By Ivan G. Goldman
Sweetly liberal Huffingtonpost.com has an ugly underside. Sometimes readers are puzzled why this famous, well-funded blogsite that provides columns from top-drawer people like novelist and thinker Jane Smiley also gives us muddled thoughts of Hollywood types like Alec Baldwin, a man who apparently can think a little, but just can’t put the results into a coherent piece. Read him sometime and you’ll see what I mean.
Huffingtonpost plays grateful, kow-towing host to great bunches of these Hollywood voices eager to ramble, and in our celebrity-crazed, dumbed-down society, it works, sort of. But it is to Paul Krugman or Bob Herbert as Britney Spears is to Miles Davis. Crichton to Dostoevsky. You get the picture. Some of the Hollywooders acquit themselves okay. Others show why they need someone else to write the scripts.
Anyway, my underground sources confirm that from time to time readers have posted complaints about the site’s choice of celebrity over cerebellum. Because, after all, it’s supposed to be a progressive site, they figure their voices will be heard. What happens is they are henceforth banned from future posting. That’s right, this self-appointed paragon of liberal thought is, Internet style, a book-burner.
Ariana Huffington has hired a squad of cyberspace vigilantes that punishes even the mildest of questions about the way they run things over there. You don’t have to point out, for example something as crass as the history of calculating Ariana Stassinopoulos who married gay Republican California heir Michael Huffington (with full knowledge of his sexual preferences, he says) and subsequently walked off with an undisclosed but apparently huge settlement, thereby creating the jet-setting, born-again liberal talking head Ariana we know today. The celebrity slant of her site is representative of her name-dropping, star-chasing self.
Light queries about how she runs that cyber-shop earn the posting enquirer a ban that will follow his/her name and computer into, apparently, the next life. They’ve got some heavy-duty software over there. Maybe it’s the same stuff the Chinese regime uses to trace dissidents. After I was tipped off to their banishments, I tried a little light basting myself and – you guessed it – I’m outa there.
I find it perfectly acceptable that Ariana has switched her politics from far right to comfy left. Converts are welcome. Trouble is she seems to have taken some of those nasty, illiberal habits from the right and brought them over to what’s supposed to be a forum for progressive, tolerant thought.
I'd advise the next President to at least think it over before making her Minister of Information.