Thursday, November 20, 2014

Buzzfeed corruption exposed

Buzzfeed has gotten enormous publicity for its allegations against Uber, including two NY Times articles, claiming that Uber going to expose a SJW (social justice warrior) journalist. Now it turns out that Buzzfeed's own coverage is corrupt, as it is publishing these articles in order to profit in its investment in an Uber competitor.

The Buzzfeed articles do not includes quotes of the controversial Uber executive remarks, or an explanation of the SJW journalist issue, or a disclosure of its conflict of interest. And yet it got its story out to the mainstream news sites.

I do not have any opinion about Uber. I am just noting how some slimy hired guns like Buzzfeed can manipulate the mainstream press to advantage their financial interests. You cannot trust stories like this.

The Dilbert cartoonist points out:
Michael didn't "suggest" doing anything. Nor did he - then or now - even want to dig up dirt on journalists. Assuming Buzzfeed's reporting of the details is accurate, all he did was make a dinner party intellectual comparison between the evil of the media that was unfairly attacking them (which I assume is true) and their own civilized response to the attacks.

Michael's point, as Buzzfeed reports it, was that horrible people in the media mislead readers and there is nothing a victim can do about it within the realm of reasonable business practices. The Buzzfeed business model is totally legal. But, as Michael explained, probably over a cocktail, the only legal solution to this problem would be to use freedom of the press to push back on the bad actors by giving them a taste of their own medicine.

But it was just private cocktail talk. It wasn't a plan. It definitely wasn't a "suggestion." It was just an interesting way to make a point. The point, as I understand it from Buzzfeed's own reporting, is that Uber DOES play fair in a fight in which the opponents (bad actors in the press) do not. I find that interesting. It is also literally the opposite of what the headline of the story "suggests" happened.

And Michael made his point in a room full of writers/media people. Obviously it wasn't a plan.

It's not as if Michael was talking about manipulating the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times. Those publications might get some facts wrong now and then, but they don't have a business model that involves intentionally taking things out of context to manufacture news.
Buzzfeed does have a business model of manipulating the mainstream papers, I guess, and the papers fall for it.

Another obnoxious thing is that Buzzfeed implies that Sarah Lacy (editor of PandoDaily) is some sort of criminal or guilty of something seriously embarrassing. Buzzfeed does not say, and I do not know. I can only assume that Buzzfeed is blackmailing her, and is threatening to expose her if she does not play their game.

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