Harrington: BuzzFeed Story Shows ‘Journalistic Standards and Ethics Were Thrown Out’ Upon Election of Trump

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Washington Free Beacon senior writer Elizabeth Harrington said Monday BuzzFeed News' story accusing the president of suborning perjury is a disgrace to journalism.

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s office released a statement disputing the report that President Donald Trump told his longtime lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress. The media widely reported BuzzFeed’s "bombshell" Friday before Mueller disputed it, and media figures expressed frustration that the story hadn’t been a successful blow against Trump.

On Fox News’ "America’s Newsroom," Harrington agreed with Trump’s contention that BuzzFeed’s story and the media reaction were disgraceful.

"It is a disgrace, and the fact is that journalistic standards and ethics were thrown out on November 9, 2016," she said. "They run with anything. The new standard is ‘get Trump.'"

She drew attention to the way media organizations speculated without confirming BuzzFeed’s reporting.

"It was not just BuzzFeed—which has done this before, no matter how flimsy it is," she said. "Every other media outlet ran with the story and said, ‘Let's speculate. Let’s call for the president's impeachment over something that turns out to not be true.’"

She said a conservative outlet would be chastised for such shoddy reporting.

"Imagine if a conservative outlet did this and ran with a story this flimsy and the Special Counsel’s Office came out and said ‘Actually this is not accurate.’ Would they be allowed to go on CNN and be asked ‘How does it make you feel?’ They wouldn’t; they would be condemned and they would be done," she said.

BuzzFeed has stood by its reporting, which relied on "two sources" involved in the investigation, despite Mueller's office shooting it down. The special counsel's statement said "BuzzFeed's description of specific statements to the Special Counsel's Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen's Congressional testimony are not accurate."

Some Democrats have said the report matters even after Mueller's action.

"The report is highly concerning," Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) said Sunday. "It just shows more evidence that perhaps this president did obstruct justice."

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