Paul Farhi writes: Journalism can make for strange bedfellows. Case in point: BuzzFeed and Mike Cernovich.
Cernovich — a controversial far-right figure who has promoted blatantly false conspiracy theories, such as the discredited “Pizzagate” hoax — was the source of a big BuzzFeed scoop Monday night. The popular news and features website reported that legendary liberal Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) made repeated sexual advances toward female staffers and secretly reached a financial settlement with one accuser. The story was based largely on documents and affidavits supplied by Cernovich to BuzzFeed’s reporters.
The BuzzFeed-Cernovich connection is odd, to say the least — something like Michael Moore dropping damning info about President Trump to Fox News. Even that doesn’t quite capture the jagged journalistic history of Cernovich, whom “60 Minutes” described earlier this year in a story about fake news as “a magnet for readers with a taste for stories with no basis in fact.”
The agreement between Cernovich and Buzzfeed appears to have come with a hidden facet: Cernovich acquired the congressional documents after offering to pay $10,000 for them. [Continue reading…]