Sunday, May 10, 2009

About Huff-Watch

.

CONTENTS

(1) Summary

(2) How Huff-Watch is organized

(3) FAQ

(4) Contact

(5) Our favorite charities



=================

(1) Summary

=================

Since the self-proclaimed "Internet Newspaper" and blog site Huffington Post (“HuffPost”) debuted in May 2005, it has repeatedly claimed that it is "nonpartisan," and that its journalistic principles include "debunking the left-right way of thinking," and "ferreting out the truth... consequences be damned."


HuffPost has also claimed that it is nonpartisan in its user comment moderation practices, that it has a "zero tolerance policy" for racially or ethnically offensive comments, and those containing personal insults, threats, libels, death-wishes, etc. According to Ms. Huffington, her site operates according to higher journalistic and business principles than its rivals:
"If you're looking for the usual flame-throwing, name-calling, and simplistic attack dog rhetoric ... don't bother coming to the Huffington Post."
Newsweek, May 6, 2005

[At HuffPost] there are guidelines that have to be followed -- and they include a prohibition on conspiracy theories or inflammatory claims..."
HuffingtonPost, February 1, 2010

HuffPost is allegedly a “nonpartisan” source of "news," "not positioned ideologically in terms of how we cover the news,” whose purpose is “to debunk the left-right way of thinking,” and “to ferret out the truth, consequences be damned.”
Various sources

Critics, however, have documented periodically through the years that all of HuffPost's claims are false --- most often regarding:
  • Its false/misleading headlines, shoddy journalism, and the biased means by which it covers important news stories (see Section B here)

  • The hate-filled articles that it chooses to publish from its official bloggers

  • The hate-filled user comments that it publishes (1, 2, 3, 4)

Most critics are well aware that the most common "targets" of HuffPost's hate and bias are conservative individuals and organizations. There has been and will likely continue to be some degree of "push-back" regarding how HuffPost smears and incites hatred against conservatives.

Few are aware, however, that for at least the past two years, Israel and Jews
have been HuffPost's secondary "targets" (1, 2, 3). Specifically, HuffPost has been:
  • Applying an egregiously anti-Semitic bias to its news, blogs and user comment moderation

  • Consistently "framing" news stories concerning Israeli affairs in a way that incites inaccurate and/or unjustifiably negative perceptions of Israel, and particularly its military --- while failing/refusing to publish news stories or credible rebuttals that exonerate either one

  • Deciding to publish user comments submitted in response to this incitement that contain incendiary, hate-filled libels and conspiracy theories against Israelis and Jews --- while at the same time, censoring and banning users who submit identical comments that are directed against Muslims

For an overview on the facts of this issue, please see the following comprehensive report (summary here):
The Stimulus And The (Approved) Response: Anti-Semitism and Israel-Hatred on Huffington Post

If HuffPost were merely a hate-site with few readers, no advertisers, no political or journalistic legitimacy (e.g. Stormfront), the damage it could cause its "targets" would be limited.

The fact is, however, that HuffPost is now the 800 pound gorilla of the political "blogosphere," in that it:

Given all this, it is more important than ever to hold HuffPost to account for its acts and omissions.

Unfortunately, the dominant forces in the mainstream news media, politics, academia and punditocracy seem to be either unaware of the criticism that has been leveled at HuffPost --- or are reluctant to conduct even a cursory analysis, to determine if any of this criticism is merited.
The purpose of Huff-Watch is to act as a repository for factual, relevant, contextual analysis of HuffPost, and the criticism that has been directed at it from other sources. Huff-Watch separates fact from fiction, and provides readers with thoroughly-researched, abundantly-documented data, upon which they can formulate informed opinions.

To embark on this challenge against a media vehicle as powerful and influential as HuffPost requires comprehensive, irrefutable physical documentation, upon which to validate every allegation.

It is for this reason that a fair number of articles at Huff-Watch are quite detailed, and require time to fully grasp and consider.


For example, to prove that HuffPost has been pre-moderating all user comments since at least March 2008 (meaning that only those it has reviewed and approved are published), and that it has been protecting the worst-of-the-worst violators of its comment policies since at least that time --- while ejecting non-violating users who challenge or mock them --- required an enormous amount of research and documentation. But both of these reports are crucial to understanding the true depth and significance of HuffPost's egregious, repeated public misrepresentations concerning what happens on its site, how, and why. For a quick introduction to these issues, see:
The top five myths about HuffPost --- versus the reality.

We have made every effort to break content down into its component pieces, often with tables of contents, and many articles contain introductory summaries.



=================

(2) How Huff-Watch is organized

=================

Huff-Watch is organized into the following major sections, along the right margin:

Special Reports
See an archive and summaries of our special reports here.

About HuffPost
Summarized and detailed information about HuffPost, its stated operating principles and procedures, and analyses of the legitimacy of these statements. Special focus is placed on the clash between its public statements regarding its journalistic principles and user comment moderation policies, versus the documented reality.

Anti-Israel, Anti-Semitic bias, libels, hate
Detailed documentation and analysis primarily regarding how HuffPost consistently “frames” news stories concerning Israeli affairs in a way that ignites inaccurate and/or unjustifiably negative perceptions of the Jewish state, and particularly its military --- up to and including "blood libels." Also, how HuffPost then reviews, approves and decides to publish user comments containing anti-Israel, anti-Semitic hatred, libels and conspiracy theories --- which are violations of its Comment Policy. See the introduction here, and a comprehensive archive here.

Anti-U.S. military bias, libels
Incidents in which HuffPost has:
  • Published stories that contain false, inflammatory claims against American soldiers
  • Presented them in an unfairly negative light
  • Decided to publish user comments that egregiously violate its Comment Policy, in response to these stories
See an archive of these incidents here.

False/misleading headlines
HuffPost does not "target" only Israel and Jews. This section contains numerous examples that we and other critics have documented, in which HuffPost constructed headlines that basic fact-checking would have revealed were false or misleading, yet which it published anyway. These stories primarily "target" conservative individuals and organizations. Often, stories incite gross misconceptions, and an outpouring of hateful user comments --- which HuffPost then publishes, even though they're in violation of its Comment Policy. See the comprehensive archive here.

HuffPost user threats & urgings of violence
Detailed documentation and analysis of shocking incidents in which HuffPost allowed users to post such comments against other users and notable public figures (including protectees of the U.S. Secret Service), and in some cases, permitted them to remain active users --- while at the same time, banning other, non-violating users. See the introduction and summary here.

HuffPost user hate speech
This section primarily relates to HuffPost allowing users to wish for or celebrate the death and illness of those they consider political "enemies" --- supposedly a violation of its Comment Policy. Other bloggers have covered this issue in more detail.

Etcetera
A hodgepodge of ancillary observations and documentation, and criticism by others of the content that HuffPost has chosen to publish.



=================

(3) FAQ

=================

See our FAQ here, which addresses the following questions:
(1) What is Huff-Watch's beef with HuffPost?

(2) Is Huff-Watch trying to squelch HuffPost's right to free speech?

(3) What is Huff-Watch's agenda? What are your politics?

(4) Why are you doing this anonymously? Doesn't this diminish Huff-Watch's credibility?

(5) Who is funding Huff-Watch?




=================

(4) Contact

=================

Send tips, inquiries and (polite) feedback to huffwatcher1 (at) gmail.com.

If, after reviewing the documentation here on Huff-Watch, you come to believe our concerns are merited and would like to make your voice known to HuffPost, here's how:
Eric Hippeau
Chief Executive Officer

HuffingtonPost.com
eric@huffingtonpost.com

Arianna Huffington
Editor in Chief
HuffingtonPost.com
arianna@huffingtonpost.com

Mario Ruiz
Vice President - Media Relations
HuffingtonPost.com
mario@huffingtonpost.com

HuffingtonPost.com
560 Broadway, Suite 308
New York, NY 10012
(212) 245-7845
Fax: (646) 557-0803



=================

(5) Our favorite charities

=================

Fans of Huff-Watch may be interested to know which charities we consider to be among the most important, and worthy of support, that deal either directly or tangentially with the gravely serious issues we address. Here is a partial list of such organizations.


.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a Comment