Arianna Huffington Gets Punk’d

Posted on December 13, 2007
Filed Under OMG! Old Media is Dying! |

Arianna Huffington, the loathsome liberal who makes Bill Maher’s otherwise entertaining series on HBO a struggle to watch, was the subject of a scathing editorial by syndicated columnist Froma Harrop. In it, Froma essentially calls Arianna, founder of new media darling The Huffington Post, a downright hypocrite.

Why? Arianna, the enemy of capitalist pigs and greedy old media moguls, admits that paying the bloggers who make her growing media empire what it is, is “not our financial model.” Yes, the woman who has described herself as “a compassionate and progressive populist” who champions the cause of average proletariats against their corporate oppressors apparently can’t compensate the bulk of the bloggers who are contributing to her business. Yet she has no problem lashing out at “big media” when it comes to its unwillingness to give in to striking Hollywood writers’ demands. Cute.

Of course, most of the content on The Huffington Post isn’t worth a kilobyte of bandwidth. Much of it is regurgitated “professional” news with a whiny liberal slant and some of it, as Froma notes, is commentary by Hollywood celebrities that no serious news outlet would waste ink on (unless, of course, they get pulled over for driving under the influence - again). But just because the content on The Huffington Post wouldn’t be worth cutting down a single tree to put into print, it hasn’t stopped investors from giving Arianna $10 million.

I’ll take a guess at why. New media startups like The Huffington Post really aren’t trying to pioneer new business models (including the innovative “let’s get people to give us content and we’ll give them shit” model). And they aren’t trying to create a more democratic media landscape either. They’re trying to make money. Just like the Rupert Murdochs of the world.

Froma Harrop’s critical commentary is well worth a read. Not only does it highlight some of the hypocrisy that’s taking place in the clash between old media and new media, but I just love scathing editorials, especially when they’re about annoying, holier-than-thou people like Arianna Huffington. If Froma Harrop was young and hot, I’d take her out to dinner.

Disclosure: Drama 2.0 is an apolitical registered Republican. He believes that both the Democrats and Republicans are driving the United States, and most importantly its economy, into the ground. He does, however, prefer the Republican strategy for American’s collapse because Republican policies have been good to his investment portfolio and Republican tax breaks mean less of his hard-earned euros support the inevitable collapse.

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2 Responses to “Arianna Huffington Gets Punk’d”

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Drama 2.0 spikes the Web 2.0 kool aid by providing critical analyses of Web 2.0, its people, its startups and its impact on the world of media. Other topics are explored when Drama 2.0 has been drinking too much 1975 Dom Perignon. Read more about the Internet's version of Keyser Söze here.