Why I've Removed My Journalism from Huffington Post

By Al Giordano

From September 2007 to August 2009 I crossposted 26 of my stories to The Huffington Post, mostly about US politics. Most of those stories were cheerfully featured by HuffPo editors on their publication's front page. But, as time went on, I grew uncomfortable with how that website was transparently becoming more and more sensationalist, cult-of-personality generated, and with my sense that it was pandering to panic and poutrage in order to boost hit counts, and so I lost interest in posting there anymore.

Well, now we can see why HuffPo went in that direction.

After reading media accounts last night that Arianna Huffington had sold her online publication to America Online (AOL) for $315 million US dollars, I woke up thinking, "oh, my... and now an association with the mega-corporation AOL is going to be imposed on me?"

Not so fast.

This morning I dug up my old HuffPo password and logged in to the control panel, where I was greeted with this breathless spin:

EXCITING NEWS - The Huffington Post has been acquired by AOL, instantly creating one of the biggest media companies in the world, with global, national, and local reach -- combining original reporting, opinion, video, social engagement and community, and leveraged across every platform, including the web, mobile, and tablets. Our bloggers have always been a very big part of HuffPost's identity - and will continue to be a very big part of who we are. The HuffPost blog team will continue to operate as it always has. Thank you for being such a vital part of the HuffPost family - which has suddenly gotten a whole lot bigger.
Maybe so. But that "family" (cough, cough) has simultaneously gotten a little bit smaller as a consequence. It took me all of 90 minutes this morning to erase all my content from Huffington Post and replace it with this message where the text had appeared on each of the 26 stories:
(As author and sole owner of the words in this story, I did not write them for AOL, and do not wish to have any association with it imposed upon me. The original text may still be found at http://narconews.com/thefield - Al Giordano, February 7, 2011)
This saga is, sadly, not the first or last case of a blogger or online renegade that ended up becoming swallowed by the very same inhuman mass media conglomeration that it claimed it had set out to oppose. Good luck to Huffington and company, but they'll have to cross back to the other side of the bridge without me.
And I can tell you this: As long as I live and breathe, this online newspaper - Narco News and its pages - will never be sold to a profit-making venture. That's because there is simply no way to obey the laws of advertising without compromising independence and edge. I don't care if "everybody else is doing it." Somebody has to set a higher standard around this water cooler called the Internet. Once again, it seems that it has to be us. We survived the first dot-com boom-and-bust a decade ago. And, as before, while others who went for the money will likely lose their independence and credibility, if not their existence, we'll outlive this one, too. 

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About Al Giordano


Publisher, Narco News.

Reporting on the United States at The Field.

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