Sunday, 13 February 2011

BLOGGING A DEAD HORSE. Cybersmoke gets in your eyes. The Huffington scam

 Mr dtp, a few days back, commented on the sale of the Huffington Post to  a branch of skymadeupnewsandfilth. I could never stand the woman, or indeed, women like her -Tina Brown, Rebekka Wade, Eve Pollard, Barbara Amiel - and never visited the site.  I have moaned before about how everybody communicating online provides free product for others to marshal and exploit - Google even visits Ishmaelia, twice a day, every day - in a variety of ways, some of them, Facebook, for instance, quite shocking.  I was saying just a few minutes ago, on another post, that I fear we are wasting our time here, pissing in the wind, blowharding,  when we should be pulling up paving slabs and building barricades;  the Huffington scam  illustrates this concern quite well, three thousand lefty bloggers busily enriching a right wing demagogue. I wonder if there's a UK parallel.


In 2005, Huffington founded Huffington Post, which operated with a business model that relied on activists, politicians and entertainers contributing free content. The Web site soon became an important center for progressives critical of George W. Bush’s presidency.
Over time, Huffington Post also featured gossipy articles about popular celebrities. Like other left-of-center sites, such as, those stories often emerged as the best-read, encouraging a further drift in that direction as a means of securing advertising dollars.
The commercial success of Huffington Post – resulting from its low overhead due to the work of some 3,000 bloggers writing for free and from Huffington’s effective self-promotion – caught the eye of Wall Street investors and obviously AOL.
Though AOL generally provides right-of-center news content to subscribers – for instance, AOL joined in last week’s hagiography of Ronald Reagan – its management concluded that it could do business with Arianna Huffington.
The sale of Huffington Post to a corporation that positions itself in the right branch of the mainstream media – what many on the Left deride as the MSM – upset a number of the site’s bloggers, including some who vowed to withdraw their work.

A Twitter account, called #HUFFPUFF, urged “jammers, creatives and revolutionaries” to strike back at Huffington’s sell-out. “Arianna Huffington has betrayed us,” the message declared, “so let’s huff and puff her house down.”

The broadside continued: “Socialite Arianna Huffington built a blog-empire on the backs of thousands of citizen journalists. She exploited our idealism and let us labor under the illusion that the Huffington Post was different, independent and leftist. Now she's cashed in and three thousand indie bloggers find themselves working for a megacorp.
“But the Huffington Post is not Arianna's to sell. It is ours: the lefty writers and readers, environmentalism activists and anti-corporate organizers who flooded the site with 25 million visits a month. So we're going to take it back. We'll stop going to her site. And we'll stop blogging for her too.”


Goodnight Vienna said...

Everyone's exploited in one way or another. The bloggers should, perhaps, stop thinking in terms of left-wing/right-wing and concentrate on illiberalism and authoritianism -v- the rest of us. I sympathise with them to a certain extent - they must feel betrayed. But, really, the bottom line is 'more fool them'.

call me ishmael said...

Long time no see, GV; it's a drum I've been beating for a long time, now, Us versus Them and never mind left and right. Never been sure quite what libertarianism is, though; if it's Col von Fawke's mix of sexism, racism, money-worshipping and tabloid political science that's more like imprisonment behind bars of stupidity; as my friend stanislav describes it, totalitairianisme consumeriste nouvelle.

mongoose said...

The Huffington Post and that ghastly harpie who runs it, real name forgotten, is the worst sort of cant. Left-leaning? It leans about as far left as my right arse cheek. Which is, not at all. Blasted yanks and their unbleeding hearts. There isn't a single left-winger in the entire country. Name me one! Who was the most left-wing American President ever? They all think it's fucking Obama. The frigging despot is at war on at least two continents. Guantanamo Bay just sits pissing in the face of the Constitution and not a word is said by anyone. Huffington Post? I wouldn't wipe my electronic arse with it.

call me ishmael said...

Wasn't she Arrianna Stanoslopoulous, some seedy medusa whore, way back when? Or is that some other witch? Does anybody here remember Bernard Levin? He was another one of those fucking Fleet Street know-it-alls. Like the beardy nonce, Aaronobitch, but only about a quarter ot his weight, talking avoirdupois, here, kilos of lard, not presence. I think she was banging him, perish the thought.

mongoose said...

Yes, that's the lady. She was indeed banging Levin - presumably he had purchased a ladder - but switched her affections to the otherwise gay Huffington - to get a visa? No, no, do not be so cynical. She then watered down her rightist rhetoric to be the darling of what pass for Luvvies in the US. A perfect media whore in every sense of the word.

mrs narcolept said...

Oh I remember now - she introduced Bernard to some sort of cult where you have to wear red and have sex with anyone who asks.

Anonymous said...

If memory serves, wasn't she once presenting a TV programme and burbling away so badly that a BBC honcho phoned up screaming "get her off!"?

It may have been Pebble Mill at One.

Woman on a Raft said...

Cheerup, Mr Ish. She just sold an ice cube to a man in a hot jaccuzzi and as you don't like him much this is a jolly good joke.

I think there is a box on blogger - can't remember which screen - which makes it so that google won't look for you if you don't want to be found.