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.
Just because the site was founded by an alleged plagiarist doesn't mean it's totally devoid of ethical clout. Though you do have to wonder: from where does the Huffington Post recruit its bloggers?
The site reportedly informed one of its unpaid contributors last week that he was being let go. The offense: he had used his press credentials as a HuffPo blogger to get labor union demonstrators access to a Mortgage Bankers Association event, where they staged a rowdy protest.
In an interview with CNSNews.com last week, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (R) referenced President Obama's African-American heritage last week and "found it remarkable" that he could be pro-abortion. Santorum, later clarifying his comments under media scrutiny, said he meant he is dismayed that a President who "rightfully" fights for civil rights ignores the civil rights of the unborn in America.
Santorum, speaking of President Obama's position on abortion, said in the interview "the question is--and this is what Barack Obama didn't want to answer--is that human life a person under the Constitution? And Barack Obama says no. Well, if that person, human life, is not a person, then I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say, no, we are going to decide who are people and who are not people."
The media picked up on the comment and, without publishing what Santorum said leading up to the segment, questioned if he had racial motivations. Jennifer Epstein's Politico piece was headlined "Rick Santorum plays race card on President Obama." Epstein labeled Santorum's remark "eyebrow-raising."
Despite the complete and thorough debunking of the media’s attempt to link common political discourse with the actions of a deranged lunatic in Tucson, one Congresswoman is taking politically correct rhetoric to ridiculous lows (h/t Michelle Malkin).
Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) took to the Huffington Post to voice her opinion on the Gabrielle Giffords assassination attempt. She starts harmlessly enough admitting that, “We don’t know what prompted the shooter … to kill innocent people.” Even though we don’t know the motivation, Pingree says, it’s important “that we do everything we can to prevent it from happening again.”
Then, echoing the prevailing liberal sentiment, she offers the preventative solution – cranking down the rhetoric. The first step?
Within hours of the mass shooting in Arizona, former Newsweek editor Howard Fineman on Saturday was offering Barack Obama tips on how to manipulate the outburst of violence for his political advantage.
Making comparisons to Bill Clinton's response to the Oklahoma City bombing, he lobbied, "...Obama may be able to remind voters of what they like best about him: his sensible demeanor. Amid the din and ferocity of our political culture, he respectfully keeps his voice down, his emotions in check and his mind open."
The piece, which appeared on the left-wing Huffington Post, featured this coldly calculating follow-up: "That is the pitch, at least. The trick is to make it without seeming to be trying to make it. He will, after all, be speaking at a funeral."
On Wednesday’s Joy Behar Show on HLN, when host Behar asked, referring to House Republicans, "Are they going to ruin health care?" guest Roy Sekoff - founding editor of the Huffington Post - referred to a repeal of Obamacare as "destroy[ing] health care." Moments later, he also claimed that Obamacare "will actually lower the debt," and accused Republicans of being hypocritical for wanting to repeal it:
JOY BEHAR: Let’s talk about what they’re going to try and do. Are they going to try and destroy everything Obama has done so far? The approval rating is up over 50 percent on Obama again. What are they going to try to do? Are they going to ruin health care?
ROY SEKOFF, HUFFINGTON POST: Well, yeah, you know, first thing out of the gate, they’re going to try to, you know, destroy health care and try to repeal it ... And, of course, they’re always talking about how concerned they are about debt. And we know that that bill will actually lower the debt. So, a little bit of talking out of both sides of their mouth.
As the two discussed White House advisor David Axelrod and Press Secretary Robert Gibbs’s upcoming departure from the White House, Sekoff joked about the possibility of Behar following the lead of Tony Snow and moving from cable news to White House press secretary, leading the HLN host to assert that "I would do it any day," before making making her latest admission that "I love President Obama":
The New York Times ran a rather serious report on Tuesday, regarding former Vice-President Dick Cheney and the new mechanical heart pump he received in July. The addition of the new pump means that Cheney’s heart will never again beat at full strength, and leaves him with a daunting decision whether or not to have a full heart transplant.
Naturally, juveniles in the liberal media have had a blast with the news.
Political Wire, a supposedly non-partisan political blog led off a post about the heart transplant with this gem:
The New York Times confirms what many of his political opponents always assumed: Dick Cheney has no pulse.
In the Bush years, liberals worried out loud about how our war on terrorism was destroying our reputation among our noble socialist allies in Europe. But in the Obama years, they are showing their old colors. The Huffington Post's Amanda Terkel delighted in Barney Frank's idea that our NATO alliance with Europe is strategically worthless and our spending on it should be slashed:
"These kind of restrictions on domestic spending with unlimited spending for the war -- and you always have to talk about both -- is a great mistake," Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) told The Huffington Post last week. "And the liberal community's got to focus more on Afghanistan, Iraq, NATO. NATO is a great drain on our treasury and serves no strategic purpose."
Appearing as a panel member on Sunday’s syndicated Chris Matthews Show, Time columnist Joe Klein predicted that the Tea Party will be the "biggest losers" next year after he agreed with MSNBC’s Howard Fineman that the conservative movement represented the "biggest winners" this year. Klein: "I'm going to go with the Tea Party, with the caveat that even though they were the biggest winners of this year because they set the debate, they're going to be the biggest losers of next year because they're going to have to vote."
A bit earlier, after Fineman accused Nevada Republican Senate nominee Sharron Angle of running a "frankly racist ad about immigration against Hispanics," and alluded to the Republican Party’s challenge of winning Hispanic voters in the future, Klein predicted that opponents of the Dream Act would "suffer" as he chimed in: "I'm going to go with the Tea Party, with the caveat that even though they were the biggest winners of this year because they set the debate, they're going to be the biggest losers of next year because they're going to have to vote."
On Sunday’s syndicated Chris Matthews Show, panel member and MSNBC analyst Howard Fineman - also of the Huffington Post - made the over the top assertion that "10 to 20 percent" of Americans will "continue to hate and fear" President and Mrs. Obama, but that the rest have "accepted" President Obama "as a member of the family." And when host Matthews asked who was the biggest winner of the year, Fineman gushed over former President Bill Clinton’s recent return to the podium in the White House press room, with Matthews referring to Clinton’s visit as the "second coming":
HOWARD FINEMAN: Unfortunately, I wasn't there when he came in.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: For the moment, the second coming.
FINEMAN: He, Bill Clinton walks in, and easy as pie for the next half hour explains what real life in Washington, in politics is all about.
After agreeing with Time’s Joe Klein that health care reform was the "worst move of [President Obama’s] first two years," and that the unpopular reforms keep dragging down his popularity, Fineman contended that Obama had, by contrast, been successful in getting Americans to like him personally, describing the President as being like "a member of the family," and surprisingly characterized Obama’s "background" as "strange." Fineman:
A man is arrested and detained for months without any charges being brought against him. He is being held in deplorable conditions, forced to endure extreme physical and mental distress. He is exposed to the same ‘torture’ tactics that other enemies of the United States have allegedly suffered through.
So why isn’t the Commander-in-Chief taking heat for this travesty of justice?
Because this isn’t the Bush administration.
Firedoglake blogger, David House, has been detailing a recent visit with Bradley Manning, accused of leaking classified documents to Wikileaks, at a military prison at the Quantico Marine base in Virginia (h/t Weasel Zippers). Of course, House bemoaned the ‘inhumane’ treatment of Manning, describing the toll that months of solitary confinement have taken on his physical and mental well-being.
AFP ran with the story and made it clear that they had no intention of offering a balanced report. In fact, viewing the headline, one would never know that the story came from an extremely liberal website, reading more as fact than a slanted accusation.
It seems that every year, American pop culture continues to push the envelope of what is acceptable in society, and 2010 was no different. From Cee-Lo Green’s hit “F**k You” to Enrique Iglesias’ new song set to release next year titled, “I’m F**king You” the “F” word is going mainstream. One has to wonder if the media will ask the question: Is there anything attention-seekers won’t include in a song?
Iglesias is an internationally recognized artist famous for his fairly tame, catchy romantic pop tunes, such as the smashing single “Hero” which topped the UK charts in 2001. But just ten years later, Iglesias has decided to seek more fame with a raunchy new song, set to debut in 2011 called “Tonight (I’m F**king You).” The boundary-pushing lyrics include:
Appearing as a guest on Monday’s Countdown show on MSNBC, the Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman - also a political analyst with MSNBC - spoke favorably of the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law, asserting that "this historic vote will be remembered as a very important one in the social history of the United States," and, as he admitted that independent Senator Joseph Lieberman "takes a lot of guff on this network," gave the former Democrat-turned independent Senator "credit where credit is due" for supporting the measure.
Fineman went on to predict that, because the Republican House next year will seek to undermine various pieces of legislation passed by Democrats - which he referred to as "historic" - that President Obama will be running against a "‘tear down’ Congress." Fineman:
The dynamic of the next two years is going to be to re-litigate and reargue all the legislation that Obama and the Democrats for the most part passed in the first two years. That means efforts to defund, to delegitimize, to get rid of, you know, all the historic legislation that was passed these first two years, and spending is going to be the way to do it. ... So it's not that Obama's going to be running against the "do nothing Congress." The President is going to be running against the sort of "tear down Congress"because that's going to be the mode of the next two years.
Fineman also notably used the term "progressive" - the preferred term of liberals - instead of the word "liberal" as he referred to the left wing of the Democratic party, and contended that Republicans "went pedal to the metal on the fear strategy on immigration" as he explained why the Dream Act failed to pass the Senate.
Chris Matthews on the syndicated program bearing his name devoted an entire segment this weekend to attacking Sarah Palin.
To assist him in the attacks, the host of "The Chris Matthews Show" brought on Howard Fineman of the Huffington Post, the BBC's Katty Kay, Joe Klein of Time magazine, and NBC's Norah O'Donnell (video follows with transcript and commentary):