(National Sentinel) Media Mishaps: On his Wednesday night program, Fox News host Tucker Carlson interviewed Buzzfeed editor Ben Smith on the one-year anniversary of his publication of the debunked Trump dossier, which he defended as being in the public’s interest.
Carlson asked Smith to comment in regards to a lawsuit filed by President Donald J. Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, who was named in the dossier as having traveled to the Czech Republic to meet with Russian officials — a trip Cohen says he never made, which has since been substantiated.
The dossier itself is a document of kind of obvious central public importance,” Smith said Wednesday. “That was clear a year ago. It’s actually a lot clearer now. Before we published it, as we knew then, important elected officials intelligence agencies were investigating this document.”
For his part, Carlson said that Smith, as a journalist, should never have published the dossier without first verifying it.
“You see a lot of stuff that you don’t pass on, because you don’t know if it’s true. And the words hang in the air and you libel someone in effect, so you don’t run it,” Carlson said. “But you did run this, because it was Trump.”
Smith stood by his decision to publish the dossier and said that he believes recent media coverage vindicated his decision.
“But you’re making a retroactive argument,” Carlson responded. “You’re arguing, ‘well okay it’s at the center of news, so we were right a year ago to run it.’ And I’m actually not even attacking you for running it, I would just like you to acknowledge partisanship played a role.”
Carlson added that had Smith obtained information that appeared damaging to President Obama, he would never have run it.
“If you came across a dossier in the middle of the Obama administration that laid out in some detail how he was born in Kenya and had a weird personal life, you would never run that. Because you would be attacked by every one of your friends,” Tucker said, laughing.
“The truth is this stuff was unverified a year ago, it remains unverified,” Carlson added. “We are no closer to proving that [Trump] collaborated with the Russian government.”
Cohen is not the only person suing Buzzfeed for defamation. Lawsuits have also been filed by Russian technology firms named in the dossier, and former low-level Trump campaign official Carter Page has also filed suit against Yahoo and HuffPo over allegedly libelous allegations regarding contact with Russian operatives.
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