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Ben Smith Defends BuzzFeed on Fox News as Tucker Carlson Rips Site’s Reporting and ‘Cat Coverage’

Tucker Carlson faced off with BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith tonight over BuzzFeed’s decision to publish the infamous dossier (which they’ve clashed over before), as well as the infamous report published weeks ago about the president allegedly directing Michael Cohen to lie.

Carlson opened with a lot of snark directed at BuzzFeed––mostly centered around the site’s “cat coverage”––before bringing up the publication of the dossier and the January report that Robert Mueller‘s office disputed.

Carlson noted Cohen’s denial last week about ever going to Prague––claimed in the dossier––and pressed Smith about doing a follow-up on that. Smith said they reached out to Cohen after publishing the dossier and “published a very detailed account of his denial.”

At one point Carlson said, “If I run a piece by one of your neighbors saying Ben shot somebody, don’t I kind of have an obligation when you get acquitted of the crime to write a story on that? I think I do and you did, but you didn’t.”

He mentioned claims against Carter Page in particular and told Smith his life’s been destroyed. Smith said, “I don’t know how Carter Page feels he’s been treated by us, but certainly we have carried his side of this.”

Regarding the Trump Tower Moscow report, Smith told Carlson that it in particular isn’t a collusion story, but a real estate one. When he tried to elaborate and Carlson jumped in, Smith said, “You spent a lot of time talking about cats.”

Carlson brought up the January Cohen report and the pushback from Mueller’s office at the time, saying, “You’re refusing to admit it has been debunked.”

Smith responded that Cohen was telling Congress of Trump, “In his way, he was telling me to lie.”

“I don’t think there’s a lot of dispute now that Cohen is saying that he claims––you could say he was lying, you don’t have to believe Michael Cohen––he claims he believes Trump was telling him to lie,” Smith continued.

“That’s not what your piece said,” Carlson countered, reading from the report and asking, “Why not just say ‘parts of our story are right, but we got over our skis, we went too far, we made a claim we can’t back up, and the subject of the allegation now denies, and we admit it.’ Why not just say that?”

Smith argued “the bar now seems to be” whether Trump explicitly said “Michael, I now instruct you to lie.”

You can watch above, via Fox News.

[image via screengrab]

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac