Whatever The Huffington Post Thinks It’s Doing, It Isn’t Ethical


I no longer check the Huffington Post for stories, and this latest example of its unprofessional and unethical culture is a perfect example why.

Having earlier beclowned itself by unilaterally deciding that Donald Trump did not warrant serious coverage as presidential candidate despite the fact —nauseating though it is—that he is a serious candidate and is having a massive and undeniable effect on the race, the news and opinion website now has decreed that every future story about The Donald will henceforth have appended to it the following legend:

“Note to our readers: Donald Trump is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, birther and bully who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.”

My post about the ethics vacuum displayed by the previous anti-Trump policy (which Huffpo eventually had to retract) applies with equal force to this one:

“The Huffington Post has just given us one of the worst examples of the modern news media’s abandonment of professionalism and ethics for partisan favoritism, but a refreshingly open one. Usually the biased news media doesn’t announce its unethical manipulation of what we get to hear and see.”

I must conclude that even that tongue in cheek faint praise was excessively gentle. The only way Arianna Huffington could think this well-poisoning label is anything but outrageous is if she couldn’t pick a journalism ethics code out of a line-up of baseball cards and movie posters. Since the Huffington Post, by doing this, has intentionally or not proclaimed to the world that it rejects the minimal levels of restraint, fairness, objectivity and professionalism  that necessarily accompany the description “responsible and trustworthy news media,” what is it? Indeed, what the hell is it?

No ethical journalism operation can justify having one standard of treatment for one newsmaker and a different one for everyone else. Hillary Clinton, of course, is also a serial liar. So is Josh Earnest, Harry Reid, oh, they’re everywhere. Everyone who advocates enforcing immigration laws is a xenophobe to Huffpo’s band of open-border advocates. Chris Matthews just told his audience that two “Cuban guys” were not worthy of a fair hearing, bullies are everywhere on Capitol Hill, and saying that Trump has proposed banning all Muslims is a misrepresentation of what he has actually said, but hey, since this is clearly not a news reporting source, why not lie? Why not publish photoshopped photos of him to make him look ugly, silly or scary..oh, wait, they’ve done that already.

The Trump labeling by the Huffington Post is just name-calling without substance, petty, nasty, self-indulgent and self-diminishing, insulting to its readers (maybe they can make up their own minds about what Trump is without crib notes, after you accurately rep—oh, never mind, you’ll never understand…), and utterly juvenile. Why not have a note that says “Donald Trump is a big poo-poo head, and we hate him!”?

It would be just as appropriate.

13 thoughts on “Whatever The Huffington Post Thinks It’s Doing, It Isn’t Ethical

  1. Does the warning come written in puffy letters, folded intricately into it’s own envelope and signed with a lip print? Oh, and there should be two little boxes labeled Y and N next to the query Do you like Bernie?

    • Harharha…sob. (I’m saving my own puffy-letter font for when Bernie has his psychotic break on learning that he is actually chosen to run.)

  2. Huffington Post has been left-leaning from the beginning, and that shouldn’t be a surprise given that Arianna Huffington was leaning left before she started it. This behavior, however, reminds me of an expression Michelle Malkin used when referring to cartoonist Ted Rall: ideological streaker. What she meant by that is that most journalists draped their biases in nice-sounding terms like diversity, multiculturalism, tolerance, et al., but he made no attempt to hide his. With this naked name-calling, the Huffington Post has also dropped its rhetorical pants. The thing is, when it started it was supposed to be a respectable journalistic organization that at least had a veneer of balance. They’ve now thrown off that veneer and exposed their naked hate and lazy thinking for the whole world to see.

  3. I stopped reading HuffPo a long time ago. Glad to know I’ve not missed much. I just wish I could figure out how to get its stories off my home page.

  4. The fact is, Jack, that America has split into two very partisan camps which don’t bother listening to one another and frequently don’t even try to make sense or be consistent. They have their chosen positions and their chosen candidates, and that’s it. It’s like Caliph Omar’s destruction of the library at Alexandria. Either the books agreed with what was in the Koran, in which case they were not needed, or they did not agree with what was in it, in which case they were blasphemy. It’s also like the Romans who began to obsess about Carthage, and ended every speech with “delenda est Carthago” (Carthage must be destroyed) no matter what the subject was, until the place was taken and burned.

    Ironically, it’s sites like the Huffington Post that have been the first to accuse the right of being obsessed with stopping Obama at all costs because of his color and the fact that the right can’t stand to see a black man succeed. They’ve also been among the first to push aggressive silencing of anyone who disagrees with them on hot button issues. But if a relative neutral like you was to call them on it, they’d just tar you with the brush of hater or some other label, and move on, you just lost your place in the conversation.

    • They have done this—that doesn’t mean it has to continue, that we should accept it as the status quo, or that it is healthy or even survivable. This deterioration is substantially Obama’s fault, because his amoral allies employed it to insulate him from accountability, and he cooperated. With the right leadership and shared understanding of how deadly this condition is for a democracy, it can be reversed.

      • I think that Trump will probably just laugh off this pathetic attempt to discredit him. He knows that the idiot bloggers that post this crap will just pump up his vote. The Donald is only scared of the serious Republican candidates currently running against him.

      • The Democratic Party and their allies in the media don’t want it to be reversed. They want a lot of low-information voters who will view the other side as a disgusting, scary threat and stay firmly on their side.

  5. “Since the Huffington Post, by doing this, has intentionally or not proclaimed to the world that it rejects the minimal levels of restraint, fairness, objectivity and professionalism that necessarily accompany the description “responsible and trustworthy news media,” what is it? Indeed, what the hell is it?

    Here’s a headline from a HuffPo article that appears in the margin when you go there for any particular story:

    “Here’s Everything You Wanted To Know About Being A Bottom (NSFW)
    Bottoms up!”

    (“NSFW” evidently means “not suitable for viewing while at work.” So I suppose that’s admirable.)

    Query: Would the HuffPo give any other purportedly legitimate news outlet a pass for posting a comparable heterosexual piece? I doubt it.

    • But to answer to the question presented, I think the HuffPo is essentially a gay, San Francisco, snarky, neighborhood broadsheet.

  6. Perfect representation of what’s become routine and accepted as modern day “journalism”.

    It seems to me that people in the modern day media hide their journalism degree(s) underneath the wall art that’s painted to represent their political activism. Is the media just hiring political hacks with a particular ideological world-view and ignoring real journalism?

  7. Good! Now I can unreservedly refer to the “HuffPo” medium as the Huffing-la-la-la-la-la-ton Post. Call their policy yet another confirmation of the epidemic of “po-la-la-la-la-la-litics” in Ameri-la-la-la-rica. (I realize that it takes some practice to pronounce all those “la-la-lified” terms smoothly.)

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