BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti supported Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith’s decision to publish a 35-page dossier containing damaging, unverified information about President-elect Donald Trump, saying that the company “stand(s) with Ben on his decision to publish this newsworthy document.”
During his first press conference since becoming president-elect Wednesday, Trump blasted BuzzFeed for publishing the document in its entirety, calling the viral news organization “a failing pile of garbage” toward the end of the presser.
BuzzFeed’s publication of the dossier stirred a huge debate among journalists who alternately criticized and praised the news organization for publishing unverified information.
In his email, Peretti said the President-elect’s criticism put BuzzFeed in “great company — The New York Times, CNN and The Washington Post.”
“We are going to keep doing what we do best, which is deliver impactful journalism,” Peretti wrote.
Here’s Peretti’s full email:
I wanted to make sure you all saw Ben’s email about BuzzFeed News’ decision to publish the dossier alleging Trump’s ties to Russia. We stand with Ben on his decision to publish this newsworthy document, which was reported on by multiple news outlets and seen by high-level government officials including the president-elect. As a result of this decision, we were critized by the incoming administration. We are not going to respond to these divisive comments, which put us in great company by the way — The New York Times, CNN and The Washington Post have also been attacked. So has Meryl Streep and the cast of Hamilton, but we’d never compare ourselves to people that talented. 😉
Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of Poynter.org. He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism innovation, business practices and ethics. He’s also reported for USA TODAY College and The Sacramento Bee, and he was editor in chief of The Orion, Chico State’s student-run newspaper. An Air Force brat who grew up around Northern California, he’s still adjusting to the Florida sunshine.