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BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A federal judge in Florida sided with BuzzFeed News on Wednesday in a defamation lawsuit over the site's publication of the infamous Steele dossier in January 2017.

Details: The plaintiff, Russian executive Aleksej Gubarev, sued BuzzFeed claiming that statements made about him in the dossier were false, and that no BuzzFeed reporter ever contacted him to "determine whether the allegations that they hacked the Democratic Party had merit." The judge concluded, however, that Gubarev couldn't prove BuzzFeed "made a defamatory statement."

BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith said in a statement that the judge "vindicated" the outlet's decision to publish the dossier: "[I]ts publication has contributed to the American people's understanding of what is happening in their country and their government. We are thrilled by today's outcome, and thank Judge [Ursula] Ungaro for taking the time to consider this case on the merits."

Go deeper

Reddit traders look to pummel Wall Street's old guard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Reddit traders are taking on Wall Street pros at their own game with this basic mantra: Stocks will always go up.

Why it matters: Their trades — egged on in Reddit threads — have played a role in historic market activity in recent days.

The week the Trump show ended

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Donald Trump was eclipsed in media attention last week by President Biden for the first time since Trump took office, according to viewership data on the internet, on social media and on cable news.

Why it matters: After Trump crowded out nearly every other news figure and topic for five years, momentum of the new administration took hold last week and the former president retreated, partly by choice and partly by being forced off the big platforms.

Pay TV's bleak post-pandemic outlook

Data: eMarketer; Chart: Axios Visuals

The pandemic has taken a huge toll on the Pay-TV industry, and with the near-term future of live sports in question, there are no signs of it getting better in 2021.

Why it matters: The fraught Pay-TV landscape is forcing some smaller, niche cable channels out of business altogether.