Dear Arianna

Dear Arianna Huffington,

I’m confused.  I’ve visited your blog portal, The Huffington Post, almost daily for a few years now.  I like your progressive spin on things, but I’ve got to tell you, my patience is running thin.   I went to your “About Us” page to investigate what you claim to be, only to find that there was nothing concrete listed about your “mission” if you will.  Thus, per Wikipedia…

The Huffington Post, is a liberal/progressive news website and aggregated blog founded by Arianna Huffington, Kenneth Lerer, and Jonah Peretti, featuring various news sources and columnists.[4] The site offers coverage of politics, media, business, entertainment, living, style, the green movement, world news, and comedy, and is a top destination for news, blogs, and original content. The Huffington Post was launched on May 9, 2005, as a commentary outlet and alternative to conservative news websites like the Drudge Report.[5]

Here’s the thing.  Your Entertainment Section sucks.  Specifically your need to show me the nipples of every starlet, a close up of any body part you deem imperfect, or just body parts in general in lieu of actual entertainment reporting. Today I have the option of looking at pictures of a Real Housewife snuggling with her lover, read about Hugh Hefner’s viagra sex, look at Jessica Biel in lingerie while reading about the 6 day diet she was on or be linked to fuzzy pictures taken with a telephoto lens of George Clooney attending the wedding of Emily Blunt and John Krasinski.  And that’s just a few of my options before 8:00AM.  Imagine what other non-news worthy garbage you’ll be posting by noon.

Who runs this department?  How old is he?  I picture a pack of middle school boys sitting around a conference table deciding on content between burp contests and lighting their farts on fire.  And when they move on to armpit farts and get yelled at by the folks in the Ad Department next door, they get revenge by camouflaging the word “blow job” or  “eat me” in their coughs.  Aren’t you breaking child labor laws with these employees?

GROW UP!

Honestly, if I wasn’t too tired to care, I’d write an intelligent commentary and take the 2 or 3 hours I would need to clarify my thoughts on all of this.  Instead, I’ll link you to this wonderful article that I found online by Amanda Hess and let her speak for me.

Sadly, you would think that I could simply avoid the Entertainment Section of your blog and be fine.  But it’s only a matter of time before all parts of your portal get ruined too.  Already on the Food Page there’s an article about a nude Mario Batali painting, a picture of Dita Von Teese provocatively pouring water down her decolletage for a Perrier Ad and videos of “The Most Bizarre Fast Food Commercials”  (shocking that they didn’t say EVER – see below).

The Living Section is pretty porn-free at this point, but it makes me nervous.  What does “living” mean?  Are we talking health and wellness?  New age living tips and ideas?  Fitness?  Medical information? By being so vague, I fear you’ll be less scrupulous.  I like a little science mixed in with my health news, not alternative wellness mascarading as mainstream health.  Let me be clear – I’m teaching 2 yoga classes today so I’m not against alternative wellness.  I just want my health information balanced and unbiased and at this point I don’t fully trust that you have the same standards that I do.  In the end I believe that you’ll figure out a way to sexualize the ADA Food Pyramid or start showing me celebrity x-rays and ultimately chose blog traffic over unbiased blog content, but to be fair, the jury is still out on that one.  I actually saw quite a few M.D.’s after the names of bloggers when I lurked around the Living Section this morning.

Your Comedy Section is by far, the most annoying.  You used to post clips from The Daily Show or give us political satire, reposting articles from The Onion.  Now it’s just headline after headline of “The (Insert whatever you want here) Ever” nonsense.  For example:  The Craziest Old People, EVER.  The Most Insane Preacher, EVER.  Comedian Nails Heckler With The Best Comeback, EVER.

Ever?  Really?  There was never anything better in the history of comedy?  If you keep claiming to have the BEST EVER, soon you’re not going to have anything else to write about.  It’s already happening in fact. On today’s page you enticed me with Anti-Violence Barbecue Leads To Most Ironic Headline Ever that is only a 1/2 page down from the One-Armed Man’s Arrest Leads To Amazingly Ironic Headline.  Goly Gee Ariana which one should I click on?

How about this icon, on the top left hand corner of my iMac? 

I think  Diego Báez, guest blogger at The Undomestic Goddess summed it up best:

The Huffington Post no longer purports to even resemble a viable News source. What began as an interesting foray into unexplored territory somewhere between the Big 5 Nightly and everyone-qua-eyewitness has devolved into a spiraling pit of irreverence and irrelevance, tending too often toward the latter. And if there’s something wrong with any of the above, what right does a “News”/Entertainment/Time-wasting portal have to post material that raises (or should raise) important questions about media and body image, the Male Gaze and representation generally, without ever seeking to resolve them? The product HuffPo offers is all of this together: images, issues, and the conspicuous lack of dialogue about either of the aforementioned. Is there something wrong with a company turning a profit off said product?

See you Ariana.  Send me an email when you’re worried more about content.  You still have time to stay relevant before you make the list: “Biggest Blog Portal Fails, EVER”

Fondly,
Linda Pruce

(Author’s note:  I didn’t link to the specific Huffington Post articles I mentioned on purpose.  I’m not going to add to their traffic numbers.  But feel free to head over there and browse around yourself.  You can easily arrive at the main home page, but clicking here.

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4 responses to “Dear Arianna

  1. I stopped reading huff post as well, for much the same reason. Its becoming the tabloid of the internet. Not to mention that Ariana’s profits are all made on the backs of others writing her paper for free, all for the honor of seeing their name in print for maybe a week. She started this “you create our content for us, we’ll take the ad money, thank you” business model of the internet.

    Thanks, Arianna. For nothin’…

    • I didn’t know that NONE of the posters got paid! Holy shit! The funny thing is – i used to read a lot of their posts, but then I got so distracted by the pictures on the right, that I stopped reading the posts on the left – so many of those bloggers aren’t even getting noticed for their work – I find that unless a blog has a photo, I look straight past it. I guess if you have a brand or a product its worth writing the post – but if not, what’s the point making her richer?

      So what portals/web sites, if any, did you replace HP with?

  2. You read my mind with this! That recurring bit with the sexy woman who was supposed to run naked because of something to do with the World Cup….Gwyneth Paltrow in a bikini…? and on and on…I don’t know where to go from here though. If you find a good alternate, please post.

    • I sometimes go to The Daily Beast, Salon and NPR. If you find anything, let me know as well. Also, I just thought of this – Mother Jones and Utne Reader might be good places to check out – I enjoy their magazines, I’m guessing their web sites would be cool too. Have a great weekend Michelle – thanks for stopping by my site.

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