Liberal website BuzzFeed rewrote an entire story without any editor’s note after falling for an anti-Trump hoaxer who claimed his Iraqi mother died in Iraq because of President Trump’s executive orders on immigration.
Iraqi-American Mike Adams told a local news outlet that his Iraqi mother living in America had flown to Iraq to visit relatives when she fell ill but was unable to return to the US despite holding a green card because of President Trump’s executive order temporarily suspending immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations. A local Fox network confirmed with Adams’ Muslim imam that his story was a lie — Adams’ mother had died before Trump’s executive order. The original story, however, quickly went viral and was spread far and wide by liberal journalists like those at BuzzFeed.
Rather than issue a mea culpa, however, BuzzFeed opted to rewrite the whole story without any editor’s note or correction, presenting the story as though they had gotten it right (instead of wrong) the entire time, in an extraordinary flouting of journalistic norms.
The original version of BuzzFeed’s story, which can still be found in cached form online, declined to challenge Adams’ account or express any skepticism, despite the recent rise of anti-Trump hoaxes. After Adams’ account was contradicted by his imam, BuzzFeed changed the entire story from within, not once admitting that they had passed along false information to their readers.
BuzzFeed’s original headline read, “This Man Says His Mom Died After Being Denied Entry Into The US Over Trump’s Travel Ban.” The headline now reads, “This Man Who Claimed His Mom Died After Being Denied Entry Into The US Over Trump’s Travel Ban Lied, Imam Says.”
The sub-headline now reads: “The imam from a mosque in Dearborn told Fox affiliate WJBK the man’s mother died Jan. 22, five days before President Trump signed an executive order putting the travel ban in place,” which is a stark departure from the original, which read: “‘She’s gone because of him,’ he said.”
By press time, no editor’s note had been added to the story.
Michelle Broder, the BuzzFeed reporter who wrote the original story, did not immediately reply to a request for comment regarding the ghost-editing of her story.
Update: After multiple inquiries by The Daily Caller, BuzzFeed added an editor’s note to the story