Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Open your eyes, Huffington Post

A couple months ago, the Huffington Post announced it was going to start a new project -- with a $1.75 million budget -- focused on investigating and reporting on the economy. (Here's the NYT's story about it, and Arianna Huffington's column about it.) The idea is to hire journalists and offer the stories to other media outlets, in addition to posting them on HuffPo. So kind of like a very small, focused wire service on the subject. I remember thinking at the time that this was a great example of what the future of journalism could look like: an Internet-only news site with actual journalists covering a huge story in-depth. And perhaps it will be; it doesn't seem to really be getting off the ground yet, but I can't find a lot of information on the status of the project.

I often wonder how seriously people take HuffPo. It doesn't have a lot of original reporting (yet?), but nonetheless a big following. I myself read it on occassion, mostly for the political commentary. In fact, I just recently realized that I never venture away from the home page to any of the "areas" of the site -- media, business, entertainment, etc. So it came as something of a surprise to me today to see this headline on Romenesko: "Hess: Visit Huffington Post for liberal views and sexist entertainment." Umm, what? I'm aware of the liberal views, but sexist entertainment?

And there it is. I might not agree with everything Amanda Hess says in her column about HuffPo, but I see her point. What I don't see is the point of HuffPo posting all these boob/nipple/nude photos. Is it for page views? And if so, is HuffPo that desperate for page views that it has to resort to the lowest common denominator of naked chicks to get people to visit? Has it always been like this on HuffPo? Is everyone else aware of it but me? (If you are unaware, Hess's column has plenty of links to the boobs.) I ask honestly, because I've been oblivious to it. Though now that I'm aware, it's already popping up in places like this: a Yahoo article about Megan Fox's see-through dress links to HuffPo's photos of said dress. You know who else Yahoo mentions as places to go to get more news on Fox's dress? The blogs Just Jared and Celebrity Gossip. Is this what HuffPo wants to be associated with?

Huffington Post, you should be better than this. I don't care if your "Heather Graham: Tantric Sex 'Works For Me' " article has received 235,488 views; leave it to gossip sites to report on such nonsense, leave it to porn sites to show women's boobs, leave it to whoever else to degrade and objectify women. There is no excuse for this. Focus on actual news, please.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I only read HuffPo when someone who I respect links to an article. I can't take it seriously because of its gossip/boob/pop culture coverage.

RosieRed23 said...

Sounds reasonable to me.

Gabriel McKee said...

Any site with boobs on it is worth a look.

Razor said...

Speaking of lowest common denominator...

RosieRed23 said...

Losing your touch there Gabriel? I could have written that response from you.

In all seriousness, I don't know what your point is either. If you're just being a "guy," well, see above. Otherwise I'll just assume you're being an ass.

Gabriel McKee said...

My point? Boobs are fantastic.

Agree/disagree?

Matt Osborne said...

I'm going to link to this post every time I catch another wingnut saying that HuffPo is Teh Kool-Aid™.

RosieRed23 said...

The amount of crap they have on that site is pretty nuts. I had no idea.

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