While I was writing my most recent blog post – on the need for journalism of the highest standards in this ‘post-truth’ world – BuzzFeed went ahead and published the full text of the dodgy Trump dossier.
This was in the week before Trump was inaugurated. In an email to our subscribers, we were critical of Buzzfeed’s decision to publish. Despite Jim Edwards’ excellent arguments on Business Insider, we felt that the BuzzFeed approach had failed to fulfil the two critical functions of journalism: to scrutinise the facts, and to guide their readers through them.
The fear was that publishing unchecked allegations would make it easier for Trump to dismiss the entire document, and to attack the media as a whole.