"[At HuffPost] there are guidelines that have to be followed -- and they include a prohibition on... inflammatory claims..."
- Feb. 1, 2010
“[T]oo many reporters have forgotten that the highest calling of journalists is to ferret out the truth, consequences be damned...”
- July 29, 2009
This is the second time in two weeks that HuffPost published an inflammatory claim about Christine O'Donnell, based on nothing more than an anonymous source. See details on HuffPost's earlier outrage (left) here. The difference is that in today's case, the truth behind the malicious libel HuffPost published was available to anyone who decided to do the most basic fact-checking... as other (real) newspapers did, but which HuffPost neglected (or refused) to mention.
At 5:45pm on October 28, HuffPost published this smear story against U.S. Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell on its front page --- five days before the election.
Being that HuffPost is the #1 most-read blog in the world and a top-ten U.S. "news" site, supported by many of the biggest advertisers in the world, anything it posts clearly is going to have an impact.
So, is there any truth to the allegation? No. This was discovered by other newspapers about the same time that HuffPost, the self-professed "Internet newspaper," ran with this "news story."
So why would the site named after, and run by the woman who has repeatedly claimed it is nonpartisan, and that its editorial stance "is to debunk the right-left way of thinking, which has become completely obsolete," run such an inflammatory smear against Ms. O'Donnell? And how could such a false allegation get through her crack team of 53 "editors"?
Those are all pedestrian questions, compared to what comes next. Because the next question is: Did HuffPost update the story to reflect the fact that the allegation against Ms. O'Donnell is as phony as HuffPost's claims of being "nonpartisan" (and Arianna's statement that she's "prohibited inflammatory claims" there)? Well, not exactly.
The Village Voice, not exactly a conservative rag, provided a thorough (very long) debunking of the story, which it published at 6:53pm on October 28.
Here's what the conservative site HotAir posted at 8:53pm on October 28 --- showing that even HuffPost's partners in radical leftism --- Media Matters, NOW and others --- condemned this vicious, vile, untrue attack on Ms. O'Donnell:
Yet here is HuffPost's front page, from 4:00am on October 29 (notice the clock we inserted) --- ten hours after it was posted --- indicating only that the story got "attacked on Twitter":
And here's the story page, showing that the story was posted at 5:34pm --- yet by 4:00am, it had not been updated to reflect the statements by Media Matters or NOW, or any of the other sources that revealed the libel to be false:
Wait, you mean that HuffPost's crack team of 53 "editors" was unable to uncover what a few editors at HotAir did --- eight hours earlier?
Before you say, "Don't be stupid -- HuffPost knew exactly what it was doing, and it just wanted to smear O'Donnell," stop, and reflect. Do you really mean to suggest that the website run by the woman who was invited to testify before the U.S. Senate and the FTC on "the future of journalism" --- and who reportedly sees herself as "the future of journalism" --- knowingly allowed her "newspaper" to maliciously libel a female candidate for federal office? And then neglected to update the "story" with the truth? You should be ashamed of yourself for thinking such a thing. Really.
After all, barely 24 hours from now, Arianna Huffington, America's self-appointed paragon of journalistic ethics, will be helping to facilitate her friends' "Restore Our Sanity" rally in Washington, DC.
God help us all, if she is the arbiter of "sanity."
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Oh, and need we even ask what kinds of vile, hate-filled user comments you think might have been incited by HuffPost's headline --- which it reviewed, approved and decided to publish, even though they were egregious violations of its policy? Check out the thread for yourself.
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If you'd like to make you voice known to HuffPost's senior management (politely, please), go here. You might also consider writing to one or more of HuffPost's top advertisers, to let them know your thoughts on what they're enabling with their ad dollars.
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