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From Everything.Sucks

Benjamin Eli Smith (born November 4, 1976) is an American journalist who has worked as a media columnist for The New York Times since January 2020. From 2011 to 2020, he was the editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed News.

An article of nymag wrote this about Ben Smith: Puckish chaos agent” is how Charlie Warzel describes his former BuzzFeed News boss and current New York Times colleague Ben Smith. “He loves to make chaos,” says Katie Notopoulos, a BuzzFeed reporter. Smith has a “constant desire to stir shit,” another onetime colleague says, while ex-BuzzFeed editor Saeed Jones puts it this way: “Ben is a messy bitch who lives for the drama.” Smith, the New York Times’ new media columnist — and BuzzFeed’s old editor-in-chief — has indeed spent the past six months stirring up an amount of shit, drama, and chaos that is notable even for these shitty, dramatic, and chaotic times. Consider: There was the column in which he slammed the work of Ronan Farrow, The New Yorker’s star reporter, as revealing “the weakness of a kind of resistance journalism,” and another that somewhat trollishly described the lifestyles of the rich and not-that-famous media executives living in country homes in the midst of the pandemic. He helped break the story of Hearst’s troubled culture, leading to an executive’s resignation, and dropped the bomb that Brett Kavanaugh, long before he was on the Supreme Court, was one of Washington Post icon Bob Woodward’s confidential sources — and that scoop wasn’t even the point of that particular column.

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