HuffPost is the #1 most-read blog on Earth, one of America's top ten news sites, and is supported by some of the world's largest advertisers. Coupled with its repeated claims that it is a nonpartisan newspaper, HuffPost has a special responsibility to treat victims of disasters with fairness and equity.
When the massive wildfire erupted in Israel on December 2 (the first night of Hanukkah) that killed 41 Jews who were racing to save Palestinians, HuffPost could have covered it with a fraction of the breathless, top of the front page coverage it devotes to instances in which Israel or Jews are accused of wrongdoing --- or in which disasters affect other nations.
Instead, HuffPost chose to continue its long, documented history of egregious anti-Semitic bias. This included its decision to bury and keep demoting the story on a secondary page, beneath nonsensical trash pieces (right), then quickly remove it altogether. It also repeatedly broke its own rules, by deciding to publish user anti-Semitic hate comments, such as a claim that "Israel and its fiends deserved it." Further, it continued its long pattern of protecting militant Islamists from accountability, by completely ignoring reports that Arabs had been arrested after being videotaped setting fires, and that a terror group claimed responsibility for the fire and the resulting deaths, and were celebrating both.
Collectively, the decisions HuffPost made add up to one of the most egregious instances we've ever documented of its spitting in the faces of Jews and Israelis.
Take Action: If, after reading this article, you'd like to make your voice known (politely, please) to HuffPost management, and/or the corporations whose advertisements appear in direct proximity to the outrageous behavior documented in this article --- in this instance, American Express, Brooks Brothers, CapitalOne, Chase and Delta Airlines --- see "Action Items" at the end.
UPDATE: Please consider contributing to this relief effort for a orphan's home that was devastated by the fires.
Background: HuffPost's history of using its front page to incite hatred of Israel and Jews, shill for Palestinians and Islamist terrorists...
... and to recognize disasters in nations other than Israel
As we've documented over and over again, HuffPost has three general rules in deciding what goes on its front page, and what gets ignored, when it comes to Jewish and Middle Eastern affairs:
Q) Does it make Israel or Jews look bad?Adding insult to injury, our documentation is replete with examples of how HuffPost almost invariably ignores, and will not publish corrections to the inflammatory allegations it posts against Israel, when they are proven to be false, or maliciously decontextualized or overblown. Examples (more here):
A) Put it on the front page --- at the top, if it's really inflammatory.
(At right: See here for documentation on why HuffPost knew, or should have known that this blood libel it posted --- and maintained --- on its front page was untrue.)
Q) Does it make Palestinians or Islamist terrorists look good, or like victims --- particularly of Israeli/Jewish wrongdoing, even with no evidence? (Or can we twist the headline to serve this purpose?)
A) Put it on the front page.
Q) Does it give Israel or Jews credit for any good deeds, or depict them as victims of militant Islamist threats and violence?
A) Ignore it (example) --- or bury it on some secondary page. This goes double for Jewish child-victims.
- HuffPost spits in the eye of a murdered IDF officer, Israel and Jews everywhere --- while deep-kissing Lebanon and Hezbollah
- HuffPost manipulates headline to falsely incriminate Israel in assassination (Users unleash hate; HuffPost: "Approved!!!")
Further, when other nations are hit with natural disasters, HuffPost often devotes its front page to covering the stories, and even posts breathless, minute-to-minute updates from people on the ground. In some cases it also provides links to charitable organizations seeking donations for relief efforts. One example:
Dec. 2, 4:00pm: So how did HuffPost cover, and position the story of the Israeli wildfires, and the scores of Jews who were killed trying to save Palestinians?
At approximately 2:00pm on December 2, the AP, HuffPost's #1 source for news, published a top-line report that wildfires in Israel that killed dozens of people, most of whom were presumably Jews:
The worst forest fire in Israel's history on Thursday devastated one of the country's few forested areas, killing at least 36 people as guards raced to rescue inmates at a prison in the fire zone, destroying homes and forcing the evacuation of thousands.
Many other national and international news sources upon which HuffPost relies (including the left-leaning Haaretz) were also featuring the story.
So do you think HuffPost --- which bills itself as "The Internet Newspaper" --- put the story at the top of its front page? Nope.The casual viewer who scanned HuffPost's entire front page from top to bottom would have seen absolutely nothing about the fire. How do we know this? Because we took screencaps of HuffPost's entire front page, from top to bottom, at 4:30pm on December 2, to prove it (left to right; click to enlarge).
Anywhere on its front page? Nope.
At the top of even a secondary page? Nope.
(Note the ad for CapitalOne on the left side of the first panel. Does its CEO have any idea what he's helping to enable? You might consider asking him, here. )
So what stories did HuffPost's crack team of 53 "editors" decide were more front-page-worthy than the story of 36 Jews who'd been incinerated while trying to save lives?
Here is a sampling:
- Wheelchair-bound woman strips to lingerie for pat-down (link)
- Kristin Wigg shows Robert DeNiro her best impression of him
- Star (football) receiver wired for sound during brawl
- Putin asks Larry King why he's leaving CNN
- 15 vintage computer ads show how far we've come
- Natalie Portman's 'Black Swan' body double
- America's healthiest mall foods
So did HuffPost publish the story of the Israeli wildfires at all?
Yes, but one would have had to start poking around its secondary pages to try to find the story, as we did --- on the "World page." And even there, it wasn't one of the three top items:
(Note that the "Creative Minds" advertisements are actually by American Express. Does its CEO have any idea what he's helping to enable? You might consider asking him, here. )
Dec. 2, 8:00pm: HuffPost begins demoting the story of the Israeli wildfires down the "World" page... beneath nonsense stories.
Why would HuffPost's editors do this? Well, they decided that another story was far more important: "8 interesting facts about the World Cup 2022 host":
(Note the Delta Airlines ad at right; does its CEO have any idea what he's helping to enable? You might consider asking him, here.)
Dec. 3, 11:00am: Reports began emerging that indicated the fire was started by Islamist terrorists, who were celebrating and bragging about it. So how did HuffPost's cover these developments?
Answer: HuffPost completely ignored these stories --- and worse.
The screencap at lower left is a Google search at 11:00am on December 3, showing that these stories were readily available to HuffPost. The screencap at right shows that CNN was on it.
Even the left-leaning Haaretz, upon which HuffPost relies often for Israeli news, acknowledged that evidence was emerging that the cause of the fire and deaths was arson. Other sources were reporting that at least one Islamist terror group began claiming responsibility for the fire, was celebrating it, and was posting pictures of the charred corpses of the Jews who were killed (caution: very graphic).
As shown in the top-to-bottom World page screencaps below, taken at 11:00am on December 3, however, HuffPost:
- Completely ignored all of these stories
- Further demoted the Israeli fire to near the bottom of the page --- far beneath a story about a man who married his dog... in Australia:
(Note the Brooks Brothers ad just to the left of the "Man marries his dog" story on the left vertical panel. Does its CEO have any idea what he's helping to enable? You might consider asking him, here.)
Dec. 3, 10:00m: HuffPost completely removed the story of the Israeli fires and deaths from its World page --- barely 24 hours after it first posted it.
What did HuffPost replace it with? Here's a sample: this nonsensical story about women with "unibrows," which it published on its World page on December 4, and which it featured on both its front page (left) and its World page (right), at the same time. And as of Dec. 6, for the third day straight, HuffPost decided to leave this story published on its World page (bottom).
So what kinds of user comments did HuffPost review, approve and decide to publish on this thread?
See the story page for yourself. Bottom line: even though its comment policy states it will not publish comments containing anti-Semitic hatred, or celebrations of people's deaths, or "off-topic" comments, on this thread, HuffPost reviewed, approved and decided to publish an anti-Semitic slam-fest against Israel and Jews, that even included celebrating this fire, and the deaths that it caused.
Note that in the screencap at right, it clearly shows that (a) HuffPost was holding back comments in "pending," that it was reviewing, and deciding whether to publish or reject, and that (b) it openly admits that only "approved" comments are published. See this special report for confirmation of the fact that HuffPost has been pre-moderating all user comments since early 2008. As you review these comments, ask yourself two questions:
(1) Could some of these "approved" users be cyber-jihadis, among the 350,000+ of HuffPost's unique monthly visitors originate in Muslim-majority nations --- including Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia?A sampling of the comments that HuffPost decided were appropriate to publish:
(2) How do their hate-filled comments fundamentally differ from those one would find at al-Jazeera, or a radical Islamist hate site?
"israel and their fiends deserved it."
(Note: HuffPost later removed this comment, but allowed the user to remain active; see here. Also note that on this user's profile, an ad for JPMorganChase appears on the upper right. Is this really what Chase wants to be associated with?)
Below, "ChrisDwane" asks that users stop venting their hatred of Israel on this thread:
To which HuffPost decided to publish this classic anti-Semitic conspiracy theory as a reply by "Never-The-Less" --- that Jews control the U.S. media, etc.:
And as our friends at HuffPostMonitor have documented in the past, HuffPost decided to still enable another notorious anti-Israel propagandist, even on this thread, "TheRockBarkat" --- in which he cloaks himself behind an avatar of a keffiya-wearing Anne Frank:
See the story page for more examples of the comments that HuffPost decided to publish --- if you can stomach it.
How does all this comport with HuffPost's self-professed journalistic and comment moderation principles?
We assume this may be a reflection of what HuffPost's former CEO described as its approach to "covering the news with... new ideas about balance and fairness." But how do these decisions square with Arianna Huffington's proclamations that:
“[T]oo many reporters have forgotten that the highest calling of journalists is to ferret out the truth, consequences be damned...”And how about Arianna's statements about the site's refusal to publish hate speech (which, according to HuffPost's comment policy, includes anti-Semitism)?
- July 29, 2009
“[W]e are increasingly seen ... as an Internet newspaper, not positioned ideologically in terms of how we cover the news.”
- May 22, 2009
"If you're looking for the usual flame-throwing, name-calling, and simplistic attack dog rhetoric ... don't bother coming to the Huffington Post."==============
- May 3, 2005
"We have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to abusive or hateful language or comments."
If you share our view that HuffPost's actions in regards to this story are outrageous, and are opposed to its long, long history of inciting and tolerating anti-Semitic and anti-Israel hatred, we urge you to do three things:
(1) Make your voice known to HuffPost's senior management here.
(2) Consider writing or calling one or more of HuffPost's top advertisers, to let them know your thoughts on what their ad dollars are enabling:
- American Express, Kenneth I. Chenault, Chairman and CEO, 212-640-2000
- Brooks Brothers, Claudio Del Vecchio, CEO, 732-225-4860, General inquiry form here
- CapitalOne, Richard D. Fairbank, Chairman & CEO, (703) 720-1000; The Capital One EthicsLine: 866-785-9735, email@example.com
- Chase, James Dimon, Chairman & CEO, 212-270-6000, Code of Conduct here, Ann Marie Hauser, Corporate Social Responsibility, firstname.lastname@example.org
(3) Forward the link to this story along to others who support Israel and Jews
- Delta Airlines, Richard H. Anderson, CEO, 404-715-2600, Comment & complaint page here