BuzzFeed's Trump bombshell was dropped irresponsibly

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BuzzFeed's Trump bombshell was dropped irresponsibly

The stakes rose on Tuesday when CNN reported that America's intelligence chiefs gave Trump and Barack Obama a two-page summary of the reports last week.

Glenn Greenwald, the investigative journalist who reported Edward Snowden's leaks about government surveillance, said the Trump dossier did not pass his test.

The dossier was published by Buzzfeed News on Tuesday "so that Americans can make up their own minds about allegations about the president-elect that have circulated at the highest levels of the United States government".

The documents, which have been circulating among reporters for weeks, have not been released by any other news outlets because they are wholly unverified, allegedly the work of a former British intelligence operative.

"Style, facts & dates show no credibility", they wrote.

He continued: "As we noted in our story, there is serious reason to doubt the allegations".

"BuzzFeed drops a Trump bombshell, irresponsibly", was the title of the Poynter piece authored by media ethicist Kelly McBride, who serves as Poynter's vice president for academic programs.

"When you can triple-source it, and you have evidence, then you have story".

Rare that a story stinks from every possible angle: the source, the content, the outcome, the messenger, the target.

"Even Donald Trump deserves journalistic fairness", tweeted David Corn, Mother Jones' Washington bureau chief.

The Kremlin earlier rushed to the NY billionaire's defence and rejected claims that it had in its possession embarrassing personal and financial information to blackmail Mr Trump with if necessary.

A slew of reporters disagreed with that rationale, arguing that publishing unsubstantiated claims violates basic tenets of journalism.

He continued: "This information on Trump's various personal and business dealings in Russian Federation was being pursued by major campaigns and by major media to my knowledge as early as late July of 2015".

"We, like others, investigated the allegations and haven't corroborated them, and we felt we're not in the business of publishing things we can't stand by."

The report, which dates from July 20 2016 to December 13 2016, suggests that Trump's "unorthodox behavior" in Russian Federation provided the country with embarrassing material (or "kompromat") to use against him as blackmail. We shouldn't assume either that this is simply a "fake news" episode directed at discrediting Trump or that the dam has now broken and the truth is coming out at last. "We don't know what the reality is here, and the better part of valor is not to get ahead of the facts - a matter on which, incidentally, the press deserves a lot of credit".

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