NBC's Today Leaves Out Liberal Label for Huffington Post in AOL Buyout Coverage

February 7th, 2011 3:04 PM

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."

None of the network morning shows devoted more than one or two news briefs to the media deal and none suggested anything controversial about a left-wing activist like Arianna Huffington being put in charge of all AOL News content.

As NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell observed in a statement released on Monday: "AOL News is fooling only itself in thinking there is no journalistic conflict in merging with a hate-filled, vicious, radically left-wing rag."

Here is a full transcript of the two Today news briefs on the merger:

7:20AM ET

ANN CURRY: Also in the news this morning, AOL has announced that it will buy the online news site The Huffington Post for $315 million. It is the struggling internet giant's latest foray into the online news business. AOL already owns Patch Media a network of 500 hyper local community news sites. Well, The Huffington Post was co-founded in 2005 by pundit Arianna Huffington and former AOL executive vice president Ken Learer.

9:03AM ET

CURRY: AOL has announced that it will buy the online news site The Huffington Post for $315 million. The deal puts Arianna Huffington in charge of AOL content and reportedly allows The Huffington Post to expand internationally. AOL gains a site that attracts 25 million visitors monthly, that is if the deal wins regulatory approval.

Here is a full transcript of the Good Morning America report:

7:12AM ET

JUJU CHANG: A big merger, realigning the online world this morning to tell you about. AOL is buying the Huffington Post. The top-ten news site, co-founded by liberal commentator Arianna Huffington, launched in 2005 with a $1 million investment. Now AOL is buying it for $315 million to expand its original news content.

Here is a full transcript of the Early Show coverage:

7:14AM ET

JEFF GLOR: It's a big deal in the media world, just announced. AOL is buying the website The Huffington Post in a $315 million deal. Under the terms, Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington will join the AOL management team and be in charge of all AOL content. Huffington Post, a left-leaning site, was founded in 2005 and now attracts 25 million visitors a month.

— Kyle Drennen is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.