The Huffington Post
May 9, 2005 2:00 AM   Subscribe

It's a blog, it's a news wire, it's...The Huffington Post. Launched today, the site lives up to low expectations with thin commentary by celebrities and underwhelming design. Dying to hear what Brad Hall (Julia Louis-Dreyfus' husband) has to say about gay marriage? How about David Mamet's take on this computer thing? Or just looking for fresh news bites like the "real, inside" story on Jeff Gannon or the fact that models are often re-touched?
posted by jasonsmall (63 comments total)
the site lives up to low expectations with thin commentary by celebrities and underwhelming design

Tell us what you really think.

Countdown to snarky remark about Bush in 5...
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 2:06 AM on May 9, 2005

Have you ever, you know, inflated a balloon and pinched the neck with both hands and pulled in opposite directions so you get the squealy dying sound?

That's the Huffington Post for me.
posted by Tlahtolli at 2:24 AM on May 9, 2005

The designer is probably borrowing Mamet's "hermaphrodite typewriter-cum-filing cabinet" (anyone else mis-read that as "filling"?).

Murdoch's face folding in on itself... Tom Cruise just after someone pulled his finger... The News Wire with scrawly lightin' bolts... and dirty little secrets: Larry David watches American Idol.

Hal9k's law: As a liberal blog grows longer, the probability of someone mentioning arugula approaches one.

That said: Ellen Degeneres got my attention.
posted by hal9k at 2:52 AM on May 9, 2005

I can't help thinking....

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all convictions, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

...And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Blogging to be born.

posted by john at 3:08 AM on May 9, 2005

Weird, it looks like a Drudge Report, only happier and more famous.

It'll be interesting to see if it grows and becomes some sort of bizarro world Blogspot for those in the entertainment/pundit industry.
posted by mathowie at 3:33 AM on May 9, 2005

I blame Bush.

(just for you Thedevildancedlightly)
posted by Balisong at 3:49 AM on May 9, 2005

Why would you be surprised that its content it washed out, old and unattractive? So is its target audience.
posted by Captaintripps at 3:50 AM on May 9, 2005

Jeez, such vitriol! Come on, give it a chance. I'm interested to see which Hollywood celebs can actually write.
posted by zardoz at 3:56 AM on May 9, 2005

Interesting, a FPP that goes to a whole lot of trouble to convince me that I shouldn't look at something.. OK... On your advice I skipped all the links to a site that " lives up to low expectations with thin commentary"... so as to not waste my time with what must NOT be the best of the web...... Now what?
posted by HuronBob at 4:20 AM on May 9, 2005

Well, my attempts to socially engineer a Huffington account failed.
The problem I see with this sort of venture is not that celebs don't have the right to blog, but that when they do, they're given a special status in the blogging world. Because thay're more likely to be heard, their views are going to be treated with more respect.

I'm not sure that I like that.

The fact that the site doen't encourage comments or any sort of dialogue from the great unwashed says everything I need to know.

But, give it a few months and most of the celebs will be bored with the medium and they'll be podcasting or banging on about kaballah or whatever stupid diet they think is the next best thing.

I give it a year before the thing closes due to lack of participation.
posted by seanyboy at 4:30 AM on May 9, 2005

Wow, HuronBob, you got me. I'm totally busted! But thanks anyway for "wasting your time" by leaving a comment that doesn't...say...anything.
posted by jasonsmall at 4:40 AM on May 9, 2005

A little thin, true. But, then, it did just open for business. I'm actually sort of interested to see how it develops, particularly if the guest bloggers start to post more links. I'd be curious to see what on the web captures the attention of celebrities and pundits. That said, I agree with seanyboy that participation may wane pretty quickly.
posted by adgnyc at 4:49 AM on May 9, 2005

Others, it seems, are more skeptical than I. (Via Romanesko.) Now my wide-eyed post of a few minutes ago looks hopelessly jejune.
posted by adgnyc at 4:59 AM on May 9, 2005

I'm glad that some of you are practically tripping over each other to make flip, snarky comments about a blog that's been up for a day. You'd think they were putting a gun to your head and making you read it.

BTW, if you look past the front page, there's a lot of decent blog content (comment-enabled) from people whose names aren't household ones.

Y'all are welcome to return to your "readership of two" blogs any time...
posted by mkultra at 5:22 AM on May 9, 2005

The Huffington Post sucks.

That is all.
posted by bwilliams at 5:23 AM on May 9, 2005

My liberal outrage fatigue wants to take a nap.
posted by AlexReynolds at 5:31 AM on May 9, 2005

posted by matteo at 5:32 AM on May 9, 2005

Wow. What a pompous style Mamet has! Someone please take away his comma key.

But I was interested to read John Cusack's brief description of Hunter Thompson's funeral.
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:44 AM on May 9, 2005

The problem I see with this sort of venture is not that celebs don't have the right to blog, but that when they do, they're given a special status in the blogging world. Because thay're more likely to be heard, their views are going to be treated with more respect.

I'm not sure that I like that.

How trite. You can even take out references to blogging and replace them with politics, whatever, and you end up with the same old jealousy about how our culture favors some above others. I just don't get why people say, "celebs have an unjustified advantage in X because of their celeb status," and feel bad, or in this case, passively wary, about it. Especially when X equals blogging, the whole point of which is that if you have an internet connection and access to blogging software, you can blog.

And: what mkultra said.
posted by effwerd at 5:49 AM on May 9, 2005

I've just learned more from a quick 3-minute skim read of the Post than I have from a 10-minute skim thru MeFi today so it seems to have got a start on one of the bigger group blogs around.

Crap title tho'...
posted by i_cola at 5:56 AM on May 9, 2005

jasonsmall... I didn't say i wasted my time reading this fpp or posting a comment (or, non-comment, i guess, according to you) , I said you SAVED me from wasting my time by telling me what a crappy blog you were linking to.. Did I forget to say thank you?

Sheesh... you're the one that said it sucked (at least that's what I thought you were saying)... now you're pissed 'cuz I believed you?

Ah well.... must be monday.....
posted by HuronBob at 6:24 AM on May 9, 2005

yeah, I came across this BS from Hilary Rosen on Arianna Huffington's new blog, and wish that there was a comment section so I could tell her that ALL of my .mp3s work just fine....
posted by horsemuth at 6:34 AM PST on May 9 [!]

posted by nthdegx at 6:42 AM on May 9, 2005

ok, Greg Gutfeld gets it: (whoever he is)
; >

Greg Gutfeld
lemon squares (recipes for)
Hello everyone!
This is my first post!! Ever. I've never posted before!
Anyway, I'm planning an intimate dinner party next week, and I'm really struggling with my "secret" recipe for lemon squares. We all like to add our own little twist (for example, I always combine fresh lime and lemon juice to give the squares an extra "boost!"). My problem is, no matter how much icing sugar I use (anywhere from 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup), it still comes out dry. My roommate Scott, who's a flight attendant, recommends, the "added yummyness" of apricot preserves. I'm curious....doesn't that just ruin the whole point of lemon squares, once you start polluting them with apricot preserves? Why not just call them Apricot Squares!! ; )
Anyway, this question is for David Frum (but anyone can answer)

and Ari Rabin-Havt (whoever he is too): The NASCAR Jew Vote

Why is it that the journalists/pundits--Frum, Corn, etc--are all writing oped pieces?

posted by amberglow at 7:02 AM on May 9, 2005

oops--messed up the html at the end. so far, it's a big blah except for people i never heard of.
posted by amberglow at 7:03 AM on May 9, 2005

Ellen's was worth reading. The rest - not so much. mkultra, where is there a single blog with comments enabled? I don't count the ones under The Newswire - they're just links to offsite stories and blog entries. Why bother commenting on the huffington site when you can just go to, say, Mark Cuban's web page and comment there, where the real conversation is?
posted by blendor at 7:16 AM on May 9, 2005

Hillary Rosen says, "...but when, oh when, will Steve Jobs let me buy music from somewhere other than the Apple iTunes store and put it on my iPod?"

Its called a record store, ma'am.
posted by spilon at 7:21 AM on May 9, 2005

I thought the Mamet piece made it worth it. Yes, it's a joke, you ninnies.
posted by fungible at 7:33 AM on May 9, 2005

So what if it's a forum for members of the entertainment industry? Is that worse that the endless parade of blogs from the tech and design industries?
posted by davebush at 7:40 AM on May 9, 2005

Huffington Post: The celebrity MetaFilter it's okay to hate.
posted by eatitlive at 7:55 AM on May 9, 2005

oh, they link to us on the Blogroll.
posted by amberglow at 7:56 AM on May 9, 2005

This just in: Spielberg & Cruise defend Scientology Information Tent! Holy cats, thank you Arianna Huffington for providing us with such scintillating tidbits of Hollywood news. I'm now beginning to think it's more than okay to take away the right to vote of any tool who posts to the Report.
posted by gsh at 8:04 AM on May 9, 2005

What is interesting about Huffington is that 10+ years ago, she was a loud-mouthed conservative, but somewhere along the line she did an about-face. (might have had something to do with her husband's shenanigans)

Kind of like Dennis Miller, in the other direction....?
posted by Ben Grimm at 8:14 AM on May 9, 2005

I admit I found the Guardian parody well worth the read. First time David Frum has ever made e smile!
posted by Keith Talent at 8:24 AM on May 9, 2005

Oh, man, thanks for the model retouching link, Huffington Post! Hard-hitting news from 2002!
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:47 AM on May 9, 2005

I have to admit, when this launched the very first thing I had to do was go read Wonkette and see how annyoed Ana Marie Cox is that there's now an overhyped corporate-funded PR-flacking semi-celebrity Washington-based media weblog that's not her.This post alone makes Huffington's site worth existing:
If You Build a Huge PR-Generating Machine, They Will Blog

A word to bloggers about the Huffington Post: If you ignore it, it will go away.
Ladies and gentlemen, the death of irony.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:14 AM on May 9, 2005

the same old jealousy about how our culture favors some above others
I wouldn't call is jealousy. Anger maybe, or frustration.
Yeah - Humanity favors certain people according to position or class or celebrity. It's an unavoidable side effect of society. What gets my goat though is that people seem more likely than ever to accept it. The "special people" are, through whatever combinations of high-speed media are pushed onto us, treated more and more like Gods.

It's inevitable that society will push towards hero worship, but I believe that we have a duty to push back. If you made a song I and many others liked, you don't deserve to be treated any differently to me. You don't deserve to be accorded extra rights. Your vote should not be more important than mine.

I think it's bad that people like Toyah Wilcox and Stella McCartney can decide where Asylum Centres are built because they're more famous than you and I.

We even have terms like "c-list celebrity" and people are treated with derision if they inhabit this cold, cold place. Get a fucking life.

Huffington is a reflection of this hero-worship and the fact that the celebrities themselves feel more important than they actually are. The more scorn we can heap their way, the better.
posted by seanyboy at 9:27 AM on May 9, 2005

Arianna Huffington is the human equivalent of fingernails being slowly dragged down a chalkboard. Or, she's Paris Hilton once her looks have gone and she "decides" she's got brains.
posted by fenriq at 9:49 AM on May 9, 2005

blendor- Actually, it might be entries that are links to external news sources- see here for example. Not sure why it's not enabled for everything, but there ya go.

Huffington is a reflection of this hero-worship and the fact that the celebrities themselves feel more important than they actually are. The more scorn we can heap their way, the better.

Right, because the blogosphere was so much better off when it was just a bunch of nobodies (apologies to those present- I love you all) who feel more important than they actually are.
posted by mkultra at 9:53 AM on May 9, 2005

Huffington is a reflection of this hero-worship and the fact that the celebrities themselves feel more important than they actually are.

Which sort of makes her perfect to write a weblog, doesn't it?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:55 AM on May 9, 2005

The dynamic is different with bloggers.
If I feel more important than the rest of you then you'll all ignore me or ridicule me until things change.
If a celeb thinks they're more important, then the media will buy into this, and then people will buy into this until almost everyone believes that yes - the celeb is more important than anyone else.

Can she and her botoxed buddies write a weblog? Yes.
Should they? No.

There's an issue of responsibility here. If what you say is no more relevant or correct than what the little people say, and yet you're more likely to be listened to, then you should speak more softly. This is not so that you cannot be heard, it's so that the other people engaged in the conversation can be heard as well.

I'm drifting into rhetoric here. Needless to say, they're all wrong, and the servers that host this shambolic content should be burnt to the ground and sprinkled with holy water.
posted by seanyboy at 10:11 AM on May 9, 2005

Either it's just another example of the co-opting of the web by the usual sources who already have outlets (big media, celebs, talking heads, etc), or it's a bunch of people blogging in their (Beverly Hills/DC luxuriously appointed) basements, or both. I think it's not adding anything yet, but we'll see.

I'd still rather see them all posting here or somewhere else under pseudonyms, and about subjects that matter more to them. The way it's set up now means they can't talk about many many subjects without having potentially extreme repercussions to their work/life. Are horses really an important topic for Ellen? I doubt it. Is joking about Gay Marriage really important for Julia/Brad? Not.
posted by amberglow at 10:12 AM on May 9, 2005

it's not a real blog unless people can comment on it ... even the celebrities commenting on each other's blogs would be better than this ... there's no interaction ... it's the same model of "we speak, you listen" ... it's the old way of doing things

it might be worth looking at, but it's not going to be anything really different
posted by pyramid termite at 10:26 AM on May 9, 2005

While we're on a tangential subject, why hasn't Matt Drudge redesigned his site in about seven years?
posted by tapeguy at 10:41 AM on May 9, 2005

it's not a real blog unless people can comment on it

Oh lord, not that nonsense again. Lots of weblogs don't have comments. I choose to not have comments on my own personal site, and for some reason that apparent violation of the fourth-edition Blog Rules hasn't crippled the ability for people who read it to communicate with me. I still interact frequently with people on sites such as MetaFilter that chose to be designed with user interactivity in mind. Golly, it's almost as if the people who own, operate, code, and run their weblogs got to choose what it offers, not the audience reading it! Horrors! No offense, but unless you're paying my hosting and bandwidth fees I don't owe you a damn thing, be it comments, a blogroll, a legible font size, or any other aspect of its content, and neither does anyone else who doesn't meet your personal description of a weblog. If you want to tell Huffington her site sucks, go right ahead, but if you think it's her obligation to provide you the space to tell her that, you seriously need to get over yourself. Jesus. [/tangent]
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:14 AM on May 9, 2005

Cripes, no wonder the liberal left can never get an echo chamber going the way the right wing can - we like to eat our own.
posted by madamjujujive at 11:35 AM on May 9, 2005

Arianna's not really "our own" tho, is she?
posted by amberglow at 11:42 AM on May 9, 2005

I've found much of what she has to say worthwhile, amberglow. People change. I am willing to embrace all defectors - the stakes are too high not to.
I'm looking at you, Steve_at_Linwood ;-)
posted by madamjujujive at 11:58 AM on May 9, 2005

Oooo, Nikki Finke really hates it.

It almost seems like some sick hoax. Perhaps Huffington is no longer a card-carrying progressive but now a conservative mole.....Still, the celebs aren’t to blame here, because they made the bad mistake of allowing Arianna to sweet-talk them into believing that they had something to say in the first place.
...sources tell me that Geffen’s people had to quietly tell Huffington to stop using his name as bait in her less-than-successful effort to fund the blog with Hollywood money.

posted by CunningLinguist at 2:50 PM on May 9, 2005

"If you ignore it, it will go away."

I thought webloggers thrive on being ignored for whiney-post fodder. Though if it does work then it certainly feeds the theory that celebs need attention like air.

" oh, they link to us on the Blogroll."

I think they link anything that could give them attention. That's why I'm not linked. Perhaps, this whine should be heard in the privacy of my public site.
posted by john at 3:10 PM on May 9, 2005

If you could handle your mom getting a blog, you can handle Arianna Huffington getting one.
posted by VulcanMike at 4:37 PM on May 9, 2005

Famous people suck.
Smart people suck.
Attractive people suck.
Rich people suck.

The people in those three groups already run the fucking world. Can't they leave something for the rest of us?
posted by jonmc at 4:44 PM on May 9, 2005

Put this in the other FPP, which turned out to be a doublepost, which I guess got deleted cuz I don't see it no more, so I'll move it here.

I've been at this since 1997. A handful of 'names' show up outta nowhere and all the sudden it's the shit. WTF? If the big name celebrities had decided to come forward back in 1998 I woulda been all for it, but now it's too little too late. I feel insulted, like they're trying to show us how it's really done. My ass.
posted by ZachsMind at 4:58 PM on May 9, 2005

I would read this blog if there is a text to arrianna huffington' accent speech program.
posted by andendau at 5:10 PM on May 9, 2005

I'm obscure, stupid, ugly and poor, but it's all good.... I can still blog?

*goes outside to get some sun*
*gets cold and wet because it's raining*
posted by elwoodwiles at 5:29 PM on May 9, 2005

'm obscure, stupid, ugly and poor, but it's all good.... I can still blog?

Yes, brother, blogging is for us, not them.
posted by jonmc at 6:28 PM on May 9, 2005

Never, madamjujujive, never! ;-)
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 8:19 PM on May 9, 2005

I wonder whatever happened to that "alternative to Drudge" thing? I don't see it at all. No fresh news, and not much has changed on the site today, linkswise.
posted by amberglow at 8:21 PM on May 9, 2005

XQUZYPHYR ... neither you or she are obliged to let me do anything on your site ... and of course, i'm not obliged to read yours or her site or take either of them seriously

i'm sorry if you thought whatever it is you do was worth that much of my time
posted by pyramid termite at 9:21 PM on May 9, 2005

I think it's good that the left "eats their own". It makes them more honorable. Losers too. But oh well.

But the day will come when it finally dawns on people what has happened and they too will enjoy the act of civil criticism. It will be much better than what the global authoritarian march rightward is now plunging us all towards. Therefore, enlightenment again, will one day be all the rage. But not for us my love. Not tonight my love.

I'm looking at you too, Steve_at_Linwood :-)
posted by crasspastor at 12:32 AM on May 10, 2005

So Crass, should we 'lefties' just embrace this with open arms? Better late than never? Is that what you're implying? Or would that be irrelevant since in your eyes we're all losers anyway? Come to think of it, I can't even tell anymore whether I'm 'left' or 'right' or if I'm on the chart at all. I tried some thingy on the Web awhile back where you answer questions and it puts you on a chart measuring you up to other thinkers and doers of past and present, and the result charted me somewhere between Ghandi and Michael Moore. I almost had an aneurism.

I can't quite figure out what the criteria is for getting oneself in the Huffington Post. In some ways it looks like she'll take anybody. I know I'm a nobody, so I'd never get in there, but if you look closely she accepts not a small number of nobodies too, so that can't be it. I guess she'll take anybody who doesn't mind that she gets top billing. Why the hell does she get top billing? Maybe she accepts anyone who has ever gotten a call from CNN asking to be a talking head about something at one time or another. Maybe she only accepts people who are in a certain salary bracket. There seems to be more men than women. Maybe she only accepts the people she had to sleep with to get where she is today, which would explain why I'm not there. She never asked me. Maybe she accepts anyone who isn't me or Andy Rooney.

At least the Huffington Post was kind enough to link to MeFi. It's a small link. If you blink while scrolling down you might miss it. It's listed somewhere between Mark Cuban and Moonbat Central.
posted by ZachsMind at 4:47 AM on May 10, 2005

ah! the newest celeb Huffington blogger?
posted by amberglow at 7:39 PM on May 13, 2005

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