Fake news can damage careers, hurt relationships, and tarnish reputations. It’s something many mainstream media outlets don’t care about in their bid to push ideological agendas from their platforms. This tactic came back to bite a certain outlet in the rear end, though. Buzzfeed.
Daily Caller is reporting that Ursula Ungaro, a U.S. District Court judge over southern Florida, denied Buzzfeed’s request recently to have their case moved to the southern district of New York. This stems from a lawsuit filed against Buzzfeed from a Russian tech entrepreneur named Aleksej Gubarev, who was formally named and outed as part of the “Russian Dossier” that Buzzfeed published back on January 10th, 2017.
Daily Caller notes that most reputable outlets avoided publishing the dossier despite having received it before November 8th. Their reluctance in publishing the information form other outlets should have been a sure sign to stay away, especially since other news outlets were afraid to go to publication since they couldn’t verify any of the claims within the dossier.
The dossier itself made some bold claims about President Donald Trump, his ties to Russian agencies, and Gubarev playing a role in it all.
Gubarev denies his involvement with what was claimed in the dossier, especially in regards to him being coerced by Russian spies to partake in the operations lest compromising information be released about his personal life.
The Russian tech mogul decided to sue Buzzfeed for defamation, putting other outlets on notice in case they want to continue to publish fake news.
Gubarev’s lawyer, Val Gurvits, confirmed to McClatchy DC that they will be deposing Buzzfeed’s editor-in-chief, Ben Smith.
They also want to verify what steps Buzzfeed took to verify their information before going to print.
Buzzfeed spokesman, Matt Mittenthal, commented to McClatchy DC that they aren’t worried about the lawsuit from Gubarev, saying…
“While we are disappointed with the judge’s ruling (Monday), we’re confident that Mr. Gubarev’s suit will eventually be dismissed wherever we are forced to fight it,”
Gawker had a similar air of hubris going into their battle against Hulk Hogan over publishing the sex tape. The company had been sued by Hulk Hogan, former professional wrestler, for their publishing small bits of his sex tape for public perusal. A year before the verdict was passed down they were touting victory from a mile away.
For instance, back on June 16th, 2015, then owner of Gawker, Nick Denton, exclaimed…
“There’s a one in ten chance of disaster,” […] “The way I look at it, it’s a five in ten chance that we come through this stronger, and four in ten it’s a wash. Only one in ten bad.”
Well, the one in that 10 turned out to be bad because that’s where the roulette wheel ended up.
The jury awarded Hogan $140 million when all was said and done, and Gawker had to sell off their assets to Univision.
Some people commenting across the articles are excited to see what will become of Buzzfeed if the lawsuit goes through, hoping that they get shutdown or bought out like Gawker. Others are saddened that this could potentially destroy the narrative that Russia had anything to do with the U.S., elections.