What Passes for ‘Journalism’ At HuffPo Isn’t

July 3, 2009 | Filed Under Democrats/Leftists, Inernet, Journalism, Liberals, Media Bias, Society/Culture, Technology, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off

-By Warner Todd Huston

If you listen to the blabbers and gossipers, the Huffington Post is the talk of the town. It is claimed that Arianna Huffington’s “success” is the “new journalism,” the future of the news. TechNewsWorld proclaimed it “appropriate” that Huffington appeared in the YouTube series on journalism apparently because she personifies it. The New York Times celebrated HuffPo as “hybrid journalism” for its Iran coverage. Jeff Jarvis of The Guardian claims that Arianna is “saving journalism.” She was even just awarded the Fred Dressler Lifetime Achievement Award in journalism from Syracuse University. She even testified before a Congressional committee on journalism. And the list of accolades goes on.

But, what sort of “journalism” does Huffington Post represent? Is it the well researched sort with multiple links, named sources, or other such common journalistic practices? Most often no. In fact, those that write for Huffington Post rarely even bother with the normal journalistic practices of research, attribution, or the habit of having more than one source. Sadly, the largest bulk of what Huffington writers do is merely opine whether they have sourced information or not. And more often than not they do so from the extreme left-wing perspective.

Huffington Post is not “journalism.” It’s really just that simple.

Arianna has set no standards, exacted no homage to journalistic practices, and requires no veracity. She just wants pages filled and advertising to flow. Perhaps she is successful at that goal, but what is this success doing to journalism? I’d suggest it is hurting it, not “saving it,” as Mr. Jarvis claimed.

Examples of the emptiness of Huffington Posts entries are legion and can be found any time one goes to the site.

Recently, for instance, a debate between an actual medical technician and a HuffPo pseudo doctor erupted. Posts by what is billed as Huffington Post’s “wellness editor,” Dr. Patricia Fitzgerald, raised the ire of some readers. It turns out that Miss. Fitzgerald is not really a “doctor” of much of anything and medical internist Peter Lipson called her on it earlier this year. Despite the embarrassment, Fitzgerald is still billed as the HuffPo “welness editor” and still calling herself “doctor.” Lipson points out that several HuffPo “doctors” are either not real doctors or are doctors of fields apart from the subjects they write about on HuffPo. He says it is a bit hard to take their posts seriously because of this.

Then there is the political news that appears every day on HuffPo. For example, a straight out opinion was recently presented as fact by HuffPo writer Jennifer Donahue whose piece makes the claim that the Republican grassroots is lining up behind Mitt Romney, forsaking Sarah Palin, for the 2012 presidential election.

Donahue says it’s Mitt rising in the GOP and has two quotes in the story to support her assertion. However, there are no names attached to the quotes and no sources for them is given. She has no pundits from the right pointing to Mitt, no party members saying they like him and no seated politicians raising Mitt’s banner. She just says it is so and we are supposed to take it on faith. The whole story is thin as tissue paper. It may be true, but we get nothing to make us sanguine of the fact in Donahue’s story. Just her assertions.

Yet, Donahue is billed as the “Political Director of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics” and sports a journalism background. She may do a fine job for Saint Anselem College, but for HuffPo, at least, this piece is junk.

Or perhaps we might address a post by Stephen Zunes on Ahmadinejad and Iran. Zunes, who claims to hold the “chair of the Mid-Eastern Studies program at the University of San Francisco,” made a bald-faced assertion in his headlined, “Why American Neo-Cons wanted Ahmadinejad to Win.”

Zunes starts his blather with this line: “The only people happier than the Iranian elites over Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s apparently stolen election win Friday, were the neoconservatives…”

This is a pretty startling and pointed accusation. After all, Zunes is saying that a faction of America’s conservatives want a Jew hating, tyrant to win an election. Zunes follows this initial accusation with a lengthy piece on the situation in Iran yet offers not one single quote from any supposed “neo-con” to prove his thesis. No links to “neo-con” think tank papers are featured, no news stories, interviews or TV presentations included. No books or articles are quoted. Astonishingly no proof at all is offered for his wild-eyed claim. He just says it’s so and moves forward with that assumption.

Huffington Post also offers “celebrity news” even as it pretends at being a serious site presenting the important “news” of the day. We get things like the screen shot to the right that I recently saved. Notice that a photo of president Obama is included in with the salacious, sexually charged photos of barely clothed “celebrities” with the caption, “Better wetter? Who’s hotter when soaking wet?” Is this the way to treat a president? Is this the sort of mentality that befits serious journalism?

Look, I have no problem at all with HuffPo being a left-wing opinion site. How could I be? All my work appears on right-wing opinion sites. But, what I do IS opinion and I make no claims otherwise. Sure I’ve covered live, actual events, interviewed people in the news, appeared on CNN and Fox, been heard on numerous radio shows from coast to coast both local and nationally syndicated. But even as some of what I do is news and journalism, I only claim to be a columnist, opinionist, a talking head if you will. That is my primary purpose. And Huffington Post is nothing else but an opinion site, not journalism.

Granted there are plenty of folks out there criticizing Huffington Post and scoffing at its journalistic presumptions. It comes from the left and the right, from journalists and bloggers alike. I am not saying that Huffington is universally presented as “saving journalism.” Conversely, I am not saying that the site has no place on the web, nor am I saying it isn’t successful per se. What I am saying is that thus far Arianna Huffington’s site is decidedly not journalism. It is a successful blog, a fine site for left-wing talking points, sure. But it is not in any way a site built on journalism nor should it be taken as such.

The sad thing is, too many people don’t understand this salient truth.

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as,, Human Events Magazine,,, New Media Journal, Men’s News Daily and the New Media Alliance among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events and is currently the co-host of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Conservatism” heard on BlogTalkRadio. He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book “Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture” which can be purchased on He is also the owner and operator of Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston

Fair Use: This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available in my efforts to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. I believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research, educational, or satirical purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site/blog for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Comment

If you would like to make a comment, please register to do so. I hate to do that but there are so many spam-bots out there that deleting spam comments would be a full time job if I were to just open it up for anyone without asking them to jump through a few hoops first.

You must be registered and logged in to post a comment. Anyone can register. No registrant's information is kept, used, or sold. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Social Networking

Help the Soldiers!

American Genius

Our Founding Ideas

"Governments are instituted among men,deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776

Enter your Email

Powered by FeedBlitz

Subscribe in a reader

Recently Written

  • Calif. Court Makes Wearing American Flag to School a Crime
  • Food Stamp Sign-ups in Obama’s Illinois Larger Than State’s Job Growth
  • A Growing Number of Teen Girls in West Volunteering for Islamist Terror Group ISIS
  • Populist Hillary To Award Clinton Foundation Honors to Leo DiCaprio at Gala
  • Still a Slavish Flack: Carney Blames TV Networks for Fewer Obama Speeches
  • Chicago’s Emanuel May Find His Millions Won’t Save His Re-Election
  • [VIDEO] Hotonomics: Big Gov’t Vs Small Govt Knockout
  • Illinois Worst Again With Highest Home Foreclosure Rate in Nation
  • Illinois Website Beats Attempt to Silence its News Coverage
  • Ted Cruz Does Right–Walks Out on Mid Eastern Scumbags Claiming to be Christians

  • What THEY Say:
    Foreign News In English

    Click HERE for information
    on my fedora collection.
    Antique Stetsons, hat history...

    Contact Us

    Email Publius' Forum


  • September 2014
  • August 2014
  • July 2014
  • June 2014
  • May 2014
  • April 2014
  • March 2014
  • February 2014
  • January 2014
  • December 2013
  • November 2013
  • October 2013
  • September 2013
  • August 2013
  • July 2013
  • June 2013
  • May 2013
  • April 2013
  • March 2013
  • February 2013
  • January 2013
  • December 2012
  • November 2012
  • October 2012
  • September 2012
  • August 2012
  • July 2012
  • June 2012
  • May 2012
  • April 2012
  • March 2012
  • February 2012
  • January 2012
  • December 2011
  • November 2011
  • October 2011
  • September 2011
  • August 2011
  • July 2011
  • June 2011
  • May 2011
  • April 2011
  • March 2011
  • February 2011
  • January 2011
  • December 2010
  • November 2010
  • October 2010
  • September 2010
  • August 2010
  • July 2010
  • June 2010
  • May 2010
  • April 2010
  • March 2010
  • February 2010
  • January 2010
  • December 2009
  • November 2009
  • October 2009
  • September 2009
  • August 2009
  • July 2009
  • June 2009
  • May 2009
  • April 2009
  • March 2009
  • February 2009
  • January 2009
  • December 2008
  • November 2008
  • October 2008
  • September 2008
  • August 2008
  • July 2008
  • June 2008
  • May 2008
  • April 2008
  • March 2008
  • February 2008
  • January 2008
  • December 2007
  • November 2007
  • October 2007
  • September 2007
  • August 2007
  • July 2007
  • June 2007
  • May 2007
  • April 2007
  • March 2007
  • February 2007
  • January 2007
  • December 2006
  • January 2006
  • December 2005
  • November 2005
  • October 2005
  • September 2005
  • August 2005
  • July 2005
  • June 2005
  • May 2005
  • April 2005
  • March 2005
  • February 2005
  • January 2005

  • Add to Technorati Favorites

    Clicky Web Analytics