BuzzFeed, ‘The Next Big Thing’ in journalism has a very clear business model: Do anything to get clicks, regardless of how fucking stupid it is.
This isn’t to say that the viral site is without merit – BuzzFeed is certainly very clickable and quite fun to read (the french bulldog/baby pictures really were hard not to smile at). But it’s foray into journalism is misguided at best, and at worst, downright dangerous. Take this epically irresponsible piece titled “Boston Bomber’s” Former Friends Suspect Him In Triple Murder“.
The staff at BuzzFeed interviewed three of Tamerlan Tsernaev’s friends who now suspect the killed suspect may have been involved in a triple homicide involving a close friend in 2011, because he “didn’t show up” at the funeral. If you’re looking for some serious evidence or argument that Tsernaev had something to do with the horrific murders that saw three men have their throats slit, think again. The thousand word piece speculates that because Tsernaev didn’t appear at the funeral, may or may not have been with one of the people killed the night before the incident, went to Russia a few months after the murder and apparently slept a lot, he might have had something to do with the killings.
Apparently this constitutes journalism – interviewing anonymous people who claimed to know Tsernaev, pondering whether his behavior was suspicious at the time, and quoting tweets from other supposed accomplices like this:
Tsernaev may well have committed the triple homicide. He might have committed all 51 murders in Boston last year. While we’re speculating, lets throw in 9/11 given we don’t know his exact whereabouts or what he was doing at the time. After all, as his buddy told BuzzFeed, Tsernaev “kind of had an accent,” and “was sociable but kind of distant.”
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.