Tucker Carlson Calls BuzzFeed a ‘New York-Based Cat Blog’ – to BuzzFeed Editor in Chief’s Face

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson dug in for a weedy and technical interview with BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith on Monday night, but before Smith even spoke a word, Carlson offered a lengthy monologue for his viewers deriding the website as a “cat blog.”

“Not so long ago, America had prestige media outlets. Harvard graduates literally went to work for Newsweek rather than private equity. Not anymore,” Carlson said. “Teen Vogue now has a news division, and so does a New York-based cat blog called BuzzFeed.”

Carlson then spent a lot of time driving home the point that BuzzFeed spent a lot of time writing about cats.

Also Read: Tucker Carlson Nixes Pretaped Interview With Guest He Called a ‘F-ing Moron’

“When a BuzzFeed headline commands you to ‘Stop everything and watch this cat who loves the ocean,’ you do. You stop everything and you watch that cat,” Carlson added, flashing headlines across the screen. “When BuzzFeed offers one of its trademark cat quizzes, you dutifully take the quiz. What kind of purrsonality does your cat actually have? Or how cat are you? Take this quiz. Meow!”

A rep for BuzzFeed did not immediately respond to request for comment from TheWrap.

When Carlson and Smith finally got into their interview, which focused on the website’s reporting on Michael Cohen and whether he was instructed by Trump to lie to Congress, Smith openly complained about not having enough time to explain the broader story to viewers because Carlson spent too much of his monologue talking about cats.

Also Read: White Tucker Carlson Guest Says African-Americans ‘Need to Move on’ From Slavery (Video)

“Can I just tell the story to your audience here that we talk about, because this is the story at the heart of this whole thing,” Smith said.

“No, because we don’t have enough time,” Carlson responded.

“You spent a lot of time talking about cats. Can I just talk for two minutes about the Trump Tower Moscow?”

The answer though was still no, and Carlson redirected the conversation to Smith and BuzzFeed’s decision to publish the Steele dossier, which raised eyebrows at the time because much of it was unverified at the time.

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BuzzFeed Wins Defamation Lawsuit Over Steele Dossier

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

BuzzFeed has defeated a defamation lawsuit filed by a Russian tech entrepreneur over the site’s decision to publish the so-called Steele dossier, which charged that Donald Trump had “deep ties to Russia.”
Last year, Russian tech CEO A…

BuzzFeed Chief to ‘Morning Joe’: ‘In a Normal Country Nobody Watches This Show’ (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith offered a subtle jab at “Morning Joe” on Friday, telling the show’s hosts and guests that nobody would watch them if we lived in “normal” times.

“In a normal country, nobody watches this show,” he said. “Sorry folks.”

Smith was on set to plug his latest piece, where he attacked “insider political journalism” that he said he was partially responsible for creating during his time at Politico. His remarks about “Morning Joe” came specifically when Associated Press White House reporter Jonathan Lemire drew attention to a conversation Smith said he had with a Brazilian editor about politics.

Also Read: ‘Morning Joe’ Mocks Trump Legal Team: ‘Everybody Knows That Rudy Giuliani is Lying’

“A Brazilian editor once told me that you could tell his country was in political crisis because everyone was talking about politics all the time. In a normal country, nobody cares about politics,” he wrote in the piece.

“And I think that most of all, the political journalism of that crisis is no longer a special genre of journalism, but instead the core of the profession: getting to the truth, explaining the world, and often telling stories with a clear right and wrong.”

Smith — who responsible for breaking the John Edwards $400 haircut story — said that insider journalism epitomized by sports metaphors had become an anachronism in this “new era.”

“The game changer, the horse race, the Hail Mary — apt, perhaps, for the party politics of the 1990s and 2000s — are painfully inadequate for the movement politics of a new era, with higher stakes, higher passions, and far wider interest,” he wrote.

Smith has served as BuzzFeed’s top editor since December 2011.

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Hulu in Major Exec Shakeup: Content Chief Joel Stillerman, Two SVPs Are Out

Read on: Variety.

Hulu CEO Randy Freer has made a series of sweeping organizational changes, leading to the departure of three top execs — chief content officer Joel Stillerman, Tim Connolly, senior VP of partnerships and distribution, and Ben Smith, Hulu’s …

Hulu Chief Content Officer Joel Stillerman Out Amid Company Reorg

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Hulu chief content officer Joel Stillerman (pictured above) is leaving the company as part of an organization-wide shakeup.

Additionally, the reorganization has prompted senior vice president of experience Ben Smith to retire, while Tim Connolly, an SVP of Hulu’s partnerships & distribution division, will also depart.

It’s not all subtraction, however. Hulu is hiring former TiVo COO Dan Phillips as its chief technology officer and Jaya Kolhatkar to be its first chief data officer. Phillips will start in Santa Monica on Monday; Kolhatkar joins him there next month.

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In terms of actual structure, Hulu is forming a combined technology & product group, which will report to Phillips. Additionally, Kelly Campbell’s chief marketing officer role will be expanded to include customer acquisition, engagement, retention and viewer experience. Finally, Hulu is separating its content and distribution functions with two new distinct groups: content partnerships and originals.

There are some more details of the restructuring below, all of which are in Hulu’s own words.

But first, Hulu CEO Randy Freer has a few things he wants to say: “As one of today’s top direct-to-consumer entertainment brands, led by technology, innovation and data, Hulu has an enormous opportunity to lead the media and advertising industries into the future. By adding new expertise and capabilities to our executive ranks and creating greater alignment around our customers, we are positioning Hulu to grow more rapidly, innovate more quickly and connect consumers even more deeply with the content they love.”

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Technology & Product
Dan Phillips, former Chief Operating Officer at TiVo Inc., has joined Hulu’s executive management team as Chief Technology Officer and will be responsible for aligning the company’s technical and product strategy with its core business strategy to more effectively innovate and deliver on consumer and partner needs.

In this role, Phillips will oversee a newly-unified Technology & Product organization spanning engineering, data center operations, network and broadcast operations center, information technology and program management, as well as product management, user experience and product development. Hulu’s technology and product teams across Santa Monica, Seattle, Marin, and Beijing will report to Phillips when he steps into his new role, based in Santa Monica, on June 4.

“Dan brings deep technical expertise, strategic business sensibilities and a proven track record of driving large technology and product organizations through massive industry transformation,” said Freer. “He’s a strong operator who has had a front row seat to changing TV consumer behaviors for many years, and is the right fit to lead our technology and product teams as we continue to innovate and build a complete entertainment experience for the future.”

Previously, Phillips led TiVo’s engineering, product and professional services workforce of more than 1,000 members and transformed the company’s product from a DVR-centric offering to a cloud-based service delivering a complete video experience on an array of devices and connected TVs. Prior to that, he held senior executive roles at enterprise globalization application provider Uniscape, Inc. and e-business software company Crossworlds Software, Inc., and co-founded enterprise software company Metasystems, Inc.

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Subscriber Journey
With the goal of super-serving Hulu viewers and creating more alignment across the company’s consumer-facing teams, Chief Marketing Officer Kelly Campbell is expanding Hulu’s marketing organization to assume responsibility for the subscriber journey – from acquisition, engagement and retention, to viewer experience and research – across all of Hulu’s on-demand and Live TV plans. In addition, this group will now oversee Hulu’s subscriber partnerships, including its current relationships with Spotify and Sprint.

Today’s announcement also reflects the departure of Ben Smith, Senior Vice President, Experience, who will retire in July.

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As the lines between live and on-demand viewing become increasingly blurred for consumers, Hulu is restructuring its content function to deliver the most robust, immersive programming experiences across all of its offerings – regardless of whether live or on demand. Moving forward, Hulu’s content teams will be organized into two groups, aligned around two core capabilities: 1) acquired on-demand and live content partners, and 2) the creative community for Hulu Originals.

First, Hulu is combining its live TV and subscription video on demand (SVOD) content licensing, acquisition and business functions into a single group, Content Partnerships. This new structure allows Hulu to speak with one, unified voice to its current and potential content partners. In addition, this group will be responsible for expanding Hulu’s content offering to include more premium add-ons and innovative new formats.

Second, the company’s original programming, and its relationships with creators, producers and studios, will continue being managed by the Hulu Originals team, but will now operate as a dedicated business function, led by Senior Vice President of Content, Craig Erwich, who will report to Freer.

With this new structure and the related changes in scope, Senior Vice President of Partnerships & Distribution Tim Connolly and Chief Content Officer Joel Stillerman have decided to leave the company. Hulu is conducting a search for a head of the new Content Partnerships group and is eliminating the Chief Content Officer role.

“Ben, Tim and Joel have all played a significant role in getting Hulu to the strong position it is in today. They will forever be a part of Hulu’s success story, and we wish them the very best in their next endeavors,” said Freer.

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Hulu’s Advertising Sales group will continue reporting to Senior Vice President of Ad Sales Peter Naylor, as the team tracks toward its most successful Upfront yet, ramps up its focus on new advertising products and innovative integrations, and prepares to begin selling dynamically-inserted ads in Hulu’s Live TV service.

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Data and Analytics
Powering all of Hulu’s core business areas is the company’s vast repository of data. Hulu has appointed Jaya Kolhatkar, former Senior Vice President, Global Data and Analytics Platform for Walmart Inc., to the newly-created executive management role of Chief Data Officer, reporting to Freer. In this position, Kolhatkar will be responsible for elevating Hulu’s customer intelligence, implementing strong data governance and driving a culture of objective, data-driven decision making across the company. She will officially join Hulu in its Santa Monica headquarters on July 2.

“The combination of powerful content and deep consumer insights is what will define the future of media and advertising. With her years of experience managing, analyzing and governing data for many of the world’s largest companies, Jaya brings the strong leadership and expertise Hulu needs to deliver more meaningful experiences to consumers and more effective solutions to brands,” said Freer.

In her prior role, Kolhatkar oversaw the large global team responsible for Walmart Inc.’s enterprise data warehouse, big data environment, real-time predictive analytics platform and business intelligence tools. She joined Walmart Inc. in June 2013 as part of the acquisition of predictive analytics firm Inkiru, Inc., where she was the co-founder and chief analytics officer. Kolhatkar has previously held senior positions at major Silicon Valley players including PayPal, eBay and Amazon.

All of Hulu’s shared services functions – Finance, Legal, Corporate Communications and Talent & Organization – will continue operating as usual, reporting directly to Freer.

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Netflix Partners with BuzzFeed for New Documentary Series

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

BuzzFeed will partner with Netflix on a new original documentary series, the website announced in an internal email on Wednesday.

The series, “Follow This,” will chronicle the lives of journalists as they follow a unique story and from the looks of a Netflix press release — those journalists will mostly work at BuzzFeed.

“No platform for shows [is] bigger than Netflix right now,” said Editor in Chief Ben Smith in the internal company memo, a copy of which was obtained by TheWrap. Smith called the partnership “an auspicious sign of things to come.” Smith also revealed that two episodes had already been filmed and “in the can.”

Also Read: BuzzFeed Chief Defends Trump Pee Dossier: ‘I’m Proud We Published’

One of those episodes was teased by NetFlix themselves Wednesday.

“The first episode, The Internet Whisperers, follows BuzzFeed reporter Scaachi Koul, as she explores the curious world of autonomous sensory meridian response — or ASMR — and some of its most enthusiastic proponents,” a press release from Netflix said.

Simply put, ASMR refers to people who enjoy sensory stimulation and ASMR YouTube videos consist of someone or something creating some form of repetitive noise. A preview of the episode on YouTube reveals Koul listening to a lot of ASMR and describing her experience.

“For me when ASMR works it creates this sort of tingling feeling in my spine and my brain. I have a busy life and a hectic job. This is one thing that quiets my brain,” said Koul.

You can watch the preview above.

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BuzzFeed Chief Defends Trump Pee Dossier: ‘I’m Proud We Published’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

One year after BuzzFeed published former MI6 operative Christopher Steele’s private intelligence dossier alleging Donald Trump’s ties to Russia (sometimes known in certain circles as the “pee dossier”), the website’s editor in chief Ben Smith is defending the decision.

In a New York Times op-ed posted Tuesday night just as word broke that Trump attorney Michael Cohen had filed a defamation suit against BuzzFeed over the story, Smith declared that he was “proud we published the Trump-Russia dossier.”

“A year of government inquiries and blockbuster journalism has made clear that the dossier is unquestionably real news,” said Smith. “We strongly believed that publishing the disputed document whose existence we and others were reporting was in the public interest.”

Also Read: Trump’s Lawyer Sues BuzzFeed, Fusion GPS for ‘Defamation’ Over Russia Dossier

In his op-ed, Smith asserted that the dossier provided critical context for the American public to understand the actions of the various political players in the metastasizing investigation of Trump and his campaign’s ties to Russia. Smith also dismissed media “traditionalists” who accused him of publishing “fake news.”

“We never bought the notion, made by the traditionalists, that a main threat to journalism is that journalists might be too transparent with their audience. Keeping the reporting process wrapped in mystery only helps those who oppose the free press,” said Smith.

Controversy, however, continues to simmer, most recently Trump lawyer and confidante Michael Cohen filed suit against the website for defamation over the issue.

The dossier was prepared by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele for the strategic intelligence firm Fusion GPS. Its most explosive claims — that the Russian government has a trove of compromising material on Trump, including video a pee filled dalliance with several Russia prostitutes in 2013 — remain unverified.

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Hulu Launches Live TV Streaming Service With Scripps Networks Channels

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins announced at the streaming service’s Upfronts presentation on Wednesday that the company’s live TV streaming service has officially launched in beta.

The company also announced that Scripps Networks Interactive channels, including HGTV, Travel Channel and Food Network have been added to both the live service and the Hulu’s previous SVOD offering.

The launch follows news on Monday that Hulu had reached a new distribution agreement to bring NBC and Telemundo-owned stations to the service. Hulu also has deals with A+E Networks, 21st Century Fox, The Walt Disney Company, Turner Networks and CBS Corporation.

Also Read: Hulu Adds NBCUniversal to its Upcoming Live Streaming TV Service

The new live TV service will cost $39.99 per month, with additional costs for commercial-free on-demand, cloud DVR and multiple-screen streaming.

“Nearly a decade ago, Hulu forever redefined the way people watch TV. Today, as we add live sports, news and entertainment and introduce a more intuitive Hulu, we want to redefine the way people experience TV,” Hopkins said in a statement. “By bringing together thousands of live, on-demand and library shows and movies — and serving them up in a uniquely personalized way — Hulu can now be a viewer’s primary source of television. It’s a natural extension of our business, and an exciting new chapter for Hulu.”

“We have always believed that TV should fit your lifestyle, not the other way around,” Ben Smith, Hulu’s SVP and Head of Experience, continued. “You shouldn’t have to think about whether something is live, recorded or on demand, or care about which device you’re using. TV is about connecting with the shows, movies and sports you love — and we want to make that really easy for you, no matter where you’re watching.”

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Immigrant Journalist Clashes With Tucker Carlson: ‘You Don’t Operate in Facts’ (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson and refugee advocate Jose Antonio Vargas got into a heated argument on Tuesday night when the Fox News host started off the interview by asking, “What would happen if I showed up in the Philippines, as a non-citizen, there illegally and started saying, ‘Hey Philippines, I hate your immigration policy?”

Vargas, a journalist who once wrote a New York Times column detailing his life as an undocumented immigrant, responded that he was only 12 years old when he came to America, so he wouldn’t have asked those kind of questions.

Vargas attempted to explain the relationship between America and the Philippines when Carlson asked him to answer his initial question. Vargas fired back, “Tucker, do you think I came to this country so you could beat me up and call me illegal and criminal on national television?”

Also Read: Tucker Carlson Confronts BuzzFeed Boss Ben Smith: ‘You Just Don’t Like Trump’ (Video)

Carlson chuckled and said, “I’m hardly beating you up,” as Vargas asked, “How do you legalize people you call illegal?”

Carlson told Vargas he was contradicting himself by saying the country has the right to protect it’s boarders while “simultaneously” arguing that illegal immigrants should not be referred to as illegal.

“Being here without documentation and authorization is a civil offense and not a criminal one,” Vargas said.

“OK, whatever, it’s still against the law,” Carlson responded. “What’s your point?”

Also Read: Tucker Carlson Discredits Fake Inauguration Protest Organizer on Live TV (Video)

Vargas went on to tell Carlson, “You don’t operate in facts,” and argued he’s simply a pundit, which is different from a journalist. He then started to explain that the history of America impacts how the country should treat immigrants.

“You claim to be a journalist,” Carlson said at one point. “Tell me why the United States, like many countries around the world, once had slavery, a grave sin, it doesn’t have a right to control who comes across it’s boarders?”

The two went on to fight about it for a few more minutes, with Vargas telling Carlson he doesn’t deal with context.

Watch the video above.

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BuzzFeed Editor Says CNN’s Russian Dossier Report Led to Release of Documents

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith took to the New York Times op-ed page to explain why his site published the infamous golden shower dossier featuring unverified allegations between Donald Trump and Russia.

Smith claimed BuzzFeed “spent weeks with reporters in the United States and Europe trying to confirm or disprove specific claims.”

He explained that elected officials and media members were familiar with the dossier, so it wasn’t fair that the American public was being left in the dark.

Also Read: Donald Trump on ‘Golden Showers’ Claim: Nope, I’m a Germaphobe

However, wanting to include the public isn’t the only reason Smith cites for publishing the dossier. He also throws some blame toward CNN.

“We at BuzzFeed News had, of course, considered that someone else would post the dossier, and planned in that case to follow by adding what we knew on it. We hadn’t anticipated what actually happened: a bombshell report that described the document, while the document itself remained secret,” Smith wrote. “That halfway position ran contrary to how we think of our compact with our audience: You trust us to give you the full story; we trust you to reckon with a messy, sometimes uncertain reality. And with other news organizations already trumpeting the dossier’s central allegation — that the Trump campaign maintained secret ties to the Russian leadership — our decision to publish it in full rapidly advanced the story.”

Smith then said that fake news is simply, “a term now used by partisans and cynics to discredit reporting they don’t like.”

Also Read: Here’s Why BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith Published the ‘Golden Showers’ Dossier

He continued: “But the dossier is a real document that has been influencing senior officials, lawmakers, intelligence agencies and, potentially, the new commander in chief.”

Smith took a shot at the Trump administration, saying, “The need to show our work and earn trust has never been more important, since once reliable official sources are peddling ‘alternative facts’ — as the White House press secretary did Saturday.”

The op-ed concluded: “The instinct to suppress news of this significance is precisely the wrong one for journalism in 2017.”

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BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith, CNN’s Brian Stelter Face Off Over Published Trump Memo (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

CNN’s Brian Stelter and BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith sat down to discuss the latter publication’s decision to publish the dossier that contains unverified allegations against Donald Trump.

“CNN did not print or quote from it, but BuzzFeed did even though the memo is full of unverified allegations, some of them known to be false,” Stelter said on his show ‘Reliable Sources” on Sunday. “Was this a violation of journalistic ethics?”

He then asked Smith whether he felt any regrets publishing the memo that had allegedly been making the rounds for months.

Also Read: Here’s Why BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith Published the ‘Golden Showers’ Dossier

“Absolutely not, we proudly published it,” said Smith. “Three days later, it seems clear that it was the right thing to do … In three months, it will look even clearer.”

When Stelter said that outlets like CNN, the New York Times and the Washington Post refused to publish the contents of the memo, Smith said that BuzzFeed also ran into a “cross in the reporting” but decided to publish the dossier, as opposed to outlets like CNN who reported on the dossier without sharing what exactly the allegations were. He added that he understands both sides of the argument but doesn’t get the “middle position.”

“The middle position is journalism!” Stelter argued.

Also Read: Donald Trump Responds to ‘Golden Showers’ Claim: ‘Total Political Witch Hunt’

Stelter went on to say that he is “trying to figure out if you all are Washington Post or WikiLeaks — it seems to me you are trying to be both.” He also said that there should have been more reporting around the allegations so the audience could better understand the meaning of the document, while Smith argued that he just wanted to “treat our audience with respect.”

CNN posted a story early Friday evening on the East Coast citing documents that included allegations that Russian operatives have compromising personal information on the president-elect, but declined to publish the raw files. BuzzFeed had no such compunction, publishing the full, unverified document from a person purporting to be a former British intelligence agent.

Stelter made sure to voice his opinions about BuzzFeed’s decision, alleging that BuzzFeed rushed out the documents shortly after CNN’s report.

Trump has since derided the memo as “fake news” and a political hit job, and belittled BuzzFeed for publishing it.

Watch the 13-minute debate above.

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Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith stood by his decision to release the Russian dossier of allegations against President-elect Donald Trump, despite Chuck Todd calling it fake news to his face.

“I know this was not your intent.  I’ve known you a long time.  But you just published fake news,” Todd told Smith on on MSNBC’s “MTP Daily.” Todd’s position is in line with Trump, who also called the Russian dossier “fake news” and called BuzzFeed a “failing pile of trash” during his first press conference as president-elect.

Smith disagreed, saying he thought his digital news outlet’s decision was “absolutely the right thing to do.”

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“I think people love to throw the term fake news around to…diminish anything they don’t like.  But I think this was a real story about a real document that was really being passed around between the very top officials of this country,” Smith said.

He continued: “I think in the long-term, we all have to reckon with the reality that we’ve got to engage information that is out there, true and false, do our best to verify it and be as transparent as we can with our readers about what we know, what we don’t know and what we doubt.  It’s an incredibly uncomfortable thing, I think, for everybody.”

Smith said that BuzzFeed’s impulse is to “show the audience the underlying document and let them make their own decisions.”

Meanwhile, BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti sent an email to staff doubling down on the site’s controversial decision. TheWrap has obtained the email:

Also Read: Trump Calls BuzzFeed Report a ‘Tremendous Blot’

Hi BuzzFeeders,

I wanted to make sure you all saw Ben’s email about BuzzFeed News’ decision to publish the dossier alleging Trump’s ties to Russia. We stand with Ben on his decision to publish this newsworthy document, which was reported on by multiple news outlets and seen by high level government officials including the president and president-elect.

As a result of this decision, we were criticized by the incoming administration. We are not going to respond to these divisive comments, which put us in great company by the way — The New York Times, CNN, and The Washington Post have all been attacked. So has Meryl Streep and the cast of Hamilton, but we’d never compare ourselves to people that talented. ;

We are going to keep doing what we do best, which is deliver impactful journalism.

Thank you for your ongoing hard work. 

Watch the first portion of the interview above, and another video below.

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Here’s Why BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith Published the ‘Golden Showers’ Dossier

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

BuzzFeed sent the internet into a frenzy when it published a collection of memos accusing President-elect Donald Trump of improper contact with Russian officials — and alleging the former reality TV star arranged “golden showers” with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room.

CNN posted a story early Friday evening on the East Coast citing documents that included allegations that Russian operatives have compromising personal information on the president-elect, but declined to publish the raw files. BuzzFeed had no such compunction, publishing the full, unverified document from a person purporting to be a former British intelligence agent.

In a tweet, Trump declared, “FAKE NEWS – A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT.” He didn’t say what story he was referring to, but the timing left no doubt.

Also Read: Here’s Why ‘Golden Showers’ Is Trending (Yes, It Involves Trump)

BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith used Twitter to post an internal email that explained his logic for posting the documents, which had been known to several journalists and politicians for some time. Smith wrote that BuzzFeed’s “presumption is to be transparent in our journalism and to share what we have with our readers,” saying the site has “always erred on the side of publishing.”

Smith said the file “was in wide circulation at the highest levels of American government and media,” and that it seemed to be the underpinning of allegations from outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid that the FBI was sitting on “explosive information” about the ties between Trump and Russia.

Here’s Smith’s email in full, from his Twitter feed:

Here’s the note I sent to @buzzfeednews staff this evening pic.twitter.com/OcAloWzVzb

Ben Smith (@BuzzFeedBen) January 11, 2017

Politico reporter Ken Vogel tweeted that he had been investigating the “golden shower” claim himself, but the political news site couldn’t corroborate it, which is why it refrained from publishing.

To be clear: we couldn’t corroborate the story, which is why we didn’t publish anything. Not because this particular part seemed doubts. https://t.co/sEpgY2deXb

— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) January 10, 2017

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BuzzFeed Sponsored Content Chief Leaves Company

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

BuzzFeed Chief Marketing and Chief Creative Officer Frank Cooper is leaving the company, TheWrap has learned.

Cooper is departing less than two years after taking over Buzzfeed’s creative services team. He was previously at PepsiCo Inc. and AOL, and worked closely with marketing executives and ad agencies to create sponsored content.

BuzzFeed did not provide additional comment.

Also Read: BuzzFeed Gets Another $200M From NBCUniversal

Last week, NBCUniversal made a $200 million investment in BuzzFeed. Recode reported the investment last month, saying it valued the digital publisher at $1.7 billion. NBCUniversal infused $200 million into BuzzFeed last year, valuing the company at $1.5 billion — indicating roughly the same valuation after factoring the new money.

Cooper reported to ad Sales boss Greg Coleman, according to the WSJ.

BuzzFeed reorganized itself into two separate departments earlier this year: an editorial side, led by BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith, and an entertainment division, overseen by Ze Frank, the president of BuzzFeed Motion Pictures.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the news of Cooper’s departure.
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BuzzFeed Gets Another $200M From NBCUniversal

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NBCUniversal has made an additional $200 million investment in BuzzFeed, the two companies confirmed in a Monday statement.

Recode reported the investment last month, saying it valued the digital publisher at $1.7 billion. NBCUniversal infused $200 million into BuzzFeed last year, valuing the company at $1.5 billion — indicating roughly the same valuation after factoring the new money.

BuzzFeed reorganized itself into two separate departments earlier this year: an editorial side, led by BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith, and an entertainment division, overseen by Ze Frank, the president of BuzzFeed Motion Pictures.

Also Read: NBCUniversal Gives BuzzFeed Another $200 Million (Report)

“Over the past year, BuzzFeed has proven to be a valuable partner across our business,” Maggie Suniewick, President of NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises, said in the statement. “From the Olympics to the record-breaking launch of ‘Secret Life of Pets,’ BuzzFeed has helped us engage millennial audiences with our content and extend the reach of our clients’ campaigns to new platforms. We are looking forward to using the power of our brands to collaborate in more innovative ways that drive value for both companies.”

“NBCUniversal has been a tremendous partner this past year and we can’t wait to do more with them,” BuzzFeed Founder and CEO Jonah Peretti said in the statement. “Our collaboration has allowed us to focus on our respective strengths, learn from each other, and serve our combined audience better with compelling news, entertainment, and advertising offerings that neither company could do on our own. The investment allows us to remain a fully independent company but have access to and resources from the strongest and best media company there is.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

NBCUniversal Gives BuzzFeed Another $200 Million (Report)

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BuzzFeed to Reorganize With Separate News, Entertainment Divisions