31 March 2008


Today The New York Times is running this profile of Arianna Huffington, the brains behind The Huffington Post. The profile focuses on the incredible success of The Post in terms of readership numbers and on the process by which it is morphing from blog into an on-line newspaper. The irritating thing about the story is that The Times reporter offers, without comment, a comparison between Huffington and Matt Drudge. You know, Matt is the conservative counterpart to Arianna's liberalism. Unfortunately, the reporter missed the relevant comparison which has to do with journalistic and intellectual integrity. Drudge, a bullshitter and pompous poser (right), is bereft of such qualities while Huffington has them. That is a distinction with a difference. Why can't The Times ever get these things right? Why do they bend over to lend credibility to conservatives who don't deserve to be taken seriously?
Photo Credit: Evan Agostini/Getty Images

P.S: (Added later that same day) In a comment on this post Scott Brauer called my attention to this essay by Eric Alterman in The New Yorker that also discusses The Huffington Post as an emergent alternative to standard newspapers. It is a nice essay. Thanks Scott! I will say that I do not find Alterman's discussion of Lippmann & Dewey entirely persuasive, he does raise a whole set of interesting issues.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's an article in this week's issue of the New Yorker (available online: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/03/31/080331fa_fact_alterman?currentPage=all ) about the fall of newspapers that takes up the discussion of the Huffington Post. Makes mention of the Drudge Report, and Huffington's initial wish to be a liberal equivalent, but quickly dismisses the notion of similarity. Goes on to highlight the differences and posit that Huffington Post is a contemporary "great newspaper." Makes the important distinction, of course, that Huffington Post has little resources for original investigative reporting. Worth a read.

31 March, 2008 18:59  

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