People who don’t read a newspaper are dull.

One of the sites that I never go to -oh, perhaps once every couple months, if I must – is Huffington Post. Or as I call it, PuffPost. I remember when it started – Arianna Huffington had parties out here, got bloggers together. But it was super-liberal, so I never paid much attention to it.

All they do is rewrite real journalists, or use the news verbatim published elsewhere, and slap a provocative (and usually misleading) title on it. Now PuffPo has gone local, with a Los Angeles subsection. Watch out, LA Times, for plagiarism and attribution without links.

But the part I take personally is that they don’t pay anyone!! They are the biggest blog in the country now, if not the world, run by one of the richest women. Check out this article in the LA Times. Arianna Huffington is quoted:

Huffington said ads will run on the site, and the Huffington Post and Causecast will split the ad revenue. Any money donated to any cause goes directly to the cause, with nothing coming out of it.

Her site continues to expand, reinvesting its proceeds in the product. “We’ve had a very, very good advertising year,” she said. “We would be in the black if we were not expanding. Whether you are profitable or not depends whether you’re standing still or expanding. This is a window we need to take advantage of.”

The article is about how the PuffPost is adding a bunch of news about causes, called Impact, because they’re so liberal and they want to help. Well, wanting to help is a good thing. Yet…her own writers and worker bees get NOTHING, NO MONEY, in their best year yet!  Yet she wants them to donate from their non-existent wages. This doesn’t sound liberal to me, it sounds like a medieval caste system. Ugh, PuffPo is pathetic.

huffington post cartoon

It’s been a cliche for a few years now – everyone online loves to write how they never read a real newspaper anymore. Like this is something rare, unusual, and quite cool. They have Twitter, all the news websites, social media, etc, and newspapers are dead. Um, yeah, right.I’ve been doing Slate editorial cartoons for a year now, and most of my best ideas still come from the hardcopy newspaper. I get the LA Times delivered Thurs, Fri, Sat and Sun, for some very low price. (I miss the Weds food, though!) Newspapers are dirty, and take space in an apartment, and aren’t as much fun as a book or TV. But damned if I don’t find interesting, important, informative info that I really need and enjoy, all the time.

I’m all for saving time and taking shortcuts. And when I don’t have an idea for my next Slate cartoon, I cruise right on over to the New York Times, Washington Post, and usually, but not always, the LA Times.

But papers are better. Since I now mine news both online and in the paper, I’ve decided that reading the hardcopy paper is like getting a Bachelor of Arts degree instead of a Bachelor of Science – it makes for a more well-rounded, educated, interesting person!

This site, Compete, says Huff Post got particularly big after the 2008 election.

Site design and architecture likely factor into this widening gap, as sites like DailyKos and Crooks and Liars post their content in-full on the landing page, where the Huffington Post requires a few more clicks to read complete articles.

A commenter there had a GREAT point:

The Huffington Post employs some smart guys who know how to milk the Big-G. They create pages with great titles which are hot in the news, and then inside, there’s just a photo and a link to an article on the subject from the AP or some other MSM paper. (my bold)  Plus, they’re heavily focused on celebrity pics and entertainment. So you can’t really compare HuffPo to the other liberal blogs.

That undelivered promise was going to be my point, but thanks for writing it up! This is a major reason why I despise the PuffPost, and pity the fool bloggers who keep quoting from it: It seems like almost every “article” there is a lifted photo, with no link, a ridiculous title, then a link to a real newspaper, where they get the actual facts, (If you’re lucky! Recently I’ve been seeing news stories with no link at all! Thieves!) and then the writer adds some lame, uninformed opinion, or, worse, a pathetic try at humor. I have never gotten any original news or even a new point of view from PuffPost.

The problem with online is you always have to be specific and drill down. Everytime you pick one thing, you miss all the rest. Sure, you can get your movie reviews, stocks, tech news, science, whatever grabs you. But you never see the entire paper that way, and it’s dissected like an unfortunate frog.

I’m constantly running into odd little items in the paper that I wouldn’t see taking the online, laser beam route. New analysis, in depth investigations (like the one I recently did about poor Mr. Broom) and other stuff that is too tedious to read online (ie, longer than 3 paragraphs). Crimes and mysteries are my secret indulgence.  But I don’t want to go to those weird creepy sites like News of the Weird – I want the LA Times to vet things, clean things up. And I like the entertainment business news – I even got Slate to start a section of Entertainment cartoons that they never had before!

Huffington Post, eat it.

Cartoon caption: “You’ll start a great knitting blog, but Arianna Huffington will find it, and squish it.” This was my very first cartoon for Double X, Slate’s sister site!

And I haven’t done any knitting for the longest time, but I love it, and I have a pattern for a rug in mind, once I get time. And find the right color yarn.

5 thoughts on “People who don’t read a newspaper are dull.”

  1. How can you get banned by HuffPost, jennifer? The fake news, and stealing links, that I agree with.

  2. you’d be amazed i told one of the guy’s heckling me at the time if all humanity does is bicker about the one’s up top then surely we must all bicker about the one’s below us he told me your a liberal hating hypocrite i was like oh-k yeah keeping wearing that tin foil hat buddy

  3. Donna, while I have to confess that I used to find HP rather entertaining to dip into now and then to see what silliness was afoot, and to catch a few food fights between ‘Libs’ and ‘Baggers’, (and…. may the gods forgive me….sometimes I’d even join in), this is a wonderfully withering indictment of PuffHo’s journalistic practices and pretensions — yes, even with that fluky Pulitzer, courtesy of David Wood.

    Thank you for so perfectly encapsulating why I used to feel somehow soiled whenever I hopped around its pages in semi disbelief at the sheer range of fluffiness and volume of fatuousness on display — but unfortunately soiled in that not wholly unpleasant way that I remember from my youth when covered from head to toe in thick, sticky mud after a particularly spirited game of rugby (recovering Brit, for my sins….). In fact I think it’s safe to say that HuffPo is to bona fide journalism as professional wrestling is to the Way of the Samurai!

    However, your professed surprise – unless you were kidding? – that Jennifer was banned, just as I was….. twice!, and your making no mention of what for many of us is one of HP’s greatest sins, suggests that you’re not in the habit (to your credit) of posting on the site yourself, or you too would surely have run afoul their….. shudder….. ‘Guideline Enforcement’ practices. Practices that to my mind violate both the 1st Amendment and common decency, as a semantic algorithm dubbed ‘JuLiA’, ably assisted by a Stasi-like cadre of around 40 ever vigilant Moderators, monitor proceedings day and night, intercepting and checking most of our comments (as one might a felon’s mail!) before either erasing them or allowing them to proceed, by which time they’ll be buried several pages back, never to be seen again. AOL claims that it’s to protect their members from ‘trolls’ and ‘flamers’, but everyone now knows to ignore those troubled souls, and other sites do just fine with a flagging system, which makes this insulting and patronizing treatment of their members and their insistence on controlling with freakish obsessiveness what they say and how they say it truly sinister.

    Anyway, enough ranting, and thanks for reminding us to crack an actual newspaper from time to time. Excellent advice!

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