BuzzFeed craps itself after it gets scooped by Palmer Report on Alex Oronov’s death

Palmer Report has significant operating expenses, including website hosting, tech support, mailing list services, and much more. If you value Palmer Report’s content, donate here.

Over the weekend Palmer Report brought you the story of the death of Alex Oronov, a key player in the conspiracy to urge Donald Trump to oust the president of Ukraine. Our sourcing was solid, with the news having come directly from one of Oronov’s co-conspirators Andrey Artemenko. And we also hunted down Oronov’s additional connections to Trump. So naturally, corporate news outlets are lining up to praise us for it, right? Nope, they’re dishonestly attacking us for it, to try to cover for their own lateness to the story.

It took BuzzFeed until Monday afternoon to report on Alex Oronov’s death — even though the evidence had been publicly available since Saturday — a reminder that corporate news outlets don’t like to work on the weekend. And that’s their problem. But instead they tried to make it my problem. Oronov’s in-law Bryan Cohen is now claiming that Oronov died of natural causes. BuzzFeed has inexplicably decided that Bryan Cohen’s word should be automatically taken as fact, even though he’s offered no evidence, and he would have every motivation to downplay the Trump-Russia scandal because his brother Michael Cohen is directly implicated in it. BuzzFeed is also taking the position that Artemenko’s word should be automatically taken as false, even though there’s no that evidence Artemenko is incorrect.

Why? Because by belatedly propping up the unproven premise that Oronov died of natural causes, BuzzFeed gets to take the position that there was never any story about Oronov worth reporting to begin with. That way its ass is covered for having been days late to a vital Trump-Russia development. And it allows BuzzFeed to write off Palmer Report’s reporting on the subject as having merely been “wild rumors on the internet.” Because there are few things more important to a corporate news outlet than the opportunity to smear the reputation of a rising competitor it fears.

Nevermind that Palmer Report uncovered the fact that Alex Oronov lived in a Trump building at the time of his death, or that Oronov had bought real estate from members of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club just before his death.

And again, nevermind that Oronov’s close friend Andrey Aretmenko is asserting that Oronov is dead as a direct result of his involvement in the Ukraine blackmail plot. None of that matters to BuzzFeed today, who is merely looking to cover its ass over having been days late to a key story, after having gotten scooped by Palmer Report and other independent news outlets.

Unfortunately this kind of strategically dishonest backbiting tactic is far more common in political journalism than the public realizes. When independent news outlets break an important story, and the corporate news outlets are too late to the story to piggyback on it without raising questions about why they were so late, they often try the reverse tactic: they dishonestly attack the original reporting to make the story look like it wasn’t real to begin with, thus excusing their own lateness.

I’ve made a point of defending BuzzFeed when Donald Trump dishonestly attacked it to try to cover his own backside, because such dishonesty needs to be called out. But this time around it’s BuzzFeed who’s purposely misrepresenting a story to try to cover its own ass; BuzzFeed is dishonestly attacking Palmer Report using the exact same tactic by which Trump dishonestly attacked it. And in so doing, BuzzFeed is dishonestly trying to scuttle a major development in the Trump-Russia investigation, simply because it wasn’t the first (or the second or the third) to report it. Failing pile of garbage indeed.

Palmer Report has significant operating expenses, including website hosting, tech support, mailing list services, and much more. If you value Palmer Report’s content, donate here.