Arianna remains so envious and angry, she has written ANOTHER article attacking the Balloon Boy coverage for stealing attention from her attention-getting fabricated story.
What is disgusting about this new article is her using the issue of needy children to hide her spite behind.
This article launches a new category here at PlanetPOV for articles, alerts and updates about The Huffington Post. And that’s not meant to be a compliment.
Many here have been and may continue to be members of that site (we remain eternal optimists and don’t like to give up on the potential for change). Some of us go back a ways to when the site reflected a sincere dedication to progressive views, principles and membership.
In the months leading up to the election of Pres. Obama, as a hedge fund became a major investor in Huffington Post, there was a deceptive shift behind the scenes, away from all of the above. The effort began then and continues today to propagate the principled image of the past while instead becoming a more corrupt and greedy investment vehicle.
Why does this matter? Why does the state of the Huffington Post matter as opposed to Health Care Reform, Global Warming and nuclear proliferation?
I’m glad you asked.
First, the whole point of being a principled progressive…is being a principled progressive. If principles are conditional, only applied to those who we typically oppose, then it is not a principle at all, it is just an excuse to condemn a selectively chosen group. It is hypocrisy. Many progressives, myself included, spent 8 horrible years under the yoke of aggression and greed cloaked in hypocrisy and will not abide it no matter who employs it…out of principle.
If we refuse to call out those claiming to be on our side on their hypocrisies and dishonesty, we aide them and their pursuit of agendas intended ultimately to enrich themselves…at the expense of even their most loyal and faithful followers.
It matters in this case because this is the same rot-from-the-inside that deteriorated the Democratic Party repeatedly in the past. Those claiming to be loyal Dems, such as those in the DLC, while presenting an image of classic Democratic values, were really about accommodating the status quo and corporate and financial entities with which they were and are deeply entrenched. And what happened was that those progressives who bought into it, were manipulated and misled into supporting and empowering them.
In return for this, these Dem politicians turned their backs on the people who elected them and became the best friends of corporate America. They became so corrupt and ineffective that their constituency was discouraged and stepped back from aggressively supporting them. It got so bad that in the 2000 election, a frequent observation by Dems and Indie voters was, “What’s the difference of voting for Gore or Bush, there’s no big differences between the Republican and Democratic Parties anymore.”
And with the Democratic base being discouraged and not turning out in great numbers to vote for Gore, look at what happened to our nation over the following 8 years.
The problem with The Huffington Post is that they have become the preeminent media entity for representing and attracting progressives. Editors and contributors to The Huffington Post appear on a near daily basis on the cable news shows, in editorials on many sites and in newspapers. They have a multimillion dollar “investigative fund” while most other papers and news outlets have slashed and discouraged investigative reporting. And they have not hesitated to use that fund to go after stories that are most in tune with their corporate and profit-generating agenda.
The Huffington Post is a major force in the news industry and is gaining in power and exposure. That is why this matters. Because, if the majority of progressives view the site and its representatives as speaking for progressives, progressives will continue to get behind them and let them lead.
And the problem with that is that if they are indeed a wolf in sheep’s clothing, if their overriding goal is simply to generate profits, power and celebrity as opposed to pursuing progressive causes, the progressive movement will be led astray, disillusioned and detoured from their goals. And the Dems will again find themselves in disarray, out of power and on the receiving end of further destructive right wing policies.
How many people, while reading Huffington Post’s unrelenting attacks on Pres. Obama’s handling of the financial crisis and Tim Geithner, know that Huffington Post is financed by an agenda driven hedge fund with investments in the health care and insurance industry?
The Huffington Post is not only hiding the agenda of its owners but has a business philosophy of exploiting progressives. Progressives are just oranges to be squeezed for clicks and visits to the site. So, they publish intentionally provocative articles to whip up progressive anger and huge font, screaming red headlines that are misleading and dishonest. They encourage and protect abusive right wingers (trolls) on the commenting blogs to stir up emotions and conflict that will keep progressives on the site for hours and hours in one futile battle after another. Which of course means higher numbers of visits and length of stays that allows them to charge more for advertising.
And what are some of the ads appearing today and this week on Huffington Post? There is a big banner ad from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce promoting its new “Free Enterprise” propaganda campaign that is intent on killing health care reform and removing EVEN MORE government oversight on business.
Today, appearing on the page of the lead story is an ad for the Insurance Companies’ astroturf campaign to kill health care reform saying, “Stop Government-run Health Care! Sign the Petition. Hands Off My Health Care! Paid for by Patients First, a project of Americans For Prosperity.”
How progressive is Americans For Prosperity, who are they and what do they stand for? With your patience, here is an excerpt from an article at ThinkProgress.com:
In May, the Wonk Room first reported on the sordid history of Republican operative Tim Phillips — who now heads the front group Americans for Prosperity (AFP) — with respect to his long history of orchestrating “grassroots” lobbying efforts for nefarious corporate and political clients. For example, Phillips helped run a “religious and pro-family” campaign for Enron’s largely successful attempt to achieve energy deregulation policies, and in another campaign used anti-Semitic attacks against Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) during Cantor’s first run for Congress.
Last night, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow called Phillips out for using deceptive tactics and fear in his campaigns, noting in particular his role in creating the ads which portrayed former Sen. Max Cleland (D-GA) — a triple amputee and Vietnam war veteran — as a terrorist sympathizer. Phillips stood by every single example of his work for his Republican and corporate clients, adding that he indeed does believe Cleland didn’t have the “courage to lead on the war on terror.”
Maddow extracted confessions from Phillips that he had in fact worked for a Jack Abramoff client to pressure members of Congress to vote against legislation that would have made the U.S. commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands — where Chinese workers were forced into prostitution and mandatory abortions — subject to federal wage and worker safety laws. Even given the deplorable conditions at the sweatshops, Phillips was unrepentant. “I don’t have an issue with it,” said Phillips, adding, “I’m not going to disown it.”
Huffington Post is happily taking money from and promoting Americans for Prosperity and Tim Phillips, two of the biggest enemies of progressives and democracy out there. How much could a site truly believe in progressives and liberals and run and promote such an ad? Do you think RedState.com or Drudge Report would run a “Vote Obama” or pro Public Option ad?
Add to that, this so-called progressive site uses the most heavy-handed and arbitrary censorship of any “progressive” blogging site. They have a blacklist that has at one time or another forced all posts containing any words on the blacklist to be censored. And what are just a few of the hundreds or thousands of words they have and still do blacklist?
“Dick Cheney”. “Ted Kennedy”. Even The number “11” (as in 9/11 but used in any way).
And to this day, the name of the site, “Huffington Post” is blacklisted. You can’t mention the site by name without your comment being held. You can’t even include links to any other stories or any part of the site at all without your comment being blocked. And you certainly can’t type “Arianna” or “Huffington” without your comment being detoured. Of course, no tough criticism is allowed of Arianna Huffington, her articles, the site or its editorial or moderation policies.
This is what a progressive blog is supposed to be?
Of course not.
At this point, let me be clear that there are many genuine progressives writing articles and comments at Huffington Post. This is not meant to be a generalized slap at everyone participating at Huffington Post (or I would be among that group too!), it is narrowly aimed at the ownership and management of the site.
As has been addressed here recently and previously, when it comes to Arianna Huffington, The Empress has no clothes. Arianna, who overnight went from rabid right winger to rabid liberal does by her very action reveal that she is primarily an opportunist, not an ideologue (could you flip overnight from hard core Dem to hard core Republican or vice versa…if you genuinely believe in your current philosophy?)
Arianna Huffington tries to play the exploitation game by making wild and outrageous statements (her most recent was that Biden should resign in protest if Pres Obama doesn’t follow his orders on Afghanistan) that are so transparently intended just to get her on more news talk shows to further her hunger for celebrity, power and wealth.
The amusing thing this time was that the Balloon Boy story out-exploited her exploitative attempts to get on the news and after the spotlight was pulled from her, she wrote a furious article at HuffPo about how news shows are so shallow because they cater to meaningless exploitative stories and people. Heh! Talk about a Glenn-Beckian degree of obliviousness!
So, stay tuned for ongoing coverage and analysis of the Trojan Horse wheeled into the middle of the Progressive Movement that is called The Huffington Post.
Consider it looking a gift horse in the mouth.