BuzzFeed News blamed conservatives on social media for stirring up controversy over a Minnesota bail fund’s use of donations to bail out protesters. But BuzzFeed News failed to criticize the bail fund’s lack of organization and diversity, which contributed to the ongoing controversy.
The website headlined the controversy, “The Minnesota Freedom Fund Raised Over $30 Million After George Floyd’s Death. Now It’s A Target,” and it alleged that conservatives were “Black Lives Matter opponents interested in making their work appear nefarious.” BuzzFeed News excused the bail fund’s actions because it claimed it had one paid staffer prior to the influx of donations and that appropriately spending millions of dollars takes time and planning.
Critics pointed to a tweet by the organization this week, which announced that it had spent $200,000 on bailing out protesters from jail. But the bail fund received about $35 million in donations the past several weeks, which meant that the fund spent 0.005% of its new donations on its mission to bail out protesters.
The website noted that the bail fund’s board was reorganized after backlash over its lack of diversity and that its sole paid employee may have lied about “her identity as an Indigenous woman.” But BuzzFeed News overlooked these details and declared the bail fund innocent of accusations from conservatives about the organization’s failure to use its donations property or in a timely manner. These revelations validated conservatives’ criticism that the bail fund is not handling donations appropriately.
Accuracy in Media covered the Minneapolis Freedom Fund and how it received a fundraising boost from Hollywood celebrities like Seth Rogen, Steve Carrell and Harry Styles to bail out rioters from jail.