By Jim Treacher | Published: 2:08 PM 03/25/2011 | Updated: 2:33 PM 03/25/2011
Hey, did you know that the Huffington Post strives for civil discourse? Just ask ‘em!
Here’s HuffPo’s Mario Ruiz explaining why their ploy to convince people they’re not a propaganda arm of the Democratic Party is now ending, as told to fellow traveler Greg Sargent:
The Huffington Post is committed to fostering a lively and often provocative debate about the issues of the day and encourages a wide range of voices from all perspectives to participate. Andrew Brietbart’s false ad hominem attack on Van Jones in The Daily Caller violates the tenets of debate and civil discourse we have strived for since the day we launched. As a result, we will no longer feature his posts on the front page.
He is welcome to continue publishing his work on HuffPost provided it adheres to our editorial guidelines, as the two posts he published on HuffPost did — guidelines that include a strict prohibition on ad hominem attacks. Our decision today recognizes that placing posts on the front page is an editorial call that elevates some posts over others, and is an indication of how seriously we take these judgment calls.
Okay, let’s recap: Depending on your point of view, Andrew Breitbart contributing to HuffPo is either like A) Lex Luthor writing op-eds for The Daily Planet, or B) Superman freelancing for the Legion of Doom’s company newsletter. Among those who are very displeased with Arianna’s decision to invite Breitbart aboard are former White House Race Hustling Czar Green Jobs Czar Van Jones, whose organization Color of Change launched a vigorous shaming campaign against Breitbart. This campaign included spamming Twitter with hundreds (thousands?) of copies of the exact same accusation against Breitbart, and — at least according to them — 43,000 of their members making phone calls to HuffPo. (It seems unlikely that a group nobody had heard of until this week has over 43,000 members, but whatever.)
Initially HuffPo stood by Breitbart, but yesterday they caved, as seen above. Their pretext is that Breitbart was a big meanie to Jones in an interview with our own Steven Nelson. Breitbart called Jones a “commie punk,” a “human toxin,” a “cockroach,” and a “cop killer-supporting, racist, demagogic freak.” Oh, and for good measure, he called Color of Change “left-wing freaks.” That’s the reason HuffPo is giving for pushing him off their front page. That’s the violation of HuffPo’s “tenets of debate and civil discourse.”
This is great news for fans of comedy, because now people get to dig up examples of all the HuffPo front-pagers who’ve indulged in vicious ad hominem attacks over the years. Nelson follows up with a good recap of ad hominems by HuffPo contributors like John Cusack (Republicans are “a league of bastards”; Iraq war supporters are “human scum”), Alec Baldwin (Cheney is a “lying, thieving Oil Whore”), and others. Mickey Kaus looks at HuffPo writer Jason Linkins, who by their own rules should be thrown off the front page. And of course, Breitbart’s Big Journalism site is getting in on the action, pledging to help HuffPo enforce their “ad hominem” rule and providing evidence of such from none other than Van Jones. Remember this one?
Or is it only considered uncivil if you disagree with it? Is it only an ad hominem if it doesn’t make a left-wing audience bray in satisfaction?
I’m sure we’ll see more examples of this glaring double standard in the days and weeks ahead. HuffPo has lots of contributors, and according to this precedent, anything those contributors have ever said in any venue is fair game.
Okay, libs: Ready, set, rationalize!