Some good news from HuffPo: they’re going under

Well, this time I can have unalloyed Schadenfreude, as I dislike HuffPo so intensely. Grania often asks me why I even read it, and my answer is “Why do we smell the milk in the carton even though we know it’s gone bad?” Here’s their headline (click on screenshot to see the good news):

I was surprised at this since PuffHo pays many of their contributors nothing—a form of exploiting people by promising them “exposure” while profiting from those poor wannabe writers. So much for their avowal to create more economic equity (see below).

Here’s part of the report:

HuffPost laid off over three-dozen [JAC n.b.: there is no hyphen in “three-dozen”] employees Wednesday, including a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, as part of broader corporate cutbacks.

The creation of a new Verizon digital unit called Oath, following the acquisition of Yahoo, is expected to result in roughly 2,100 layoffs. Verizon owns AOL, HuffPost’s parent company.

Writers Guild of America, East, HuffPost’s union, said Wednesday that they were notified of 39 members being laid off.

. . . The HuffPost layoffs come as Lydia Polgreen, who took over as editor-in-chief earlier this year, is assembling a newsroom leadership team, which includes former Daily News Editor-in-Chief Jim Rich, and charting a new editorial vision. She recently oversaw a rebranding of the site, which was co-founded by Arianna Huffington, who left the company in August.

. . . Polgreen and HuffPost CEO Jared Grusd praised outgoing employees’ “dedication and admirable passion” in an email to staff.

“We’ve spoken publicly about our mission to build HuffPost into the most impactful news brand in the world, and we are steadfast on our commitment to fulfilling that mission,” they wrote. “But today is not a day to talk about the steps we’re taking there, but to pause and reflect on our colleagues and to celebrate their contributions to HuffPost.”

“Impactful”? Is that even a word? I checked with the Oxford English Dictionary, my go-to authority, and a search turned up this:

 As for “the most impactful news brand in the world”, well, that ain’t gonna happen so long as HuffPo reports only news that fits its ideological biases, which are resolutely anti-Trump and pro-Regressive Leftism.  I, too, hate Trump, but his Presidency has driven the site literally insane, peppering article after article with gratuitous and irrelevant slurs on The Donald. And when their equivalent of an editorial writer is Samantha Bee, who’s treated as if she’s the equivalent of Rachel Maddow in political commentary, then you know something’s wrong.

I hope the rag goes under, as it’s an embarrassment to the Left. The only loss to me will be its use as a source of Islamophilic articles: the endless stream of PuffHo pieces celebrating the wonders of the Religion of Peace and the bravery of hijabis—pieces that have given me so much fodder to discuss.

As for their new mission under editor Polgreen, I’ve written about it before: it’s pure social-justice warriorism, not the dissemination of news. While the editor’s mission statement sounds good, it’s really a cover to advance a Regressive Leftist agenda, one that damages true progressives:

I think we can do better for people who feel that too much political and economic power has accrued to a very small elite. People who feel they are on the outside looking in at the prosperity created by globalization and technological transformation. That the game is rigged; that the deck is stacked against them; who feel that the house always wins. That definition includes many, many people who voted for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. I suspect it also includes the majority of people who voted for Trump. It certainly encompasses voters on both sides of Brexit and the French presidential vote that took place over the weekend.

For me, the biggest divide in America, indeed across the globe, is between those who have power and those who don’t, and that doesn’t easily line up with our red and blue, left or right politics. The media has come up short in telling the story of one side of that divide ― of the people experiencing anger, voicelessness and powerlessness.

Here’s how they empower the marginalized:

Who cares?

HuffPo: A combination of People magazine and Salon.

50 Comments

  1. C.J.
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Hi Jerry, it was nice to meet you in D.C. last month. Do you have any post describing what components of the Left you consider Regressive? Honest question here. The far Right often uses the term to insult progressives in general, along with terms like cuck and libtard. It can be confusing to the reader to try to decipher what the author (in this case you) means by the term, as it is somewhat subjective. Thanks.

    • BJ
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      Go back through other posts under the taglines at the bottom of articles. You’ll quickly see what he means by “regressive,” and while I won’t speak for him as to exactly what that is, I think all of us who have been reading this site for even just a little while know what he means when he uses it and would say it’s a pretty objective measure.

      • C.J.
        Posted June 15, 2017 at 10:26 am | Permalink

        Fair enough: https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/category/authoritarian-and-regressive-left/

        It seems that generally these blog posts pertain to issues of intellectual dishonesty, cognitive dissonance, and illogical/contradictory behavior. While I understand criticizing this on the Left, it seems to me to be an apolitical issue. I can find plenty of examples of the above on the Right. It just looks different depending on the political lens its shown through. But both are ugly and counterproductive.

        • mikeyc
          Posted June 15, 2017 at 10:36 am | Permalink

          To me the regressive in the term is in opposition to progressive, characterized by a willingness to silence others while demanding they be heard. They do not wish dissenting -or even criticsl- views to be heard and will use to un-civil and occassionally violent means to do so. It is a pinched and authoritarian view.

        • BJ
          Posted June 15, 2017 at 10:38 am | Permalink

          It’s more about authoritarianism, censorship, and attempting to control the behavior of everyone who disagrees with them ideologically.

          And while you’re correct that all of these things can be seen at both ends of the political spectrum, most of us here are on the left, so we think it important to stand up to it when it comes from our side.

          Moreover, you’ll see plenty of posts about dishonesty, especially regarding science, on the right. It’s not like Jerry ignores those issues. But one particularly important issue that this blog often concentrates on is the attempts to make university’s into breeding grounds for radical, authoritarian leftist ideology, completely dismantling the idea of universities being places where ideas and opinions can be freely exchanged and discussed.

          • C.J.
            Posted June 15, 2017 at 10:55 am | Permalink

            Thanks for your comments, they are very helpful in understanding why there is such a concentration on this topic (seemingly among new atheists). You mentioned earlier that these points are obvious to frequent readers of this blog (or others like it). True, but for newcomers, the term can be confusing. That’s not necessarily anyone’s responsibility to address, but simply an observation.
            Why not be directly critical of the issue rather than applying nebulous labels? Reading over your comment (and others) it seems the issues are more about authoritarianism and censorship. As noted, these things happen across the political isle, so why tag on the “Left” label. Sorry if I’m being obtuse, I just think it adds more confusion than any perceived benefit.

            • fizziks
              Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:02 am | Permalink

              See my comment below, but the specific appellation “regressive” is indeed a handy and appropriate catch-all for the segment of the left that supports what are traditionally paleoconservative positions and actions, such as censorship, oppression of women and gays, antisemitism, and a diminishing of religious freedom or freedom to be irreligious.

            • mikeyc
              Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:05 am | Permalink

              What is wrong with “regressive left”? It is descriptive and, more importantly, it is NOT proscriptive; it implies there is a part of the left that is not regressive.

              • C.J.
                Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:16 am | Permalink

                You’ve hit the nail on the head. In my experience, there are many who misinterpret this term. Namely, regressive left not as a segment, but as a whole. A sort of blanket statement. Has no one else experienced this? Perhaps its because while the “enlightened” community understands the term, the layperson may not.

              • Heather Hastie
                Posted June 15, 2017 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

                I see where you’re coming from CJ. The right applies these labels to all liberals, and that does make it confusing. (I watch Fox a lot to get their pov, and I spend a lot of time yelling at the TV because of their stereotypes.) When we say it, we’re not referring to the regressive left as the far right would describe it, but to the part of the left that is regressive (or authoritarian, or post-modern, etc). It’s not meant to refer to the whole left, just a specific part of it.

              • GBJames
                Posted June 15, 2017 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

                Most of us here on WEIT, who use the term “Regressive Left” (or CTRL-Left), consider ourselves “on the left”.

                At least that’s true in my case.

        • sensorrhea
          Posted June 15, 2017 at 10:54 am | Permalink

          For me it feels like we on the left are supposed to be better than this. It goes back to the original definition of liberal, as in the liberal arts.

          Liberals are supposed to be open-minded critical thinkers. Regressives are doctrinaire and arrogantly feel they have a monopoly on correct thought. Those who disagree should not be engaged, they should be re-educated. This turns politics into a game of who is most correct, and therefore the most power, and is reminiscent of nasty, cynical intramural struggles for power within the communist groups through history.

          • C.J.
            Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:10 am | Permalink

            Great explanation, thank you. I agree with what you, and others above, have written. I think I am coming to the realization that I just despise the label. I don’t find it productive to the cause of overcoming the issues mentioned. It’s fine to be critical of those self-described liberals who parade around regressive ideology wielding an authoritarian mandate to conform. I get that. But what’s the solution? To me, its getting people to welcome discussion and dialogue and think reasonably based on evidence, and not based on beliefs.

            So, in my opinion, there needs to be a way to convey this idea to the left without using a label that seemingly denounces them out of hand. As a means of experiment, I asked several of my liberal friends, who do not engage in the types of actions described here, for their definition of Regressive Left. Most had not heard the term, but when pressed, guessed that it was a derogatory term used by the Right to mock them for claiming to be progressive. The one person who had heard the term said that it referred to “those liberals who believe in homeopathy, for example”. While my data is very limited, and far from scientific, to me it suggests there many be a messaging problem.

            • BJ
              Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

              These people have already rejected the idea of discussion. That is a huge part of their tactics and one of the most destructive tenets of their philosophy. They constantly shut down discussion even when they’re not the ones being talked to, lest someone hear an opposing viewpoint.

              People who read this website (sorry, Jerry, I used the dreaded b-word earlier!) have no problem understanding what is meant by the term when it is used here, nor do you after a short look at the site, so there is no reason to stop using a term that is perfectly descriptive beyond you not personally liking it.

              I don’t know what else to tell you. It’s fine if you don’t personally like the way this particular blog does things, but it’s not going to change for you, and I think the rest of us are very happy with how things are done here.

              • C.J.
                Posted June 15, 2017 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

                A few clarifying points here.
                1. My commentary was not specific to this site. The term is used elsewhere.
                2. I disagree that the term is “perfectly descriptive”. As I point out above and in a previous post, it can be misinterpreted as a blanket pejorative. Why not just use Regressivism or Regressivists? Suggesting it is only the political left is not accurate.
                3. It shouldn’t be about opinion. Sure, I don’t like the term, but that shouldn’t matter. What should matter is an honest consideration of whether or not it is counterproductive to solving the issues. What is the point otherwise?
                4. You seem to be upset that I don’t simply accept “the way things are done here”. This is counter to your point of being open to discussion. Clearly, that’s how things are being done. My question is: should they be?

              • BJ
                Posted June 15, 2017 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

                No, I’m not at all upset, I just don’t know what else to tell you except that everyone here, and everyone on the left who regularly engages in these discussions, knows what is meant by the term when another person on the left who disagrees with regressive BS says “regressive left.” This is what you are refusing to accept, even though it only took you a few minutes and reading a few posts to understand how this site uses the term.

              • C.J.
                Posted June 16, 2017 at 10:24 am | Permalink

                @BJ–I think we agree. I am not trying to police language, which would be regressive. If anything I am just trying to raise awareness that this term is used with opposite connotations in other communities, particular the alt-right. I’m just trying to make this community aware of that so that they can be clear in their communication with others not familiar with the term. Thanks for the helpful discussions.

        • fizziks
          Posted June 15, 2017 at 10:56 am | Permalink

          The major defining feature of the regressive left, and indeed the origin of the term, is that they support and defend illiberal policies and behavior that would be typically supported by troglodyte paleoconservatives – this includes repression of women and gays, antisemitism, violence against heretics and atheists, and censorship. Of course the regressive left support and/or defend these things only when done by, or in the perceived interest of, Muslims or select other “non-white” (in their reckoning) people.

          Hope this helps.

  2. Posted June 15, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    I’ve never found Huffpo worth listening to. Even people who I consider to be on the regressive end of the spectrum like John Oliver laugh at them.
    And btw my Oxford online, as well as every other dictionary I checked included impactful.

    ADJECTIVE
    Having a major impact or effect.
    ‘an eye-catching and impactful design’

    • Posted June 15, 2017 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      All I can say is that I checked the Chicago Library of the online OED. And anyway I hate that word as it’s awkward and UGLY.

    • nicky
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      How is John Oliver regressive? Seen lots of Last Week Tonight’s, but it did not strike me as regressive at all, witty and funny, yes, but regressive?

    • Draken
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      I suppose it’s Newspeak, where the ending -ful can be appended to any word to turn it into an adjective: speedful, impactful.

      e.g.:
      HuffPo is doubleplus impactful on thoese who bellyfeel SocJus.

      • Draken
        Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        Lastpost contains typo delete fulwise.

      • C.J.
        Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        Trumpful America:
        war is peace
        freedom is slavery
        ignorance is strength

      • Posted June 16, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

        To me, “impactful” sounds like a word engineered by me when I do not trouble to check my English. But one expects from those people better language skills.

  3. Barry Lyons
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    I can’ stand “impactful.” This ugly word, such as it wants to be, has been showing up in a lot of places. How about “influential” instead? That works, which isn’t to say HuffPo is influential, but you get my broader point.

  4. BJ
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    “I think we can do better for people who feel that too much political and economic power has accrued to a very small elite. People who feel they are on the outside looking in at the prosperity created by globalization and technological transformation. ”

    That part of the mission statement is hilarious to me. There are certain groups that, no matter how affected they are by these issues, HuffPo will never care about them.

    Anyway, HuffPo won’t go under, they’ll just use even more unpaid labor. They’ll never disappear. We’re stuck with them. For good (discussion) or ill (literally everything else).

    • fizziks
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      Exactly. Salon has failed to turn a profit for going on 20 years and they are still around. It costs only $150 per year to register a domain name and $0 to publish blog posts submitted for free by nobodies, so both Salon and HuffPo will never go away.

  5. somer
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    “impactful” sounds like “infarcted” and sounds like Huffpo is probably going that way

  6. Rita
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    I cringed when I saw “impactful”, then looked to see if the paragraph would also include “intersectionality”, but it fell short. 😦

  7. Randy schenck
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Kicking something when it’s down is never appealing but possibly there are not enough like regressive lefts out there to continue with their brand of agenda news. Would like to see the same take place in other news firms.

  8. Michael Sternberg
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Samantha Bee’s pieces on The Daily Show were funny and often revealed their targets’ ignorance. I haven’t followed her own show as much. It explicitly and unapologetically offers feminist viewpoints, but those didn’t strike me as regressive.

    Did that change, or did identity politics take over?

    • BJ
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      Her show these days is basically condescend, condescend, buzzword, buzzword, call people who don’t agree names, condescend some more. It’s unbelievably simplistic and absurd in the worst way. There is nothing of substance and it’s all just preaching to her choir and the websites she can count on to post what she said the next day with headlines like “Samantha Bee Destroys X.” It’s like clickbait on TV.

  9. mikeyc
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Puffho going under!? ’tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.

  10. Marina
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    To be frank I stopped reading HuffPo long ago for its shallow journalism – I hate clickbait and any kind of “who cares?” stories – but Lydia “Regressive” Polgreen was the nail in the coffin and made it really unreadable. My country edition is equally biased and full of pompous, amateurish and unreliable columnists

  11. sensorrhea
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    AOL bought Huffpo from Arianna for $315 million.

    Ooops.

  12. Draken
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    HuffPo has become the left-wing WND.

  13. Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    and my answer is “Why do we smell the milk in the carton even though we know it’s gone bad?”

    Yes, why do we smell the milk in the carton even though we know it’s gone bad?

    • GBJames
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      Who is this “we” you speak of?

      • Posted June 17, 2017 at 3:52 am | Permalink

        Clearly it is, at the very least, PCC(E) who fessed up, Grania who apparently did not object to the usage of “we” and myself who also does it.

        • Diane G.
          Posted June 18, 2017 at 3:25 am | Permalink

          Then I guess GB & I constitute a “they.”

          • GBJames
            Posted June 18, 2017 at 8:30 am | Permalink

            We’ve been “othered”, Diane!

  14. jeffery
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    We can only hope that “Social-Justice-Warriorism” dies a lonely, wretched, and largely unnoticed and unregarded death….

  15. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Nothing like a double-dose bolus of pharmaceutical-grade schadenfreude, eh, boss? Been trying to wean off of it myself, but in the long run its more addictive (and debilitating) than crank or smack. 🙂

  16. Blue
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    Seen tonight on news.google.com: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/cat-house-arizona_us_5942b8a5e4b0f15cd5b9c340 entitled thus: “Almost Every Bit Of This Jaw – Dropping Home Is Covered In … … CATS.”

    Yeah.
    Blue

  17. Diane G.
    Posted June 16, 2017 at 3:07 am | Permalink

    “The media has come up short…”

    You’d think the media would at least know to use the correct verb form when referring to themselves…


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