The media is often granted access to important people. What responsibility—if any—do news outlets have to not be dirty, desperate, pitiful whores in exchange for this access?
The small staff of Boston.com, the breaking-news site associated with The Boston Globe, is still reeling from weeks of internal unrest stemming from a series a viral posts about a Harvard professor and a Chinese restaurant published in early December, which resulted in a retraction, some disciplinary actions, and a suspension for one staffer. The turmoil’s latest casualty, however, involves a previously unrelated party: a young journalist who was about to start a fellowship at BuzzFeed.
USA Today media columnist and lazy gadfly Michael Wolff has finally weighed in on BuzzFeed’s report about an Uber executive’s inflammatory comments at a private dinner attended by dozens of journalists. Wolff is quite unpleased with the minor role he played in embarrassing the $18 billion car-sharing company.
On Wednesday, BuzzFeed published a series of photographs—archived here—depicting West Point cadets wandering around a forested area of the United States Military Academy in upstate New York. The site said the black and white portraits “explore ideas of masculinity, allegiance, sexuality, and vulnerability.” But a cross-section of baffled military reporters and commentators saw something else: a collection of homoerotic photos. Following the confused response, photographer Kristine Potter asked BuzzFeed to remove the entire gallery.
Here is something that Democrats and Republicans agree on, besides the fact that Ebola is coming and we are all going to die: According to a new poll of political polarization and media habits of regular folk by the Pew Research Center, BuzzFeed is the least trusted news source in media, behind the Rush Limbaugh Show.
Although violent animosity against women in video games is not even close to a new phenomenon, it didn't congeal into Gamergate, a coordinated movement with mainstream press attention, until Eron Gjoni, the ex-boyfriend of game developer Zoë Quinn, released a lengthy blog post alleging that she cheated on and emotionally abused him while they were together. And he would do it all again, even knowing the consequences.
1. Effeminate Men Drink Whiskey for the First Time
On Tuesday, Gawker reported that BuzzFeed had quietly removed from its site nearly 5,000 posts in April, a discovery the viral news conglomerate’s editor-in-chief refused to address before publication. Now BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti is explaining—or trying to explain—why his site disappeared those articles.
You may have heard that BuzzFeed recently landed $50 million in venture capital, with which it hopes to transcend its long-time status as a “content laboratory” for shareable listicles, strange quizzes and LOL-worthy videos. Earlier this year, however, the viral news website went with a much cheaper strategy: Permanently erasing thousands of specious, staff-written posts.
BuzzFeed, an air-conditioned content factory headquartered in New York City, is quite a bit richer today, thanks to a $50 million investment from the powerful Silicon Valley venture capital outfit Andreessen Horowitz. The news was announced in a lengthy write-up in today’s New York Times Business section: