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AdLib On February - 7 - 2011

It has just been announced that Huffington Post has been purchased by AOL for $315 million. What does this mean? Why not let Arthur Jensen explain:

I found this bit from Om Malik at gigaom.com very instructive:

Huffington Post was valued between $300 million to $450 million in 2010 according to Bloomberg. In that story that ran on December 14, 2010, Huffington said: “It’s working. Everybody’s happy with how it’s going. Nobody is in a hurry to cash out.” Ironic, considering that was around the time, Armstrong was trying to buy the company.


I think Om is being a bit generous with choosing the word “ironic”. I mean, if she’d be that plainly dishonest for no reason, what might she do for 350 million reasons?

It’s not as if the corporate buyout of Huffington Post will come to many familiar with it as a big surprise. This was the ultimate goal of the hedge funds that financed and controlled this business.

This is a great thing for them and Arianna who have now profited immensely from the freely contributed time and energy that many have and continue to invest there (don’t hold your breath waiting for any trickle down of any of that $315 million to those blogging at HP). However, as every mega-corporate buy out of an independent news or media entity has shown (we still miss ya KO), integrity does not increase with corporate revenues, just the opposite. Principles and civic responsibility are disruptive to profit.

Here we are in the 21st Century, with the wealthy and corporations, the Kochs and Comcast and AOL avidly buying up or buying off whatever aspects of free expression they can.

And the sadly Orwellian aspect of this is that, alongside Fox News spouting “Fair and Balanced” there will no doubt be the aggressively promoted doublespeak from HP about how “Independent” and “Progressive” they are.

Let’s be real, being owned as part of a $4 billion media empire is not what most of us consider being independent or Progressive…unless one is pursuing “progress” towards a fully corporately owned America.

Now, does it really matter that the business represented as the most popular and influential Progressive blog site is owned by a mega corporation? Let’s ask the wolf in sheep’s clothing on the street. Or better yet, consider the following.

There is an inescapable conflict of interest when an entity that represents itself as a news and opinion organization is owned and operated by a corporation worth over $4.2 billion dollars that has business interests and investments in myriad other businesses.

There is one fact about corporations that must be recognized. Corporations have no responsibility to the society they exploit for their revenues, they have only one legal obligation…to make as much money as possible. Shareholders can in fact successfully sue those running a corporation if such decision makers ever chose to be socially responsible at the expense of generating the most profit.

So, it is a fact now that Huffington Post’s first and primary responsibility is to enrich the shareholders of AOL.

How might it affect HP’s reporting and opinions if it is in AOL’s financial interest to oppose tax increases on the wealthy? Or healthcare reform? Or employer sanctions for hiring undocumented immigrants? What if AOL believes deregulation and a Republican president would be more financially beneficial?

If Huffington Post campaigned against what was in the best financial interest of its shareholders, those in management could indeed be sued or replaced.

Also, when a powerful and wealthy business or individual buys up another business, the first thing they typically do is try to recoup the expense of buying that business. For a media business, that means they need a lot more viewership to boost ad revenue.

How might that be accomplished? How might that integrate with the operation of Huffington Post as a place of independent, Progressive and anti-corporate thought?

It now may become much more clear to some as to why there have been all the attacks on Obama at HP by Arianna and others, the conspicuous focus on and all the attacks on his financial team, the inexplicable moderation applied and manipulation of conflict at the site (which generates greater traffic) and Arianna’s having a fun time with Newt Gingrich on vacation and “palling around” with Darrell Issa at another elegant event.

At this point, one either bets on Arianna having unshakable principles upon which she is prepared to sacrifice whatever is necessary (ask Mike Huffington about that)…or that hundreds of millions of dollars speak louder than blogs.

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

1,898 Responses so far.

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  1. intotheabyss says:

    Don’t know if anyone is still reading this story, but Robert Parry at Consortium News has a good take on the HuffPost/AOL merger.


  2. KC45 says:

    I really don’t care how many millions A.H. receives from this sale. Her abundance doesn’t take away from my abundance.
    I do feel a profound loss of belonging and having easy access to so many whom I have come to regard as friends.
    I suppose I am not yet accustomed to the new format here, I find it harder to follow conversations. I do wish PlanetPOV would consider a format more closely designed like HP. I DO APPRICATE being treated like an adult, rather than some rowdy semi-intellectual reform school detainee!
    I’m sure I’m not the only one making adjustments and it is nice to have company on this journey.

    • AdLib says:

      Welcome to The Planet KC45!

      It’s been a while but I remember first starting at HP and not being too familiar with how everything worked there.

      It’s a little learning curve to go to any new blog but it comes pretty quickly.

      And there are lots of folks here who are happy to help you with any questions (including me).

  3. chauncey1186 says:

    It’s good to see so many familiar faces over here! Breaking up was hard to do (old habits, and so on…), but the AOL business was the final straw for me. After two years of increasingly draconian mods and the “all-kardashian/all-the-time coverage, well….here I am.

    Now -- can somebody please tell me how to delete my account over there?

  4. intotheabyss says:

    Hi fellow former HuffPost people. Nice to see so many of you here. Looking forward to many informative exchanges.

    • jdmn17 says:

      Into, good to see you. Wondering if you’d come over. I went back this morning to see the headlines and got sucked into two threads -- no comments left but I noted a decided absence of people I’ve fanned. They are mostly here now. I thought of trying to slip something through the mods but the last post of mine they did was several days ago after almost 24 hours of moderation. I think they were poring over every word trying to find my code to direct people here. I thought of a lot of corny stuff but in the end just gave it up for major threads and I wasn’t heavily followed so I don’t think people are looking for me. Regardless, nice to see you joined us

    • TruthWins says:

      Hi intotheabyss, and if you want to bring more friends from Huff here, be careful. They have deleted some posts and even accounts with the direct link, since Whorianna put this site on her long enemy number one list. (out of a personal frustration, I forgot what it was. I guess she was called out for being the hypocrite she is).

      In any case, adLib created this special link, it should last a while until they ban this one too…: http://viasite.wordpress.com/

      Or, jumble all the words together as in: goonplanet.povandseelotsoffriendsthere

      ***EDIT** : I just came back from the dark side and remembered that the http has to be removed in front of “viasite”, else the comment goes pending and gets extra scrutiny.

      • Buddy McCue says:

        I managed to recruit a couple of people this morning.

        They haven’t caught onto me yet!

        • TruthWins says:

          Yes, we pick them up one by one. I try to avoid the heavily moderated threads, but that’s still difficult! We need to remove the http thing too in order not to get pending. If the mods don’t check the link as long as possible we can use it that much longer.

          • Buddy McCue says:

            I’ve been able to get around the “Mod Squad” just by putting spaces in the name of P l a n e t P O V.

            I figure that people can Google it without me providing an actual link.

      • intotheabyss says:

        Thanks for the tips and the welcome. Nice to be among friends.

        • TruthWins says:

          I know what you mean! Have been here for a couple of days only, but what a feeling to express myself freely and see others do the same!

    • AdLib says:

      Hey intotheabyss, nice to see you here! Welcome to The Planet!

    • PatsyT says:

      Welcome intotheabyss! Enjoy exploring!
      Cher put up this helpful post
      Don’t be afraid to ask any questionss.

  5. audadvnc says:

    HP looks kind of like it did months ago. Like a dead body resembles the human being it used to be. It’s even been dressed up for the funeral viewing. But as AOL moves in, the smell will become overpowering.

    I think of it as CorpsePost…

    • TruthWins says:

      Exactly, audadvnc. Someone here coined the term Corpsington Post, which I fnd the most accurate name since it leans also on Corporington Post….

  6. chasethis says:

    Good morning, all. I’m dipping my toe into the PPOV puddle today. It looks warm and feels friendly, but I smell a learning curve. Thanks to those who’ve lured me here. It’s so nice to see the familiar names. Now what?

  7. HotChocolateParty says:

    One of the MANY posts like this on HP this morning


    • MossyOak says:

      I took a sneak peak over to AOL after the announcement of the HP buyout. It was a sobering sortie.. the comments were unreadable and I had a sneaking suspicion that many of them would attach themselves to HP to make mischief. What a surly bunch of wackos. I bet when Arianna gets done counting her Judas coins she’ll have some serious down time in front of a mirror. One can only hope.

    • Abbyrose86 says:

      Oh MY….

    • PocketWatch says:

      I subscribe to AOL for a number of reasons, not the least of which is to maintain a decades-long email account that everyone I know knows me by.

      I was one of their first 1/2million subscribers when they first started up. I still use a couple of their chat rooms from time to time.

      And I see that the AOL comment crowd is starting to migrate to HP, as seen by the post linked to above. THIS is what AOL devolved to over time, as anyone that has looked at the comments attached to any story. Juvenile at best, and inhuman at worst.

      I will be deleting my main account over at HP as soon as I finish posting this comment.

      However, I am keeping a sock named ‘YeOldePhartt’ at HP to be able to lurk around a bit and sow seeds of dissention and to keep an eye on the place.

      ‘Keep your enemies closer…’


    • escribacat says:

      Sickening. I remember a period over there when someone like that just kept at it, getting scrubbed, creating a new account and reposting vile psychotic stuff about Michelle. There are some really sick dangerous people in this world and a lot of them are running around free.

    • Mightywoof says:

      I have to say I’m glad I live where I do where there are limits in what can be said in the name of free speech. Speech is not free when it’s used to wrap visible groups in invisible chains -- it comes at a very high cost and one that most civilized societies are not prepared to pay.

      To say that is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen is the biggest understatement of my life

    • FerraKnows says:

      I’m not surprised, but saddened nevertheless. I have lived through Jim Crow, a Great Uncle’s lynching, segregation, discrimination, assassinations, and the civil rights movement. When I think I have seen racism in all of its possible forms, new versions crop up. I feel like I have spent every second of my entire life dealing with the kind of social constructs the majority of our society will never ever face. I learned a long time ago that for me (and folks like me), “life ain’t been no crystal stair.” I’m reminded “It’s had tacks in it, and splinters, and boards torn up, and places with no carpet on the floor—bare,” whenever I hear folks like John Boehner and the tea-bigots say they want their country back. In his and their faces, and subtle remarks, I see a certain kind of aristocracy and privilege; a smugness that spat into my and my family’s soul, when I was a small boy in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s.

      For me, it does not take a screen shot of this fool’s fool to know that racism still exists. His words only serve to remind me, that for some, there is a manifest privilege I (and my children’s children) will never be able to overcome—a social-anthropological hypo-decent that keep us in our place. I see it in every facet of our society, in every form of media—an eternal three-fifths albatross.

      But, “I’se still climbin,” nonetheless. I continue to pursue what I believe to be the right things to do. I’ve raised two wonderful, highly educated, children. I‘ve worked for companies large and small, as well as my own. However, I would like to have prepared them for the kinds of things this nation is devolving into. The kind of things going on over there on Huffington Post—all cloaked in the first amendment. But, I can’t prepare them. I can’t because, quite frankly, I have never witnessed anything like this—ironically correlating with the election of the country’s first black president. In this regard, I feel sorry for my children, particularly my only son. He joined the United States Marines. And despite our misgivings, he elected to put his life on the line to protect the rights of those who want their country back.

      I’ll end now.

      --Excerpts taken from Langston Hughes’ poem, Mother to Son

      • gmb007 says:

        What a very excellent post, FerraKnows! So glad you’re a member of Planet! Look forward to reading more of your posts. :)

      • boomer1949 says:

        I never, ever thought I would see this kind of behavior again in my lifetime. Seriously, at the very least, it’s disheartening, but most of all it’s absolutely appalling and makes me want to knock some of these idiots upside the head.

      • escribacat says:

        What a moving post, Ferra. I feel sad for all of us, that we haven’t evolved beyond these primitive and brutal fears of anyone who looks different. How pathetic. I agree that the election of Obama and the rise of the tea party has once again brought onto the main stage people who never went away but at least crept into shadowy corners for a time — the people who “want their country back.” How else can you interpret that statement? Bill Clinton didn’t bring them out calling for their country back. Bill Clinton didn’t bring them out calling for his birth certificate.

        Last week Bill OReilly asked the president why he thought he (Obama) was so “polarizing,” as though it were Obama’s fault that so many in this country are still racist idiots.

      • kesmarn says:

        Thank you, FerraKnows, and welcome to the Planet.

        Beautifully written. And from the heart.

        Please stick around and don’t stop posting here. This message needs to be repeated until America finally gets it.

        It’s hard to express the crash that I and so many others felt when, after the elation of election night, we awoke to discover that so much racism still existed. I guess I was a little naive. It’s so much worse than I realized.

      • Mightywoof says:

        You have robbed me of words and left me bereft of speech -- anything I say would be tarnishing the heartfelt words you have written

        I’ve never read Langston Hughes and my education has been sorely lacking -- for such a few lines that’s one powerful poem! Thanks

      • LINY01 says:

        Unreal! I can’t believe they let that through!

        It will be sad to see HuffPo devolve to that but I suspect with the AOL crowd that they will see lots more of that kind of stuff.

    • Kalima says:

      This was already going on in 08 before your GE, after the election, and up to April 09 when I left because we had to flag them almost 20 times before they were scrubbed. Some slipped under the radar, or were left up to incite. It’s not new, but now more people are watching the “Queen Bee.”

      • Khirad says:

        Yup, they took forever to be scrubbed.

        I had another horrible troll who deigned post the entire Constitution in sections, never answering any questions, and using an ACSII Obama with hammer and sickles ‘Bow Down To Me’ crap. It went on like that forever. One of the most obnoxious trolls I ever encountered.

        Again, it’s why I kept my ability to delete. I never wanted to be powerless waiting on the mods again.

        • Kalima says:

          Actually Khirad I think it was around the Rev. Wright fiasco, remember how they had all the headers in red with his video clips, so it was the primaries. AH didn’t like Hillary, maybe she had a secret “hard on” for Bill and he rejected her. Anyway, she allowed an unlimited amount of Hillary bashing, and then came the PUMAS. I don’t believe for a minute that they were Dems or even progressives, they were Lush’s Operation Chaos, and so began the downfall of AH’s pretense. I’m so glad that I got out of there with my sanity.

          Oh btw, I went there yesterday to finally delete my account, I couldn’t sign in, they had deleted it for me. Someone must have been here lurking. LOL!

          • Khirad says:

            This was after the election, but may well have been a Rev. Wright thread.

            And yes, the PUMAS, best eximplified by AnninCalifornia (now Texas).

            She hated the Clintons for personal reasons, and it showed. She did, after all, help to impeach him.

    • Khirad says:

      That reminds me of some of the shit which appeared when he went to Africa in Spring 2009. It’s the sole reason I kept my new powers when I got them. I knew things could get VERY nasty.

      But now? I don’t care. That’s what they get. They’ve fostered it for so long they get to reap what they have sown.

    • TruthWins says:

      Sadly this is only getting worse from there. Check out my post in the section “Off Topic” to see what I mean…

  8. TruthWins says:

    I read here that some folks have been banned on Huff just for advertising planet.pov. I’m trying to go below the radar in order to stick around there as long as I can, just to bring even more good folks over here (and trying to avoid trolls). But just in case I do get deleted earlier than anticipated I made snapshots of my entire list of friends, also in order to reach them individually with another moniker if need arises.

    Ariana sucked the life out of us for her own personal goals and for profit, now we suck the life out of Huffington Post. For that rag is NOTHING without the active commenter’s community. And after all, this is the only credit that goes to her: having created a format in which we could meet, (that is before she tried to destroy that with fakebook et al.)

    And here’s a hint for other newbies: I just found out I can expand the comment box and actually read what I wrote…

    • boomer1949 says:

      We can also look at it another way…

      Folks are being band because the Empress is feeling incredibly threatened. IMO, we should consider it a compliment. Just sayin’…


    • AdLib says:

      Welcome to The Planet TruthWins!

      If you’re so inclined, you could always create an extra account at HP just for spreading the word about The Planet and if it’s deleted, no big deal, you can just create another.

      BTW everyone, as TruthWins alluded to, when you are typing in the comment box, click the gray square with the diagonal arrow and see what happens…

      • TruthWins says:

        Thanks for the warm welcome AdLib.
        I know I could just create a new account at Fluff, but then it is hard to remember all of my friends, especially as most of the ones I remember best are already here. Moreover if they get the message by someone they know, it may be more effective. Therefore I try to play it well and keep my account as long as I can.

        Now another thing: I started disliking Fluff intensely after I read up about Ariana on gawker.com. I assume you know all the articles that are published there? And did someone here summarize these into a new article? I haven’t checked out everything here yet, since the archives are already vast. In any case, this is information that has to get out on a big scale at one point, not necessarily now.

      • Khirad says:

        Indeed, why risk the main account. If they can create their claque of 0 fans to praise Arianna, we can create socks galore to evangelize.

    • Khirad says:

      I agree with everything there, but don’t knock Facebook too much. I was able to bring a few people here with it. The hyper-integration of it and Twitter into HP I personally thought was totally tacky though.

      To the end I’ve *gasp* signed in with the HP account, which I must now LOOK for.

      And hey, I’m an old-timer here, but do tell me how to expand the comment box.

      • TruthWins says:

        To expand the comment box click the two arrows just besides the spell check on top of the box. You don’t even lose the text when you click on it even after you’ve already written, which is great.

        About facebook: it is not my cup of tea, but it’s not a problem. I think I got so angry at it and twitter because Huff was declining at a fast pace right when they were added. But in reality the crumbling of Fluff ultimately must have started when the new CEO, of whom Ariana was so proud in her last article, took up his job.

        BTW, I find it funny that there is not a word about the merger anymore on Fluff. I guess she is in shock that people actually left and nobody is really in need of the bad stepmother of the fairytale…

  9. Moist Robot says:

    Isn’t AOL also behind all those Patch web “news” sites that have been metastasizing, um, I mean cropping up all over?

  10. Abbyrose86 says:

    OH my…all of a sudden, I’m having trouble keeping up with all the good posts! THAT is a good problem, btw!

    • Redemption Song II says:

      …disregard the tech question--I just sent a suggestion to whomever one contacts with the “contact us” dialog box.

    • Redemption Song II says:

      Is there a tech for the site? (Maybe he, she or they could link replies to usernames for easier access.)

      • AdLib says:

        Done! You can check a member’s posts and comments in two ways:

        1. To check the most recent posts and comments of a member:

        Click on “Member Directory” at the top of the page, click on a member and their 10 most recent posts and comments will be displayed.

        2. To see all posts or comments of a member:

        Place your cursor on “Archive” at the top of the page then click on “PlanetPOV Stats” in the dropdown menu. Scroll down past various stats to the Author’s Stats (posts) or Comments section, click on a member and all of their posts or comments will be displayed.

        Keep in mind, all of these functions have been in place, when we changed servers last week and experienced a variety of issues, we had to remove them. I have been slowly adding them back in now that the site has stabilized, just to make sure it doesn’t trigger any issues.

        More will be coming, hopefully star ratings for posts and thumbs up and downs for comments soon.

        Thanks for the suggestions, they are very welcome.

      • bito says:

        Address your reply like you were addressing a letter, it will appear in the Recent Comments (RC)

      • enigma2 says:

        Hello hello, good to see so many friendlies on here..:-)

        • Redemption Song II says:

          Greetings, Enigma!! (Good to see you, too. *smiles* )

          (I’m still uncomrfortable with the little yellow smilie faces…gotta get used to ’em.)

    • Mightywoof says:

      Me too!! Every time I read a comment I find the Recent Comments has galloped ahead and left me behind :roll: ….. and there are so many new articles being written that it’ll take me a month of Sundays to catch up (this is a good thing!!)

    • KB723 says:

      Abby, it is nice to keep up here, cos we are not looking for some snarky reply, but to see the good someone else might have to say… I saw some of my old friends here the other night, but did not see them here last night… I did however see them on HP. Sad, cos sometimes Change can be harmful to some.

      • Abbyrose86 says:

        I was surprised. I was keeping up, in time, until just a little while ago…of course I’m flipping back and forth between here and facebook…has to do with the Chris Lee story…he’s a local boy so I keep going back and forth, thus I’m missing things :)

        ..we are loving the Chris Lee story.

  11. Redemption Song II says:

    …it has started:


    (The accompanying photo is…well, it is what it is.)

    • liberallioness76 says:

      What it is is disgraceful.

      • AdLib says:

        They have a big Repub checklist to go through ad repeat for main stories:

        1. Lazy black people are ruining America.
        2. Lazy Latinos are ruining America.
        3. Elitist Democrats are ruining America.
        4. Gays are ruining America.
        5. Women having control over their own bodies is ruining America.
        6. Unemployment insurance, SS and Medicare is ruining America.
        7. HCR is ruining America.
        8. Preventing pollution is ruining America.
        9. Regulations on those who destroyed the economy is ruining America.
        10. Tax cuts for the wealthy are saving America.

        What did I leave out?

      • Redemption Song II says:

        (…of course I could do myself a favor and just stop “peeking”. *smiles*)

        • MossyOak says:

          We peek because we want to be sure we did the right thing by leaving. There are two main attractions to HP, the blogs/articles and the comments. The articles will slowly morph into the typical corporatist BS you find elsewhere for the reasons listed in this piece by AdLib, but most of the seriously good commentators are gone. Some of us actually believe in free speech.

        • jdmn17 says:

          Kind of like spotting an old love at a restaurant and instead of leaving you hide behind a fern and watch for a while. Think I’ll leave them to their dinner. They have reasons for staying on HP and it’s not my call. Anyway I see a lot more going on at “my table” than hers.

    • jdmn17 says:

      Holy shit, that was just wrong for so many reasons. Thanks although it makes me a little sick in my gut. Wonder how many of the remaining folks will get there and see it? Done and done

    • KB723 says:

      Redemption, sometimes it’s Hard to tell who they will Bash next…. I have a secret…. I know who they will never Bash, but will never tell…

  12. Haruko Haruhara says:

    This summer, Pepe wants to climb an 11,000-foot mountain and leave this photo for Sharp Dressed Man, a poster he really, sincrely loved, who apparently died very quietly last winter.


  13. Haruko Haruhara says:

    Cher, from what I understand, you had taken a hiatus from PPOV for a while.

    This is what Pepe and I did for Hume. It was Pepe’s idea:


    • Chernynkaya says:

      Haruko-- thanks for letting me read that-- beautiful post AND action. Yes, I was gone for about 6 months, but I never intended to stay away for that long. After a month or two, I felt somehow shy about coming back. I’m crazy that way--it’s a character flaw. I won’t do that again, and I am really grateful to WhatsThatSound and ChoiceLady for encouraging me to come home.

    • boomer1949 says:

      I remember that Haruko and, if I’m not mistaken, it wasn’t until after this piece and one at DailyKos(I think)were posted that HP even thought of paying tribute to either one of them.

    • Mightywoof says:

      I’m so glad you posted the link to your article HH -- when folks started talking about Hume I thought of it and how moved I was when I first read it

  14. Khirad says:

    Adbusters: The left built Huffington, and we can tear it down too


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