News Channel’s politics editor Chris Stirewalt had some harsh criticisms of Buzzfeed after they decided to publish an unverified dossier on Donald Trump that alleged criminal and unsavory behaviors on the part of the President-elect.
“Buzzfeed takes this and says, ‘Hey just putting this out there; just thought that you oughtta know it.’ That’s not the way journalism works!” Stirewalt insisted. “That’s not how you do that. You don’t take something and say, ‘Well, I found it on the street corner and I’m putting it out there even though it contains shocking, salacious, highly damaging accusations against a person, even if it’s a public figure. That’s not journalism. Tat’s just being a billboard where you can post stuff.”
Bill Hemmer moved on to asking Stirewalt about the origins of the dossier, inquiring, “The allegations came from a man in Britain, correct? He had been paid by GOP operatives during a primary campaign and then later was hired by Hillary Clinton to look for dirt on Trump — ”
“Or Democrats supportive of Clinton,” Stirewalt interrupted before saying that yes, the report came from a private eye hired to do an opposition research packet that was circulated to reporters during the campaign season. News outlets had already seen — and passed on — the unverified claims months ago.
He then said, “I would caution Trump and his supporters about this: This is what they asked for when they praised Julian Assange and Wikileaks to the high heavens and said, ‘We don’t care where it came from. Wed don’t care if it’s verified. It’s been stolen but it’s bad for the Democrats and now the truth is out so here you go.'”
He explained that “stolen stuff, shady stuff, leaked stuff,” is par for the course in the news now, but that repeating it is “not doing your job” as a news organization.
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