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Betting on Arianna

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Posted on Feb 22, 2011
AP / Earl Gibson III

Arianna Huffington appears as a panelist for Tavis Smiley’s “America’s Next Chapter” in Washington, D.C., last month.

By Robert Scheer

In defense of Arianna Huffington. Not that the lady needs one, having been a leader in undermining the right-wing dominance of Internet reporting. Defenders of a free press should be thrilled that it is Huffington who is now merging with AOL rather than Matt Drudge, the unrivaled leader of Internet news whom I first met at Arianna’s home when she was cozier with the right. 

But a defense is salutary now because too many progressives, including Chris Hedges on Truthdig, which I edit, have made Huffington a symbol of the crisis in American journalism. While I still believe that Hedges is the finest journalist working in this country today and have no intention of ever censoring him, I do believe that he and the other critics of Huffington have missed the point. 

First off, and in defense of the use of unpaid bloggers, of which I happen to be one among the many who appear on a regular basis on the website The Huffington Post, we are not exploited. Blogging has opened up the traditional channels of reporting to include informed people with scholarly and experiential credibility who formerly were begging for the rare opportunity to appear on the carefully preserved Op-Ed plantation of leading newspapers. For most contributors, the Op-Ed page was never a serious source of income.

I occupied a privileged, if modestly paid, weekly place at the Los Angeles Times plantation for 13 years until a publisher upset with my views on the Iraq War and media concentration summarily ended it. The greed that telecommunication deregulation unleashed within the Times’ parent corporation, Tribune, eventually landed the newspaper in bankruptcy, but that is another story. Arianna picked up my column the instant it appeared with the launch of Truthdig and has prominently displayed it on The Huffington Post for more than five years, even when she told me she disagreed with what I wrote. 

That exact approach was used in the deal we at Truthdig made with Hedges when he was pushed out of The New York Times after a most distinguished career (including winning a team Pulitzer Prize) because, in his case too, he spoke the truth about the Iraq War; in both instances the freedom of the writer, more important than a paycheck, was held sacred.

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As for paychecks, I am not an expert on the finances of The Huffington Post, any more than are the critics whom I have read, but I do know that staffers and writers who joined the website after I recommended them are most definitely paid. One of them, Shahien Nasiripour, who went to HuffPo after leaving the Center for Investigative Reporting, has done superior reporting on the banking industry, beating his mainstream competition in a number of instances. This was reported to me by my wife, a former masthead journalist at both the L.A. Times and the San Francisco Chronicle, while she was doing research for a recent Ms. Magazine story on Elizabeth Warren. 

As I understand it, The Huffington Post has upward of 70 paid staffers, which is quite formidable for an Internet venture. It is no secret that with most of the Internet advertising money going to Google and other massive marketing entities that do not generate news reporting, there is little left over to pay for content, and that aggregation from threatened traditional news sources is the norm. At Truthdig we started with and continue the practice of paying for all original and syndicated content and supporting writers, photographers and artists. Obviously, with their limited resources, sites like ours are hardly a full-throated substitute for the failing print and broadcast journalism of yore. My hope is that with the more substantial funding that Huffington acquires from AOL she will vastly expand her pool of paid writers and editors and begin to fill the void.

That is also my expectation given my 15-year association with Huffington on “Left, Right & Center,” the show produced by public radio station KCRW in Santa Monica, Calif. Huffington started out as the right-wing host on the program and I was and am still the left. We had our disagreements about the virtues of unfettered capitalism, but at no time did I ever find Arianna to be insensitive to the consequences that major decisions in the private or public sector had for the average person. While still on the right, she teamed up with Colin Powell to push the private sector to fill the gaps in the safety net and took the uncompromising position that when the business community failed to deliver, government must step in to protect the economically vulnerable. She always championed an absolutist defense of First Amendment freedoms and was vigilant in opposing all forms of discrimination based on gender, race or sexual orientation. Even while on the right, Arianna was a progressive committed to breathing life into our democratic forms. 

This is not intended as a blanket endorsement. With power come the responsibility and the obligation of an editor or publisher to provide a living wage for journalists as well as to support the costs of covering news throughout the world. My difference with Huffington’s critics is that her success reassures rather than disheartens me as to the state of Internet journalism.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s new book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
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By Bobadi, March 9, 2011 at 11:01 am Link to this comment

I was shocked at her use and defense of right-wing Israeli rhetoric in that video.  “Iran refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist-” What? Exist as a regime in Palestinian territories with permanent settlements? Exist as an apartheid ethnic-cleansed state dividing a people along religious lines? 
Glenn Greenwald was brilliant in response to her, and this video seems to be an eye opener to her position and support of continuing Western usurpations.

The concept of her support of this outrage, now while she is absorbing a larger media source, will bolster the very “international community” she claims in this video to be “united” in difference to Iran’s stand against Western repressions.

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By redteddy, March 9, 2011 at 12:00 am Link to this comment

@ Robespierre115

“What should be criticized about Huffington is that she’s just another sell out, a
“liberal” who licks the boots of power. Consider this MSNBC appearance where she
supported attacking Iran”

I checked out the link and no where does she say she supports attacking Iran, she
said there is a difference between the two US wars and Iran because no one
supported any kind of intervention in those situations (WMD) but that the world is
in agreement concerning Iran.

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By PatrickHenry, March 3, 2011 at 6:02 pm Link to this comment

ETNIKS,

I do know that this Grameen Bank where Mr.Yunus works should serve as a model for the Banks here in America.

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By ETNIKS, March 3, 2011 at 11:10 am Link to this comment

PatrickHenry, March 3
A more practical example of social business models are farm co-ops and utility co-ops, whose profits are used in the running of the business and given back to the members in the form of lower prices.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Frankly I don’t know enough about how Co-Ops work but my understanding is they differ from the Social-Business model in that they operate as a democratic organization with every one having a vote to come to fundamental decisions, which I like very much.

I recorded a video regarding how some of them work and I do like what I saw, with lots more camaraderie and enthusiasm.  The wealth is widely distributed and over all it avoids the expansionist, profit-hungry, voracious tendencies of the for-profit model.  In fact one of them in Berkley helped an ex member to set up another one, in another part of the city not competing directly with them.

I think the Social-Business model is more hierarchical with a clear owner separate from the labor and is a cross in between the for-profit and the co-op model.  Profits are captive inside the company to fulfill the social purpose it was set up to do, after the original investment has been returned to the investors.

I would like to know more about the co-ops you mention in farming because I like to get into food production.  I believe we are in for a pretty bad, long period of social and economic unrest where money will be non-performing ( a dollar crash) and having something as useful as food to trade with, will be a positive, besides the obvious social service it will be helping others to survive the storm by feeding them.

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By ETNIKS, March 3, 2011 at 10:48 am Link to this comment

Bobadi, March 3

Etniks,


Sure, but I was thinking in terms of setting up -not only the built in safeguards you mentioned- but by “bot” an ebay type advertisement bidding platform, which was self regulating and completely detached from content editorializing. No deals would or could be made.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Your suggestion looks like it could work in a News organization as an automatic system to gather revenue.  My worry is always as to how much the content will eventually be modified in order to attract more dollars and again the truth may suffer.

When living in a capitalist system there is the tendency to be sucked into the never-ending vortex of never-enough profits, because it is not in its design to ever be enough.  It’s very corrupting.

This is something that could be corrected by setting up the news blog as a Social-Business with the rules as you are suggesting regarding the inflation rates to keep wages up to date.  I actually don’t mind looking at the ads in the blogs as long as they are not flashing and moving.  The quantity should be balanced as you suggest.

In any case this model should be a lot more accountable to the truth, than the for-profit model.

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By PatrickHenry, March 2, 2011 at 9:46 pm Link to this comment

By ETNIKS, March 2 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
It is working very nice at the tune of tens of millions of dollars in a joint venture between DANONE of France and GRAMEEN BANK in Bangladesh.

Check it here
http://www.grameencreativelab.com/live-examples/grameen-danone-foods-ltd.html

Why don’t you illustrate us, and show us how we have “proven” this model doesn’t work?


Your online demeanor displays that while Muhammad Yunas has the ability to convey and sell others on his model, you don’t.

Muhammad Yunus is a charismatic banker with the ability to get others to follow him in a social endeavor.  Would this model work without him?

A more practical example of social business models are farm co-ops and utility co-ops, whose profits are used in the running of the business and given back to the members in the form of lower prices.

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By PatrickHenry, March 2, 2011 at 9:36 pm Link to this comment

By ETNIKS, March 2 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
It is working very nice at the tune of tens of millions of dollars in a joint venture between DANONE of France and GRAMEEN BANK in Bangladesh.

Check it here
http://www.grameencreativelab.com/live-examples/grameen-danone-foods-ltd.html

Why don’t you illustrate us, and show us how we have “proven” this model doesn’t work?


Muhammad Yunus

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By Bobadi, March 2, 2011 at 9:18 pm Link to this comment

Etniks,


Sure, but I was thinking in terms of setting up -not only the built in safeguards you mentioned- but by “bot” an ebay type advertisement bidding platform, which was self regulating and completely detached from content editorializing. No deals would or could be made.

As the site grew to form a larger percent of readership, ads would become on their own more expensive in the bidding war, and so fewer ads would be needed to fulfill financial obligations; this automatic leveling could lead to more content with far less ads, and a snowball effect gathering yet more readership.

At some point health care and retirement options would table, as they would be included in the original set up to fruition as they became feasible.

The only other issue I have is that everyone’s, including the CEO’s ceiling, should be adjustable for inflation, as that may well come to be the next shoe to drop in our “interesting times.”

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By ETNIKS, March 2, 2011 at 2:21 pm Link to this comment

Bobadi,
Your comment about eBay is interesting because that business model DO charge fees to use it if you want to purchase or sell something, and the news outlets don’t get that.

Perhaps if users of news sites, like this one, agreed to pay cents ever time we come to see articles by an automatic system, it wouldn’t have to be too overwhelming to one individual if ALL who browse did pay it, but for the News site would mean much more money they are getting today as donations.

This is how Google has become one of the largest world corporations, a few cents here and there, multiplied by millions of clicks.

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By ETNIKS, March 2, 2011 at 2:09 pm Link to this comment

Bobadi,

Actually this Social-Business Model is not my idea.  It is Muhammad Yunus of Grameen Bank (the recipient of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize) who is promoting it.

I believe what you say is workable but the problem is when there is a revenue expectation from sponsors, sooner or later their predilections start to weigh into the content of your publication.  Hence Ariana’s behavior in censoring (she call it “moderating”) comments on articles to the point it is conducted as a fascist organization.

On the other hand, AOL wouldn’t be interested in purchasing a news website that didn’t deliver dividends in its capital investment if it had been set up from the start as a Social-Business Model.

So it would be inoculated from a take over, and as I said before, the set up can include limiting the highest paid salary for the CEO and the difference between the lowest and highest paid worker in the company, to say 4 or 6 times.  So if the max was 250K the lowest paid janitor should be more than 40 or 60K, depending on the arrangement.

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By Bobadi, March 2, 2011 at 1:50 pm Link to this comment

Etniks,
I am fascinated by your concepts.
I wonder if this could work?
Even if this were to use revenue generated by obtrusive billboard advertisements, the readers who ultimately pay for this service by doing business with the advertisers, could be “paid back” with the self imposed financial limits mentioned. 
In other words, the ads would become smaller and less obtrusive as that ceiling is reached, leaving more room for content.
Perhaps the advertising section could become a compartmentalized, locked out, self-run, untouchable and non-beholding, free for all ebay style bidding format that has no leverage at all on submissions and content?

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By ETNIKS, March 2, 2011 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

PatrickHenry, March 2

Thanks, you guys have demonstrated why the social business model doesn’t work, nice on paper though.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
It is working very nice at the tune of tens of millions of dollars in a joint venture between DANONE of France and GRAMEEN BANK in Bangladesh.

Check it here
http://www.grameencreativelab.com/live-examples/grameen-danone-foods-ltd.html

Why don’t you illustrate us, and show us how we have “proven” this model doesn’t work?

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By PatrickHenry, March 2, 2011 at 7:10 am Link to this comment

Thanks, you guys have demonstrated why the social business model doesn’t work, nice on paper though.

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By ETNIKS, March 2, 2011 at 3:38 am Link to this comment

Thanks   curmudgeon99,

You really made my point about you.

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By ETNIKS, March 2, 2011 at 3:08 am Link to this comment

Leefeller, March 1

Please check the links I offered in my other posts below.  They’ll take you to pages where all your questions will be answered.

I don’t know how LinkTV, DemocracyNow and the others are set up legally, but one difference with most and HP is they do NOT have any advertisements as HP does.  They seem to be able to survive with donations alone, so they’re probably non-profits.

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By ETNIKS, March 2, 2011 at 2:58 am Link to this comment

curmudgeon99

I have SEVEN post in this thread, counting this one, and by your response shows you have not been following them all, with the according responses to them.

I have been very serious in trying to convey this idea that I am sure would stop any Arianas from taking advantage of journalists working for free, so she can pocket 35 million dollars.

It is not my idea and I have offered many links for anyone to study them in more detail from the originator.

You come here patronizing me without offering anything of substance in your first post to add to the discussion, and then later, still insisting I “persist” in “attacking” you.

So who’s wasting whose time?

Others suggest this is like a Co-Op, and yes it’s close but I don’t know if Co-Ops work as non-profits (like Credit Unions)  or can generate profits?

In any case, anything is better than the for-profit model HP uses that ends up taking advantage of journalists who don’t get paid.
And this is my point.

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By curmudgeon99, March 1, 2011 at 9:42 pm Link to this comment

To Etniks…and Truthdigger at times.

Methinks your skin is too thin…it’s about sharing ideas not personal attacks which you persist in doing.

I think the model is fine….and some of it bears looking further.

The Islamic business model is similar…one cannot charge interest for money invested…must take part in the risk…so shares in profits..or something like that.

I apologize for ‘daddy’’ (so you think) comments.

I am sure if you stand back and reread your vituperous personal attacks, you would agree.

My comments had nothing to do with an idea that has merit, but the time wasted in personal vendettas and attacks which you most certainly have a tendency to participate in when people do not agree with you.

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By lasmog, March 1, 2011 at 8:45 pm Link to this comment

I’d like to here Mr. Scheer’s opinion on the impending strike by some art bloggers at the Huffington Post. I just tried to post a simple question regarding this subject at HuffPo and my comment never made it on to their website.

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By PatrickHenry, March 1, 2011 at 7:51 pm Link to this comment

The social business model sounds like a co-op to me.

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By Leefeller, March 1, 2011 at 6:24 pm Link to this comment

Etinks, the news model idea seem interesting to me, how would the model be different then lets say here on TD, or Link TV or even democracy now. Money would be invested to pay for what and who, how would it paid back?

Right now I see some government grants being bankrolled and used to set up different projects, usually run by a self paid administrator who happens to know how to write a grant, how would this differ?  Besides the obvious contingencies which can be in grants.

This Business Socialist model concept seems so different but not really when I look at people who have been investing in local farmers for instance a goat dairy, which went tits up?

Guess, maybe I am asking you to expand on the idea for the model as to your vision for the new model and maybe why you feel it would be worthy?

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By ETNIKS, March 1, 2011 at 6:01 pm Link to this comment

curmudgeon99, March 1 at 8:43 pm

Now, children….and I do mean children.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Daddy curmudgeon09;

My mistake is to try to convey an idea to someone (truthdig3) who is clearly not serious to try to understand it.

Now you want to come here to present yourself as our “daddy” ??
 
Instead of splashing your very own ego on these pages, why don’t you follow your own advice and offer a comment on MY suggestion regarding the use of a SOCIAL-BUSINESS MODEL to establish NEWS organizations?

Or is it you haven’t even read what we are discussing about?

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By curmudgeon99, March 1, 2011 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment

Now, children….and I do mean children.

I wish I had the luxury of time to engage in such ‘mortal combat’ about sticks and stones, when there are more pressing matters of the world and events that really affect our lives…not our egos

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By truedigger3, March 1, 2011 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment

Re:By ETNIKS, March 1 at 6:02 pm


ETNIKS,

Who is reverting to insults now??!!
I only follow a link, after reading a post, if the post is convincing and I want more information and details about the subject. However, if the post does not make any sense and is not logical to start with, then it doesn’t make any sense to follow any link and waste more time.
Your duty as a writer, is to explain your subject adequately, albeit briefly, then the reader, if is interested, can seek more information and details from the web or whatever.
You don’t present your subject in a disorganised illogical manner, then demand from your readers to roam the internet to compensate for your poor writing and lack of logic in it.

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By ETNIKS, March 1, 2011 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment

truedigger3,
YOU SAID February 28

Any way you made that deficiency of what you call “gross intellect” much worse by your confusing writting.
AND,
Yes, I didn’t go to the link you provided. I sensed that something was amiss!
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Your confusion arises from your intellectual inadequacies to understand, which are compounded with your gross unwillingness to learn.

If you refuse to follow a link where you’ll find the answer to your queries, no wonder you rely on insults to others when your narrow, obtuse views don’t match reality.

I’m done with you.

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By truedigger3, February 28, 2011 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment

By ETNIKS, February 28 at 7:23 pm
Etkins,

I might “have a rather gross intellect”, as you said, but it is hard for any person to evaluate himself neutrally. Any way you made that deficiency of what you call “gross intellect” much worse by your confusing writting.
First you said, investors can retrieve their investmnts from the profits, but not from the dividends, then in your next post you said there is no dividends, but all the profits are plowed back into the organisation. If that is the case, then how the investors will retrieve their investments!?
The problem is that initially, either you didn’t have all fthe acts about social business, or you are a hasty writer who was in hurry and didn’t take the time to organise his post in a logical sequential manner.
Yes, I didn’t go to the link you provided. I sensed that something was amiss!

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By ETNIKS, February 28, 2011 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller, February 28 at 3:40 pm
You said

ETNIKS, an interesting prospect and seems like it could be more refined than the normal not or non profit kind of organization. Do people actually get their investments back?
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Investors eventually get their investment back using the profits. 

Because there are no dividends or interest, this model can’t exist by itself without trashing the Fractional Reserve Banking System which in fact does NOT offer a true monetary system.  Since each and every dollar in circulation exist as DEBT only, (a sort of IOU’s that can’t amount to be called “money”) therefore this model has to happen in parallel to regular for-profit type of companies.

I believe if we can go back to using “sovereign” money based currency, then perhaps this type of Social-Business companies could exist on their own.

When private banks are allowed to create currency out of thin air by lending money they don’t have, and the judiciary enforces the confiscation of the people’s assets using the courts and the police, it is impossible to conduct a sane economy.

Politicians, Corporations and people behave under the assumption we are using “sovereign” money when we are not.  This is why the level of debt keeps on growing and none understands why.

In the current system, if all debts were ever paid by everybody, there would NOT bee any currency in circulation.  This is how insane it is, especially when the system never creates enough money to pay the principal AND the interest.

It is a perpetual indebtness impossible to ever be paid, just like the banksters want it.

For more explanation on this look at:
MONEY AS DEBT
http://vimeo.com/3843038

THE MONEY MASTERS 1
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6076118677860424204#

THE MONEY MASTERS 2
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6076118677860424204#docid=-7336845760512239683

ZEITGEIST addendum film 120 min
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gKX9TWRyfs

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By ETNIKS, February 28, 2011 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment

Truthdigger 3
You said:
February 28 at 2:33 pm

You are the one who had reduced himself to being an asshole.
Whether it is called captive profits or what have you,
both dividends and what you call captive profits, are part of profits.
Theories and big words doesn’t and cann’t hide or contradict basic facts.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++
I gave you the link to learn about the Social-Business Model and either you didn’t read it, or didn’t understand it.

By the way you have been engaging this conversation it shows you have a rather gross intellect, therefore, in frustration, you rely on insults to try to make your NONEXISTENT point.

This business model doesn’t produce DIVIDENDS, but it still produces profits which are re-invested in order to expand the social service it has chosen.

You assume ALL profits are the same.  You’re wrong, and this is the genius of this clever system, by making the focal point the social aims NOT the investors benefits, it allows for a corporation to measure its success by its fulfillment of the social purpose, and NOT the amount of capital milked out of it in the form of dividends.

It is called a Non-loss, Non-Dividend Social Business type of company where the profits exist, but are not retrieved beyond the original amount of the investment, with no interest.

Again an explanation is here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_business

And here:
http://www.grameen-info.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=217&Itemid=172

There is a current on-going partnership using this model between the Giant DANONE of France, and the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh whereby a special yogurt was designed to supplement the Bangladeshi children’s nutrition, sold at very low cost with the right vitamins, minerals etc missing in their diet, and Danone agreed to recoup its original investment with no interest over time while forgoing any dividends, as well as the Grameen Bank.

All profits made go to fulfill the social purpose by expanding the number of children serviced.
THERE’S NO DIVIDENDS.

I hope this clarifies “your” basic facts.

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By Leefeller, February 28, 2011 at 10:40 am Link to this comment

ETNIKS, an interesting prospect and seems like it could be more refined then the normal not or non profit kind of organization. Do people actually get their investments back?

One thing I see is the investor must allow for losses of interest or even from inflation?

It seems a different approach to cooperatives farming in the USA, which has had a dismal record in farming, from what I understand their problem was maintaining and receiving higher quality products from different farmers.

Social Business with a single goal seems like a nice option, especially as more and more people cannot donate to non profits. 

Any new ideas such as Social Business are a welcome alternative to the normal greed factor and seems more playable then dumping money in a non profit. What kind of checks and balances does it have?

Truth Dig 3, if you have any comments on the concept of Social Business besides insults, it would be nice to hear them?

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By truedigger3, February 28, 2011 at 9:33 am Link to this comment

Re: By ETNIKS, February 27 at 4:44 pm

ETNIKS,

You are the one who had reduced himself to being an asshole.
Whether it is called captive profits or what have you,
both dividends and what you call captive profits, are part of profits.
Theories and big words doesn’t and cann’t hide or contradict basic facts.

Report this

By Kathy Podgers, February 27, 2011 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment

I still want to know why Arianna permits her site to spew government propaganda?

http://shoe08.blogspot.com/2011/02/banned-from-commenting-on-huffington.html

I have identified a pattern of abuse, that if one trys to post true facts on Huff Post, to refute US policies, like the ones that got us into Iraq, and are now being “lamented” by “head” officials who bewail they were lied to,(how can you be lied to, unless you censor those who would spill the beans?).

Arianna allpow Chu, and the Students for a Free tibet to post warmongering garbage filled with a few facts, comingled with lies, outright lies, black lies, all of it proragandising the American public, yet allows the mods to either refuse to post proven true facts refuting the spew, or banns those of us who persis in sharing true facts.

My son told me that my problem was I didn’t recognise that on arianna’s site, true facts can be seen as “conspiracy theories,” if the true facts dioffer from official government propaganda.

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By ETNIKS, February 27, 2011 at 11:44 am Link to this comment

TruthDigger 3
Answering your question regarding the for-profit Muhammad Yunus Social-Business Model whereby investors can retrieve their original investment but NOT dividends.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
By truedigger3, February 26 at 10:09 pm Link to this comment

Re: By ETNIKS, February 26 at 6:21 am

“whereby investors can retrieve their original investment out of profits, but can’t benefit from any dividends”
——————————————————————————

What do that nonsense suppose to mean??
Aren’t the dividends are part of the profits??!!
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

An explanation is here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_business

Before you call it “a nonsense” take the time to punch the words SOCIAL-BUSINESS in a search engine, and voala, you’ll get your answer before making an ass of yourself.

In this model there are profits, except they are captive WITHIN the company in order to attain the SOCIAL goals established when the company was formed.

I SUGGEST TO ALL JOURNALISTS…..
not to enter into any “give-away” deals or ANY other paid deals with any more Arianas, unless the website and company is set up as a non-profit or a Social-Business to start with.

In this way the profits are locked-in to serve the truth, not profit-hungry private individuals.

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By LATexan, February 27, 2011 at 12:57 am Link to this comment

VERY DISAPPOINTING this, from Robert Scheer, who has indeed dug up the
truth so many times when it was unfashionable. Not this time. This just tells the
rest of us who are not in the exclusive “liberal” media club that in the end
money and connections count more than principles. He and Arianna are dinner
party pals, enough said. That’s more important to him than the truth. He, too,
has feet of clay.

I have to assume that one day Scheer will regret writing this, such an obvious
act of willful self-deceit and obfuscation, a black mark on his mostly shining
permanent record. But a betrayal of the common good like this now
undermines his credibility indefinitely. He once talked, rightly so, about the
bubble George Bush inhabited, oblivious to the lives of so many average
Americans. I would submit that Robert Scheer, with this column, offers evidence
that he, too, lives in a bubble, defined by West Side privilege and affluence.

Arianna is at the head of that table, and I guess he wants to keep his seat.

More proof that the Left is history. Sad, sad. Sad.

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By ChaviztaKing, February 27, 2011 at 12:13 am Link to this comment

Leefeller: I think that many people who support the Republican Party’s neoliberalism of privatizing every thing, cutting all medicare services, and food-stamp programs, is because they might be middle bourgeoise classes who make between 60,000 to 300,000 a year and who don’t need any government help and subsidization at all. Because the Republican Zionist-Fascist Warmonger Economic Neoliberal Model benefits their class, so from their own point of view Republicans can bomb the hell out of the Middle East, kick out the 25 million foreign people out the USA and they can still manage to live a good life. 

Because most ultra-right wingers Republican Party loyal voters are very nationalists, xenophobics, evangelical bigots and they have their own world around their baptist far-right-wing churches and social world.

Republican Party voters do not have any social contact with foreigners, with poor people and with gay communities and with people who not are married. Republicans worship only married couples with children.  They have a fetishim for families and for children.

Republican Zionist Neoliberals do not need government assistance programs, and somehow they get to benefit from the US Zionist Imperialist wars being waged in the Middle East, because wars feeds the pockets of upper classes and of petit bourgeoise middle class sectors of the US population.  This economic system that we are living in right now is a win-win situation for people not only in the 5% oligarchic ruling class but also for a nationalist ultra-right wing middle yuppie class who live in big Mcmansions, and who own lots of toys, 2 or more luxury SUVs and luxury cars. 

So maybe thats why your daugther got divorced from him because of his ultra-right wing behaviour. And i think that americans who are suffering from this evil neoliberal Republican Party fascist violent economic system of super-expensive electricity, expensive food, expensive gas, of hunger, hopelessness and misery should not have any social bonds and contact with the ultra-right wing sectors of USA. Because they are personal enemies of the poor working class and to blame for the misery, and suffering of the people who are not benefitting from the Zionist Republican Party wars and economic model. And we also have to realize that Republican Zionist Warmongers also control Obama and The Democrat Party congress.

In other words, the USA is really ruled by The Republican Zionist Party, even when Democrats win presidential elections. we are totally doomed with zionist warmongers neoliberals

.

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By ChaviztaKing, February 26, 2011 at 11:04 pm Link to this comment

TOM MORELLO FROM RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE IS A REAL SOCIALIST.  UNLIKE ARIANNA HUFFINGTON WHO IS A RIGHT-WING CAPITALIST AND A TRAITOR OF THE LEFT AND OF THE POORS

THE BIBLE SAYS THAT YOU CANNOT SERVE 2 MASTERS: EITHER YOU ARE WITH THE RICH, OR WITH THE POORS

Tom Morello is united with the Wisconsin socialist workers trying to overthrow the capitalist system in Wisconsin.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRxb5jiRShw

Tom Morello brought a musical message of solidarity to the Wisconsin protesters last week, along with other musicians like the MC5’s Wayne Kramer. And it wasn’t just his own message that he carried to Madison with him—Morello read a letter from Egypt to the crowd that came to hear him play. As the protests continue in Wisconsin and Republican officials in other states bend, we bring you more of Morello’s message.

.

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By ChaviztaKing, February 26, 2011 at 10:30 pm Link to this comment

THE SONG OF THE EQUALS BY THE CONSPIRACY OF THE EQUALS

http://www.marxists.org/history/france/revolution/conspiracy-equals/1796/song.htm

For too long a wretched code
Enslaved men to men:
May the reign of the brigands fall!
Let us finally know what our condition is
Awaken to our voice
And leave the darkest night behind,
People! Take hold of your rights,
The sun shines for all.

You created us to be equal,
Nature, oh beneficent mother!
Why, in property and labors,
This murderous inequality? Awaken!

Why a thousand slaves crawling
Around four or five despots?
Why the small and the great?
Arise, brave sans-culottes.

During humanity’s childhood
We saw no gold, no war,
No ranks, no sovereign,
No luxury, no poverty!
Sacred and sweet equality
Fills the earth and makes it fertile.
In these days of felicity
The sun shines for all.

Everyone loved everyone else, all lived happily,
Enjoying a common ease;
Regrets, shameful debates
Didn’t trouble independence.

Alas! Soon ambition
Relying on imposture
Dared to contemplate the plot and outrage
Of usurpation.

We saw princes, subjects,
The opulent, the poverty-stricken;
We saw masters, valets:
The day before all were alike.

Horrible brigandage was cloaked
With the names of laws and institutes
They called virtues crimes,
And pillage necessity.

Alas! Your generous plans,
Immortal sons of Cornelius
Couldn’t save your lives
From the assassin’s steel.

And you, Lycurguses of the French
O Marat! Saint-Just! Robespierre!
Of your sage projects
We were already feeling the salutary effects.
Already, the rich and his altars were
Plunged in the darkest night,
Mortals repeated:
The sun shines for all.

Already your sublime labors
Returned us to nature
What is their price? Scaffolds,
Assassination, torture.

Pitt’s gold and the voice of d’Anglas
Opened a new abyss:
Crawl or be a scoundrel,
Choose death or crime.

People, smash the ancient charm
Of a too lethargic slumber:
With the most terrible of awakenings
Spread alarm to grinning crime.
Lend an ear to our voice
And leave the darkest night behind.
People, take hold of your rights,
The sun shines for all.

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By truedigger3, February 26, 2011 at 5:09 pm Link to this comment

Re: By ETNIKS, February 26 at 6:21 am

“whereby investors can retrieve their original investment out of profits, but can’t benefit from any dividends”
——————————————————————————

What do that nonsense suppose to mean??
Aren’t the dividends are part of the profits??!!

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By sk, February 26, 2011 at 11:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Scheer,

Before the web was commercialized, with the advent of Windows navigation etc., when it was still “DOS-land” it was a provocative and rich forum of intelligent and uncensored discussion and free-flowing information. (Drudge was still non-existent there and he was not the Internet before HP, as you suggest.)

Apparently, you are unaware of the Web as it was before the business-model was imposed on it. You also seem unaware of journalism outside the confines of the corporatized media: e.g.  Indy Media etc. on the Web, and in public radio—as seen in the many new community-owned and run radio stations (see the Prometheus group’s work) in existence and still being built in the US by the people not the corporations.

Before you and Chris Hedges were pushed out of your journalistic perches there were many writers and thinkers who worked for free on the Web because, due to their politics and world-views,  they would have never been hired by the MSM to begin with.
The problem with the HP is that the journalistic model it follows is corrupted—that is, content is ultimately determined by profitability not integrity. And that, in short, is the problem MSM journalism.

On another note—HP is notorious on the Web for its censorship of public commentary.

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By ETNIKS, February 26, 2011 at 1:21 am Link to this comment

The problem with this issue of Ariana selling “her” blog is precisely that, it is “hers”.

The problem with the printed Media and its collapse is THE SYSTEM used to operate it.

The for-profit Business Model has proven to corrupt any News Organization,  However there is perhaps a solution if we follow Muhammad Yunus (the inventor of Microcredit) Social-Business model, whereby investors can retrieve their original investment out of profits, but can’t benefit from any dividends, which all go to expand the stated social goals of the corporation.  In this case would be to research the best news and deliver them to the widest audiences.

What this would do is to inoculate the company from being sold to regular investors, like AOL who expect to make money with it and have no regard for disseminating facts to its audience.

Also as part of the company’s set up it can be stated the CEO can never make more than 4 times what the lowest paid worker makes, with a maximum salary of say 250K, which means the CEO will make that much only if the lowest paid janitor makes over 60K.  If initially the blog can’t pay all writers, then give them “tokens” to be cashable when money starts pouring in, like after a sale for 340 million for example.

If all the writers and bloggers, editors and secretaries of Hufftington post had demanded this sort of arrangement before giving their labor for free, then Ariana wouldn’t have been able to behave like the COLD BLOODED CAPITALIST she has shown to be.

I admire Robert Scheer but I think he’s off the mark here, and it is perhaps because he is in the same boat she is, and may be sees himself in her on a future similar situation with TRUTHDIG.

You can’t be serious to think AOL gives a shit about journalism.

Ariana’s personal stock has come way down since she made her move in the eyes of truth seekers, and Scheer’s will also if he falls into the same old money trap.

It is the business model that is wrong.  It doesn’t fit a fact finding organization.

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, February 25, 2011 at 7:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I love Tracey Ullman’s Arianna.  Her Christiane Amanpour is awesome, and her Laura Bush is just brilliant.  Google Tracy Ullman as Arianna, Amanpour, Laura Bush, etc.

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By RayLan, February 25, 2011 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment

I was mistaken about my comment being deleted - the comments paginate - duh.
Apologies

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By Leefeller, February 25, 2011 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment

It seems to make sense to me, Robert Sheer has known Huffington on a personal bases and respects her from his experience.

It may be Robert Sheer is in the same boat as I when, my daughter left my son in law, because he turned out to be a Republican ass hole. Even though I got along with my son in law, (except if we talked politics) it is hard to accept any kind of loss without some remorse. It is like loosing ones favorite restaurant, which has gone out of business.

I feel for your loss Robert!

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By MossyOak, February 25, 2011 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

I was a big fan of HP, until they started strict censoring of opinion. It began the morning of January 1, 2011 in earnest. I am a professor of political anthropology and used the site for research of popular politics and debate. As a multi-year commentator I knew the rules and stuck to them, so when the opinion censoring started I knew something was up and things had dramatically changed. I wrote to the mods and received a snarky, snippy response that would likely not have made it through their own moderation policy. I was angry at the tone and nastiness of the email. Then the sale to AOL and I thought, “Ah ha!”

Arianna is a capitalist sell out, plain and simple. She lost a lot of respect but gained $300 million. I hope she’s happy. I’m sure she is.

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By MaxShields, February 25, 2011 at 9:29 am Link to this comment

What is interesting, and purely a cursory view, is that in the past (pre-sell-out) the Huff-post comments were looking much like those on TD. That is they were less likely to push a Dem agenda.

But now much of that appears gone. It is as if all those commenters were either self-exiled (or as some of indicated here) simply locked out.

Mr. Scheer may need to revisit his comments in a few months (or sooner). Regardless of Ms Huffington’s talking head comments, she really has little more than a spotlight, and money. Before the sale, she was always a pretty solid materialistic yuppie who found a medium to exploit (likely with a belief in what she said, but always with the notion that it was a means to build an empire. Once the project reached a certain corporate apex, it was set for acquisitions and mergers).

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By truedigger3, February 25, 2011 at 8:47 am Link to this comment

Re: By RichZubaty, February 25 at 4:43 am

I agree with you 100%.

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By RayLan, February 25, 2011 at 7:16 am Link to this comment

Robert’s defense of Arianna is more suprising than Hedges’ attack on her, considering his (Hedges) reasons. Her alliance with AOL and the ‘pop’ tabloid content of her site, not to mention those contributors she exploited for her own profit - hardly makes her a progressive. Chris is a model of honest uncompromising journalism, so I am more inclined to accept his view on the subject.

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By Psychobabbler, February 25, 2011 at 7:10 am Link to this comment

Typical opportunist.

I would have liked to have been at the meeting when the brilliant idea for unpaid journalists was brought up. Some one probably asked “can we do that?” then she said “of cowse we kin, dis ees amewica!”

Then everyone laughed and had a pizza party.

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By Kathy Podgers, February 25, 2011 at 5:11 am Link to this comment

Your post today, jumped right out at me, because I have just now been banned from commenting on Arianna’s site. No warning, no explanation, no due process whatsoever.

You wrote >even when she told me she disagreed with what I wrote.< but while that may be Arianna’s standards, those who “monitor” her site have different ideas.

It would be different if I violated the comment policies, or any other standards of commenting, but I do not. In fact, I rarely let go with passionate opinion, and try to stick to true facts. Why then would I, of all people, be banned from commenting?

You may ask, what does this have to do with your post, here? Well, when Jason posted a similar “explanation” of the AOL buyout and paid vs unpaid staff, almost all of the comments were about comments that had been unfairly removed by “moderators.” There were obviously no comments from those who had summarily been banned from commenting, altogether.

What does Arianna intend to do about this? The real value of HP is the huge traffic it generates. Treating good, decent, honest, polite folks like me as though we were curs to be kicked out without explaination, is rubbing lots of folks the wrong way. especially, like myself, being banned from comm=enting, because I dared to post a comment on who was funding the organization that had posted a particularly blatent propaganda piece, namely NED.

Ironically, I recieved a reply to a previous comment that I should not complain that journalists were limited on what they could get published, because, as he pointed out to me, “this blog is part of the free press,” and “you are posting here.” Well, I won’t be able to reply to his naieve comment, now, will I? So, no, I do not expect that Arianna will last long now that she has taken the money, and ignors the over the top censorship going on on her baby, the Huff Post.

And, I may not agree with everything you write, but I do read you, because how could I, or anyone learn or grow, if we limited ourselves to reading only that that we agree with?

take care, Kathy

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By Not One More!, February 25, 2011 at 3:07 am Link to this comment

Contrary to the author’s comments, Huffington Post has never been “a leader in undermining the right-wing dominance of Internet reporting.”

Any website that provides uncritical support of the democratic party (and doesn’t include Ralph Nader’s rational comments and views) instead of being consistent on supporting peace, justice (and ending the war and corporate bailouts), is not interested in providing truthful and honest reporting.

Huffington’s site falls into that category. It is clear that they (and most ‘liberal’ websites including commondreams, moveon, and this one with some exceptions) are not interested in putting truth and justice first and foremost, especially if it means not supporting the democratic party leadership.

http://www.NotOneMore.US - Take the Pledge for Peace

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By Mrsanfran, February 25, 2011 at 1:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My fond memories of living in the Los Angeles area most of my life, are of picking up a newspaper in the morning and going to the editorial section, and first
looking for the Paul Conrad cartoon, and then Robert Scheer’s column. Wow, has there ever been a better one, two punch then that? Now that I no longer read print media and am strictly an internet guy, I still love reading Robert’s column.  Of course he has softened, and every 4th or 5th article by him I chuckle and realize he is stepping back like a lot of us do, and is challenging himself to be objective.  I, too, am on the Hedges side of this argument, but the ole guy did move me little toward Arianna.  She is very ingratiating and hard not to like. I agree that the free format, much like all the comedy stores in L.A. has exposed us to a lot of new writing talent,not out of journalism schools, that we never would have been able to read.  Aol, is going to be a tough sell in my opinion, but only time will tell.

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By RichZubaty, February 24, 2011 at 11:43 pm Link to this comment

Hey Bob, how about writing something new? This Arianna hagiography sticks in my craw. Here’s something: 

The New Democrats, the Business Democrats, passed NAFTA, emasculated Glass Steagall, refused to prosecute the Wall Street fraudsters who caused the meltdown of 2008, expanded George Bush’s war policies…and decided not to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act. Real Leftists, who have been openly shocked at Obama’s betrayals of the Left, including Glenn Greenwald, are now gushing with support for him. This is how the American Left has been bought off since Jimmy Carter. Give way entirely to the big money guys and warmongers, and take a spirited stand on social issues like abortion and gay marriage. I don’t care one way or the other about abortion and gay marriage. I care about how our country has been devoured by corporations. The Dems devotion to social issues is a red herring to prevent the emergence of a political party that will actually take on the corpocracy. The viability of the American nation does not depend on whether we allow abortion or gay marriage. It depends on whether we can seize our government back from the corporations.

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By RayLan, February 24, 2011 at 10:45 pm Link to this comment

It appears that my comment was deleted. hmmm - and all I expressed was baflement.

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By RedwoodGuy, February 24, 2011 at 9:09 pm Link to this comment

All this business of blogging on capitalist, ad-filled, consumption-based web sites is in the category of “lace-curtain liberalism”, and party boosterism. Sorry fellas, there isn’t a single thing ever done by Arianna, or her celebrity bloggers that could be called revolutionary.

All this “clictivism” reminds me of the old 25-cent peep show booths were frustrated guys went to leave their uh…thoughts…on the floor for the late night janitor to mop up. The last time I witnessed any “leftists” at work in the USA was in the 1999 battle in Seattle and that scared the pants off the party hacks and celebrity bloggers. Millionaire chicks and comedians? Honestly people, what the hell are you thinking here?

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By Leefeller, February 24, 2011 at 9:09 pm Link to this comment

John Rechy, Robert Sheer deleted your comment of 11:26, but after your double whining at 11:37 and 11:42, it really got to him, so he undeleted your post,..... I am sure Robert Sheer audits all the posting here by himself, unlike Huffington who has people auditing for free.

As for Palin and Huffington being the same, I suspect they are both opportunists, except one is eminently brighter then the other,... do you want to guess which one?

Seems so many posters like to whine about something,....so I usually spend my days and evenings whining about Chris Hedges, even though Hedges and I probably agree on many political points, he expresses them in an unacceptable manner. 

Yeah! Last gasp Nader is another person I can agree with politically, but he has the charisma of a hang nail, thats why I like Obama,... at least Obama has some charisma and even better, there is the well known fact by everyone with the intelligence of Palin, Obama is not even an American citizen nor a Christian, thats why he met with the Tallyban!

Robert Sheer may personally delete this?

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By Leefeller, February 24, 2011 at 9:07 pm Link to this comment

John Rechy, Robert Sheer deleted your comment of 11:26, but after your double whining at 11:37 and 11:42, it really got to him, so he undeleted your post,..... I am sure Robert Sheer audits all the posting here by himself, unlike Huffington who has people auditing for free.

As for Palin and Huffington being the same, I suspect they are both opportunists, except one is eminently brighter then the other,... do you want to guess which one?

Seems so many posters like to whine about something,....so I usually spend my days and evenings whining about Chris Hedges, even though Hedges and I probably agree on many political points, he just expresses them in an annoying manner. 

Yeah! Last gasp Nader is another person I can agree with politically, but he has the charisma of a hang nail, ...thats why I like Obama,... at least Obama has some charisma and even better, is the well known fact by everyone with the intelligence of Palin,.... Obama is not even an American citizen nor a Christian, thats why he met with the Tallyban!

Robert Sheer will personally delete this?

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By Rixar13, February 24, 2011 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment

I’m betting on Arianna Huffington, and I don’t gamble… Smile grin

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By EH, February 24, 2011 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris Hedges FTW!!

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By John Rechy, February 24, 2011 at 6:42 pm Link to this comment

Dear Robert Scheer,

Why are my comments (2) being deleted?  I compared Sarah Palin and Arrianna Huffington. 

John Rechy

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By John Rechy, February 24, 2011 at 6:37 pm Link to this comment

Why was my comment deleted?  I expressed sorrow that Scheer implicitly countered Hedges’ expert article; and I disdained the exploitation of writers at the H.Post.  I also drew some comparisons between Huffington and ... yes ... Sarah Palin.  So, then, why was my comment deleted?—censorship?  No, not at Truth Dig.

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By John Rechy, February 24, 2011 at 6:26 pm Link to this comment

{CLICKED TWICE INADVERTENTLY.)

What a surprise—shock—to read Scheer’s “defense” of Madam Huffington.  Scheer is usually—not always; e.g. his admiration of Nader—a reliale observer and commentator—and attentive prose writer.  Not now, especially since his column on Madam Huffington seemed to implicitly rebut Chris Hedges outstanding evaluation of the ugly circumstances at hand.  Scheer’s piece—oh, Lord—let this not be so—seems to be in response to one of Madam Huffington’s legendary protests about anything critical about her or her tabloid.  Madam Huffington has not by any means overtome her initial right-wing stances when she supported her husband’s views, including broad hints of homopobia.  Despite a nasty divorce, Madam Huffington retained her husband’s name.  It gave her borrowed authority, and so she used it and uses it to this day for her purposes.  Particularly saddening in Scheer’s piece is his dismissal of Madam Huffington’s abuse—exploitation—of writers; just read the comments here.  Now that she is even richer, will she pay those writers retroactively, including Scheer?...Madam Huffington seems to me to be meldlng into Sarah Palin while still posing as a champion of the left. Too bad Scheer came in to defend this disturbing figure figure.

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By John Rechy, February 24, 2011 at 6:23 pm Link to this comment

What a surprise—shock—to read Scheer’s “defense” of Madam Huffington.  Scheer is usually—not always; e.g. his admiration of Nader—a reliale observer and commentator—and attentive prose writer.  Not now, especially since his column on Madam Huffington seemed to implicitly rebut Chris Hedges outstanding evaluation of the ugly circumstances at hand.  Scheer’s piece—oh, Lord—let this not be so—seems to be in response to one of Madam Huffington’s legendary protests about anything critical about her or her tabloid.  Madam Huffington has not by any means overtome her initial right-wing stances when she supported her husband’s views, including broad hints of homopobia.  Despite a nasty divorce, Madam Huffington retained her husband’s name.  It gave her borrowed authority, and so she used it and uses it to this day for her purposes.  Particularly saddening in Scheer’s piece is his dismissal of Madam Huffington’s abuse—exploitation—of writers; just read the comments here.  Now that she is even richer, will she pay those writers retroactively, including Scheer?...Madam Huffington seems to me to be meldlng into Sarah Palin while still posing as a champion of the left. Too bad Scheer came in to defend this disturbing figure figure.

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By TheHandyman, February 24, 2011 at 6:20 pm Link to this comment

I have read and post to Huffington Post every since it was created. I have watched the advertising and the censorship increase. The use of shiny badges and giving them to people who seem to be offended at the drop of a hat is counter productive. Say what you want to Robert, but I find your support of Arianna to be in the same vein as your failure to support Ralph Nader. How soon before you have to apologize for your support of Huffington as you did for your failure to support Nader?

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By rend, February 24, 2011 at 5:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Robert,


You have always been the lone sane voice on LRC. Arianna, when she bothers to show
up tends to riff on a clothing choice some politico wind bag’s wife has decided to adorn.

Her arguments are never very sound and generally lay on top of Matt’s desperate
attempt to argue for a center with a hybridized corporate/ government solution for
everything.

Tony is at least completely unhinged and therefor amazing to listen too - for the pure and
frightening comedy.

She seems like a nice lady, i dont think she is doing this out of greed, I just think AOL is a
boring company and Im not sure what they will bring to Huff Post. Money? Perhaps, but
you know what they say about money.

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By skmacksk, February 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment

@Alison Rose Levy,
Here is what I tried to post as a comment to your post at the Huffington Post using your link:

Real progressivism is not built on unpaid workers masquerading as “Citizen Journalists”, or as cover for economic exploitation, nor on censorship of ideas you do not like or that don’t meet certain ideological criteria, nor match with the the moment’s political necessity. Ms. Levy all your ‘happy talk’ doesn’t quite cut the mustard! Ms. Huffington has lost ground both politically and ethically. I hope Mr. Scheer is right in his faith in her, but I have my doubts.
Best regards
The real question is will I have to wait for hours for it to post to the site, just as the story drops out of sight: as happened several weeks ago when over ten comments were mysteriously left hanging in the pending state, that were critical of Jane Harman’s political career. The clue to the mysterious pending hangup was so transparent, as only one rather dubious complimentary comment appeared while other posts remained in the purgatory of the ‘pending file.’ It’s been twenty minutes, should I hold my breath?

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By JollyD, February 24, 2011 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

She’s a rock star!
AND like so many rock stars she’s cashing in and selling out. We can look forward
to slick (ie “cool”) car ads on the HuffPo.
Hopefully she will announce the beginning of the second american revolution for
democracy. Maybe she’ll use the money to put a roof over the heads of homeless
veterans (hmm, not enough money).

NOT

“Lovely plumage!”—Monty Python

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By morongobill, February 24, 2011 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment

My infatuation with the Huffington Post ended the day
that I realized that tits and ass were becoming their
primary focus.

When I look for thought provoking comments to good
articles, I come here or to Smirking Chimp,etc.

HP I go to see what the latest young woman of the
moment is up to…. and by the way, I never read that
kind of crap.

And occasionally they lead with a good story like
Gov. Huckabee and the Afghan war yesterday.

But I definitely like to listen to Ariana on LRC, and
Robert.

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By chelseasbeach, February 24, 2011 at 1:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m with Dr. Norman Livergood on this one.

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By sallysense, February 24, 2011 at 11:26 am Link to this comment

i spent a day at the rat race track…
watching mankind’s breed compete…
with moments to go ‘til the next post time…
i asked some fellows to save my seat!...

i quickly ran to place my bet…
at the window that gives me luck…
the wager-taker eyed me up…
then refused to take my bucks!...

“i have an inside tip” he said…
“that the next race has been rigged…
i’d rather lose my job for this…
than see more folks lose big!”...

i thanked him for the warning…
putting my money away with care…
then back at the grandstand to catch that race…
i found those fellows had lent out my chair!...

the best of wishes’n'ways’n'todays for the sake of the truth and more!... smile

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By CJ, February 24, 2011 at 10:24 am Link to this comment

My two cents:

I appreciate Scheer’s remarks but have to side with Hedges on this. But partly
for my own reasons—I’ve never taken Huffington seriously—as journalist or as
knowledgable. And I don’t believe she’s ever dwelled whereof she writes and
speaks—lacks street cred, which someone like Hedges, and Scheer too, has in
spades.

Which is one reason TD is so much better than HP ever was or ever will be, even
if HP is spot for others (apparently unpaid) with street cred.

Having said all that, maybe Huffington has reached—like Michael Moore too—
a few more rightwingers than have, or ever will, tougher and far smarter leftists
like Hedges. I’m thinking too of when Moore told Blitzer he had no problem with
capitalism. That remark was amazingly naive on Moore’s part, if not exclusive to
him. Too many who claim to be “left” have “no problem with capitalism.”

HELLO! Capitalism is at the center of empire’s problems—domestic and
foreign. And so I’m always amused when I’m instructed that I’m the naive one
for thinking there could ever be anything other than capitalism or some sweet
version thereof.

Anyway, Huffington indisputably made out on the deal and should she
redistribute ALL of the rewards that accrued to her personally but which were
earned by others who did the labor, I’ll rethink my opinion of her on that score
at least.

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By David, February 24, 2011 at 4:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Robert my goodness how you have mellowed. I remember you at Ramparts and other places where your writing continually was dripping with unrelenting sarcasm and hatred for whoever you went after. Week after week month after month you wrote with the same tone. Has age and life taught you to show a little tenderness once in awhile ? Write as Dr King spoke and you’ll be on the righteous path and you seem to evolving in that direction.

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By Litl Bludot, February 24, 2011 at 12:11 am Link to this comment

Good post Billee, thanks.

Why is it this country’s people primarily persuaded by obvious BS rather than
substance, artificial flash rather than art,  beauty?

It’s telling that Mr. Scheer is incapable of distinguishing between concrete
reality vs show biz capitalism, i.e. Hedges vs Mrs. Huffington. 

When Mr. Scheer started substantive criticism of power pimp Obama, I thought he
had somehow become less of a capitalist zombie, but it appears he still has the
problem, like most of his peers, especially the talking heads, like Mrs. Huffington, and sadly, The Nation editor, Katrina vanden Heuvel, who’s been seen more and more on corporate media as a talking head.  She’s another seeming Obama zombie, although I’m becoming convinced that she may be more of an intellectual fraud, like Mrs. Huffington.

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By reynolds, February 23, 2011 at 11:29 pm Link to this comment

at least suave can construct a sentence. 
looking at the ungrammatical mess of your last,
whatever that was, i wish i were one of the blinds.
certainly, anyone within screeching distance of you
wishes they were one of the deafs.
you’re not bitter. you’re posting responsibly about the
subject at hand. the occasional four paragraph diatribe
is an aside, then? you’re unhinged. you’re wretched.

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By robertbeal, February 23, 2011 at 11:28 pm Link to this comment

Dropped her and will drop you if “critique” begins to smell like “content”

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, February 23, 2011 at 11:13 pm Link to this comment

I do not know about other folks, but I have been banned on Huffington post especially when I suggested the possibility some other posters where acting like classic ass holes,..... take Renoylds for instance! 

As for gayness, Renoylds sounds like one of those air port foot tapping Republicans who yells and screams about gays and just so happens he turns out to be gayer then a Catholic Priest himself.

I am not as upset about Huffington as most of the posters here seem to be,.... simply because I quit posting there a long time ago, for one thing they always had so many comments I could never find my posts and any possible responses,... so why bother. 

Working for free and expecting some kind of compensations seems a bit naive and more on the lame side. One can always work for free at the local soup kitchen and donate ones time to feel good, or one can try the big time and work at Wal Mart for the lucrative compensation of $8.00 an hour as a greeter. But Wal Mart fired me because I swear like a Marine! ......  evidently they did not like my saying;.... “You want a fucking shopping cart lady?”.... this not go over very well, but I happen to believe people working for   $8.00 an hour should be allowed to express themselves, because it is less gratifying than working at the local soup kitchen.

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By Billee, February 23, 2011 at 10:38 pm Link to this comment

I’ll stick with Hedges on this one as his bone deep integrity and experience really
rates with me. What I see is that Huffington is all over the map and her site is
really about being a job-stealing pirate while promoting herself as a liberal and
offering some lackey paid employment. Maybe when I see Arianna Huffington get
out on the street and protest wars as Hedges does, I might consider her as a
person of integrity. She says the two parties don’t matter, but they do. Maybe both
are bought by lobbyists, but she doesn’t fight. Hedges does. I’ll go with him.
Especially since he has smelled and tasted war and was a whistle blower early on.
He’s the real deal. Plus he is a true writer. If that’s old fashioned, I’ll take it. I
remember his dispatches from the first gulf war in the early nineties for the NY
Times as works of beauty, wisdom and artistry. You would never get such stuff
from AOL’s pathetic Patch.com

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By Billee, February 23, 2011 at 10:35 pm Link to this comment

I’ll stick with Hedges on this one as his bone deep integrity and experience really
rates with me. What I see is that Huffington is all over the map and her site is
really about being a job-stealing pirate while promoting herself as a liberal and
offering some lackey paid employment. Maybe when I see Arianna Huffington get
out on the street and protest wars as Hedges does, I might consider her as a
person of integrity. She says the two parties don’t matter, but they do. Maybe both
are bought by lobbyists, but she doesn’t fight. Hedges does. I’ll go with him.
Especially since he has smelled and tasted war and was a whistle blower early on.
He’s the real deal. Plus he is a true writer. If that’s old fashioned, I’ll take it. I
remember his dispatches from the first gulf war in the early nineties for the NY
Times as works of beauty, wisdom and artistry. You would never get such stuff
from Patch.com

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RenZo's avatar

By RenZo, February 23, 2011 at 10:09 pm Link to this comment

It is disingenuous to deny that a soft hearted Republican of yesteryear could become a pure hearted ‘liberal’ of today. If you believe that your views are right, that liberal values are good, that you are better off when all are better off, then you must also believe that right thinking people from other political hues can be persuaded to change and see the light.
I do not love Arianna, or even really like her, and for all that matters dont care if she is REALLY a liberal or not. Huff Po lost me because I don’t like AOL. Simple.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 23, 2011 at 10:06 pm Link to this comment

Your bitterness is showing reynolds.  Your writing shows a
monumental monomaniacal personality.  Are you jealous? Are
you unable to buy anything?  Are you starving? Why such acrimony?
Are you unable to control your violent and hateful urges?  Do you
beat women and children?  How can you afford to write on the
Internet?  Are you using someone else’s computer? No…not likely.
It’s a good bet you sit in comfort in your own comfortable chair
blathering and pontificating and calling people names who you
cannot budge.  You are an Internet thug, they are called trolls.  If
you are the pitiful and pitiable example of a man, all women would
live on the Isle of Lesbos.  Thank goodness there are good men in the
world, but you are not one of them.  You are a laughable oaf who has
not posted one decent comment that is coherent and responsibly
critical of Arianna Huffington.  You have no command of the language
you pretend to use and what you do use you use badly.  Take a hike.

Has anyone noticed how long it takes Truthdig to open because of all of
the advertisements that keep the site from fully uploading quickly?  It is
almost a three-ring circus as you wait for the article and comments to
appear.  The reason these advertisements are there are to pay the
salaries of the TD writers, administrators, and webmasters, service the
equipment.  The administrators and webmasters are top notch and
whenever there has been a problem and I’ve emailed them, they
courteously responded within 24 hours and always fixed the problem. 
So I would not fault them in the least. 

I don’t know about Arianna’s politics.  She started out years ago as
a Right-wing conservative, lived through the debacle of her then
husband’s Republican political fiasco.  Whether he is gay or not is
irrelevant.  They divorced.  There is a biography of her online.  She
became a liberal.  Not just an ordinary liberal but an ultra liberal. I
don’t think she has changed because of a huge sweet business deal. 
The idea is that even more of the public will have access to the
Huffington Post.  I have posted on the site and never was denied.  So I
don’t know why others have had trouble.  If you don’t like her that is
just the way it is. People don’t always like some other people. She
probably wouldn’t like you either.

Sour grapes it looks like RichZubaty. Along with a few other bloated
egos visiting this forum.  Misery loves a crowd.  I visited the Levy’s HP
response to Hedges and found it sappy but not acerbic as Hedges’
critique of Arianna.  Most of the commenters there were swinging with
the writer’s program.  All liberals are not alike.  But maybe that is what
is wanted: cookie cutter commenters that gush when others gush and
run over the edge of the cliff when others run over the cliff. That is
lemmingism.  Or it is See Who can Outdenigrate Someone Else Contest? 
And that is the way it is.

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By Conden, February 23, 2011 at 10:01 pm Link to this comment

The Huffington post has always been pretty shallow, limited, and blindly pro-democrat—which also means pro-war, pro-corporatism.  And now that the site has merged with aol, it gets even worse.  It is NOT respectable, independant, left media like democracynow!

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, February 23, 2011 at 9:38 pm Link to this comment

Arianna Huffington is a zionist twat.

Her heavily censored website since its inception has portrayed all things arab as evil and all things Israeli as good as is the norm. 

The art of non reporting of news is a mainstay at Huffpro and a form of the new age propaganda. 

I have grown over the years to really disrespect Bill Maher (another zionist twat) for these same attributes, censorship, non reporting as well as mis-reporting and am not that suprised to see Arriana as a frequent non contributing guest on his show.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, February 23, 2011 at 9:31 pm Link to this comment

Huff Po has been called Fluff Po long before this happened. It is now just being
honest about it.

Of course, since many of these “progressive” blogs have been fluff are openly
censoring of views that are critical to the pro-war, corporate corrupted one
money party with two wings, pseudo democracy. Especially at election time.

As I have pointed out in the past, folks have been banned from post
comments, never mind stories at places like Op Ed News, Common Dreams and
elsewhere. Not to mention the “Free Press” Media Conferences.

Without an open and free exchange of ideas, with dissenting voices of all ilk
being “allowed”, you no longer have a democracy.

Kind of like the United States..

CHRIS HEDGES FOR PRESIDENT

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RichZubaty's avatar

By RichZubaty, February 23, 2011 at 9:20 pm Link to this comment

Wrong wrong wrong. Hedges is right. I was an unpaid blogger with HuffPost with 260 hard won followers. 1 out of 10 of my posts were censored, I bitched and moved foward. But the instant AOL took over, 1 out of 2 of my posts were censored, and when I wrote a post asking why we, who provided the only orignal content on an aggregator site, were not paid anything out of the $300 Million, and why we were not allowed to flog our own books and our own web sites, I was BANNED from HuffPost. I no longer get an email whenever Froomkin or Scheer or anyone else posts anything there. They’re Nazis. Don’t kiss Arianna’s butt. She’s a conservative capitalist who believes in gay marriage. Big deal. And AOL is not gonna tolerate American revolution in any guise.

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By StanAP, February 23, 2011 at 8:57 pm Link to this comment

I wrote a comment earlier today, but it never seemed
to get posted, so I guess I’ll try again.

Does Mr. Scheer, or anyone for that matter, believe
that The Huffington Post would have sold for $315
million if she had been paying her writers all along?

By not having to pay the majority of her writers, she
was able to fill her site with a TREMENDOUS amount of
content, across all different topics. Content which
lured millions of people, which in turn brought in a
LOT more advertising revenues than would otherwise
have been possible.

All this was reflected in the company’s valuation
when it sold to AOL. And Arianna’s take was
reportedly between $20-$30 million.

If she had been paying her writers all along, it
would have limited the content she could provide,
resulting in far fewer readers (less advertising),
and the company would have been worth a fraction of
what it sold for.

I posted an article at my blog in response to Chris
Hedges’ original column for anyone interested:
http://www.alterpolitics.com/politics/why-is-chris-
hedges-a-lone-voice-in-criticizing-huffington-posts-
business-model/

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By SoTexGuy, February 23, 2011 at 8:49 pm Link to this comment

Ok, I was going to say how many times I tried to add a comment here and
failed.. but I don’t want to appear needy

Scheer says right up front he knows Huffington is cozy with the right.. plus that
he thought of censoring Hedges after reading his dismissal of the HP
phenomenon! Is this then one of his most impartial commentaries?

Wow..

Myself, I’ve never taken Arianna’s site seriously so I’m not as outraged or joyous
over her financial windfall.. Look, high-toned talk on the economy, war and
death, politics and betrayal, global warming, torture and gitmo (and more)..
right across the page from the latest celebrity wardrobe malfunction.. what did
LL steal this week? .. weight-loss super pills!? Come on!

If anybody took the whole thing seriously then that’s their fault.. and the
contributors got everything they signed up for and more .. their seventeen
minutes in the public eye.. smile

As for the estimable Mr. Scheer (whose insight and opinion I generally much
appreciate).. Why shouldn’t he defend such a web-phenomenon as HP going
gold? .. he’s got something very similar in the works here..

Best of luck to him!

Adios.

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By Alison Rose Levy, February 23, 2011 at 8:22 pm Link to this comment

For a response to Chris Hedge’s TruthDig on the Huffington Post, please go here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alison-rose-levy/chris-hedges-huffington-a_b_827025.html

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By sopchop, February 23, 2011 at 6:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have listened to Arianna on Left Right and Center. I like her style. She is a witty, well informed and forceful voice for issues affecting working & middle class Americans. I remember her telling Amy Goodman that purpose of of what some consider tabloid type stories is to reach out to apolitical readers in hope they may read some of serious blogs posted by wide range of progressive writers. I see nothing wrong with trying to reach people where they are raather than just preaching to choir. I wish her good luck and God speed.

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By reynolds, February 23, 2011 at 6:40 pm Link to this comment

oh, but you contribute. you buy things. you’re an
activist. no anonymous snarling for you, right? no
typing fire for you. 
this story is about a non journalist cashing in on her
non journalistic tabloid. a person disagrees with your
offensive, dismissive terminology and is treated to
more of it. because you’re an activist. you buy things.
well done, if unintelligibly.
you’re the rico, suave of the isle of lesbos.

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By Ptolemy Philopator, February 23, 2011 at 6:36 pm Link to this comment

I tried to post this comment on Dean Baker’s article about Alan Greenspan in the Huffington Post. Despite several attempts it was never posted. An example of censorship? There were no ad hominems in this post. Judge for yourself:

““Greenspan was one of those ideologues who let his political belief system override his good sense ...”

Greenspan is not a mistaken ideologue. He has no moral vision. He is a criminal who along with the Bush family orchestrat­ed a decade long criminal conspiracy to bankrupt the Federal government and to pass out the loot amoung his Wall Street co-conspir­ators. He knew exactly what he was doing. The financial crisis was manufactured and Bush, Bernacke and George W. Bush’s Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson used it to railroad a complicit Congress into “bailing out” their co-conspirators on Wall Street. If Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson did not see the housing bubble coming, how is it that he made billions shorting (betting against) the toxic mortgage backed securities. These men are criminals and should all be in the dock for criminal conspiracy and once convicted their ill gotten gains confiscated under the RICO laws. They looted the world economy of at least $23 trillion. The fact that there have been no indictments shows that President “Barry” Obama is a co-conspirator. If this were not such a corrupt Congress there would already have been articles of impeachment drawn up against the President and his Attorney General, Erich Holder, for obstruction of justice. This is a scandal of enormous proportions with a bought and paid for government doing nothing about it. It is up to the people to take to the streets to administer Justice.”

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By Stan, February 23, 2011 at 6:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As a long admirer of Robert Scheer, I’d like to ask
him this question: Do you believe Huffington Post
would have been valued at $315 million if she had
been paying her writers all along?

Of course not. That’s where AOL saw the value in it.
Huffington Post has MANY recognizable columnists (err
‘bloggers’) that needn’t be paid.

And as a result of having low labor costs (for such
an exorbitant amount of content) it became the go-to
place for the entire progressive community. This low
cost/high content model, off the backs of free labor,
thereby attracted more readers, more advertising, and
thus, more money.

As such her company became valued much higher than it
would have had she been paying her writers all along.
This low-cost-model (which is apparently different
than AOL’s current model) resulted in a higher
appreciation of the company’s value, which has made
her personally between $20-$30 million dollars.

You can spin it around—as a loyal friend would—
but it all comes back to the same place. She
personally received tens of millions of dollars off
the backs of unpaid writers.

By the way, I wrote an article on this topic myself
in response to Chris Hedges’ column about why (until
now) the Left has remained silent about Huffington’s
hypocritical record on worker’s rights:

http://www.alterpolitics.com/politics/why-is-chris-
hedges-a-lone-voice-in-criticizing-huffington-posts-
business-model/

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By reynolds, February 23, 2011 at 6:02 pm Link to this comment

an objection to your screed isn’t necessarily bluster.
i’m jumping to the conclusion you would rather not be
referred to as ‘woman’.  maybe you don’t object to
being objectified, but i do.
as for terminology, look up invert. as for healthy,
that’s a matter of opinion.

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By Peter Franklin, February 23, 2011 at 5:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is gallant of Mrs. Scheer’s husband to defend Ms. Huffington, but rather cavalier of him to mention his apouse only as “my wife”.  C’mon dude, she does have a name doesn’t she?

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By Dr. Norman D. Livergood, February 23, 2011 at 4:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This biased “apology” for Arianna Huffington proves you to be a totally counterfeit progressive.

See: http://www.hermes-press.com/counterfeit_progressives.htm

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 23, 2011 at 4:26 pm Link to this comment

curmudgeon99 - thank you for the link.  I’ve now contacted a few of
the merchants and am making some purchases.  Will also check out
other ways to contribute.

That was a very constructive thing to do.

Report this

By curmudgeon99, February 23, 2011 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment

While you are all sitting around - Do a good deed - make a call to one of these providers and donate to help them provide support to the Madison thousands….

Willy Street Coop folks seem pretty sincere and grateful for any and all help.

list courtesy of:
http://my.firedoglake.com/newdealfarmgrrrlll/2011/02/21/supporting-the-protesters-in-madison/


Capital Centre Market (608) 255-2616
Cargo Coffee (608) 268-0597
Community Pharmacy (608) 251-3242
Fromagination (608) 255-2430
Himal Chuli (608) 251-9225
Ian’s Pizza (608) 257-9248
Just Coffee (608) 204-9011
Ma Cha (608) 442-0500
Marigold Kitchen (608) 661-5559
Mermaid Cafe (608) 249-9719
Regent Street Market (608) 233-4329
Steep n’ Brew (608) 256-2902
Underground Kitchen (608) 514-1516
Union Cab (608) 242-2000
Weary Traveler (608) 442-6207
Willy Street Coop (608) 251-6776
Zu Zu Cafe (608) 260-9898

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By chelseasbeach, February 23, 2011 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m betting on Arianna too.
To be a supporter to the Democratic Party
now matter how *Republican* they really are.
She will continue to be their apologist and supporter—like a true journalist would not.
Democratic Party= Good
Republican Party=Bad
Reality= The Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same filthy coin.

Bravo, Arianna!
Don’t forget to put Scarry Sarah on the front cover ever day as you have been doing—you will continue to keep dumbing down your readers and Democratic Party voters and keep the Kabuki theatre going!!

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By noodle, February 23, 2011 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment

Let’s face it: Huffington did not sell to AOL because she needed the money. She’s rich! So I can only believe she did it for some greater political gain, which I suspect will be to strengthen her liberal arms. We, of course, will have to wait to see if this does indeed happen (while I suspect she will have many more readers, as well). Let me say that Scheer’s piece today on Huffington’s move was a welcome relief from Hedges usually hysterical and off the wall approach. I wonder if he had been the one to comment on her move, he would have cried something like “Let us to the streets and link arms in front of her liberal/capitalist state protectors. UGH!

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 23, 2011 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment

reynolds – bluster away with your own homophobic idiocy, maybe
it is not your choice.

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By MaxShields, February 23, 2011 at 3:40 pm Link to this comment

My point below is an attempt to speak to those who in one fashion or another utter: “what’s wrong with what Arianna is doing….” It is not simply what is wrong, it is the fact that we have a divide which is visible on TruthDig (played out by Hedges and Scheer), between those who are primarily with the system and may see Arianna as only doing what any liberal would do when confronted with an opportunity to go for it (in corporate parlance) AND those of us who see this as clearly (aside form the hysterical right/tea party whatever)the PROBLEM.

That, what Arianna did is ok by some who claim to have issue with a variety of American policies, represents the fundamental issue between confronting the problem (by action as well as word) and finding a way to use it for gain. Arianna has long ago followed the latter path (with this transaction as simply a flagrant example of how it plays out).

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 23, 2011 at 3:40 pm Link to this comment

Or gerard – those who question socialism, anarchism, chaos,
American benevolence, atheism, ethnic conflicting family values,
national security or male supremacy.  There are a few on your list
that I agree with i.e., like the last one.  LOL It does depend on one’s
perspective, doesn’t it?  Ah yes, that freedom of speech you so
cavalierly spoke of.


Is there something wrong with being an apologist to those who sit
comfortably in their computer chairs and blast away with vitriolic
criticism?  Of course those leveling those snarling remarks seem to
think they hold some higher ground.  Bullshit again!  I am a Liberal
Democrat and I do not apologize for being one though I do criticize
the Party directly instead of sneaking in diatribes against them under
the cover of a blog when I think they have become unattached to the
welfare of the people and their will. But instead of whining about the
ineffective left as a daily bread, I prefer to direct my discontent towards
the Republicans who are the ones creating the chaos in this country.


“Defense of this practice is disingenuous at best.”  Exactly how is a
request for the public to provide information disingenuous, even at
best?  The public information provided to the world in a country such
as Egypt, or Iran, or Algeria, or Tunisia is touted as heroic, but here by
the rabid far left it is to be criticized?

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By reynolds, February 23, 2011 at 3:38 pm Link to this comment

queer resources directory, nice words- and so healthy.
in the opinion of this invert, my seeming detractor
offers less of a rant than my seeming defender. thanks
for everything, but i think this story is about the
lost gabor sister and her dominant gene of cashing in.

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thebeerdoctor's avatar

By thebeerdoctor, February 23, 2011 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment

“For most contributors, the Op-Ed page was never a serious source of income.”
This is very misleading on Robert Scheer’s part. I guess he never received those e-mails from the Huffington Post calling for registered members to become “The eyes and ears” of local events, and to attend local political events and report on what was taking place there; all under the rubric of “citizen journalist”. That is not asking for opinion, that is a demand for journalistic content. Defense of this practice is disingenuous at best.

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