When Howard Stern, the self-proclaimed King of All Media, took his dirty mind and love of lesbians, dwarfs and bigots with him when he abandoned terrestrial radio for satellite and millions of dollars I was among the masses of loyal listeners he left behind.
For years I had woken up in the morning to listen to, get a laugh from and more than a few times get pissed off at Howard’s show. I recognized the smutty and sophomoric nature of the program, but at least it wasn’t boring. I vividly recall Howard and his sidekick Robin Quivers trying to make sense of what was happening on the morning of September 11, 2001and trying hard not to give into the panic.
Now that Howard has gone his way and I have gone mine, I’ve pretty much forgotten he exists. I was flipping channels the other night and there he was yakking it up with that horribly boring Piers Morgan on CNN. What I was struck by in the few moments I lingered before clicking away was how much Howard sounded and looked the same as he did when he signed off in 2005 and how little I cared any more.
The point is (and I do have one) is no matter how much you enjoy something, the time eventually comes when you leave it behind or it changes in such a way you leave it behind. We form a relationship, a bond with our favorite musicians, authors, sports figures, TV shows and magazines. When they change so drastically we no longer know what it was we liked about them in the first place we either live with the change or we move on.
That’s where I’m at with Arianna Huffington and her publication, The Huffington Post. When I learned the repellent Andrew Breitbart, the far-right propagandist, character assassin and racist manipulator of the Shirley Sherrod incident was joining the supposedly “progressive” Huffington Post as a contributor, that was when it was time to say, “check, please.” Any publication that wants to associate itself with a maggot like Breitbart is not a publication I want anything to do with.
I closed my account with The Huffington Post and deleted the site from my browser’s bookmarks. I won’t hotlink to any more stories on the HuffPo and will do my best to ignore the site as much as humanly possible. There are plenty of other sites that do politics, entertainment and news a lot better and doesn’t fuck over its writers in the process.
These days there are more sites that look like The Huffington Post than the New York Times. Founded just six years ago, the HuffPo has created the template for a successful news site: aggregate (or “borrow”) your content from other publications, don’t pay your contributors but assure them thousands of readers are eagerly devouring your writing and endlessly promote yourself as a liberal lion as you sit down with the other heavy hitters on the Sunday talk shows.
And it worked. The downside is it’s a model built upon the sweat and toil of others and the final product treats empty entertainment the same as important news.
Arianna Huffington is not a liberal.
She’s an opportunist who will lie down even with sleazy race-baiting bastards like Andrew Breitbart.
Actions (and acquisitions) have consequences.
Queen Arianna maximizing her opportunities has already had immediate and dire consequences. As part of AOL’s acquisition of The Huffington Post, 200 staffers from their sites such as Politics Daily and Daily Finance saw their jobs terminate
“There was no contact at all from whomever was making decisions,” said one AOL editorial insider who was let go. “Not a single person on our team was interviewed, and they didn’t even ask for resumes. It’s really a big mess.”
The layoffs include PoliticsDaily‘s editor-in-chief Melinda Henneberger, a veteran political journalist who spent 10 years at The New York Times, according to FishbowlDC.
“I have just laid off dozens of the most talented journalists & product folks I know,” Jonathan Dube, AOL’s senior vice president of news, tweeted around noon. “Need talent? Let me know!”
Even for those who remain, the future is uncertain. “Everything I support appears to be disappearing,” said one AOL tech staffer who survived the cuts. “They gutted the place.”
In addition to the 200 stateside job cuts, 700 workers in India are being let go.
Oh well, I’m sure they will be able to get jobs writing for The HuffPo for free. All they have to do is find another way to buy food, pay bills and afford the electricity for their laptops.
Will I miss the HuffPo? As far as grabbing some fast food “infrotainment” when I want some quick and not too deep, sure I will. But the HuffPo was never any good for in-depth investigative journalism and well-written commentary. That was always something I had to go elsewhere in search of. There’s no shortage of choices to go to for my information. Huffington’s plantation is not required reading.
It all comes down to this. I don’t need any more of Arianna Huffington’s bullshit.