I am a liberal and I hate the Huffington Post. I hate the Drudge Report too, but I’ll hold-off on that. I was scrolling down on today’s front page of the Huff Post and I saw a link to an article that said, “Obama Hits Heckler”. Clicking it, I am taken to Arianna’s politics page. Scrolling down once again is another link to this article. This time the link has a picture of Obama speaking in-front of microphones and the caption, “Obama Hits Back at Heckler”. Finally, I reach the article and its headline says, “Obama Responds to Heckler during Energy Speech: ‘You’re Being Rude’”. I was lured into drilling-down by a salacious title, to what turned out to be a ho-hum story. All the while, I was being pelted with ads, which was the purpose of this exercise all along.
I went from envisioning an attack from Obama, possibly involving a drone, to a tussle with the President that the Secret Service had to break up, to just words, and only half of the dialog at that. We never learn what the man heckling from the crowd said. From what Obama says to him from the podium, it apparently involved this man’s desire to give him a book to read. One only learns even this from watching the CBS News video feed of the event, after watching a commercial I might add. We never learn which book. The extent that the Huff Post exhibited any journalism at all was to echo another new source’s report.
Arianna Huffington learned her craft while working for Matt Drudge. For those of you not familiar with either of these two’s work, The Huffington Post is to the left, what the Drudge Report is to the right. Besides better politics, Arianna’s rag has better visuals than Matt’s, which has virtually none. It also reports on culture, which usually degrades to a laundry list of celebrity’s dirty laundry. Still, it is a guilty pleasure. Both Arianna and Matt perform a service for their various constituencies. Such a service is worthy of a fee, hence the ads, but to bait-and-switch the way she does is worthy only of tabloid journalism. I guess that is what she has sunk to, the National Enquirer of blogs.
This is not what really pains me though. I do find it annoying, but what really hurts is the way she always goes all fangs out for Tina Brown and her Daily Beast/Newsweek organization, when ever she can. I know that they are competitors, but cattiness is never pretty and a girl fight is even worse. Brown has a healthy stable of writers who write real news articles, instead of trolling the internet in high-speed cigarette boats. You are never fast enough, if you are sourcing someone else’s material. Part of my anger is derived from what the Huffington Post once was, at least for me. Once it was my first source for much of its reporting. Maybe it is I that have changed and not Arianna. Maybe I have outgrown the supermarket checkout aisles and now prefer to U-scan my own news? They still put tabloids in the U-scan aisles, but watching and waiting for the previous customers to finish is so much more consuming.
The two photos are from my brother, Chris. He took them last night, while we were talking on the phone. They are the product of his new Canon 5D Mark III. It arrived just in time for his birthday. Over the phone, I could hear the shutter fluttering, as he snapped this HDR photo spread. Please be sure to click and enlarge these photographs. It is worth it. Once again, Happy Birthday Chris!
The Huffington Post has only been something I have read when someone else has referenced/linked an article. Most of the time, I have felt cheated after reading one of their writings. Nevr quite sure what they are trying to prove…or to whom.
I wish the ridiculously over-hyped titles were limited to HP and Drudge. Sadly, you can see it in more and more publications.
I often experience the same discrepancy between what I imagine the headline to mean, and what the story is actually about as you did. I usually skip over Huffpost articles now.
Didn’t AOL buy the Huffpo a while back. Could that have anything to do with the user experience?
@KW: The AOL deal is less than a year old. I think that my complaints have been going on longer than that, but the merger surely didn’t help.
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