Buzzfeed journalists free to call Donald Trump a 'mendacious racist' says editor-in-chief
Buzzfeed's editor-in-chief, Ben Smith, has told the site's journalists that they are permitted to call Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump a "racist" on social media as a matter of fact.
In a memo sent to his editorial team, Smith clarified that staff would not find themselves in trouble for calling the property tycoon "a liar or a racist".
“It is, for instance, entirely fair to call him a mendacious racist, as the politics team and others here have reported clearly and aggressively,” Smith said in the email.
“He’s out there saying things that are false and running an overtly anti-Muslim campaign. BuzzFeed News’s reporting is rooted in facts, not opinion; these are facts," he added.
He put this down to the fact Trump was "operating far outside the political campaigns to which [Buzzfeed's] guidelines usually apply."
Here's a memo I sent to @buzzfeed staff today on our social media policy, and Donald Trump pic.twitter.com/zCiDds3C29
— Ben Smith (@BuzzFeedBen) December 9, 2015
The memo follows Trump's suggestion that all Muslims should be banned from entering the US – something which has been condemned by Republicans, Democrats, the UN and others from across the political spectrum.
#TrumpIsDisqualifiedParty was trending on Twitter yesterday, after White House press secretary Josh Earnest said his comments meant he should be "disqualified" from the race.
The 'Apprentice' star's campaign has been full of controversy. Earlier this month he was criticised for seemingly moking a reporter's disability on stage, prior to which he referred to Fox News Megyn Kelly as a "bimbo".