Tuesday, June 02, 2015

No One Could Have Predicted

That once Arianna Huffington was allowed to smurf up all the kindling feeding the Left's new media, she'd channel the vital energy of a movement into a piecework sweatshop shithole designed solely to enrich  Arianna Huffington, her special friends and sycophants.

Hell Is Working at the Huffington Post

Talk to someone who works at the Huffington Post these days and inevitably one word will keep popping up: “demoralized.” “I’ve never seen people so demoralized” is what a typical HuffPost employee usually says.

A spike in despair makes a certain amount of sense. People are leaving the place in droves. (A huge portion of the business and tech team fled has fled within the last two months, for instance.) The new leadership is said to be of a particularly beastly nature. The site is going through yet another massive, and sure to fail, internal reorganization, moving its beleaguered editors into new complex groupings that will soon be abandoned. And that’s before you get to the small question of whether or not HuffPost will be sold off in the near future, due to AOL’s recent acquisition by Verizon.

But to anyone who has worked at the site for any period of time, as I have, it’s a little bizarre that people could be more demoralized now than at any point in the past, because the Huffington Post has always been an essentially miserable place, with a workplace culture so brutal and toxic that it would meet with approval from committed sociopaths across the land. If things are getting worse there, they have to be really, really bad.

It’s hard to imagine, to pick just one example, how things could be worse than during the Jimmy Soni era. Jimmy, you may recall, was given authority over the entire HuffPost newsroom as managing editor in 2012 based on his stellar journalistic credentials, like being Arianna Huffington’s top assistant and a former McKinsey consultant. 
Unsurprisingly, he ran HuffPost into the ground...
And when I say "no one", of course I mean lots of despised outsider Liberals.

Like me, f'instance :-)

A sample platter...

From 2010:  Huffington Post" is to “Writer” as…
A. “Logging” is to “Forest”
B. “Industrial Fishing” is to “Ocean”
C. “Coal Mining” is to “Appalachian Mountaintops”
D. All of the above.
From 2011:
She Is Trampling out the Vintage 

Where the Grapes of Wealth are stored.

I wonder which of her books about corporate cruelty -- "Pigs at the Trough" or perhaps "Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream"? -- Ms. Huffington offered as a lovely parting gift to the 900 journalists and others who were sacked in order to fund her AOL windfall.

I also wonder which of her books on the villainy and irredeemable insanity of the Right -- "Fanatics & Fools" or "Right Is Wrong: How the Lunatic Fringe Hijacked America, Shredded the Constitution, and Made Us All Less Safe" -- she offered as a lovely Welcome Wagon token to the irredeemably bent, lunatic fringe Right wing propagandist Andrew Breitbart as he was brought on-board the Huffington Pose Post as a front-page contributor? (Having enticed Bloody Mary Matalin into coming on her dreadful radio show to espouse the virtues of civility and Centrism, and spent a chunk of her winter canoodling at Davos with our Ant Overlords,
After stopping by dueling parties hosted by Time/Fortune and the University of Chicago, I made it over to the Morosani hotel (where there was no evidence of that morning's explosion) for the Coca-Cola cocktail reception, hosted by its CEO, Muhtar Kent. And I do mean hosted. His ebullience was all-embracing, constantly introducing his guests to one another: "Arianna, you must meet my great Greek friend... Charlie [Rose], did you see Tim Geithner?" 
After the Coke party, I made my way to a dinner hosted by Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, Rev. Sally Grover Bingham, Kathryn Murdoch, and Doug Shorenstein that focused on innovative ways to protect our oceans against overfishing. During the meal, David Gergen and I moderated a discussion that touched on many concepts I knew little about, including "catch shares" (which work by allotting a percentage of a catch to fishermen, while meeting conservation goals). It's a very "beyond left and right solution" to the problem that has garnered investments from the Carlyle Group and support from the Murdoch family. Worth noting: fish was served at dinner.
I credit Ms. Huffington with a innate and enthusiastic sense for at sloughing off any inconvenience principles as the social occasion and business opportunity demands.)

All of which apparently momentarily dragged Bill Keller's (the man who pays David Brooks and Ross Douthat to play with their poo on the Op-Ed page of the New York Times) attention away from his unholy work at an undisclosed Swiss laboratory [where he has (allegedly) been trying to re-animate the mortal remains of William Safire] long enough to publicly tsk-tsk Ms. Huffington.

"Aggregation" ... too often ... amounts to taking words written by other people, packaging them on your own Web site and harvesting revenue that might otherwise be directed to the originators of the material. In Somalia this would be called piracy. In the mediasphere, it is a respected business model.
Buying an aggregator and calling it a content play is a little like a company's announcing plans to improve its cash position by hiring a counterfeiter.
Ms' Huffington answered back, but as you cannot help notice...
"Perhaps unsettled by the fact that, when combined, The Huffington Post and AOL News have over 70 percent more unique visitors than the New York Times, and that HuffPost/AOL News' combined page views in January 2011 were double the page views of the Times (1.5 billion vs. 750 million), New York Times executive editor Bill Keller decided to unleash an exceptionally misinformed attack on HuffPost in a column released today and slated for this weekend's NYT Magazine.
...that, despite her citations below the lede (Google it yourself: Arianna doesn't need any eyeballs from me), the roundhouse Ms. Huffington throws is clearly not about her journalistic chops or writing skills or her capacity to inform her audience or limn her ideals. No, she's bragging about the effectiveness of her business model. Her ability to drive traffic.

Because up in the blogosphere's skyboxes, that is what this has always been about.

And so, like Doug Quail shaking off a cheapo memory implant from Rekal, Incorporate ("We Remember It For You Wholesale"), some of us now awaken to find a world where people who gained wealth and power by proclaiming themselves to be our allies against brutal, existential adversaries...are actually not that way at all.

They are actually quite chummy

with those "adversaries"

and are setting up shop with them

a couple of blocks away, where the prospects are better, and the rubes haven't quite caught on yet.

Because that, boys and girls, is life in the NBA, where even after the bloodiest-seeming fights during which things one can never take back are flung with abandon, the next day Ruling Class Mommy and Ruling Class Daddy always kinda kiss and sorta make up (from the same Bill Keller a few days later):
Also, for the record, I like Arianna Huffington. Sorry to disappoint those folks yearning for a Wrestlemania smackdown, but I think she’s a shrewd entrepreneur and a charming woman. Also, we seem to share a belief in hiring professional journalists; she’s hired some good ones from The Times. (We won’t dwell on the fact that her new owners at AOL laid off 200 journalists to help pay for the acquisition of The Huffington Post.) So, really, I like Arianna.
because that's what the marketplace demands.

And so, finally, two hardworking pros can put down their respective media-empire joysticks for a few hours and retire to the back room away from the frantic, meaningless puppet-theater dickwaving that keeps the yokels goggling and the lovely, lovely traffic rolling in to partake in the one activity every red-blooded, multinational mogul enjoys.

Money fight!

Her truth is marching on.

1 comment:

bowtiejack said...

Ah, I remember the good old days when Arianna was trying to get her closeted conservative-hero husband Michael into the Senate from California and that didn't work out, so she ditched him, took the divorce settlement, and went on to her current liberal gig (or whatever it is) so aptly described here.

Her success is like the last passenger in a lifeboat finishing off the scraps left of the other passengers.

Whenever I hear her described as "charming" (which is invariably) I get a resonance echo of all the stuff you read about how "charming" psychopaths/sociopaths are with their prey-focus view of the world. On the other hand, it may just be an ordinary narcissism that burns with the fierce intensity of a thousand suns.