Death Rattle of Mainstream Media: Multiple Corporate Outlets Now Labeling Each Other “Fake News”

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Thanks to CNN and BuzzFeed, a war now rages among corporate media outlets, a true study in irony, as the New York Times and Guardian hurl accusations the two outlets are guilty of publishing Fake News — the same Fake News all of the aforementioned have cited in unabashed attempts to discredit legitimate alternative media.

CNN first published an article citing without including information ostensively ruinous to President-elect Donald Trump’s political career — but BuzzFeed took that ball and ran — publishing documents believed to have originated from an unnamed British intelligence officer and admittedly unsubstantiated and unverified.

Careless reporting by the mainstream press, in other words, has reached critical mass — and known publishers of Fake News are now calling each other to task for egregiously vapid journalism.

“BuzzFeed Posts Unverified Claims on Trump, Igniting a Debate,” the Timesheadline asserts, while — going a step farther — the Guardian’s article is entitled, “BuzzFeed publishes unsubstantiated Trump report, raising ethics questions.”

CNN first reported on the dossier allegedly obtained from the unnamed British intelligence official, but left out the more lurid and revealing details from the 35-pages BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith later decided were fair game for publication — despite “serious reason to doubt the allegations.”

BuzzFeed reported Tuesday, “The dossier, which is a collection of memos written over a period of months, includes specific, unverified, and potentially unverifiable allegations of contact between Trump aides and Russian operatives, and graphic claims of sexual acts documented by the Russians. BuzzFeed News reporters in the US and Europe have been investigating various alleged facts in the dossier but have not verified or falsified them. CNN reported Tuesday that a two-page synopsis of the report was given to President Obama and Trump.”

Mainstream outlets scrambled over each other to ride the viral wave when BuzzFeed’s article garnered over one million views in short succession — and 3.5 million less than 24 hours later — but none of those organizations bothered to restrain themselves in the interest of investigating the dossier further.

Incidentally, the Times was among them — and in its scathing critique, curiously notes,

“The reports by CNN and Buzzfeed sent other news organizations, including The New York Times and The Washington Post, scrambling to publish their own articles, some of which included generalized descriptions of the unverified allegations about Mr. Trump. By late Tuesday, though, only BuzzFeed had published the full document.”

As if reporting on unsubstantiated claims without providing the documents you’re citing somehow excuses the Times’ capricious abandonment of journalistic due diligence. Nevertheless, the article contends,

“BuzzFeed’s decision, besides its immediate political ramifications for a president-elect who is to be inaugurated in 10 days, was sure to accelerate a roiling debate about the role and credibility of the traditional media in today’s frenetic, polarized information age.

“Of particular interest was the use of unsubstantiated information from anonymous sources, a practice that fueled some of the so-called fake news — false rumors passed off as legitimate journalism — that proliferated during the presidential election.”

Again, the Times reported on the exact information BuzzFeed did — but didn’t provide the contentious document for the public to evaluate — so, in essence, it’s accusing itself in the mix.
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/mainstream-corporate-press-dead/#9i31OpOEiGwzdRbC.99

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