Fake News, Real Lawsuit

File this story in the “It’s Funny When It Happens To Them” file. The despicable fake news website Buzzfeed – founded by the despicable fake newsperson Ben Smith – is being sued by a Russian bank mentioned in Buzzfeed’s “OMG TRUMP RUSSIA!” dossier.

The owners of a Russian bank are suing BuzzFeed for publishing a dossier containing unproven claims that the businessmen were involved in bribing Russian President Vladimir Putin years ago and took part in an alleged Russian government scheme to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven and German Khan of Alfa Bank filed the defamation lawsuit seeking unspecified damages from BuzzFeed as well as editor-in-chief Ben Smith, reporter Ken Bensinger and editors Miriam Elder and Mark Schoofs.

The suit seized on Smith admitting that at the time BuzzFeed published the dossier in January he knew aspects of the dossier were wrong and that other aspects of it were unproven. That admission indicates BuzzFeed had knowledge sufficient to meet the legal standard for libel, the court complaint says.

Not only does Smith’s admission meet the legal standard for libel, but it also illustrates how far journalism has fallen in recent years. Smith knew there were items in the Russian dossier which were false – in my opinion, all of it is false – but Smith published the information anyway.

Personally, I hope the Russians sue Smith and Buzzfeed into bankruptcy.


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