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BuzzFeed turned away a $1.3 million advertising package over Donald Trump should it have?
In a statement, BuzzFeed said it refused $1.3 million in ad revenue because it could not be seen as supporting presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump in any way. - photo by Chandra Johnson
Pop culture and news site BuzzFeed confirmed it turned down advertising revenue reportedly worth $1.3 million because the site's management objects to presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump's rhetoric.

"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," BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti said in a company email leaked to Politico.

The Republican National Committee, meanwhile, told CNN it hadn't planned on using BuzzFeed as an ad platform to begin with.

BuzzFeed isn't the only media outlet to take a strong stance against Trump outside the opinion pages. Last summer, The Huffington Post declared it would put any coverage of Trump in its entertainment section rather than with other political coverage, a promise they doubled down on this summer by adding disclaimers to each story mentioning Trump, calling him a racist "buffoon."

BuzzFeed's actions, while individual publishers can reserve the right to refuse advertising space to anyone, Poynter Institute ethics expert Kelly McBride wrote that BuzzFeed's situation is different.

"BuzzFeed cited its own staff as the most important stakeholder in this decision, not the audience it is trying to serve," McBride wrote. "On top of that, BuzzFeed is rejecting all the RNC advertising that promotes Trump as the presidential candidate, not just the ads that espouse the principles that are morally offensive."

McBride's point sort of echoes the RNC's response to BuzzFeed's move, which insinuated that the site is hypocritical in objecting to any pro-Trump ads when "they have not ruled out taking money from a candidate currently under investigation by the FBI," meaning democratic challenger Hillary Clinton.

McBride didn't go so far as to call BuzzFeed's decision biased, but as far as whether it was a good business decision, McBride didn't hesitate.

"Not at all," she wrote, citing recent reports, which BuzzFeed denies, that the site failed to hit revenue projections earlier this year. "That makes this either noble or foolhardy, depending on whos judging."