Today the Washington Post runs a mostly complimentary piece by Howard Kurtz recognizing HuffPost’s many achievements. Kurtz does point out several times that Huffington Post is a left leaning site which is true and Arianna is proud of it.
The most notable change is that HuffPost has morphed from a left-leaning site with a modest conservative presence to a pugnaciously liberal operation in which the banner headlines and majority of bloggers holler about the latest outrage perpetrated by the Bush administration.
“We are opposed to the war in Iraq,” Huffington says from her Los Angeles home. “We think the troops should come home. The headlines are going to reflect what is in the best interests of the country.”
Huffington Post co-founder Ken Lerer reiterates:
As Lerer puts it: “Attitude is a huge positive, not a negative. People don’t have to love you. Maybe people come to you because they don’t love you.”
Huffington and Lerer are absolutely correct but I don’t believe the MSM really understands it. Kurtz correctly points out they cover stories much faster than any network news channel can, and often times faster than cable but seems to suggest they are successful despite their blatant ideology:
Beyond ideology, though, the Huffington site has succeeded through its relentless updating, serving up links to all manner of news and entertainment
Huff Post is successful because they are forthright about their political leanings.
The MSM still tries to claim objectivity but hard core consumers of news just don’t believe that anymore. You may disagree with every word of a post at Huff Post (as I usually do) but you know where they stand and often times read things you will never see in the main stream press.
This isn’t a left / right issue and Arianna rightly recognizes another new media pioneer The Drudge Report (it’s not a blog but thats a whole other argument) for contributing to her success.
“We could not have existed without Drudge,” Huffington says. “Drudge habituated people to going online for their news.”
Blogs are changing the way political news is covered and The Huffington Post can rightly take credit for being a big part of that change.