Friday, March 25, 2011

Defending your journalist, until you don't

Back to far more serious matters. Journalistic support. 

Do I mean defending constitutional rights, defending integrity, defending their physical safety? Oh, no.

We are talking about the HuffPo (Huffington Post).

See, it and Huffington herself, have a long friendly history with one Andrew Breitbart. You may remember him from any of many dishonest attempts to smear, discredit, and destroy the careers of liberals. You may also remember his erstwhile occasional lackey James O'Keefe. Huffington and Breitbart are actual friends, and in the early days of her HP site, he wrote on it.

Well, the years have passed, she has expanded her online empire, and he has expanded the scope of his douchiness. 

The prominence that has been announced and bestowed on Breitbart has annoyed many who see HuffPo as a liberal leaning news source.  (He was being linked and written up on the sites front page, meaning people would easily know and access his work and ideas.) To some, his die hard conservative thoughts getting promotion was galling. To many others the fact he is a dishonest shill getting this prime space and press was the issue. It was a reward to someone commonly seen as a RW villain. 

But Huffington and her staff have a right to hire, use, and promote who or whatever they want. And we have a right to bitch and moan over it. We have a right to protest it. And we have a right to not give her and her site views. It is up to you.

But that is not where this story comes to rest. Oh, no. Breitbart then chose to be Andrew Breitbart. A choice few sane people would make. At this juncture, having been given cover and support, and a nod from Huffington, that she was his defender, he now chose to rip into a favorite punching bag of the lowest common denominator of RW punditry, Mr. Van Jones. (Van Jones was in the Obama admin, before being driven out by mischaracterizations, and smears, which continue to this day. See Andrew Breitbart.)

That is when Huffington let loose and allowed the proverbial shit to hit the fan. With the nasty, as is the norm from Breitbart, comments shared with the world, mocking and deriding Van Jones, Huffington Post announced that Ariana's good friend was off the front page. He was welcome to stay, but he would be in the back with the rest of the work a day bloggers, slaving away for HuffPo.

Everything he says about everyone else, no biggie. The injury to the president, the dishonesty in his Slag off her DEARER're out of here.

That's nice.

Now if you go to the science and medical sections of HuffPo, you will find compromised work, with the likes of AntiVaxers and Chopra peddling bull to the masses. I do expect a lot more from the political end. There are fine people who work there, like Howard Fineman. But to let Breitbart get that kind of elevation is both sad and wrong. And then to yank him back only after he hurts you're friend...? ...Fuck that speaks so poorly of you.

It is akin to NPR and Juan Williams. Based on every statement, claim he made on FOX News, and how he went on seemingly as a rep of NPR, the brass at NPR had a right to dump him. Waiting until after William’s comments on Muslims were made just helped make NPR look petty.

Ariana now looks petty. HuffPo looks petty. And this follows on looking more like a joke with the endorsement given to Breitbart.

Badly done HuffPo.

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