HuffPost claims it is "an Internet newspaper, not positioned ideologically in terms of how we cover the news,” whose mission is "to ferret out the truth, consequences be damned," and "debunk the left-right way of thinking," and which sees itself as "the future of journalism, not the end of it." See Section A here. Most recently, Ms. Huffington claimed that HuffPost has a journalistic prohibition on "inflammatory claims" and "conspiracy theories."
This article documents how HuffPost took an inflammatory, falsehood-riddled press release, which was disguised to look like an opinion piece, then further disguised it as a "news" story, to smear the Tea Party movement with the worst possible allegation: racism.
This is not the first time that we've documented how HuffPost uses its "news" resources to unfairly smear the Tea Party movement, and we're certain it won't be the last. But with the advent of Huff-Watch, perhaps it will be at least a little more careful to conceal the hatred and misconceptions it is deliberately, maliciously inciting.
On March 7, this was one of the "news" stories that HuffPost chose to publish on its front page:
Is this headline true? Of course not. But then again, the story is not "news," either: it is a shameless, opinion-based smear piece disguised as news. HuffPost decided to place the "story" in the center column of its front page, which it devotes to "news" items, as Ms. Huffington claims was the ideology behind the design:
Huffington told me [the] 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.
And this has been the approach taken since that time; see this "anatomy" of HuffPost's front page, to really understand just how underhanded this deception regarding this Tea Party "story" was.
Now, here's the story page to which the headline linked:
Wait --- HuffPost's front page claims there's only an "anti-immigration agenda" at work behind the Tea Party.
Yet on the story page, HuffPost claims "Mexicans Are Filthy Stinking Animals - Teabaggers: That's Really Not Racism"?
Who said that? Is that the official policy of the Tea Party organizers? Was a survey taken of Tea Partiers, to determine that this is acceptable language? Of course not.
But when has a lie like that ever stopped HuffPost from putting up misleading, inflammatory headlines (which it primarily uses to unfairly smear conservative individuals and organizations, and Israel/Jews)?
Here's the "money shot," in this faux "news" piece, written by "Axel Woolfolk," which HuffPost made the decision to publish [emphasis added]:
If they call us - Mexicans - filthy stinking animals, well they were only referring to the illegal ones anyhow.
Enough. Racism is racism, there is no excuse for it and has no place in America's public discourse. Their attempt to use racism as a legitimate tool to further a political, economic and anti-immigration agenda is tantamount to the propagandizing of fear as a tool to incite to action. It is using violent words for violent action.
The Tea Party organization called Mexicans "filthy stinking animals"?
Really, Mr. Woolfolk?
Of course not. As shown in this video (to which Mr. Woolfolk linked), it was one attendee at one Tea Party event. One person --- not affiliated with the group. As far as we know, this could well have been one of the leftist infiltrators that have been pretending to be attendees at Tea Party events, making racist statements in front of the news media, in order to smear the entire organization. (A tactic obliquely suggested by Saul Alinksy, and routinely employed by radical Canadian leftists)
What anyone who knows anything about Tea Party organizers and attendees knows is that:
- About 99.9% of of them would vigorously denounce that person to his face, if given the chance
- They would never, ever allow such a person to hold any position of leadership in any Tea Party organization or event (In fact, HuffPost was caught with its pants down, when it ran a story "news" story accused a Tea Party "leader" of being an open racist. Although it was determined soon thereafter that he was not a "leader" of the organization, and that the group openly denounced him, HuffPost did not run a retraction)
Yet the one attendee in this "news" story the entire basis for HuffPost's (false) headline claim of "The Tea Party's Anti-Immigration Agenda," and Mr. Woolfolk's even more incendiary headline.
Here is the video that Mr. Woolfolk provided to support his contention. The remainder of the video shows individual Tea Party attendees making both defensible and whackaloon comments.
Who is "Alex Woolfolk"?
(Hint: Think Dana Carvey: "Isn't that conveeenient!!!")
So who exactly is Alex Woolfolk, who wrote this "piece"? Here's what his bio, at the top of this story page, claims:
"Brave New Films team, Cuentame, runs the Spanish language blog Metaforapolitica.com."
And what are those firms? They're the ones that produced the video upon which Mr. Woodfolk makes his false contentions. Convenient, isn't it?
At the end of the day, what we have here is:
- An inflammatory, falsehood-riddled press release, that was...
- Disguised to look like an opinion column...
- Which HuffPost then uncritically further disguised as a "news" story
Yet HuffPost is the outfit that claims it is "an Internet newspaper, not positioned ideologically in terms of how we cover the news,” whose mission is "to ferret out the truth, consequences be damned," and to whom NewsTrust and the Atlantic Philanthropy donated serious money, to create an "investigative journalism" project. See here.
It is said that the only thing necessary for evil to fester is for good people to stand by and do nothing. Until and unless honest Americans of all political stripes come forward and denounce HuffPost for this kind of yellow journalism, it will undoubtedly continue shoveling it out.
If you share our concerns and would like to express your views directly to HuffPost, here's how.
- HuffPost would miserably fail its own standard for (falsely) smearing others as "racists," using "hate speech," and "inciting hate/violence" (here)
- 3/20/10: HuffPost again smears the Tea Party based on false charges of racism (here)
- Quiz: Are you qualified to become a HuffPost Moderator? (here)
- 11/17/09: "Peace" activists physically assault peaceful Tea Partiers; how did HuffPost play it? (here)
- Archive of false/misleading headlines, primarily targeting conservative individuals and organizations with smears (here)
- HuffPost's protection of the most egregious violators of its "policies" --- and its banning of non-violators, on a minute-to-minute basis (here)