BuzzFeed Busted for Hoax Trump Story

Yesterday, BuzzFeed reported that a freelance correspondent for the Spanish-language channel TV Azteca was booted from the Trump Tower in New York after he was overheard speaking Spanish on his phone. However, a modicum of fact checking by CNN proved the story false.

BuzzFeed was told by a “source with knowledge of the incident” that TV Azteca correspondent Marcos Stupenengo, an Argentinian working for the Mexican outlet, was initially granted an interview with Donald Trump, before being told that the campaign “wasn’t interested” in coverage from Spanish-language media once he arrived on site.

It now appears that it didn’t quite happen that way. BuzzFeed’s story makes it appear that Stupenengo had his interview offer rescinded after he began speaking Spanish on his phone. In reality, no such offer had been advanced in the first place, and the correspondent was still seeking approval for an interview when he arrived.

This was later confirmed by Stupenengo’s editor-in-chief, who told CNN senior reporter Dylan Byers that no interview had been scheduled. This confirms claims made by the Trump campaign to BuzzFeed, in which they denied ever granting the TV Azteca correspondent an interview.

Stupenengo later confirmed himself that he did not have an interview cancelled.

The reporter had initially told BuzzFeed that “I can say that after 13 years of journalism worse things have happened to me.” BuzzFeed also claimed that Stupenengo was planning to air a segment in which he says he was “kicked out of Trump headquarters because he was speaking Spanish.”

In their story, BuzzFeed sought to link the Stupenengo incident with other run-ins between the Trump campaign and Spanish-language media, including the ejection of Univision’s Jorge Ramos from a press conference last summer, and Trump’s refusal to answer questions from a Telemundo reporter at a Mexico-Texas border event late last year.

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