10:07 GMT08 March 2021
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    Popular news and entertainment site Buzzfeed has pulled out of a $1.3 million advertising deal with the Republican National Committee over controversial statements made by its presumptive nominee, Donald Trump.

    The site accepts ads from Republican and Democratic candidates. Jonah Peretti, the CEO of Buzzfeed, released a memo stating that the billionaire’s anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and sexist remarks are insulting to Buzzfeed employees. 

    The memo reads in part: 

    "… Trump advocates banning Muslims from traveling to the United States, he's threatened to limit the free press, and made offensive statements toward women, immigrants, descendants of immigrants, and foreign nationals…The Trump campaign is directly opposed to the freedoms of our employees in the United States and around the world and in some cases, such as his proposed ban on international travel for Muslims, would make it impossible for our employees to do their jobs."

    Sean Spicer, RNC spokesman and strategist, responded, "Space was reserved on many platforms, but we never intended to use BuzzFeed…" then tacitly questioned the presence of Hillary Clinton ads on the site, "It is ironic that they have not ruled out taking money from a candidate currently under investigation by the FBI." 

    A combination photo shows Republican US presidential candidate Donald Trump (L) and Democratic US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (R)
    © REUTERS / Scott Audette (L), Javier Galeano (R)

    This isn’t the first dust-up between Buzzfeed and the Trump campaign. In March, Trump’s notorious campaign manager Corey Lewandowski publicly considered suing the site for publishing what he claimed was a "wholly inaccurate" article stating that he pushed former Breitbart News reporter Michelle Fields at a Florida news conference, The article further suggested that the campaign manager had a reputation for consistently making unwanted romantic advances toward women in the press corps. At a February press conference Trump responded to the allegations by saying that, as President, he would expand libel laws to silence negative coverage of him. 

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (L) and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump are seen in a combination of file photos
    © REUTERS / David Becker/Nancy Wiechec/Files

    Buzzfeed has adopted policies with regard to their politics in the past. After the July 2015 Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage, the site featured rainbow colors to express support for the LGBTQ community. Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith said at the time, "We firmly believe that for a number of issues, including civil rights, women’s rights, anti-racism, and LGBT equality, there are not two sides." In 2012 the site blacked out its logos and buttons in protest of the Stop Online Privacy Act. Smith said in a statement, "BuzzFeed isn’t in the advocacy business. Don’t expect us to weigh in on political or policy issues again any time soon. But like most news organizations, we have core values, which we think are obvious, and this seems as good a time as any to state them: We’re in favor of free people and free information, against private or state-sponsored discrimination or censorship." 


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    RNC, Election, Buzzfeed, Republican National Committee, Buzzfeed, Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump, US
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