Dear Ben Smith,
Since you are the only true journalist at the top of BuzzFeed’s food chain, it falls to you to be the responsible party and verify everything that your website is purporting to be real news. You joined the site to bring serious journalism to the site, yet I find it irresponsible to publish damning news without one shred of proof. If a big media conglomerate like CNN doesn’t publish details of an unverified story because it’s unverified, perhaps you shouldn’t either. I have a feeling though that you care less about real “serious” journalism and merely want some eyes on your work and the bigger paycheck that BuzzFeed offered you to lure you away from a site like Politico.
I know it’s hard to comprehend, but YOU are part of the reason why we have the next president we do. Irresponsible journalism, fake news all fueled the fire that pushed people away from someone experienced like Hillary Clinton – or pretty much ANY OTHER CANDIDATE – and into the arms of the man we’re stuck with for the next four years. Make no mistake, I loathe that man and rarely use his name and will never refer to him as my president or the president of the United States of America. But when you report news that has been unverified about him, it gives him the fuel he needs to discredit ALL journalists. I believe in journalism. I think it is vital to this nation – and to nations around the world. I have even read some great long-form investigative stories on BuzzFeed, but with this you dropped the ball. Big time. And I put the responsibility on you because from what I can find, you’re the only real journalist in charge at that company. Stop the fake reporting. STOP reporting unverified events. You’re only perpetuating the division this country has. Maybe you dream of living in a divided America, but I do not.
Fix. Your. Site. I’m done with it and I pray others will stop following you, too, but I have a feeling too many enjoy your fake journalism.
~ Sick of Click Bait