Monday, June 8, 2009

Articles about & statements by HuffPost re its journalistic and business standards & practices

Through the years, HuffPost's management has made a number of definitive statements regarding its journalistic standards and practices. As we and other critics have documented, however, HuffPost has failed to live up to these standards and practices in many regards, particularly regarding its coverage of Israeli and Middle Eastern affairs, conservative individuals and organizations, and other matters of high importance.

Were HuffPost just another online presence, none of this would be so serious. But HuffPost bills itself as "The Internet Newspaper," now has more monthly visitors than the Washington Post, enjoys preferred access in presidential news conferences, has top members of Congress as official bloggers, a global reader base, and advertising from some of the world's biggest corporations. (More here and here)

Thus, the clash between HuffPost's professed journalistic standards --- and the reality that is documented here at Huff-Watch and elsewhere --- merits close scrutiny.

The following is intended to provide both newcomers and critical observers with a convenient means by which to compare what HuffPost has said about itself, to the criticisms that have been documented here at Huff-Watch and elsewhere.




(A) HuffPost's claims that its news coverage is nonpartisan, truth-focused, and that its blogs represent a balance of the left and right

(B) Accusations of HuffPost bias, plagiarism and bad journalistic practices

(C) Accusations of anti-Israel, anti-Semitic bias in HuffPost's news coverage and user comment moderation practices

(D) Additional resources that provide ongoing monitoring and exposure of HuffPost

The articles in each section are listed in chronological order.


(A) HuffPost's claims that its news coverage is nonpartisan, truth-focused, and that its blogs represent a balance of the left and right


(1) Can The Huffington Post Obsess Itself Into The News Cycle?
Mark Glaser, Online Journalism Review, Knight Digital Media Center, May 3, 2005 Excerpt (emphasis added):

OJR: What is the voice of the publication? If you're going to include people from different modes of political thought, what can people expect to see when they visit your site?

[Arianna Huffington]: They know it will be the news. I actually believe that the news is not right-wing news or left-wing news, it's the news. And that will be the sensibility, that will basically permeate our news coverage. (...)

[...] Huffington has surrounded herself with a group that's heavy on satire, heavy on irony and heavy on controversy. She has comedian Harry Shearer doing a journalist-watchdog feature called "Eat the Press" and has tapped former Drudge sidekick Andrew Breitbart to edit the news headline section as he did for Drudge.

Breitbart has worked for Huffington before. He is in an interesting spot, as he co-wrote the 2004 book "Hollywood, Interrupted," a moralizing book on celebs and limo liberals that calls out various group bloggers from Huffington Post, including Rob Reiner and Norman Lear.

Breitbart wouldn't comment for this article, but did make a statement to the blogosphere through Roger Simon's blog.

"I like to go where the action is," he wrote. "Bringing my former boss and longtime friend Arianna's intriguing friends to the blogosphere, the ultimate level playing field makes perfect sense to me, and I am thrilled to be committed to such a groundbreaking project. Will my pals on the right have a place to offer their two cents at the Huffington Post? Absolutely. Will I agree with everyone's written word? Of course not. But that's precisely the point. May the best ideas win."

Huffington told me Breitbart's news headlines would run on the right side of the home page while the group blog would be on the left side -- perhaps a not-so-subtle play on their political orientation. But the wild card could be the 200 or so people that will be included in the group blog but haven't been trumpeted to the media yet. They could be the swing vote that tips the Post in any direction. (...)


OJR: Do you find it ironic that Andrew [Breitbart] co-wrote a scathing look at Hollywood celebrities and now will be helping run a site with the same type of celebs?

AH: I'm not sure I'd agree that these are the same type of celebrities. This isn't the Michael Jackson or Paris Hilton group blog. But, in any case, the fact that Andrew and I may not see eye to eye on every issue will not interfere with what we are trying to do. In fact, it will enhance it.
Huff-Watch note: At some point in 2007, Breitbart left HuffPost, and became one of the most vocal critics (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) of its acting as a vehicle for leftist hatred. (In early 2009, and in addition to operating, Breitbart opened his own blogsite, BigHollywood (1, 2), to lure Hollywood conservatives and libertarians out of "the closet," and give them a public voice. Most recently, Breitbart created BigGovernment, which has been breaking the ACORN corruption stories.)

(2) New Kid On The Block
Brian Braiker, Newsweek, May 6, 2005 Excerpt (emphasis added):
[Arianna Huffington]: What we're doing is two things. We do news. I don't believe news is left wing or right wing. And then we do the group blog, which is going to be a dialogue from all viewpoints.

(3) Huffington Posts A Profit
Sam Gustin, Conde Naste Portfolio, November 14, 2007
Excerpt (emphasis added):

As traffic has grown, so has scrutiny. Some critics dismiss it as shallow. Others have attacked Huffington Post for what they perceive as a liberal bias, favoring stories that tend to be critical of conservatives, Republicans, and especially President Bush and the war in Iraq.

The issue is particularly important because Huffington Post is in the process of ramping up its original reporting. How can it claim to be an objective purveyor of news when it has been so critical of the current administration?
"That really is a very important question," Huffington said, "because your assumption is completely wrong. The editorial stance of the Huffington Post is to debunk the right-left way of thinking, which has become completely obsolete." (...)

[Betsy] Morgan, the C.E.O., described the Huffington Post approach as "covering the news in a 21st-century kind of way." In addition to new ideas about balance and fairness, that approach includes a new business model too.

(4) Lessons From
Jonathan Dube, PoynterOnline, The Poynter Institute, July 29, 2008
Excerpt (emphasis added):

(Q) How does The Huffington Post cover the news differently from mainstream media organizations?

(A; Arianna Huffington) A lot of the discontent with traditional journalism is because too many reporters have forgotten that the highest calling of journalists is to ferret out the truth, consequences be damned.

Unfortunately, this is a concept that has fallen out of favor with too many journalists, who are obsessed with a false view of "balance" and "objectivity" and have become addicted not to the tireless pursuit of truth, but to the tireless promotion of the misguided notion that every story has two sides. [...]
HuffPost eschews the misleading "on the one hand, but on the other" approach to news because not every story has an "other hand." Also, HuffPost doesn't pretend not to have opinions, but it does make them transparent*.
[*Ed.: When one clicks on the "About Us" link at the bottom of every page at HuffPost (below), this following screen comes up (click to enlarge). These screen captures were obtained on June 24, 2009. The red arrow at right shows that as one scrolls down the page, this is all the content that appears --- absolutely nothing about HuffPost's "opinions," or anything "about" it, other than the names of its employees. Judge for yourself whether or not HuffPost "makes its opinions transparent."]

[Ed.: For comparison, check out the "About Us" section at, one of America's largest conservative blogsites, below.]

[Ed.: On the other side of the political spectrum, also see DailyKos's "About Us." As you can see from all the above, whereas other sites clearly lay out their agendas and their politics, HuffPost has yet to do so.]

(5) Arianna Huffington: The Web's New Oracle
Belinda Luscombe, Time, March 19, 2009
Excerpt (emphasis added):
[Huffington] is offended and bewildered by the suggestion that other news outlets think she's getting a free ride. She sees herself as the future of journalism, not the end of it.

(6) Republicans Flock To The Huffington Post
Michael Calderone,, May 22, 2009
Excerpt (emphasis added):
When Tom Coburn (Ed.: R-OK) wanted to pitch his criticism of the Democrats’ health care plan last month, the senator’s office considered sympathetic media outlets like The Wall Street Journal and the conservative blog RedState.

Instead, the Oklahoma Republican went with The Huffington Post.

Despite its liberal leanings, Republican member and aides have begun heading to The Huffington Post to talk up their views.

Arianna Huffington, who co-founded the eponymous site four years ago this month, said that increased Republican engagement “is a reflection of our traffic, our brand, and the fact that we are increasingly seen ... as an Internet newspaper, not positioned ideologically in terms of how we cover the news.”

"As Traffic Booms, Is HuffPo Ready to Make Some Real Dough?"
Kara Swisher, AllThingsD, October 20, 2009
“We are aiming to go beyond just facts, to create a narrative,” said Huffington, who thinks the speed of news helps attract visitors to the site. “We think bringing journalism to a new level is exactly what people are looking for.”
- Arianna Huffington

(7) The AOL buyout of Huffington Post


(B) Accusations of HuffPost bias, plagiarism and bad journalistic practices


From Huff-Watch: Archive of false/misleading HuffPost headlines

(1) Huffington Post Defends Clooney's "Faked-Up" Blog Entry
Jemima Kiss,, March 20, 2006
Excerpt (emphasis added):
US celebrity blog the Huffington Post is in trouble with George Clooney after compiling quotes from the actor and presenting them as a blog entry. [...According to Clooney] "What she [Huffington] most certainly did not get my permission to do is to combine only my answers in a blog that misleads the reader into thinking that I wrote this piece. These are not my writings - they are answers to questions and there is a huge difference." [...]

Blogger and journalism commentator Jeff Jarvis said the credibility of the site's other star bloggers would be damaged by the 'faked-up' Clooney post. Ms Huffington's claim that re-purposed material still constitutes a valid blog is described by Mr Jarvis as a "fundamental misunderstanding of the medium". "If you're not really writing your blog, if you're having or allowing so
meone to do it for you, then you're gaming me, lying to me, insulting me," he writes.

(2) "Huffington's House Of Horrors: A Compendium of Far-Left Flame-Throwing, Name-Calling, and Attack-Dogging" (REPORT)
The Media Research Center, September 2007
Excerpt (emphasis added):
When Arianna Huffington founded The Huffington Post on May 9, 2005, she opened her new Internet venture with a pledge, as quoted by Newsweek: “If you’re looking for the usual flame-throwing, name-calling, and simplistic attack dog rhetoric....don’t bother coming to The Huffington Post.”

Back in March, Huffington censored unauthorized[*] commenters expressing regret that bombers in Afghanistan failed to kill Vice President Dick Cheney, drawing criticism for crushing free speech from HBO talk-show host Bill Maher. But the HuffPost’s official bloggers, many of them Hollywood celebrities, have often matched that harshness of tone in posts that unloaded on the wrong-headedness of America and its re-election of the Bush administration, often loaded with profanity and crude sexual and excretory metaphors.
[*] Ed.: There are no "unauthorized" commenters at HuffPost; each user must register an account, and select a screen name and password, in order to post comments on the site. Thus, once a user has done these things, they become an authorized user. The Terms of Service and Comment Policy are clearly labeled, and it is up to the user to observe these terms, and the site to enforce them.

(3) Plagiarism At The HuffPo
Noah Pollak, National Review Online, September 12, 2007
Excerpt (emphasis added):
The current issue of Azure (for which I am an editor), features a piece by Jamie Kirchick on the decline of post-Aparthied South Africa, an essay that was reprinted by the Wall St. Journal’s OpinionJournal. Six days ago, a HuffPo blogger named Henning Andre Sogaard posted a piece on the same subject that reads like an op-ed length version of Jamie’s Azure essay — and in many places it is literally a line-for-line bootleg. [...]

One would think that such blatant, undisguised plagiarism would require little by way of investigation before the removal of the offending piece, the firing of its author, and, if the HuffPo gang is feeling magnanimous, perhaps a word of contrition to the offended parties. But it’s been three days since the HuffPo was made aware of the plagiarist in its midst, and despite promises to the contrary it appears that little is going to be done about it — the offending piece is still online and unannotated. One would hope that the HuffPo could enforce the basic standards of journalistic ethics more rigorously than it enforces, say, the intellectual seriousness of the commentary that it publishes, but apparently that’s not the case.

(4) Stossel Talks Politics With Huffington (VIDEO)
John Stossel, "20/20," ABC News, April 25, 2008

In this interview, Stossel confronted Ms. Huffington on a variety of issues, pointed out the factual fallacies in her political arguments, and her hypocrisy in using HuffPost to urge others to live enviro-friendly "green" lifestyles --- while she epitomizes the gluttonous "limousine liberal." Stossel points out that she lives in a mansion, flies around the world on private jets, and gets shuttled to speaking engagements in a gas-guzzling, super-sized SUV.

(5) The Huffington Post as a News Source: An In-Depth Look
Alex McVeigh, Associated Content, June 25, 2008
Excerpt (emphasis added):
[H]ere is where my problem with the Huffington Post lies. As far as political articles go, every single one comes from the same perspective. None of them like McCain or Bush, they love Obama, they think Hillary is done and should drop out yesterday, and they are finished with the Clintons in general.

[...] Is there anything wrong with a site devoting its time and effort to a single point of view? On the surface, no. But when the same organization tries to claim that it is a news organization, and others see it as such, that's where it gets dangerous.

Since I have not seen a single blog post about any of Obama's deficiencies (despite what you may think, there are several), then either A) bloggers are not allowed to publish them; or B) no one has tried.

Take a second to think about that. Which one is scarier? Take a step back. How scary is it that those questions even come up about any national news organization that gets 10 million visitors a month?

(6) The Missing Dirt On Arianna Huffington
Ryan Tate,, October 6, 2008
Excerpt (emphasis added):
The New Yorker published its profile of Arianna Huffington. Though disappointingly far from the juicy takedown we hoped for, it does contain a few interesting nuggets.

Was HuffPo biased toward Obama? After the site reported that Obama said "bitter" working-class Americans "cling to guns or religion," HuffPo co-founder Ken Lerer, who himself said to be unhappy about the story, rushed to talk with angry Obama campaign operatives. That would be the same Lerer who convened a fundraiser for Obama at his apartment the year prior, when he was still CEO of Huffington Post. It's worth at least asking whether the Clinton campaign's accusation that the site was a "conveyor belt" for pro-Obama propaganda was more than mere campaign flackery.

Also, why did HuffPo delay covering the latest scandal stories on Democratic politician John Edwards, despite having broken some of the earliest ones?

(7) The Huffington Post Slammed For Content Theft
Ryan Singel, Wired, December 19, 2008
Excerpt (emphasis added):
The Huffington Post [...]is being accused of slimy business practices by a handful of smaller publications who say the site is unfairly copying and publishing their content. Whet Moser, an editor at alternative weekly Chicago Reader wants to know why The Huffington Post’s newly formed Chicago-focused venture is stealing their copyrighted concert reviews and reprinting them in whole in order to get search engine traffic. And he found other examples taken wholesale from The Onion and Time Out Chicago.

(8) HuffPo Hugs a Domestic Terrorist: Bill Ayers Has a Column at Huffington Post
Tom Blumer,, January 3, 2009

After the self-admitted, unrepentant domestic terrorist Bill Ayers was kept out of the spotlight during the 2008 election, he emerged at the one media outlet that a RealClearPolitics columnist referred to as
"[t]he resolutely pro-Obama Huffington Post" (more here). Excerpt (emphasis added):
The mainstreaming of a domestic terrorist continues apace. Of course, Huffington Post isn't "mainstream" in any real sense, but is considered as such by out-of-touch Old Media, which (post-election, of course) has frequently feted the 1970s Pentagon bomber.

Here's the Huffington Post URL in case you wish to visit [...]:

At the link, HuffPo describes Ayers as "Author and Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago." There is, of course, no mention of his violent Weather Underground history.

(9) The HuffPo Gets to Question Obama — Making History
Belinda Luscombe, Time, February 10, 2009
Excerpt (emphasis added):
Change in Washington comes in increments, and a door was cracked open on Feb. 9 when, in the first official press conference of the Obama Administration, the President took a question from a reporter who writes only for a Web outlet. Admittedly, said outlet was the Huffington Post (or, as it is called for short, the HuffPo), so the reporter was unlikely to throw a curveball. Nevertheless, the President, and with him the whole White House media shop, has crossed a Rubicon of sorts, acknowledging the equivalent legitimacy of an unapologetically unobjective media outlet, which lives nowhere but the Internet and which didn't even exist four years ago.

(10) Arianna Huffington: The Web's New Oracle
Belinda Luscombe, Time, March 19, 2009
Excerpt (emphasis added):
(N)ews organizations may not tolerate others cherry-picking their content and repurposing it for profit for much longer. "Someone is going to sue the Huffington Post," says Joshua Benton, director of the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. "It's not just about the volume of the content that it appropriates, it's about the value." There are other aggregators, but HuffPo is the most tempting. "It's a big player, and the site that has got closest to the line" between fair and unfair use of copy, Benton notes. [...]

[Huffington] is offended and bewildered by the suggestion that other news outlets think she's getting a free ride. She sees herself as the future of journalism, not the end of it.

(11) Fire Marshal Bill Discusses Vaccines And Autism On The Huffington Post
"Orac" (a surgeon-scientist),, April 23, 2009
Excerpt (emphasis added):
After writing about a new low of pseudoscience published in that repository of all things antivaccine and quackery, The Huffington Post (do you even have to ask?), on Tuesday, I had hoped—really hoped—that I could ignore HuffPo for a while.

After all, there’s only so much stupid that even Orac can tolerate before his logic circuits start shorting out and he has to shut down a while so that his self-repair circuits can undo the damage. Besides, I sometimes think that the twit who created HuffPo, Arianna Huffington, likes the attention that turds dropped onto her blog by quackery boosters of the like of Kim Evans.

Certainly, the HuffPo editors seem utterly untroubled that, among physicians and medical scientists, HuffPo is viewed with utter contempt and ridicule.

(12) AntiVaxers Make Me Sick
Phil Pliat (astronomer), Discover Magazine, April 26, 2009
I am embarrassed I ever wrote anything for HuffPo, which is now a cesspool of misleading misinformation.

(13) The Huffington Post’s War on Medical Science: A Brief History
David Gorski, MD, PhD, FACS,, May 4, 2009
Excerpt (emphasis added):
Steve Novella has already... done a bang-up job of describing how Arianna Huffington’s political news blog has become a haven for quackery, even going so far as to entitle his followup post The Huffington Post’s War on Science. And he’s absolutely right. The Huffington Post has waged a war on science, at least a war on science-based medicine, ever since its inception [...]

My disdain for The Huffington Post’s treatment of medical science goes way, way back–all the way back to its very beginnings.
As I mentioned before, a mere two or three weeks after Arianna Huffington’s little vanity project hit the blogosphere, I noticed a very disturbing trend in its content. That trend was a strong undercurrent of antivaccination blogging. [...]

There is little doubt that the blogging culture of HuffPo is steeped in anti-vaccine pseudoscience. If that were all that’s wrong with HuffPo, it would be bad enough. But it’s not. This year, HuffPo blogging has taken a turn for the worse. For HuffPo, this year is the year of the quack.

(14) Huffington Post Smear of Gibson Uses Doctored Video
"JohnnyDollar," March 9, 2009
Excerpt (first link, and emphasis added):
A headline at Huffington Post blares: John Gibson Compares Eric Holder To Monkey With Bright Blue Scrotum (VIDEO). Writer Alex Leo lays it all out:
At the end of a long and pointless conversation between two Fox News reporters covering a zoo escape, John Gibson compared Attorney General Eric Holder to a monkey.... At 2:48, they toss to John Gibson who complains that he can't get away with saying "bright blue scrotum" on the radio then follows that up by saying, "We were talking about Eric Holder today on the radio and his bright blue scrotum."
Hundreds of HuffPo commenters erupted in predictable outrage:
  • FOX continues to prove it is part of the most racist network since the KKK
  • John Gibson should be fired.
  • These guys are unbelievable. Racism and Gibson's fixation for blue scrotums together would baffle when Freud himself.
  • this is not surprising john gibson is a bigot and has never denied it.
  • i hope Keith Olbeman has a special comment about this isses!!!
  • Keep digging Faux, just keep on digging yourselves into a marginalize racist pit of despair.
There's only one problem with all this: the video posted by HuffPo is a fake.

UPDATE: John Gibson says this is part of a pattern, and had further comments on today's radio program.

(15) For Huffington Post, Left Is Right
Michael Calderone,, May 22, 2009
Excerpt (emphasis added):
Coming after the recent Beltway debate over coordination between Huffington Post’s senior news editor, Nico Pitney, and the White House over a question about Iran at a recent presidential news conference as well as President Obama’s decision to call on another Huffington Post reporter at his first White House press conference, the choice of Froomkin[*] to oversee reporters as Washington bureau chief seemed to solidify the site’s identity as a progressive voice heavily invested in Obama’s success.
[* Dan Froomkin, recently fired by the Washington Post, was recently hired by HuffPost "to oversee reporters as (its) Washington bureau chief."]

Jacob Weisberg, editor-in-chief of The Post’s Slate Group, says he thinks “Huffpost has done a great job with what I would call filtering, (rather than aggregation). It reframes the news through a left-wing, tabloid perspective, which works well for a large audience, much as Fox News does.” [...]

In his lengthy New Yorker piece last year on “The death and life of the American newspaper,” Eric Alterman said it was a model that could prove successful as print dinosaurs continue dying out. In a recent e-mail, Alterman, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, described it as a “‘community newspaper’ for the liberal community.” [...]

“I think objectivity, as we’re seeing it in the traditional media, has been a disaster,” Froomkin told POLITICO. With sites like Huffington Post, he continued, you’re seeing a “form of journalism that is truer to journalism than what we’re seeing in the newsroom.”

Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center, a conservative watchdog group, said the Obama White House proved to be savvy in coordinating a question from someone whom he views as a “participant in this administration’s agenda.” Bozell added that “it also makes a shambles of the idea of the media being a disinterested observer.” [...]

Columnist Michael Kinsley, who founded Slate in 1996, said that [...] Huffington Post has “become sort of the official voice of the fashionable left” [...]
Room temperature IQ not being a registration requirement at the Huffington Post, the Facebook Obama Assassination Poll, and its fantasized connection to “right-wingers” and “the GOP” had HuffPo commenters’ collective panties in a wad for several days.

“Kill Obama” Facebook Poll Investigated By Secret Service

Obama Facebook Poll: “Should Obama Be Killed?” Pulled From Site, Secret Service Investigate - UPDATED (PHOTOS)

GOP Must Disavow the Nut Jobs

The piece then goes on to list some of the innumerable Facebook pages that are dedicated to users' wishes for President Bush to be assassinated --- which were never covered at HuffPost.

Yet as Huff-Watch has documented, HuffPost has approved and actively protected users who express their threats and wishes to see political "enemies" be murdered, up to and including President Bush (1, 2, 3). This even includes one user, "kevenseven," whom it has permitted to repeatedly boast of the fact that he was
interviewed in his home by the U.S. Secret Service for such "comments" regarding President Bush --- and whom it has been repeatedly banned, yet fully reinstated, shortly thereafter --- while it was banning other, non-violating users (here).

(20) "HuffPo's Misogyny: The NSFW Path to Liberal Journalism Success"
by Mary Katharine Ham, The Weekly Standard, November 24, 2009
Note: "NSFW" = "Not Safe For Work"; Excerpt:
(T)he Huffington Post has to make a buck, like any other business, and this is how it's going about doing it. Any headline with "NSFW" or "slip" or "upskirt" in it will bring you Internet traffic, but at what cost?...

I'd argue that the kind of Internet traffic HuffPo trafficks in is below a political site of the caliber it purports to be, period. But the Huffington Post is also a left-of-center reporting outlet with a keen interest in harping on what it calls the "anti-woman" views and policies of the Republican Party, conservative leaders, and even conservative Democrats. Somehow it's hard to take HuffPo's rant about Neanderthal Stupak-amendment supporters seriously when it's right next to Rihanna's exposed nipple and some D-lister's leaked sex tape.

It won't be long before people start to claim, defensively, at D.C. dinner parties that they just read HuffPo "for the articles."

(21) "War of the Words: Henry Blodget Ignores the Elephant in the Room"
By Andrew Breitbart, Big Journalism, January 10, 2010

Breitbart was a co-developer of Huffington Post, and its first News Editor.
At some point in 2007, Breitbart left HuffPost, and became one of the most vocal critics (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) of its acting as a vehicle for leftist hatred. In early 2009, and in addition to operating, Breitbart opened his own blogsite, BigHollywood (1, 2), to lure Hollywood conservatives and libertarians out of "the closet," and give them a public voice. In late 2009, Breitbart created BigGovernment, which has been breaking the ACORN corruption stories. Big Journalism is Breitbart's latest venture.

Excerpt (emphasis added):
My sites offer truth --- and her (Arianna Huffington's) sites offer leftist spin.

(I)n helping create Huffington Post I can now recognize that the ideas represented at the New York Times and the Huffington Post affirm what most already know and that is the New York Times is provably a left of center operation. Huffpo granted the perspective readers needed to make that determination. Their ideological outlook is a DNA match.

(22) "Arianna Huffington's Journalism Charity Helps Nobody but Herself"
By John Cook, Gawker, January 25, 2010
Excerpt (emphasis added):
When the Huffington Post Investigative Fund was announced last March, Arianna Huffington modestly described its mission as "to save investigative journalism." Ten months later, it's safe to say the fund's chief accomplishment is providing free scoops to the Huffington Post. (And burnishing Huffington's reputation and monstrous ego, but that goes without saying.)...

(23) "How I Did It," by Arianna Huffington
As told to Daniel McGinn, Inc., Feb 1, 2010
[Ed.: This was clearly not meant to be a comedic article, but for those who know HuffPost well --- which Mr. McGinn obviously does not --- it is a knee-slapper. Commentary is necessary on this one.]
McGinn: "(HuffPost) has an editorial staff of 53, consistently breaks important news stories..."
Ed.: Really? Show us one of those "important news stories." None are cited in this article --- not one. Unless he means...
Arianna Huffington: "During the 2008 campaign, one of our citizen journalists, Mayhill Fowler, reported on Barack Obama's remarks at a San Francisco fundraiser. Obama said that Pennsylvania blue-collar voters 'cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them.' It derailed the campaign for a while and showed how much a citizen journalist could influence a national election."
Ed.: Oh, Arianna. Do you think we're stupid? Do you think no one remembers that HuffPost was a propaganda arm of the Obama camapign? That it ran ads for only one presidential candidate, Obama, for whom it also (coincidentally, of course) gave fawning coverage? That at the same time, it relentlessly attacked his rivals with lies and smears disguised as "news" stories (1, 2, 3)? That once HuffPost realized what it had done regarding Obama's quote in San Francisco, it attempted to move heaven and Earth to rectify its relationship with his campaign? From Gawker:
Was HuffPo biased toward Obama? After the site reported that Obama said "bitter" working-class Americans "cling to guns or religion," HuffPo co-founder Ken Lerer, who himself said to be unhappy about the story, rushed to talk with angry Obama campaign operatives. That would be the same Lerer who convened a fundraiser for Obama at his apartment the year prior, when he was still CEO of Huffington Post. It's worth at least asking whether the Clinton campaign's accusation that the site was a "conveyor belt" for pro-Obama propaganda was more than mere campaign flackery.
AH: "We've always had professional editors running the site."
Ed.: Really. Then explain HuffPost's claims in Section A, above, versus its egregious bias against, and willingness to smear Israel, Jews and conservative individuals and organizations. We don't recall any instances in which you or the CEO of HuffPost rushed off to visit the target of one of your smear campaigns, or invited same to write a rebuttal on HuffPost.
AH: "The most fascinating thing is the people who said no to blogging, then subsequently said yes. I remember Norman Mailer said, 'I can't do it -- I can't do anything until I finish my book.' I said, 'Fine, no problem.' Three months later, there was this scandal of guards at Guantánamo flushing the Koran down the toilet. Norman calls me and says, 'OK, I'll write about that. I'll e-mail you'."
Ed.: That's a very touching story. But as with the 'Obama-bitter-clinger' incident above, you conveniently leave out several vital facts:
(a) The claims against our soldiers were as bogus as your claims that HuffPost is a "nonpartisan newspaper."
(b) In his brief blog article, Mailer spun a web of "inflammatory claims, conspiracy theories, heated exaggeration and suspiciousness" --- all of which you claim are "prohibited" on HuffPost. So which is it? Are such supposed "sins" only permissible on HuffPost when they are directed against our soldiers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), Israel, Jews and conservatives?

Oh, and before we leave this subject, let's remember who Norman Mailer really was --- the man you entrusted to write about a bogus story that ended up in mass killings on the other side of the world. From Discover The Networks [emphasis added]:
Shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Mailer described the fallen Twin Towers as having resembled "two huge buck teeth," and he characterized the ruins at Ground Zero as "more beautiful than the buildings were." "Everything wrong with America led to the point where the country built that tower of Babel [the World Trade Center], which consequently had to be destroyed," he said in October 2001.
Guess your "professional editors" missed that little piece of vetting, that might have given you indication of what a stupid, petty, mean-spirited, conspiracy-laden diatribe he might write against our soldiers and military, hm?

(24) "NY Times, Huffington Post exchange barbs," France24, March 11, 2011
Bill Keller, executive editor of the venerable New York Times, and Arianna Huffington, founder of brash newcomer The Huffington Post, exchanged blows on Thursday in a highly public spat.

Keller threw the first punch in a column for the Times magazine, calling Huffington the "queen of aggregation" in a dig at her site's practice of frequently linking to news items produced by other media outlets.

Huffington, he wrote, "has discovered that if you take celebrity gossip, adorable kitten videos, posts from unpaid bloggers and news reports from other publications, array them on your website and add a left-wing soundtrack, millions of people will come."

Aggregation, the Times editor said, too often "amounts to taking words written by other people, packaging them on your own website and harvesting revenue that might otherwise be directed to the originators of the material."

"In Somalia this would be called piracy," he said. "In the mediasphere, it is a respected business model."

"Newspaper Guild adds firepower to Huffington Post strike," by Steven Nelson, The Daily Caller, March 17, 2011
A strike called by unpaid Huffington Post contributors received a major boost Wednesday with a call to arms released by the national Newspaper Guild.

The industry association called on contributors not currently on strike to cease contributions and asked members to help by “shining a light on the unprofessional and unethical practices of this company.” [...]

“Just as we would ask writers to stand fast and not cross a physical picket line, we ask that they honor this electronic picket line,” wrote the Guild.

“This is about supporting the quality and integrity of a vehicle for progressive expression, to actually help Huffington Post succeed, but on the right terms,” wrote the Guild. “We call on Arianna Huffington to demonstrate her commitment to the working class she so ardently champions in her writing.”

* * *

Additional resources:
  • A regularly-updated series of hard-hitting articles on various aspects of HuffPost's journalistic and business practices, by, here

  • More to come


(C) Accusations of anti-Israel, anti-Semitic bias in HuffPost's news coverage and user comment moderation practices


Note: The following items are excerpted from a Huff-Watch article dedicated to this subject: Articles about anti-Israel, anti-Semitic hate at HuffPost - and its response; also see: Archive of anti-Israel, ant-Semitic bias, libels and hate at HuffPost

(1) Has the Huffington Post Become a Magnet for Israel Haters?
Steven Stotsky, Committee for Accuracy In Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), April 29, 2009

Excerpt (emphasis added):
It is the talkback [user comment] threads, however, that reveal the most egregious shortcomings of [HuffPost]. Winding through the lengthy threads that follow most pieces dealing with Israel, one encounters comment after comment reviling Israel. At times the animosity towards Israel and Jews spills over into implicit threats. The minority of commenters who challenge such ugly sentiments by offering factual or reasoned arguments often encounter derision or are accused of being either agents of Israeli PR or a nefarious Jewish lobby. The vitriol from one commenter spurs a similar sentiment in the next commenter. Soon the repetitive reciting of myths about Jewish influence and other irrational expressions of prejudice overwhelm any attempt at reasoned debate...

[T]he articles reviewed in this sampling suggest some among the Huffington Post’s readership are allowed to direct their vitriol at Israel and its supporters despite the site's declared editing policy.

(2) Spreading Falsehoods About Israel On The Internet
Steven Stotsky, Committee for Accuracy In Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), June 10, 2009
Excerpt (emphasis added):
CAMERA's review of Huffington Post articles on Israel during brief periods in March and May, 2009 provided examples of both unchecked slander and misinformation. A particularly pernicious problem was the use of the talkback threads by some commenters to direct readers to web sites that promote both anti-Israel and anti-Jewish propaganda.

The Huffington Post was chosen for review due to its large audience and because of the steady volume of hostile sentiment directed towards the Jewish state and its supporters that accompanies articles dealing with Israel. Several themes and tactics used by anti-Israel commenters stand out in the talkback threads [...]

Additional resources:


(D) Additional resources that provide ongoing monitoring and exposure of HuffPost


The following search-links provide fast access to other resources that provide ongoing analysis of, and commentary regarding HuffPost:


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


No comments:

Post a Comment