TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -The New York-based news outlet has been holding nothing back over the recent years as it diligently pressed the so-called ‘Russiagate’ narrative about a supposed collusion between the US President Donald Trump and Moscow.
Its recent exploits, which claimed Trump told his ex-lawyer, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress to cover up some of his dealings with Russia, however, apparently led it a bit too far, as it earned a rebuke from the office of Robert Muller – the man in charge of the investigation into the very same alleged collusion, among other aspects of perceived Russia’s meddling into the 2016 elections.
The news sparked a wave of criticism on the social media, with many people saying that the news outlet’s credibility is now discredited.
But was it that flawless before?
Buzzfeed was the first to publish the infamous Steele dossier – a report by an MI6 spy-turned-private investigator – which contained unverified allegations that Russia held information on Trump which it was using to blackmail the US president.
It also alleged sustained and close working contacts between Trump aides and Kremlin representatives.
None of these allegations, which were used by the FBI as a reason for obtaining a spy warrant against Trump adviser Carter Page, have been proven as of now.
Instead, it was revealed that the report was based on information fed through people close to Hillary Clinton – Trump’s rival at the 2016 presidential elections.
Steele was the source of another controversial episode in the history of BuzzFeed’s attempts to propagate the ‘Russiagate’ narrative. In March 2018, it claimed that the FBI was covering the true causes of the death of a Russian media tycoon in Washington in 2015.
Citing a “secret report” by Steele, it claimed the man was allegedly killed by associates of a Russian oligarch, who happens to be close to the Kremlin, the news outlet said. A sheer coincidence, apparently. It also did not bother to give any plausible explanation as to why the FBI, which did not hesitate to point a finger at Moscow in the past, would hide such information at all.
Anyway, the whole story was debunked just days later when the Metropolitan Police said the death of the tycoon was an accident. This fact did not get much attention in the West, though. Neither did it cool BuzzFeed’s ardor in stirring up anti-Russian hysteria.