A freelance blogger on Tuesday filed a class action lawsuit against Arianna Huffington for $105 million. The suit alleges that the Huffington Post's legion of unpaid bloggers are entitled to one third of the revenue from the site's sale to AOL in February.
Jonathan Tasini, who filed the lawsuit, compared Huffington to a "robber baron" in a blog post on Tuesday, and called her site a "blogger plantation - where her slaves work to build her fortune."
Tasini's hard-left perspective came through in his complaint (students of Marx will no doubt recognize his labor theory of value):
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.
As NewsBusters previously reported, Breitbart made some comments about President Obama's former green czar Van Jones that precipitated the following hypocritical statement from HuffPo spokesman Mario Ruiz last Thursday (readers are warned of vulgar content in full article):
The Huffington Post reported "An anti-abortion group behind a controversial New York billboard targeting African Americans is now taking its message to the South Side of Chicago, in a billboard targeting supporters of President Obama." Next to Obama's face is the words "Every 21 minutes, our next possible leader is aborted." The group Life Always will unveil the billboards on Tuesday.
"Our future leaders are being aborted at an alarming rate. These are babies who could grow to be the future Presidents of the United States, or the next Oprah Winfrey, Denzel Washington or Maya Angelou," said Life Always Board Member Reverend Derek McCoy.
Howard Kurtz on Sunday hypocritically supported the Huffington Post's decision to can Andrew Breitbart as one of its front page contributors.
The "Reliable Sources" host took issue with comments Breitbart made about former Obama green czar Van Jones, but ignored the immutable fact that numerous HuffPo bloggers have regularly made ad hominem attacks on prominent conservatives without being admonished or demoted (video follows with transcript and commentary):
To tweak the punchline of an old joke -- what's this talk of invading, paleface?
Unleashing the bellicosity that's been kept corked since MSNBC put the kibosh on his "Psycho Talk" segments, Ed Schultz has weighed in at The Huffington Post in an op-ed titled "Why I Support President Obama's Decision to Invade Libya."
Psst, Ed -- we haven't invaded Libya, at least not yet. And I'd venture to say that most Americans don't expect we will, at least if Obama is to be believed. Remember how he said American troops would not be sent there? The president was pretty emphatic about it, as I recall. Agreed, it was all of eight days ago, distant enough that it slipped down your memory hole.
Conservative publisher Andrew Breitbart told NewsBusters Friday his less than two week stint as a Huffington Post front page contributor was abruptly terminated as part of an ongoing scheme by liberal media members to depict the Tea Party as racist.
After caving to pressure from the far-left to have Breitbart dumped, HuffPo spokesman Mario Ruiz issued the following statement Thursday:
Former Clinton labor secretary Robert Reich wrote a truly nonsensical piece for the Huffington Post Tuesday ironically called "The Republicans' Big Lies About Jobs."
MSNBC's Chris Matthews must have loved this tripe and its sophomoric title for he invited the Berkeley professor on Wednesday's "Hardball" so that the pair could put on a clinic in liberal economic fantasy (video follows with partial transcript and oodles of commentary):
UPDATE AT END OF POST: Tennessee state assemblyman buys the lie!
If you frequent liberal blogs, you were likely under the impression this weekend that Minnesota state Republicans were trying to make it illegal for the poor to carry more than $20 in their pockets or handbags.
Fortunately the Left has someone in its ranks interested in exposing lies rather than spreading them:
It seems that some on the left are beginning to notice the epic journalistic malpractice going on in the media's refusal to cover a litany of death threats - some specific and credible - against Wisconsin Republicans for their support of legislation trimming the power of public sector unions.
"Burying the death threat story is a clear example of intellectual dishonesty and journalistic bias," liberal blogger Lee Stranahan succinctly put it in a piece at the Huffington Post on Tuesday. Stranahan wondered "why progressives shouldn't expect more from our media -- and ourselves -- than we expect from our political adversaries."
He even linked to a post by our own Noel Sheppard demonstrating much of the media's - including all three news networks' - apparent lack of interest in death threats against Wisconsin's elected officials.
Jay Kernis, senior producer of CNN's In the Arena program, promoted liberal writer David Sirota's thesis that "the mythology of the 1980s still defines our thinking on everything from militarism, to greed, to race relations." Sirota bashed 80s cultural touchstones such as The A Team and Ghostbusters for being "hideously militaristic" and the "ugliness of [their] anti-government message."
Kernis interviewed the Huffington Post contributor about his new book, "Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live in Now—Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Everything" in an item on his program's blog on CNN.com on Monday. The producer first asked about the writer's hypothesis that "the political and cultural references from the 1980s have not only become cool again, but may be a way to explain our present-day issues and conflicts, and even influencing our thinking today."
Recently, the Los Angeles branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) released a video showing a group of protestors exhibiting anti-Muslim sentiments outside an ICNA fundraising dinner. Liberal media outlets ran with the press release as a way to highlight bigotry towards Muslims, with the video showing up on The Guardian, Think Progress, Salon, Mediaite, Huffington Post, and Hillary Clinton’s source for ‘real news’, Al Jazeera. Problem being, the video and press release is so wrought with false statements, distortions, and a cut and paste documentary style, it could have passed as a Michael Moore film.
Naturally, these news outlets casually gloss over the ICNA’s controversial ties to radical clerics, terrorist organizations, and the implementation of Sharia law. Outlined previously, the group has hosted events with such speakers as radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, and Siraj Wahhaj, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and one of the keynote speakers at this particular fundraiser. Additionally, the group has documented ties to Hamas, Jamaat-e-Islami, and the Muslim Brotherhood.
All facts which seemingly bear little relevance as to why there would be a protest in the first place. But even beyond an exploration of reasons behind the protest, is concern that these media outlets would present a distorted video as evidence of anything other than their own journalistic malpractice.
President Obama apparently has 18.5 million Facebook friends which not surprisingly is far more than former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
When the Huffington Post's Howard Fineman told his liberal colleagues on the syndicated "Chris Matthews Show" what a potential advantage this gives the current White House resident, there was much rejoicing (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The far-left Fox-haters are at it again. In just the past couple of days, we've seen multiple instances of leftist pundits dishonestly bashing the Fox News Channel in yet more attempts to slime the cable news channel.
The latest such attempts caught the attention of cable news blogger Johnny Dollar, who consistently documents the left's growing hatred of everything Fox.
The more notable instance of Fox-hating came from former MSNBC host David Shuster. Shuster took to twitter Thursday to celebrate Canada's rejection of Fox News's application for a broadcasting license. Just one problem: Fox's licesnse was approved in 2004. Calledout on the mistake, Shuster deleted his tweet, blocked Dollar, and to date has not issued a correction.
Anderson Cooper has "surged" in the cable news ratings to an "amazing" 16th place. Why, he even beat out the ratings caboose of MSNBC known as Ed Schultz. The way the Huffington Post carried on with thick helpings of hype, you would have thought that Cooper had just beaten Fox News' top rated Bill O'Reilly instead of the dismal Ed Show. A very hopeful Huffington Post begins its article by posing this question:
The new civility demanded by liberals suffered a setback at Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow PUSH Saturday morning forum this week. As televised on the WORD Network, featured speaker Democratic Wisconsin state Sen. Lena Taylor told a cheering audience that Gov. Scott Walker (R) "got our state for sale like a two-bit. . . " Taylor's PUSH appearance was reported by, among others, the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago's ABC 7 News, and the Huffington Post. None found Taylor's slur worthy of mention.
TAYLOR: It's not acceptable that in this bill where my governor lies and says that it's for his budget, when he's already received all the concessions he needs from workers that he is really just giving away. It's not that our - he says that our state is open for business, he got our state for sale. Ooo. Ooo. Ooo. He got our state for sale like a two-bit. . . OK, hmm, hmm, you know what I was going to say. And it's not acceptable.
Being consistently pro-union puts one in an awkward position when unions start making some very inconvenient demands. The Huffington Post is learning that lesson the hard way.
On the heels of AOL's $315 million HuffPo buyout - the largest such acquisition in the blogosphere's short history - the Newspaper Guild said the following in a letter to Arianna Huffington (h/t Joe Pompeo):
As we look to the future, we look to you, Arianna Huffington, as a leader in web-based news coverage, to demonstrate your commitment to the value of journalism, and to help prevent independent journalists from having to settle for third-world wages.
Perhaps AOL acquiring The Huffington Post isn't such a bad thing after all.
Liberal filmmaker, writer and photographer Lee Stranahan did something one doesn't often see at the left-wing news aggregator -- he broke from the pack to defend "the notorious Andrew Breitbart," publisher of Breitbart.com and a slew of similar sites where he basks in skewering liberals.
In his HuffPo article, Stranahan wrote how he "spent a slightly surreal weekend" hanging out with Breitbart at CPAC --
... and at the end of the conservative convention, he was served with a lawsuit from Shirley Sherrod, the former USDA official who was forced to resign by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack back in July, 2010 after Breitbart had published two videos of her as part of a long blog post. One of those videos showed Mrs. Sherrod (ironically, it turns out) telling the NAACP audience that she suggested people get work with the government because "you can't get fired." The second, better known video showed Mrs. Sherrod telling her story of how she didn't give a white farmer 'the full of force' of her help for a period of time. After the USDA fired her, apparently without an investigation, the full tape was released.
On Friday's "Fox & Friends," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell and Fox News host Steve Doocy discussed the recent sale of the liberal Huffington Post blog to AOL.
"I'm going to buy popcorn, I'm going to watch this meltdown," a gleeful Bozell told Doocy.
Huffington, who will be editor-in-chief for the new AOL venture, is "not going to get along with anybody," perpetually clashing with AOL executives, Bozell predicted. "It's going to be a complete meltdown, just you watch."
For the full segment, click on the video embed below. For MP3 audio, click here.
"AOL giving control to Arianna Huffington. How the mighty have fallen!" NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell quipped on the February 10 edition of FNC's "Hannity."
"Ten years ago, AOL had 30 million members, they were joining forces with the Time-Warner colossus," the Media Research Center founder noted. Now "they're down to 4 million members and they're at Motel 6 getting into bed with Arianna."
"It's a mess of an organization and they're going to make an even greater mess of it with Arianna. I promise you that," Bozell told Hannity during the program's "Media Mash" segment.
Arianna Huffington's crazy left-wing, pro-Democrat website gets bought out by AOL for $315 million. Professional Angry Man Keith Olbermann follows up by joining Al Gore's deservedly unknown Current TV effort. Before that, decrepit Newsweek was absorbed by one of the lesser liberal lights of the blogosphere - Tina Brown's Daily Beast.
To journalists desperate for a direction - any direction - turning left seems an easy way to go. Forget MSNBC's brief propaganda attempt to "lean forward." That is going nowhere.
Old-style, supposedly neutral journalism is collapsing. Out of the rubble, we are seeing more and more journalists declare themselves to be what we've always known they were - liberal, left-wing, progressive or even "socialist," as MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell admitted late last year.
Faster than a congressman can take off his shirt, journalists have proven every complaint about media bias conservatives have leveled for decades. Yes, journalists are liberal. Yes, they blatantly spin stories to benefit both liberals and Democrats. Yes, hosts like Chris Matthews play "Hardball" with conservatives and play a thrill-ing game of slo-pitch softball with their Democrat buddies.
What would be worse: if Norah actually believes it--or if she doesn't?
Norah O'Donnell has claimed that the Washington Post and the New York Times provide straight-up information, without bias, of the sort that would be appealing to members of the putatively non-partisan "No Labels" group.
Norah's mind-boggling assertion came on today's Morning Joe during a discussion of AOL's acquisition of HuffPo for $315 million. Reacting to indications that Arianna Huffington may be guiding her creation toward the center and away from its leftist roots, WaPo's Jonathan Capehart argued the move made sense on the theory that people such as those at No Labels are hungry for straight-up reporting. That's when Norah broke in to claim that such unbiased reporting is already being provided by, yup, WaPo and the Times.
MSNBC's Ed Schultz began his show Monday railing against American corporations sitting on trillions of dollars of cash while refusing to exhibit "economic patriotism" by using those funds to add to their payrolls.
In a demonstration of classic liberal hypocrisy, the host of the "Ed Show" finished his program calling AOL's purchase of the Huffington Post "a big f-in deal" while not once asking the website's editor Roy Sekoff if any new jobs would be created with the $315 million the owners are receiving or if all the writers would finally be paid for their contributions (videos follow with transcripts and commentary):
On Monday’s CBS Evening News, as anchor Katie Couric read a short item on AOL’s purchase of the left-wing Huffington Post Web site, she neglected to mention the ideological lean of the Web site as she merely called it "one of the leading news Web sites."
NBC’s Brian Williams did tag the Web site as "liberal" as he also read a an item on the acquisition. Williams: "A big payday for Arianna Huffington as AOL becomes the new owner of Huffington Post, the liberal Web site she created six years ago."
ABC’s World News, which devoted much of its program to anchor Diane Sawyer’s interview with former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, did not mention the deal.
While both CBS's Early Show and ABC's Good Morning America identified The Huffington Post as a liberal blog when discussing AOL purchasing the web site for $315 million, on NBC's Today, news reader Ann Curry simply described it as an "online news site" co-founded by "pundit" Arianna Huffington.
On Good Morning America, news reader JuJu Chang referred to The Huffington Post as a "top-ten news site" but accurately described it as being "co-founded by liberal commentator Arianna Huffington." The Early Show's Jeff Glor did not label the blog a news site at all and was the most direct in pointing out its ideological slant: "Huffington Post, a left-leaning site, was founded in 2005."
Editor's Note: Following news reports today that AOL News would pay $315 million to acquire The Huffington Post, NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center president Brent Bozell issued the following statement:
This proves AOL News has lost its mind. They must be in such dire straits that they’ve been blinded by the millions and think an acquisition of The Huffington Post is worth sacrificing credibility and objectivity. AOL News is fooling only itself in thinking there is no journalistic conflict in merging with a hate-filled, vicious, radically left-wing rag.
AOL News announced Monday that it has chugged the Kool Aid and put Arianna Huffington in charge of the new Huffington Post Media Group. AOL will pay $315 million for the site, making it the blogosphere's largest ever acquisition.
Decisions to name Huffington president and editor in chief and to brand the new company with the Huffington Post name suggest that AOL has fully embraced a leftist spin on the news.