"There are none so blind as those who will not see."
- Jonathan Swift, "Polite Conversation," 1738
An open letter to PBS ombudsman Michael Getler
Dear Mr. Getler:
On September 17, you claimed in your blog that Arianna Huffington and HuffPost are something other than malicious, flame-throwing, pathologically-deceptive radical leftists. As this letter will demonstrate, you are severely mistaken.
Your statements were made in the context of viewer concerns over interviews that the News Hour conducted with Dick Armey, chairman of Freedom Works, and Ms. Huffington, co-founder and Editor-In-Chief of HuffPost. Here is the key part of what you said:
The "series" turned out, it seemed to me, to be a big public relations win for Armey as mostly a platform for his views, while Huffington's main point was that "the solutions are beyond left and right" and spent as much or more time bashing the Obama administration, aside from noting that the problems grew from "obviously a failure of the Bush years."
My Points: One is that Huffington may be labeled as "a liberal Democrat," but she and her widely viewed website strike me, as a reader, as an equal-opportunity critic. Armey is not. There are plenty of sharp, critical assessments of the Democratic Party and administration on her site.
As NewsBusters' Tim Graham so succinctly pointed out:
Doesn't it matter that [Huffington and others are] banging away that Obama isn't socialist enough?
But apparently, in the upside-down world of "public" broadcasting, anyone that deviates from the "more-government-is-better" viewpoint is classified as a right-wing extremist --- while a fire-breathing leftist demagogue like Ms. Huffington is depicted as nonpartisan.
For starters, take a look at these screencaps, taken of HuffPost's front page at the same time on Sept. 19, 2010. Do you know of any other "news" publication that would publish two items of Obama-worshipping schlock like these on its front page, at the same time? Sandwiched against "news" stories that, just coincidentally, are critical of conservatives?
HuffPost's Obama-worship goes all the way back to 2007, Mr. Getler. Consider that after HuffPost denied numerous accounts of how it was shilling for the Obama campaign, and relentlessly attacking his opponents, it wasn't until November 21, 2008 --- several weeks after the presidential election --- that Ms. Huffington decided to finally inform us that there are only three people in the world that she text-messages: her two daughters and... Barack Obama.
That's just the surface stuff, Mr. Getler. The really insidious stuff that Ms. Huffington and HuffPost engage in is plain to see --- to anyone who cares to look. Below are but a few examples that validate this allegation:
(1) HuffPost's "journalistic jihad" against the Tea Party and conservatives:
Its incessant pattern of using incendiary libels and smears, which have no foundation in reality. See this comprehensive report --- which documents in detail how HuffPost is far guiltier of that which it accuses the Tea Party of perpetrating:HuffPost vs the Tea Party: Which one *really* incites and tolerates hate speech & calls for violence?More:
Also: Is HuffPost racist? By its own standards, it would appear so5/15/10: HuffPost smears Sarah Palin and the NRA, again (users erupt in hate-fest; HuffPost: "Approved!!!")
3/29/10: HuffPost's near-racist smear of RNC Chairman Michael Steele
6/12/09: "Neocons Root For Ahmadinejad" --- NOT; users espouse hate based on lie (HuffPost: "Approved!!!")
5/17/08: False headline re NRA convention foments user hatred (HuffPost: "Approved!!!")
4/7/08: A "report" that McCain called wife a vulgar term turns out to be nothing more than a vicious rumor --- at best
Archive of false/misleading HuffPost headlines
(2) HuffPost's "journalistic jihad" against Israel:
Its relentless campaign of using inflammatory, decontextualized and egregiously biased headlines and imagery in such a way that could only incite hatred of Israel --- then neglecting to post or burying information that provides vital context, or exonerates the Jewish state. See this comprehensive report:9/10/10: HuffPost's pathological anti-Semitic bias: Children's edition
8/23/10: HuffPost spits in the eye of a murdered IDF officer, Israel and Jews everywhere --- while deep-kissing Lebanon and Hezbollah
6/2/10: HuffPost's total blackout of "the rest of the story" regarding the "Peace Flotilla"
2/17/10: HuffPost manipulates headline to falsely incriminate Israel in assassination (Users unleash hate; HuffPost: "Approved!!!")
HuffPost's ongoing blackout of credible rebuttals to the anti-Israel stories it publishes
8/19/09: HuffPost publishes anti-Semitic blood libel without any proof; users unleash anti-Semitic hate (HuffPost: "Approved!!!")
Archive of anti-Israel, ant-Semitic bias, libels and hate at HuffPost
(3) HuffPost's protection and emboldening of the most unhinged radical leftist violators of its comment policy --- while censoring and banning those who stand up to them:
For more than two years, and despite its repeated claims that it works relentlessly to keep its site "clean" of hate comments, HuffPost's management has made the decision to enable, protect and embolden the worst-of-the-worst violators of its comment policy, who (just coincidentally) happen to all be radical leftists. This includes users who've openly threatened and urged the murder of Republican protectees of the Secret Service, including President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Nancy Reagan and others. See a comprehensive report on this matter here:HuffPost's protection of the most egregious violators of its "policies" --- and its banning of non-violators, on a minute-to-minute basisAlso see:
In fact, HuffPost has even decided to empower several of these threateners to be "Community Moderators," tasked with policing its comment threads:
(4) Arianna Huffington's attempts to weasel her way out of being held accountable for her statements and actions --- by lashing out at those who know the truth:
Would it not be a good idea for you to request that, in a future PBS interview with Ms. Huffington, she be asked how she can make these and similar public claims --- when the facts show that HuffPost, under her editorial leadership, violates these principles as a matter of policy?
“The editorial stance of the Huffington Post is to debunk the right-left way of thinking, which has become completely obsolete."
- November 14, 2007
“[T]oo many reporters have forgotten that the highest calling of journalists is to ferret out the truth, consequences be damned...”
- July 29, 2008
“[W]e are increasingly seen ... as an Internet newspaper, not positioned ideologically in terms of how we cover the news.”
- May 22, 2009
Hopefully, all this information will help enable you help PBS to present its viewers with a more accurate and candid portrayal of the woman whose "newspaper" you describe as nonpartisan, or centrist.
ACTION ITEMS FOR HUFF-WATCHERS:
If you share our view that Mr. Getler was severely mistaken in his assessment, and want to see PBS hold Ms. Huffington to account for her far-left flamethrowing, and her "journalistic jihad" against the Tea Party, conservatives and , here is information on how to contact him, directly from his profile page:
Send an E-mail to Michael Getler or contact him at 703-739-5290
Related: Mission and Approach of PBS Ombudsman, and PBS's Editorial Standards.
Also, if you'd like to make your voice known to HuffPost's senior management (politely, please), here.
UPDATE Sept. 23, 2010: "Sesame Street" introduces preschoolers to... bouncing breasts
Not that we're objecting or anything... but this sure isn't Mr. Rogers' PBS anymore. Then again, we certainly would prefer this variety of boobs to the ones who claim, with straight faces, that Arianna Huffington is nonpartisan:
Hat tip: Jawa Report