Lawyers for a Russian tech executive are asking a federal judge to force BuzzFeed to reveal its source for an unverified dossier about Donald Trump that it published in full earlier this year. Their argument: BuzzFeed isn't a real news organization.Waddya mean not news?
In court papers filed Wednesday in Florida federal court, attorneys representing Aleksej Gubarev and his companies tried to prove that BuzzFeed does not qualify for the reporters' privilege that would allow it to avoid naming its source because it is not "a newspaper, news journal, news agency, press association, wire service, radio or TV station, network, or news magazine."As such, the plaintiffs argue, BuzzFeed does not qualify for the privilege under a 1998 Florida law.While the filings cite an arcane statute, the argument also has echoes of an era when BuzzFeed was thought of more as a supplier of listicles and cat videos and less about its reporting. It also goes back to a time when news websites and bloggers were often looked down upon by more traditional journalists.
"Anyone paying attention to current events would be surprised by this claim, given the string of massive stories BuzzFeed News has recently broken, from allegations against Kevin Spacey, to connections among white supremacists and right-wing media--which led this week to the billionaire Robert Mercer severing ties with Breitbart," BuzzFeed News spokesperson Matt Mittenthal said in a statement. "It would also come as a surprise to President Trump's White House, where BuzzFeed News occupies a seat in the press briefing room. We look forward to demonstrating that publishing the dossier - which is the subject of multiple federal investigations and was circulating at the highest levels of government - was, and continues to be, in the public interest."...MORE
From March 28's "Source Says BuzzFeed Is Going Public In 2018"
...UPDATE: "Best Actual Court Filing This Week: Libel Case Against BuzzFeed Edition"
They grow up so fast. It seems like it was just yesterday (actually it was January 11, 2017, 12:52 pm PST) that we were posting:
Breaking--Buzzfeed Considers Itself Media--Breaking
The tweeter is a writer on media at HuffPo and adjunct professor at NYU.
I can't imagine what Andreessen Horowitz and NBC Universal are thinking about their BuzzFeed investments right now.Editor @BuzzFeedBen tells me they're "not going to participate in an attempt to divide the media against each other" following CNN criticism— Michael Calderone (@mlcalderone) January 11, 2017
Maybe this will cheer them up:
Possibly also of interest:
Buzzfeed Story Generator
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Should the risk-free rate go to negative 5%.