Huffpo “news” = ads

Here’s yesterday’s “latest news” from HuffPo. I emphasize again that I read the site not for pleasure (it’s like going to the dentist), but to keep up with what “woke” opinion is saying. I also read the Daily Wire for right-wing takes, and sometimes look at Breitbart, though I can’t stay there long lest I get ill. I also look at Slate and Salon, which fatigue me, Everyday Feminism (for the Woke Woman), The College Fix for a right-wing take on campus shenanigans that the Left won’t cover, and, of course, the New York Times. I don’t know if that’s a balanced scan of the news, but I don’t have time to do much else. I stopped my subscription to The New Yorker after David Remnick became an invertebrate, and in the evening I read books.

Increasingly HuffPost, which I hate with the heat of a thousand suns, is pretending that ads are “news”. Here’s what I found yesterday.

Four of the six “news items” were actually ads from which HuffPo profited, with a teeny little note in each item:

Call me old fashioned, but I see that as duplicitous, especially because they put these ads under “latest news.”

I couldn’t stand it any more, God help me (he won’t), and against my better judgment I commented. Someone even supported me!

However, given HuffPo’s traffic lately, it may not be around much longer, and I won’t mourn it (I guess there’s only so long readers can sustain multifarious outrage). But what can I replace it with? Salon?

 

31 Comments

  1. Posted March 14, 2019 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Here’s yesterday’s “latest news” from HuffPo. I emphasize again that I read the site not for pleasure (it’s like going to the dentist), but to keep up with what “woke” opinion is saying.

    I think most of us, if we visit HuffPo at all, do so out of the same compulsive impulse we’d probe a rotting tooth with our tongues.

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Everyone does what they can or what they are use to concerning daily news and information. Mostly it is a matter of time and how much of it do you have. Being retired I have more time to get to this than some.

    I always use to take the local paper wherever I lived but I no longer do that. Most of them sadly are just shells of their former selves and not so good. I get headline news from google but you have to be careful with that. They try to figure out what you like and then send more of that. I get some information from TV when it is on. Morning news on CBS is about all I can take. I look at CNN at times during the day and also MSNBC. Depends on what I am doing. I try to catch Maddow’s show because she covers what I want to know about and she puts out as much as possible in a short time.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      I take our local paper and – put it on a shelf. It’s handy for putting on the garage floor when I’m taking bits of car engine apart, etc etc.
      If the pile on the shelf is already thick enough (supply exceeds demand) then it goes straight from the mailbox to the recycling bin – a very efficient process.

      Read it? There is no content other than ‘local sportswoman gets award for trying’ sort of stuff.

      cr

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Whats the city? When I was still in Iowa I took the Omaha paper but this rag in Wichita is really just a shell of itself. I feel sorry for them but not sure how to save them.

  3. Posted March 14, 2019 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Slate.

  4. Stephen Barnard
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    HuffPo has entered the realm of unintentional self parody.

    Completely off topic: Listened to Preet Bharara’s podcast interview of Pete Buttigieg, huge underdog for the Democratic nomination. Watch out for this guy.

    • Greg Geisler
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      Loved the interview, love Pete (and Preet). That said, electing a gay man in a country that just elected Trump is more than just a long shot. NO way this guy comes even close to being President of the USA in my lifetime.

      • Stephen Barnard
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

        After coming out, he won a second term as mayor of South Bend, Indiana (INDIANA!!!) with (I’ve heard) 80% of the vote, in the same election that Mike Pence won as governor. Did I mention that this was Indiana?

        He’s whip smart, well spoken, with every qualification — education, military, executive office. 37 years old. If I were any other candidate I’d fear him on the debate stage or in a town hall.

        Preet has a book out.

        • Rita Prangle
          Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

          Regarding Mike Pence, he had no chance of being re-elected. He is NOT well-liked in Indiana. Being selected as Trump’s running mate saved him.

  5. Ken Kukec
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    … and sometimes look at Breitbart, though I can’t stay there long lest I get ill.

    Dear Leader did a lengthy, exclusive Oval Office interview with that esteemed journalistic outlet recently (as leaders of the free world are wont to do). He used the occasion to bitch about Paul Ryan’s having failed to do witch hunts on the Democrats when Republicans had their chance while having control of the House of Representatives.

    He also warned that if the Democrats want to play hardball, he has all the really tough people on his side, like the “Bikers for Trump.” He’d no doubt be thrilled to see an “Altemonte on Pennsylvania Avenue” at the White House gates between protesters and Trump bikers.

  6. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Hmm, if you can buy 20 throw pillows for < $25 that sounds like a pretty good price to me. $1.25 each. Bargain.

    Srsly, does PuffHo realise just how bourgeois, suburbanite and shallow those ads and articles make them sound? If I was the editor I'd be only too keen to label them conspicuously as adverts, just for appearance's sake.

    cr

  7. Diana MacPherson
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    When Huffpo craps out, replace it with cat videos. You don’t need to subject yourself to crap

  8. Greg Geisler
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    I love Pete and his ideas (and I love Preet too). That said, there’s no way a gay man wins the presidency of the USA in a country that just elected Trump. Not in my lifetime anyway.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      I dig Buttigieg, too. He might make a pretty solid running-mate pick. I’d love to see him mop the floor Mike Pence in a VP debate. Could be be the best thing since Lloyd Bentsen told Dan Quayle, “Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.”

    • Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      Pete B. amazed me with answers that were complete sentences but without sounding rehearsed too much.

      As far as your “no way” claim, I’ve also doubted that neither a black man or an idiot could win the presidency but both happened well within my lifetime.

      • Rita Prangle
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

        Good point, Paul.

  9. Deodand
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    It’s the same on Yahoo, most of the items on the front page have a little ‘sponsored’ item next to it. Ditto with the MSN front page, there are a huge number of so called news items with a little green ‘Ad’ indicator next to them.

    But then the Huffington Post was created to promote pseudoscience.

  10. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Of course free news feeds are mixing in ads, like on bulletin boards of yore. (And of course people have difficulties recognize that.)

    So maybe this is a cultural difference, but popular news feeds over here feel obligated to mark the ads. Same as Google does, and so on. Annoying stuff, but works for me.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      You are in the EU Torbjörn – they have a directive called “unfair & blacklisted practises” that requires “advertorials” to be indicated clearly:

      “…you have the right to be informed if a newspaper article, TV programme or radio broadcast has been ‘sponsored’ by a company as a way to advertise its products. This must be made clear by images, words or sound.”

  11. yazikus
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Curious question for our host and other readers:
    Besides national and online media, what are your favorite local news/print news sources?
    I’m quite partial to The Oregonian – they do great investigative work.

    • Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      Atlanta Journal Constitution I get the Sunday edition in print, my wife likes to read it, and the other six days on line. I scan through it every day most reading the headlines and the obits. Maybe average reading two news items a day. I like that arrangement. Helps me keep up with local stuff, bulls in legislature, what public official is getting investigated, things like that.
      It is still a good paper.

      • Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        bills in legislature

        On the other hands, bulls may be more appropriate.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Even from 4,900 miles away I’ve heard of The Oregonian – Pulitzers & all! I hope the owners [Advance] appreciate the intangible value to their reputation & don’t attempt to ‘rationalise’ their print journalism portfolio any further.

      In the UK there’s no local newspapers entitled to use the term ‘news’ these days & there’s certainly no investigative journalism on anything smaller than the national newspapers. And even then it’s sexsationalist investigative rather than worthy reportage.

      Print is on life support

      However there are pretty of electronic sources in the UK as we’re very well served by the technology it requires. Internet based ‘radio’ is where its at & also ‘podcasts’ – it feels like the 60s Pirate Radio stations reborn half a century later. Most of the older generation [I’m one] haven’t cottoned on & don’t have the flexibility of thought to be curious, but absolutely every interest is out there & available at a local, engaged [interactive] level. Delightfully amateur & everything from gardening to Grunge.

      I also like to collect obscure websites for my RSS feed – the sort that might only put up a post twice a year.

      It’s a goldmine out there.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink

        pretty plenty

  12. Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    This is an example what is called “native advertising”.

    John Oliver actually has a pretty good episode covering the topic:

  13. Posted March 15, 2019 at 2:09 am | Permalink

    Huffpo has been little more than a malware vector for quite some time now.

  14. Posted March 15, 2019 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    I immediately wen to HuffPost to check it out when I saw this article and… perhaps they present it differently for the UK… there were no ads at all on the front page.

    Then I decided it was not a fair test to view the page with my ad blocker switched on, so I whitelisted HuffPo and…

    … two banner ads appeared and a sprinkling of new stories with extra headlines in a different colour that stands out saying things like: “brought to you by…” or “sponsored by…”.

    Here is a screenshot of part of the page:

    https://sincereflatteryblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/screenshot-2019-03-15-at-10.43.36.png?resize=438%2C438

    I stress that it automatically takes me to the UK page, so this may be a UK only feature but:

    – the spondsored articles are clearly flagged
    – the sponsored articles are marked in some way so that AdBlock can take them out.

    It seems to me that the UK site, at least, is pretty well behaved, especially as I never see their ads so they make no revenue off me.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      HuffPo is different here because of good old EU directives protecting consumers.

      • Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

        That’s outrageous! We must leave the EU right now. I demand the right to be bilked by corporations.

        /sarcasm (in case you didn’t know)

  15. ladyatheist
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    If it weren’t for this site I would never go to Huffpo at all. The ads are part of the reason.

  16. Mike
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    I have given up with the press in this Country, far too rt wing for my taste. So my reading is always Books, one of which I’m reading at the moment exposes the appalling corruption, rife within the thing that Eisenhower so presciently
    warned against, the M.I.C. Its called “The Shadow World, inside the Global Arms Trade” highly recommend it.


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