Looks like journalism will continue to thrive, whether Donald Trump wants it to or not.
During his news conference on Wednesday, the president-elect called online news outlet BuzzFeed a “failing pile of garbage.” The not-so-nicety stemmed from the site’s publication of an unverified dossier that alleges Russia has compromising information on Trump.
BuzzFeed, in response, launched a limited-time collection in its merchandise shop called “Our Failing Pile Of Garbage” that afternoon. A day later, all the merchandise ― including a T-shirt, bumper stickers, and an actual garbage can ― is sold out.
BuzzFeed promised to donate all “garbage” sales proceeds to the Committee to Protect Journalists, a nonprofit that promotes press freedom and defends the “right of journalists to report the news without fear of reprisal.” (Meryl Streep mentioned the committee in her Golden Globes speech on Sunday.)
A BuzzFeed spokesperson told AdWeek the garbage sales had raised $25,000 for the Committee to Protect Journalists.
“We appreciate BuzzFeed’s continued generosity and support in our mission, which is to promote press freedom worldwide by defending the rights of all journalists to work without fear of reprisal,” the committee told AdWeek.
BuzzFeed joins a growing list of journalists and media personalities who have capitalized on Trump’s vitriol.
HBO comedian John Oliver of “Last Week Tonight” created hats emblazoned with the slogan “Make Donald Drumpf Again” in February. Vanity Fair saw a surge in subscriptions last month after Trump angrily attacked the publication and its editor on Twitter.
The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and other print publications and news sites have reported surges in subscriptions since the election.
As we wait to see who Trump will insult next, a crucial lesson of the 2016 election is coming into focus: How to make lemons into lemonade.
CORRECTION: An earlier version named the wrong network for John Oliver’s show “Last Week Tonight.”