Benjamin Eli Smith is an American political journalist and blogger. He is currently editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed.
Smith’s first professional reporting job was doing the crime beat for The Indianapolis Star. He then moved to Latvia to take a position at The Baltic Times, and also began reporting for Wall Street Journal Europe (through 2002). Smith has also written for the New York Sun (2002-2007), the New York Observer and wrote a political column for the New York Daily News. Between 2004 and 2006, Smith also started three of the leading New York City political blogs, the Politicker, the Daily Politics, and Room Eight.
Smith wrote for the news outlet Politico from 2007-2011, joining as that site expanded and became frequently cited during the 2008 presidential election, and becoming one of its most prominent writers and bloggers.
In December 2011, he was named editor-in-chief of Buzzfeed. Smith explained that, although he would be leaving his Politico blog, he would still write for the publication on a weekly basis.
Joining Politico from the New York Sun in 2007, Smith covered the Democratic presidential primary for POLITICO in 2008. He broke stories including Barack Obama’s relationship with former Weatherman Bill Ayers and provided early coverage of conspiracy theories about Barack Obama’s birth and religion. Smith reported erroneously during that 2008 campaign that John Edwards would be dropping out of the race before the press conference at which Edwards announced that his wife Elizabeth had cancer. Smith later posted an apology and retracted the story.
Smith was born and raised in New York City and currently lives in Brooklyn. He graduated summa cum laude from Yale University in 1999, and married writer Liena Zagare in 2002.