BuzzFeed Scooped CNN Last Night

buzzfeed politics BuzzFeed Scooped CNN Last NightBuzzFeed had arguably one of its first big scoops last night since it hired Politico rockstar Ben Smith earlier this month, beating the major media outlets. “McCain To Endorse Romney Tomorrow,” is the headline on the un-bylined post, slipped to the blog by a “well-placed former McCain aide” early this morning. It must have tasted sweet to read the words, “News of the endorsement was first reported by BuzzFeed Politics,” on CNN’s version of the story, now the top result in Google News.

The story even earned the startup a congratulatory tweet from a CNN producer.

BuzzFeed seems to be taking the Huffington Post fast-track to success, but with a more irreverent attitude. In addition to Mr. Smith, the startup poached Rosie Gray from the Village Voice and Business Insider alum Zeke J. Miller along with mashup-maker Andrew Kaczynski, a 22-year-old who seemed destined for The Daily Show due to his compulsive CSPAN crawling.

The source had some political news readers scratching their heads. “But what, exactly, is Buzzfeed?” asked Gabriel Sherman in a story about the startup’s newsy ambitions over at New York. Indeed, what is a BuzzFeed? The site has historically dominated honey badger memes, ultimate maps, a meme search engine and stories like “What Happens When You Give Kids Thousands Of Stickers,” and worked on tools for publishers and advertisers to detect viral content while it’s still on the upswing. But now it looks like the site intends to compete with the big boys on 2012 campaign coverage.