The Media Spar over the Alleged “Golden Shower” Report

James Warren reports for Vanity Fair:

For a fleeting moment on Wednesday morning, Donald Trump and the press found common ground that involved, mesmerizingly, the very topic of both Trump and the press, and perhaps the most fitting stage to exchange ideas on the subject—a press conference, the president-elect’s first in 24 weeks. Trump’s own recurring sense of victimization melded with the other’s dyspepsia over its own reporting about the president-elect. And the timing, itself, could not have been more fraught, on the heels of the disclosures, primarily by CNN and BuzzFeed, that unidentified Russian officials claim knowledge of compromising personal and financial information about Trump.

Nobody can verify the factual basis of any of it, beyond the knowledge that intelligence officials have briefed President Barack Obama and Trump on the uncorroborated allegations. But there was far greater diversity in the criticisms of CNN, which reported on the existence of the document, and BuzzFeed, which published all 35 pages in full, than is found in Trump’s own Cabinet nominees. Newspapermen, academics, left-leaning media critics, and right-leaning digital news sites argued that the stories were a bridge too far.

Jeffrey Seglin, a Harvard ethicist and policy expert, hammered both outlets. “It represents irresponsible journalism,” Seglin, who once wrote an ethics column for The New York Times, told me. “[Buzzfeed] running a disclaimer that it doesn’t know if the source is who he or she says he or she is, nor if the facts are correct, doesn’t make it a responsible editorial decision to publish unsubstantiated information.”

READ MORE…

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: