There was increased and unflattering speculation about the motives and agendas of The Huffington Post and Arianna Huffington. Remarkably, Arianna Huffington has chosen to respond to these criticisms in a letter delivered this morning to PlanetPOV. It reads as follows:
To Whom it May Concern,
It has come to my attention that there are a few members at The Huffington Post and at your site who are under a number of misapprehensions about myself and The Huffington Post.
I am making this attempt to clear up these misunderstandings because I value the truth and our members matter to me. And just for the record, I kept a straight face as I typed that.
As I’m sure you’re aware, it is highly unusual for me to express my opinions without cameras pointed at me so I hope you’ll understand if I at any time appear a bit disoriented or speak to an imaginary host.
I would like to respond to some of the key allegations that have been made about me but before I do, I would like to once again remark on how I hate that Balloon Boy for stealing MY airtime. Bastard.
1. Huffington Post is owned by a hedge fund with investments in health care and insurance.
Absolutely false. Huffington Post is not owned by a hedge fund. There are at least two hedge funds that own it, smartypants!
2. Arianna Huffington flipped from being a right wing Republican to a left wing Democrat overnight solely because she is an opportunist.
I find that allegation very offensive. I am very committed to my principles and beliefs! Unless a promising opportunity comes along, of course. People who believe this accusation are cynics. I suppose if Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin or Ann Coulter came out tomorrow to say they were now liberal Democrats and for doing so they just happened to receive enormous publicity, popular news and opinion websites owned by and named after them, valuable book deals, enthusiastic praise and slavish devotion by progressives, frequent cable news and other tv interviews treating them as the voice of progressives and 1990’s hair styles , you’d be just as suspicious.
Let me be very clear about this, Larry, I am not doing this because I have a lust for celebrity, power and money. I am doing this for the children, after all, they’re our future. I have gone on many talk shows and written many columns at Huffington Post and written a number of books to make clear to people that I am not interested in being a celebrity nor am I seeking attention, money or power. And I think most of the millions of people who have seen me on tv or have read my books and articles or visited my website, bought my perfume, purchased an Arianna Huffington action figure (with kung fu grip) or will line up to see the movie based on my life story, know that I have no interest in being a celebrity.
3. Arianna Huffington and The Huffington Post purposely publish misleading headlines, anti-Obama articles and dishonest and sensationalistic stories in order to generate media attention and greater web traffic so higher rates can be charged to advertisers.
Where do you people come up with these things? When I write an article with a 50 point, screaming red headline demanding that Joe Biden should be the first Vice President in the history of the United States to resign in protest because his advice was not accepted by the President in one instance in Afghanistan, I’m not doing it to get attention. Jeez! And how would that result in my getting more media attention? As I told MSNBC’s The Ed Show, CNN, ABC News, Headline News, CSPAN, Lifetime, Oprah, The View, Rachel Ray, Logo, The Food Network, Animal Planet and Glendale High School reporters, I’m not interested in publicity, I’m speaking out selflessly on the fictional issues of the day because I care. About the children.
4. The Huffington Post doesn’t care about its members, it secretly supports the presence of offensive right wing racists, ideologues and fanatics as comment bloggers because the conflict they create keeps members on the site longer and clicking more which increases ad revenue.
Okay, let’s break this down. Do you really think the hedge funds that own The Huffington Post invested in it to make a profit? Do you really think they would have plowed money into the site if they weren’t solely motivated by Democratic and Progressive principles? Do you really think hedge funds put profits and return on investment above doing what’s right for this country? That they would have the audacity to view the faithful, principled members of a web site as nothing more as rubes to be manipulated to increase returns?
If so, I feel sorry for you. I mean, just think what would happen to this nation and its economic system if financial entities were actually that greedy and so focused on stuffing their pockets that they took no responsibility for the ramifications of their actions. You don’t understand how caring and principled hedge funds, banks and other financial institutions really are. Maybe your corporate parents just didn’t give you enough love when you were founded.
Secondly, why would we want people posting personal insults, racist attacks, demeaning Obama, promoting propaganda and lies and in the process, inspiring the kind of outrage that makes people spend many valuable hours out of their life defending the president, principles and truth which they value? It’s not like there’s any profit in that for us to have increased numbers of people on the site for more time. Except in advertising revenue but otherwise, why would we want that?
I hate trolls! Really I do! Ooh, they get me so mad! In fact, I’m going to go over to Huffington Post in a minute just to bash some! Hey, you should too!
5. Huffington Post claims to be a place for progressives and liberals but has policies of censorship and banning which are very oppressive and more fitting for a right wing site.
I have heard all the overheated complaints about how our big and growing blacklist of words makes posting difficult, how annoyed some people are at the arbitrary wiping of their posts and how arbitrary and easy to abuse our system of banning members is. I think the best response to this would be a post from one of your fellow members that was posted today:
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I am so p*ssed off that [email protected]@ would ever be accused of
down free speech at Hu_ff1ngton_P05t. It would k i 1 1 [email protected]@ to think that anyone was f#$ked up enough to think such sh1t.
Reply Favorite Flag as abusive Wipe with bottom like toilet paper Posted 01:24 PM on 10/26/2009″
You see? And that was from one of your own.
And as for all the unfair criticism that comments on all of the articles I write on Huffington Post (I just love saying the name!) are fully moderated to keep out all strong criticisms of me and my opinion, so that all I and readers see are fawning, glowing compliments from the little people about how brilliant and right I am…it’s just coincidence that no one has ever had strong words or criticism of anything I’ve ever thought or wrote. I’m not saying I’m right about everything but have you considered that the many people grovelling at my feet over everything I say…might be right?
6. Zsa Zsa Gabor is my cousin.
How silly this one is! Zsa Zsa is Hungarian, superficial, self-centered, addicted to celebrity and attention, married for money and used her husband’s wealth to live the life she wanted for herself. On the other hand, I am Greek.
In closing, I would like to invite all of you to reconsider The Huffington Post and join us there for thoughtful, mature and substantive discussions about issues that really matter in an atmosphere that respects and protects Freedom of Expression. That is, those of you we haven’t banned yet for freely expressing speech we don’t allow there.