The Huffington Post – A Stolen Idea!

Arianna with her buddy Newt Gingrich

Politico has a long piece up about a lawsuit brought by two Democratic consultants, Peter Daou and James Boyce which claims that the idea for The Huffington Post was stolen from them. A while back, I did some research into Arianna Huffington and came across some rather revealing things about Arianna and her MO. The most glaring of these was her teaming up with Newt Gingrich in the early 90’s to help bring about Gingrich’s Republican Revolution, oh and apparently she’s still hanging with him. I’m old enough to remember that bullshit and have always been skeptical of Huffington and see her as an opportunist. Her new book, no plug here, attempts to play on people’s fears about the economic crisis. I hope to find time to write about that soon, she’s been not so subtly appealing to the angry people in the country….there’s money to be made on that anger, you know? From the Politico piece…

The complaint is a direct challenge to the left’s most important media property from two stalwarts of the progressive movement. And it challenges Huffington’s own oft-told story of coming up with the idea in conversation with Lerer and other friends.

“Huffington has styled herself as a ‘new media’ maven and an expert on the effective deployment of news and celebrity on the Internet in the service of political ends,” says the complaint. “As will be shown at trial, Huffington’s and Lerer’s image with respect to the Huffington Post is founded on false impressions and inaccuracies: They presented the ‘new media’ ideas and plans of Peter Daou and James Boyce as their own in order to raise money for the website and enhance their image, and breached their promises to work with Peter and James to develop the site together.”

It certainly doesn’t surprise me to read this, that’s what Republicans are all about, making money on the backs of other people. It completely fits with her opportunistic MO. She is the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Every time I hear her introduced as a liberal, I do a spit take with my coffee or Lipton Diet Green Tea…and we all know how painful that can be. She is no liberal, she just shifted her “mark” to liberals. She saw the pendulum swinging away from conservatism with the election of George W. Bush and saw a great opportunity to capitalize on it. Recently, it seems she is jealous of all the money Glenn Beck and his sorts are making off the anger on the right. I see her book as a blatant appeal to those people, she want’s some of that money too. More from Politico…

Lerer, a former AOL executive who once worked as a spokesman for junk bond king Michael Milken, later involved other Internet gurus – the marketing expert Jonah Perretti, and Drudge collaborator Andrew Breitbart – in their launch, and Daou and Boyce aren’t the first to contest the Huffington Post’s lineage.

“I created the Huffington Post,” Breitbart told Wired in March, prompting Huffington to reply that he “wasn’t present” for the initial 2004 meeting.

Can you even fucking believe it, Breitbart was there at the start of The Huffington Post. Now that speaks volumes in my mind. Andrew Fucking Breitbart working with Arianna, and of course this is after she supposedly saw the light and became more progressive….cough, spit. I remember seeing her talk on C-SPAN in the early 2000’s and thinking, wow, a conservative who’s seen the light and grown. As I continued to watch her speak, I had a sense about her that she was slippery. She talked around a lot of issues, was very slick in her appeal to liberals, playing on their dislike for George W. Bush, using clever put downs of him to gain acceptance. I have to admit, I was digging what she was saying, I disliked ole’ W. about as much as anyone. But even then, I was cautious because of her slickness. It was only after I started getting pissed off at the misleading headlines on her site that I started doing some digging and discovered the above links.

Booman, who was the source of the Politico link above, wonders why The Huffington Post is considered left…

Is the Huffington Post the “left’s most important media property”? Really? Because I have never opened the Huffington Post unless directed there by someone else. I have almost never linked to them (probably less than a dozen times in six years). I don’t think I’ve ever been to their home-page. I think if they were really so important, I’d find I couldn’t blog effectively without knowing what was going on there. But, for the most part, the Huffington Post doesn’t even exist for me. It’s like the Drudge Report. I know it exists, and occasionally someone points out to me that they have some interesting material, but that’s it. And why is the Huffington Post considered a left-leaning site? I don’t consider Arianna Huffington to be left-leaning. She’s a critic of President Bush and the current brand of know-nothing politics of the right. But she’s certainly no liberal. Above all, she’s a business woman and a celebrity. She’s not a part of any movement I am aware of. I’m not knocking her, but I just don’t get why her site is supposed to be important to the left. For what?

I used to frequent her website until I noticed a change in course and their turning on the President. I was often sucked into the misleading headlines which many times didn’t reflect was in the actual article, a blatant bait and switch of sorts. She is very good at making money off people’s emotions, I suspect she will continue to do well in that regard. I just won’t be a part of it.


The Republican Solution For Health Care – A Moving Target!

Steve Benen has a post up which is so excellent at exposing the game playing that the Republican Party has been playing on health care for 80 freaking years. Dana Perino, the oh so bright former press secretary for George W. Bush, was complaining on Fox News about how the Democrats didn’t “reach out” to the Republicans during the health care debate, which of course is an alternate reality…..was she in a cave during that period? As a liberal, I was pissed at the constant reaching out to those assholes who had no intention of voting for or helping craft the law. Dana’s people in the Republican party didn’t really keep that a secret, in fact they were quite bold in saying how obstructionist they were going to be and were in the process. Republicans have a long history of playing games, from Steve Benen…

When Truman tried to pass what was, in effect, Medicare for all, Republicans balked and said they preferred a more market-based pay-or-play system. When Clinton endorsed the market-based pay-or-play system, Republicans balked again, saying that they preferred a mandate/subsidies kind of system. When Obama endorsed the mandate/subsidies system crafted by Republicans in the ’90s and adopted by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts, Republicans balked again, this time saying they don’t want to address the problem at all.

As Ezra concluded:

So over the last 80 years or so, Democrats have responded to Republican opposition by moving to the right, and Republicans have responded by moving even further to the right. In other words, Democrats have been willing to adopt Republican ideas if doing so meant covering everybody (or nearly everybody), while Republicans were willing to abandon Republican ideas if sticking by them meant compromising with the Democrats.

But because Democrats were insistent on getting something that would help the uninsured, they’ve ended up looking like the partisans, as they keep pushing bills Republicans refuse to sign onto.

Pretty slick little operation they have going and their mindless followers who are so principled, cough, spit….and continue to support these people because of their principles, which seem to blow in the wind. Steve Benen brings it home with this…

It’s also, by the way, a model with broader applicability. As we’ve seen repeatedly with a wide variety of policy efforts, Democrats are interesting in solving a policy problem and are willing to negotiate to get something done. Republicans are interesting in preserving ideological purity and ignoring policy problems that can’t be solved through tax cuts for millionaires.

Jon Stewart vs Rachel Maddow In “The Thrilla From Wasilla”

It really has nothing to do with Wasilla, I just liked the sound of that. Call it bait and switch if you want. :) Go to this link at Bob Cesca’s Awesome Blog! Go! I’m still unable to embed MSNBC videos on this low budget blog, coming soon though. I’ve seen parts of this and hope to watch the whole thing later and I will put up a new post with my comments about it. Feel free to give me yours on this excellent interview that from what I’ve seen is a good discussion about the media.

The Angry Wheel Gets The Grease

Apparently all you have to do these days to get the media’s attention and dominate cable news coverage is to get really angry and make a lot of noise. I propose that we liberals and progressives start getting angry, protesting, showing up at Republican town hall meetings and getting loud. If the media has changed how it does business by only caring about those who are angry, let’s get fucking angry. I propose that during this last election their was a lot of anger remaining from the Bush demolition of our democracy, but somehow all those people got lumped in with the Tea Party people. It’s very similar to lumping all the people who supposedly didn’t like the health care bill, some who thought it was pure socialism and some who thought it didn’t go far enough towards socialism.

Melissa Harris-Lacewell made a similar point last night on The Last Word about so called “independents” that seem to all get lumped together when in reality, you have independents who are all over the political spectrum. Think Bernie Sanders….he’s not in the middle of Democrats and Republicans, he is clearly to the left of Democrats. I guess it boils down to the fact that journalists in general aren’t very bright and like to simplify things, it’s easier for their little brains to wrap around simple ideas. I return to my refrain about the media using polls as crutches, it’s just easier for them to spit out a story when they can just regurgitate poll results. One of my favorite signs from the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear says it all…“A poll about a fact is NOT news!”

To The Media, Governing Is Getting Reelected!

Steve Benen, who is consistently the best blogger on the internet….along with the Awesome Bob Cesca…has a great post up saying what I have been thinking since the election. The bastard always steals my thoughts and then puts them in writing much more eloquently than I can, so once again….what he said. (emphasis mine)

If it seems like you’ve been seeing those same four words — was it worth it? — all week, it’s not your imagination. The ubiquitous question is based on the assumption that Democratic losses were the result, not of awful economic conditions, but of the party’s agenda. The president and his party completed some remarkable policy achievements, but, the argument goes, those breakthroughs only pay electoral dividends if the public likes the policies. Instead, voters disapproved, strengthening the GOP “wave.”

The evidence to bolster this case, rather than blaming the economy, remains thin. But for the sake of conversation, let’s go with it. Let’s say Democrats effectively made a giant trade — they forfeited their House majority, and in exchange, Dems had one of the most successful congresses of the century, passing landmark legislation generations in the making.

Of course it was worth it. This is what big majorities are for.

One of the things that drives me nuts the most about the media is the prism through which they view everything, politics. It seems like it doesn’t matter much what a politician does once they are elected, like passing laws, representing their constituents or making a difference in the country. Instead, it’s all about the next election. You almost never see cable news actually talking about policy, except how it might affect someone politically. The midterm election is barely over and they are already talking about how everything anyone does will affect them in 2012. Jeez, can we take a break for a minute and actually govern. More from Benen…

There have been plenty of pieces making the case, and I’d recommend items from Cohn, Chait, and Sargent, among others. But I was especially struck by William Saletan’s Slate piece yesterday, not only because I disagree with him from time to time, but because I was nodding in agreement when he explained, “[I]f health care did cost the party its majority, so what? The bill was more important than the election.”

Politicians have tried and failed for decades to enact universal health care. This time, they succeeded. In 2008, Democrats won the presidency and both houses of Congress, and by the thinnest of margins, they rammed a bill through. They weren’t going to get another opportunity for a very long time. It cost them their majority, and it was worth it.

And that’s not counting financial regulation, economic stimulus, college lending reform, and all the other bills that became law under Pelosi. So spare me the tears and gloating about her so-called failure. If John Boehner is speaker of the House for the next 20 years, he’ll be lucky to match her achievements. […]

It’s funny, in a twisted way, to read all the post-election complaints that Democrats lost because they thought only of themselves. Even the chief operating officer of the party’s leading think tank, the Center for American Progress, says Obama failed to convince Americans “that he knows their jobs are as important as his.” That’s too bad, because Obama, Pelosi, and their congressional allies proved just the opposite. They risked their jobs — and in many cases lost them — to pass the health care bill. The elections were a painful defeat, and you can argue that the bill was misguided. But Democrats didn’t lose the most important battle of 2010. They won it.

Hell yes, this is one of the reasons why I support this president so much, he is there to get shit done and getting reelected isn’t his highest priority. This doesn’t quite fit in with the media’s narrative, they don’t understand it, it causes them cognitive dissonance. It does not compute for them. What it does is to give pundits the opportunity to hang themselves with their words and prove they are only about politics, fuck the people.