A bunch of mainstream outlets are saying they would not print the full dossier as it was all unsubstantiated; yet they know that it was an election in which absolute fake news and social media promotion of it played a really key role, and that American agencies were concerned enough to be seeking warrants about the dossier.
Putting out allegations, saying they don't know if they are true, and leaving it up to the people mentioned to rebut it, is not the normal way you would want media to operate; but the role of rumour and false claims against Clinton in the election campaign, combined with a candidate who just routinely lies through his teeth, really puts us in an exceptional position.
I'm with many of the commenters in the WAPO who think the media is being a little precious in their reaction. For example, in response to Erik Wemple's criticism of Buzzfeed:
Okay, Erik, let's talk about reporting of unsubstantiated claims.And CNN is absolutely correct that it was fair to report that Obama and Trump had been briefed on the allegations, without running the allegations themselves. It is exactly the same as reporting that the FBI was looking into the Clinton email matter again, days prior to the election. If that was fair, what CNN did was fair too.
Mr. Trump came to rely on the 24/7 unedited reporting of every muddy, salacious rumor about Secretary Clinton. "I'm hearing people say that..." "My sources are telling me that..." "There's a lot of talk about..."
Those unsubstantiated claims from Mr. Trump have been splashed all over the news media since he first hoisted the "Birthergate" standard.
For some reason, you appear to think we - the media's audience - could be trusted to draw our own conclusions when such unsubstantiated claims were lobbed, because, for some reason, if they were uttered by Mr. Trump, they were newsworthy.
You can't have it both ways. If we are able to draw our own conclusions about reports that Secretary Clinton was involved in a child sex ring run out of a pizza parlor, are we not also able to draw our own conclusions from reporting of material deemed sufficiently important by the US Intelligence community to merit briefings about their substance to the POTUS, PEOTUS and Gang of Eight?
My grandmother would have referred to your opinion piece by saying "He's buttering both sides of his bread."
The stupidity of Trump supporters prevents them seeing that.