Bill Maher had an article published at the Huffington Post's front page Wednesday.
This appears to be an indication the website is going back on the ad hominem attack rule it used to ban conservative publisher Andrew Breitbart from its front page in March:
The Huffington Post is committed to fostering a lively and often provocative debate about the issues of the day and encourages a wide range of voices from all perspectives to participate. Andrew Brietbart’s [sic] false ad hominem attack on Van Jones in The Daily Caller violates the tenets of debate and civil discourse we have strived for since the day we launched. As a result, we will no longer feature his posts on the front page.
He is welcome to continue publishing his work on HuffPost provided it adheres to our editorial guidelines, as the two posts he published on HuffPost did -- guidelines that include a strict prohibition on ad hominem attacks. Our decision today recognizes that placing posts on the front page is an editorial call that elevates some posts over others, and is an indication of how seriously we take these judgment calls.
That was the statement issued by Post spokesman Mario Ruiz when Breitbart was booted from the website's front page for comments he made in an interview with the Daily Caller. Breitbart told NewsBusters this was part of the media's scheme to make everyone associated with the Tea Party appear racist.
As NewsBusters noted days later, "Following its controversial decision to ban Andrew Breitbart from publishing articles at its front page, the Huffington Post has found itself in quite a pickle now that one of its regular contributors, comedian Bill Maher, made disgustingly vulgar references to former Alaska governor Sarah Palin."
I then sent email messages to Arianna Huffington and editor Roy Sekoff asking if Maher, given his ad hominem attacks, would similarly be banned from the Post's front page. Having received no response, I sent similar messages to Ruiz and others on the Post's staff.
Despite the lack of reply, I thought they had gotten the point for Maher's presence was nowhere to be found on the front page until "TV: A Box Full of Good Memories" Wednesday. I notice in his archives that he did write a piece for the website's Post 50 section in October; I don't know whether this was on the Post's front page.
Assuming Maher's long hiatus from the Post's front page had to do with pressure put on it in the wake of Breitbart's ban, have the editors reversed course on this, or did they just think no one would notice?
Regardless of the answer, maybe the Post should now reinstate Breitbart as a front page contributor or if he declines make an offer to another real conservative author interested in countering the liberal propaganda so prevalent at the website.