Patterico's Pontifications

3/28/2011

The Huffington Post / AOL Amateur Hour

Filed under: General — Stranahan @ 5:28 am

[Guest post by Lee Stranahan]

Here’s the $315,000,000 question – is Arianna Huffington’s decision making process imploding only a few weeks after AOL bought the Huffington Post?

The Daily Caller is out with a big piece today on the Huffington Post and Andrew Breitbart that quotes me extensively. I’m going to expand on a piece I did today on my own blog at LeeStranahan.com but if you aren’t familiar with the Huffington Post / Andrew Breitbart story I’d point you to this round up as well these pieces that explain my connection to the story and Andrew Breitbart.

Roy Sekoff’s Untruth

In today’s Daily Caller article, I talk about something I mentioned here last week – that in a phone conversation a few months ago, HuffPost editor Roy Sekoff had told me that neither he or Arianna Huffington thought Andrew Breitbart was a racist but that they didn’t come to his defense during the countless attacked he’s endured – including many on the Huffington Post — because it would put them in a bad position with their liberal friends.

The DC says…

Stranahan said he asked Sekoff about Breitbart before he started working for the conservative publisher since in the left-wing circles Breitbart is viewed as “Satan.”

Roy was as clear as can be. ‘Of course, no, of course he’s not racist’ he said ‘I know that,’” Stranahan said in a phone interview. “He said, ‘we know that.’ There was no case of Roy going, well, ‘I don’t, of course, think he is racist, but Arianna does.’ Arianna knows he’s not racist because he’s not racist. Anyone who knows him personally knows he’s not.”

Sekoff denies that conversation, and told TheDC he never said any of that to Stranahan. “If you publish that, you will be publishing an untruth,” Sekoff said in an email to TheDC. “I never said that to Lee – or anyone else. Period.” (Emphasis added)

Roy Sekoff is lying. Period.

The truth leaves tracks. Roy and I had that conversation and I mentioned it to a few other people privately at the time. One of them was liberal Mediaite reporter (and Breitbart critic) Tommy Christopher. Here’s a statement I got from Tommy when I heard that Roy was flat-out denying that the conversation took place.

Lee Stranahan and I have had many off-the-record conversations regarding Lee’s involvement with Andrew Breitbart, many of them centered on that relationship’s effect on Lee’s status with the online left. During one such conversation several months ago, in December or January, I remember Lee telling me basically what he told The Daily Caller about Roy Sekoff and Arianna Huffington, that they knew that Breitbart was no racist. It stands out to me because his mention of Sekoff reminded me of how he and Huffington treated Mayhill Fowler, which we also discussed.

That shows I’ve been telling the same story for months; long before Breitbart wrote a thing for HuffPost. Why would I make up that story and tell people about it?

But more importantly – if I’m lying about Roy telling me that he doesn’t believe Breitbart is a racist, then why would Roy issue a statement saying that Breitbart isn’t a racist?

Sekoff and HuffPo spokesman Mario Ruiz would neither confirm nor deny to TheDC that Huffington removed language from last week’s statement defending Breitbart against charges of racism. But, through Ruiz, Sekoff told TheDC he does not think Breitbart is a racist.

Roy absolutely does not think Andrew Breitbart is a racist, as he made clear to me during discussions this week about whether to continue front paging Breitbart,” Ruiz said in an email to TheDC. (Emphasis added)

Careful, Mario – Roy might deny saying that any day now.

And Why I Think He’s Lying

One positive thing you can say about Roy’s character; it’s obvious he’s a very bad liar. These are rookie mistakes. In fact, I think the think the thing that should be most alarming to the shareholders of AOL is just how unprofessional this whole episode has been.

Why would Roy Sekoff lie in such a confusing way? Why say the conservation with me never happened where he said Breitbart wasn’t a racist – and then release a statement saying that Breitbart isn’t a racist? And why is that statement released through a spokesman? Why not just say it himself?

Thinking about all this, I end up with one likely scenario; Roy doesn’t want Arianna to know that he told me what she thinks. He’s falling on the sword to protect Arianna.

You’ll note that nowhere have we seen HER opinion of Breitbart and the accusations made  about him. That’s because those accusations of racism and race-baiting come from her friends; people like Van Jones.

Does Arianna think Breitbart is racist? She won’t go on record and don’t just take my word that Roy told me she doesn’t but look at her actions. She knows him personally. They not only worked together but he knows her children and so on. They worked together after she did her suddenly switch to the left  She met with Breitbart a couple of months ago. He blogged at HuffPost a week ago. She knows. Of course she knows.

So why not go on the record and simply say, “I know Breitbart and I don’t agree with him on policy but he’s not a racist”?

Because she CAN’T. She’s not allowed to do that because she knows the left would eat her alive. They don’t just need conservatives to be wrong; they need them to be discredited completely. They need them to be crazy and racist and evil because those are three groups of people you just don’t listen to, period. Crazy, racist and evil are three immediate disqualifiers from public discourse.

So what we’re seeing is full Arianna protection mode – and why’s that? Because of personal loyalty and AOL. Arianna isn’t the top dog any more. She answers to people now and that’s a new role for her. And so far, it’s a massive fail – she’s lost readers and credibility.

PS Fight Back

One last point – if this bothers you, fight back. Since working with Breitbart, I’ve gotten to see front row how the liberal media and liberal groups work to distort the truth and smear conservatives. I still believe in many liberal policy positions but I hate this kind of tactics. It’s weak.

But – those tactics are effective. So I have urged Andrew to do something that I’m told is unusual; fight petition with petition. A company like AOL gets nervous when they get a few thousand emails on a subject. This isn’t a boycott or any crazy chain letter – it’s a proven way to get the attention of the press and of companies If you oppose the sort of bullying tactics that Color of Change used against Breitbart, please take 7 seconds and fill out the form. And urge others to sign, too.

– Lee Stranahan

70 Responses to “The Huffington Post / AOL Amateur Hour”

  1. Lee

    Welcome to the Patterico guest blogger club.

    I have to think that part of Breitbart is really relishing this in a “please don’t throw me into the briar patch” sort of way. He and his blogs now have a good excuse to dig up every bad thing huffpo has done.

    None of which discredits his point, just that I don’t think he is exactly broken up about this.

    Its kind of like this. I have a few disabilities and a few years back i had to sue the LSAC (the company that runs the LSAT which is like the SAT for law schools) to get accommodations for my disabilities. in the middle of argument in court, the lawyer for the LSAC said something absolutely bigoted about people with disabilities. Part of me was annoyed, but part of me was like, “score!” because I am pretty sure that is exactly the moment they lost their case.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  2. Great post. I am truly grateful for your courage and principle regarding journalistic integrity and loyalty to other’s that your respect and admire. Unfortunately, that can be a rare thing in certain circles. Again, great post.

    Pieter Nosworthy (e55bb6)

  3. One of us, one of us, one of us.

    Okay, we’re not so good at the chanting on the right, but you’re soon on your way to becoming a conservative, you won’t be able to help it. :)

    Glad to have you here, welcome.

    Darin H (71f582)

  4. There is a difference between a person with liberal principles and an alphabetist. Thank you for this post.

    Simon Jester (9f3d33)

  5. What always astonishes me about stories like this is a simple fact. Integrity is really not that hard. And yet, they can’t do it.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  6. Arianna Huffington has been an opportunist since he “empty suit” husband (or is that ex) ran for US Senate years ago. Just take a look at the California recall of Gray Davis, she was all for it till it looked like she had no chance, and then she springboarded to the “dark side.”
    Opportunists don’t defend anybody, except their known enemies. As such, don’t expect her (or any of her ilk) to come to your aid, Lee.

    Rodan (03e5c2)

  7. “Welcome to the Patterico guest bloggers club”

    Do you guys get a green smoking jacket with the leather elbow pads and cheap cigars?

    EricPWJohnson (c33492)

  8. Welcome, Lee. As a regular reader and occasional commenter here, I’m looking forward to debating the ideas and showing you that our side of the philosophical aisle does have better ideas on fixing the problems which we agree exist. May your skin be thick enough to withstand the arrows that will be coming from the HuffPo/Kos side.

    either orr (6713b4)

  9. Great post, Lee. It’s unusual to see someone call a spade a spade and just admit this is bullying.

    We probably do have different politics, but I hope in the future you have great arguments about politics here without the hysteria we see from the boring bullies on either side of the spectrum.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  10. I can honestly tell you that andrew is actually pretty bothered by this.

    Obviously he is plenty of places to blog but this is really a personal betrayal.

    Lee Stranahan (1362f7)

  11. I believe neither Lee nor Mickey Kaus are liberals.

    Arizona Bob (911aa5)

  12. But I believe David Brooks is.

    Arizona Bob (911aa5)

  13. Thanks Lee.

    Another example of “the narrative must be serviced whether it is true or not.”

    daleyrocks (9b57b3)

  14. I know it can be a tumultuous journey from the “dark side,” so Welcome !

    Rodan (03e5c2)

  15. Lee:

    Of course. I don’t know how well Andrew know Arianna, but they obviously had a cordial relationship for some time. Andrew was a, perhaps the, driving force behind HuffPo. And now she is unwilling to come out and defend him against totally false accusations of racism, an accusation which he considers to be one of the worst things you can say about someone.

    It’s always a shame when someone is unwilling to defend their friends because they are afraid it won’t go over with their base — or because they are afraid it might offend their other friends. (I suspect the latter is what is going on here in part, since Arianna has buddied up with Van Jones). It’s too bad Arianna’s actions are not those befitting a friend or a stand-up personality. Like Andrew and Mickey Kaus, I hope she reconsiders.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  16. I hadn’t really considered that side to this. Arianna knows Breitbart isn’t this horrible demonized character, and he’s been a friend to her. I would be bummed about this too, if I were Breitbart. It’s easy to pretend these hugely successful news people don’t feel human emotions, but I would if I were in his shoes.

    It’s hard for me to get inside Roy’s head, but this post does a good job helping. Arianna’s weak friendship is much easier to understand. Lee’s right that the left would eat her alive if she stood up for Breitbart.

    But in the long run, Breitbart’s sites bring good stories, and Huffpo has lost a lot of credibility. Placating the left by selling your personal friends short is going to make it hard for you to make any more friends (that are worth a damn).

    Dustin (c16eca)

  17. Pat

    It’s a shame because in reality Van Jones probably wouldn’t give the time of day to Ariana, if her husband was a republican politician (if they were still married)

    EricPWJohnson (c33492)

  18. I honestly could not care less about the rantings of Arianna Huffington and friends. They are a small liberal echo chamber to whom few pay attention.

    But one thing you stated caught my eye:

    I still believe in many liberal policy positions but I hate this kind of tactics. It’s weak.

    But – those tactics are effective.

    Not quite. The tactics are very effective in the liberal echo chamber. They have become completely ineffective in most of the country.

    In most of the country, when someone is called a racist, the default presumption is that it is nothing but political posturing with little real substance as to whether the person is really racist. It has lost virtually all its meaning. Which is actually too bad, since in a few cases it is well-deserved. But when you call everyone to the right of Bill Clinton a racist, then people stop paying attention.

    Bored Lawyer (c8f13b)

  19. Arianna is so not who she thinks she is we should tp her house

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  20. Bored Lawyer,

    I think the race baiting is pretty effective when someone tries to reform elections. It’s directly thwarted many major reforms.

    I totally agree with you that Huffpo is not making a difference in American politics. They are preaching to people who are never going to vote for Republicans.

    I think these tactics pervade the MSM, and as sad as this is, a lot of swing voters are totally reliant on CBS or ABC for their information.

    But even if this isn’t making a difference, it’s dishonorable and I’m glad it’s being called out. I think you’re probably right that the race card playing has finally gotten to the point where the masses are not paying as much attention. No shock to me that it was the Obama campaign using those claims against democrats that really made that happen. There’s another example of the MSM’s impact… they probably approached identical claims against Republicans in a much more stern manner.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  21. And Bored Lawyer, these same bullies in fact did get Breitbart’s election coverage pulled from a mainstream election day program.

    And their entire goal was a desperate effort to minimize how many people are exposed to the truth.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  22. I’m confused about the “racist” charge. How can anyone vouch for such an accusation especially if it isn’t supported by the evidence. These accusations are made without any actual evidence. The Huffington Post and its people are part of the problem. They differ with Andrew in policy and it results in a ugly situation. Andrew should have known about the way Arianna is completely untrustworthy. She has little credibility. That anyone will think she has any credibility remaining for the leftists is living in fantasyland.

    THWLS (f16fab)

  23. The truth leaves tracks.

    This is absolutely true. So given that, if they are going to accuse Breitbart of being racist, let’s see the evidence. Surely there would be tracks.

    The accusation has been made without any proof, without any eyewitness testimony, and without any victims coming forth and publicly making the accusation. It’s simply been made in a vacum.

    It would seem the left’s default strategy is to make an egregious accusation (racism being the ultimate one) designed to put the accusee on the defensive as they try to disprove it. The onus should be on the accuser.

    While it would be very difficult to not take this personally, it would seem Breitbart of all people (being so fully aware and knowledgeable of the left’s sleazy tactics), would have already had an inkling of Ms. Huffington’s dreadful lack of character. Cordiality and/or friendship, even a long-term one, is apparently of little value when a narrative is at stake.

    Dana (9f3823)

  24. Back in the day it was possible and often considered intellectually challenging and enlightening to have passionate “bull sessions” with friends and co-workers with whom one did not agree politically– and still leave as friends. That sort of discourse has become almost impossible in America of late as once regular, normal people have become partisans, partisans’ minds have snapped closed, views have hardened, lines have been drawn, and with so much uncivil (yes I said it) imagery and language that seems to be completely acceptable both anonymously on line and even uttered face to face. On many occasions people have commented here that the ugly slurs and politics of personal destruction have caused them to stop even discussing politics with long time friends and family members and in a few cases the relationships have been terminated completely.

    At the point when it becomes de rigeur for a person’s political opponents to lie, to attack them personally to destroy them as individuals, and terrorize their families, or viciously seek to affect their livelihoods in order to lesson the person’s intellectual influence we have totally jumped the shark as a free nation. Yes. We have jumped the shark.

    elissa (395208)

  25. Elissa, that’s so true and so sad.

    Part of the problem is that the mainstream left is much farther left than they used to be. A certain level of stubbornness is needed for them to hold their own at all in a conversation.

    I also think there’s been an effort to make political discussion extremely agitated. That’s basically the lynchpin of Obama’s political philosophy, as he taught it in Chicago.

    It shouldn’t be normal to want to destroy someone just because they don’t agree with you. I don’t think the left’s nutcases would try to do that to Breitbart if they knew his ideas were easy to argue against. They know he’s got some facts on his side, often on video, and their stubbornness forces them to find a way to oppose the truth.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  26. Elissa, indeed there are many people who will go after someone’s job over politics, and that seems utterly insane to me. Part of this is, I think, the fault of both the DNC and RNC. In order to promote their own candidates, they have endeavored to make “the other guy/gal” look not simply wrong, but evil. Add to it a shocking ignorance of perspective among most people and…well, you can see what we get.

    If we say that we can respect a person, and disagree with their politics, we can have a basis for discussion. That seems less and less likely these days.

    Simon Jester (9f3d33)

  27. They don’t just need conservatives to be wrong; they need them to be discredited completely. They need them to be crazy and racist and evil because those are three groups of people you just don’t listen to, period. Crazy, racist and evil are three immediate disqualifiers from public discourse.

    With out this leftists can not support their positions in public debate. This is why Ann Althouse gets called a “far right” blogger. Alinsky is alive and well.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  28. Dustin,

    Is it a certain level of stubbornness or a certain level of dishonesty?

    I also think there’s a serious element of fear at play. People are reluctant to enter the fray because they might be falsely accused. Whether true or not is beside the point – damage is done just by the accusation itself. Those bull sessions of old had levels of decency and understanding that these were ideas and various points of view being knocked around, without fear that those expressions and explorations would be used as weapons of destruction. As a whole, we are a very coarsened society – in every way possible.

    Dana (9f3823)

  29. I think Obama winning the election has one positive side effect: The charge of racism has been thrown about so much that it has lost all meaning. Quite a relief actually. Now we can ignore knee jerk name calling.

    Jack Wagon (11b2a5)

  30. Didn’t Breitbart work with Arianna on setting up HuffPo?

    Hello, Lee. Thank you for not being a nozzle of douche. I suspect you and I will rarely agreee, but unlike many of your fellow travelers ;-) you appear to be the honest not-mendoucheous type. I have rough edges.

    JÐ (109425)

  31. Is it a certain level of stubbornness or a certain level of dishonesty?

    I think stubbornness of this kind is a form of dishonesty. To some extent we’re talking about people who are lying to themselves. They reject the Tea Party as a movement because it’s astroturf or racism, but in their hearts they know Obama’s urgent call for deficit reduction via electing democrats was always a complete con.

    So they are stubborn.

    You’re right about fear. Lee says it all when he notes Huffington would be eaten alive for merely defending her friend in the most mild ‘I know him and he’s not racist… after all he helped me get where I am today.’

    I guess you’re right that this is related to society being less polite. I guess I’d say it’s a lack of perspective and rampant egomania. Often lefties see their politics as evidence of their moral superiority, as do righties, rather than different ideas. It’s not even that interesting to debate when it’s just a ‘who is holier’ argument.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  32. The real shame is that people, or more specifically whites, should be so afraid of being labeled ‘racist’, or even being associated with someone so labeled. Racism is simply a term of abuse used to squelch inconvenient thoughts, opinions, and facts.

    stari_momak (d5f987)

  33. How smart do you have to be to look at the career of Arianna Huffington and figure out that she has one principle and one princple only and that’s doing what’s good for Arianna Huffington?

    Here’s the deal: lay down with opportunists like Arianna Huffington and commie ratbags like Van Jones and you’re going to get up covered with fleas.

    And, there’s no point in whining about it after you get bit. If you don’t want to get knifed in the back, don’t go to work at the Huffington Post. If you do, and things don’t work out, don’t start crying about it.

    And, left wingers/Democrats are never going to tell the truth, because they can’t. What are they going to say? Socialism and welfare states have a track record of failure going back thousands of years, so be sure and sign up for socialism? The Democrat Party has always been the racist party in America, so join up with us to fight racism? Just about every person in America who has ever been jailed for expressing a political opinion was jailed by liberal Democrats, so join us if you believe in free speech? Just about every American killed in a war was killed in a war liberal Democrats got us into, so vote for liberal Democrats if you’re anti-war? We Democrats murdered thousands of people in order to ensure that no Republican candidate could win an election south of the Mason-Dixon line, so be sure to join our party if you want free and open elections?

    Forget it. They’ll never tell the truth, because no one in their right mind will hook up with the liberals, and the Democrat Party if they have even the slightest glimmer of what the truth is, unless they’re doing it out of naked self-interest.

    Dave Surls (6b6d8c)

  34. Dana

    I blame those marches back in 2004 when the hispanics took to the streets waving the Mexican flag, thats when I saw a huge change in the discourse especially when it became evident that Kerry wasnt going to beat Bush

    EricPWJohnson (c33492)

  35. Mr. Stranahan: your courage is rare these days.

    Thank you for it.

    rrpjr (5650c0)

  36. Oh, by the way, all of your RACISTS are defending a fellow RACIST. Denounced. Denounced and condemned. That is all.

    JÐ (822109)

  37. I’m still rather stunned that everything has played out the way it did…the drama of accusation and betrayal, the moral courage of an admittedly devout liberal to speak honestly, and the sheer wonder of that same writer to end up on Patterico (no offense).

    If I didn’t know any better, I’d say it was Providence. I don’t know about you folks, but my faith has been restored on many different levels the past few days. Feels good.

    Welcome, Lee.

    -Noz

    Pieter Nosworthy (e55bb6)

  38. Welcome, Lee.

    You sound like me about eight years ago, when I found I could no longer ignore the absolute corruption of liberal ideals as practiced by the liberal haute monde and remain sane or honest. That world is collapsing, as all false worlds do, and it may get ugly (as Breitbart is discovering) but everyone is waking up.

    Thanks for speaking truth to power–the power is the left, these days.

    Patricia (a2a157)

  39. Not taking an idea seriously is the most powerful way to bury it. This can be done by “fake respect” such as saying “all religions basically say the same thing” when you will find that a serious Hindu, serious Buddhist, serious Muslim, and serious Christian will respect each other enough to say, “That is not true. Regardless of whose belief is ‘closest to the truth’, to say they are all saying the same thing is to say they are all saying nothing, or at least nothing of importance”.

    The other way is to isolate it and denounce it as not even worth serious consideration, which is I believe the favored instruction of Alinsky and many others before him- hence Neimuller’s, “They came for the disabled, but I was not disabled, …, they came for the Jews, but as I was not a Jew, …, then they came for me, and there was no one left to help.”

    On the other hand, there are ideas that are so morally bankrupt and corrupt that they really do warrant no consideration, but as we are no longer innocent I guess we need to recognize those at least long enough to say it is so.

    MD in Philly (f0e1bd)

  40. Well hell-why don’t I get argumentative already?

    How long was Breitbart behind the scenes at Huffington Post?

    The site was originally sold to everyone as a place that Left and Right could dialogue with each other and at first it attracted a lot of Right commenters.

    Think of it this way-the vacuum in the blogosphere at the time was on the Right.

    A bunch of us tested it-and we were deleted.

    Was Breitbart a part of that?

    What does he know about that?

    It became readily apparent that they wanted to appeal more to the Left.

    The talk was that her “editor” that reviewed the comments was a “Rightie”-who was that?

    After much discussion about the blogosphere between me and a now *retired* blogger we came to the conclusion that the better business model for *blogs* was to appeal to the Left.

    Why?

    Simple demographics, the first one being the age of internet users. Second-eyeballs of any other country.

    Call it the Inferiority Complex Attraction-Republicans don’t really down grade their country the Left is in the literal business of doing that.

    I believe Huffington Post had that figured out all along-they sold themselves as neutral, used Right commenters to get the site off the ground then artificially “balanced” the comments to get to their end result.

    After reading Patterico’s comment that Breitbart was there at Huffington Post at the very beginning my sympathy for him is rapidly dropping.

    The commenters getting deleted, and/or censure no big deal….until it happens to you.

    madawaskan (fd190b)

  41. Breitbart is a delicate flower who wouldn’t say “boo” to a butterfly, but I think he’ll get by.
    Jenny

    Jennifer Krieger (61a90f)

  42. A warm and optimistic welcome, Sir. I have the highest respect for Patterico and consider his site unique. I think your contribution will make it even more interesting and I look forward to a lot of good faith fireworks.

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  43. One of my relatives was the longest serving American ambassador to Rwanda.

    Think about that for awhile.

    To top it off I watched them up close and personal with the media either ignoring or in collusion challenge the absentee ballots of every service member serving overseas -in Okaloosa Florida at Eglin AFB in 2000.

    What a lot of you still don’t know to this day is that they challenged those ballots because the ballots didn’t have stamps on them,- the thing is the military mail system doesn’t use stamps.

    Still who cares about the truth of that send Bob Kerrey down to say something to the effect that -the military knows the rules, and they didn’t follow the rules.

    See the only reason you might still be a Democrat or that you flirt with being Independent is that you haven’t done anything yet-to get in their way or to make them mad.

    Tell me how was the genocide in Rwanda any less worth stopping than Libya?

    Do you know who fought most valiantly for Rwanda?

    Representative Mica and that evil, evil Republican James Inhofe-in fact when I called a Democrat-his staff told me to try Inhofe.

    I know, I know Inhofe that evil Global Warming denier.

    (so technically I’m still a Democrat that’s so I can make sure my vote is counted and then I vote for the most sane Democrat in the primary and switch in the general to voting for the Republican-I trust the Republicans more to vote for someone that love’s their country enough during their primaries.)

    madawaskan (fd190b)

  44. Look I know no one wants to rehash all of that but the very simple thing is-the word Genocide.

    All we were trying to do was get Clinton to allow us to use that term. It’s hard to get people to understand the importance of that but Clinton knew-he knew what he was doing when he wouldn’t allow that word to be used.

    The UN/ US given the intricacies of international law would have been obligated to do a hell of a lot more.

    One word.

    madawaskan (fd190b)

  45. Arianna is a deluded fool.

    DohBiden (984d23)

  46. Welcome Lee. It’s great to have an honest “lefty” blogging here. While I’m a conservative (although more center on social issues) and thus disagree with you on many topics, I’m more into honesty in debate and discussions than ideology. VERY glad to see you here on this great blog.

    And yes, I filled out the petition on Breitbart’s site.

    Ed Bettencourt (b26ebb)

  47. “How long was Breitbart behind the scenes at Huffington Post?”

    madawaskan – My read of the linked Dailycaller story is that Breitbart assisted in the set up of the site, not its management. What’s yours?

    daleyrocks (9b57b3)

  48. “Tell me how was the genocide in Rwanda any less worth stopping than Libya?”

    madawaskan – Gates said on national TV yesterday we have no national interest in Libya, so we have that going for us, which is nice.

    At least we will not be intervening in Syria, because on the same show Hillary said Assad is a (cough, cough) reformer. That confirms what Granny McRictusbotoxface said after her controversial visit there a few years back, that Syria definitely wanted peace with Israel, which is the reason they keep funneling arms to Hezbollah.

    Of course all of the above is subject to change daily and Teh One will tell us of his longstanding policies tonight.

    daleyrocks (9b57b3)

  49. Daley – I expect a lot of “let me be clear” and “it has always been my position” in his little CYA dance later today. Still has not gone to Congress yet, has he?

    JÐ (6e25b4)

  50. daleyrocks is right. Breitbart certainly did not steer Huffpo to the left. He helped establish the site.

    In fact, that’s 180 degrees from Breitbart’s entire point of being in this business at all.

    Also, the issue with the military ballots was a lack of a postmark, rather than a lack of a stamp. They are mailed postage free, and because of this, they didn’t get that stamped postmark. Miami Dade threw out 110 of its 113 military absentee ballots. The law actually had a provision for ballots lacking a postmark, requiring a date and signature, but this aspect of the law was ignored.

    Florida threw out about half of its absentee ballots state wide, and most of those were military votes thanks to a Gore led campaign to target military votes for extreme scrutiny (such as throwing the ballot out if the on file signature was even slightly different from the ballot signature).

    This absolutely cost Bush hundreds of votes.

    I remember this partly because in the year 2000 I was a PFC in the Army. I was my Artillery Battery’s B.O.S.S. representative, which 99% of the time just meant making sure the barracks were decent, but in this case I took the initiative to try to register all the barracks rats to vote. Only one of those who registered was from Florida, but his vote was thrown away and I will never forget that. I was not very political then (I was a kid), but since then I’ve become very political, worked on campaigns, and always tried to work as a poll watcher or otherwise in election accuracy.

    I keep thinking back to democrat election fraud or theft of votes like this when a lefty shill like Brad Friedman tries to exclude these real issues in order to agitate for paranoid nonsense on his scam website.

    Anyway, I didn’t mean to be a pedant in adding to Madawaskan’s point. I do agree that it is fundamentally impossible to be aware of that crime and accept democrats like Al Gore… people who actually stole votes from the troops. If folks recall, I said a similar thing of Joe Miller’s more strained ballot challenges, even though that wasn’t even close to what Gore did.

    The left needed more Lee Stranahans back then.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  51. So let me get this straight, Arianna Huffington hired a racist to help her create the Huffington Post.

    … Huffington Post created with the aid of a racist …

    That says a lot about Arianna Huffington.

    Rodan (03e5c2)

  52. Arianna isn’t the top dog any more. She answers to people now and that’s a new role for her. And so far, it’s a massive fail – she’s lost readers and credibility.

    [She never had any. Did try to grab (my) posted comments, from the archive of Gateway, but looks like only manual search, through old archives, one at a time, of old platform, be the methodology?]

    Not gunna recount them, but I have seen that piece of filth Aryana, up close and personal. Revolting excuse (and I’m being polite) … for a human being.

    Elmo (ad26e6)

  53. True, but instead we got Kimberlin, and Friedman, and the black box nuts, and the crazy Ukrainian chick, to make us doubt our elections procedures,
    they put forward that criminal negligence about autism, how many got sick because of that one story, how many families were tormented,
    regardless. I was surprised about the Mayhill Fowler reference, one of the few times, in edition to the San Francisco Chronicle edit review meeting, when Obama’s true intentions were revealed, yet no real attention was paid to this, by the press, which in the end, admitted they didn’t know who Obama was about. Maybe Stranahan has reconsidered the view, he had when he derided one who predicted exactly what would come to pass,

    narciso (b545d5)

  54. A hearty welcome to you Lee. Loved the article, and I’ll most certainly sign the petition. I just wanted to add that I see in so called neutral sites that the anti-Breitbart narrative has been fulfilled. Case in point, for a good laugh once a day I go to Fark. In their politics section, the sycophant mush minded liberals actually refer to anyone that has been lied about in a political setting as having been “Breitbarted”. And the ensuing responses will be riddled with outright or subtle implications of racism even if race is not a factor.

    sybilll (4991ad)

  55. Good one.

    DohBiden (984d23)

  56. Dustin – Democrats are still messing around with military ballots. Mailing them to serving military in time for them to be returned was a huge issue in Illinois last year as it was in several other states.

    Also, prior to 2000, don’t lose sight of the accelerated naturalization campaign Clinton had Gore spear head, presumably to increase the ranks of Democrat voters.

    daleyrocks (9b57b3)

  57. Lee

    I might be too cynical i admit. Myself, I find nothing about Huffpo’s conduct surprising. Its not cool, but not surprising, either.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  58. I still believe in many liberal policy positions but I hate this kind of tactics.

    Give it time Lee, it is a BIG tent. I don’t much care for the heat I take, when I occasionally dip a toe, a lil (back) over the center line. But thems the breaks.

    Integrity.

    It’s what’s for breakfast.

    Elmo (ad26e6)

  59. Democrats are still messing around with military ballots. Mailing them to serving military in time for them to be returned was a huge issue in Illinois last year as it was in several other states

    Yep, ‘accidents’ happen.

    Damn near gives me a stroke to think about it.

    That unit went to Iraq and some of them didn’t come home, and Lord Al Gore stole their votes because he was too selfish to accept the election. And they call their party ‘democratic’ for some reason.

    As Dana said, it’s coarse. I read somewhere today that if you’re in a fair fight, your tactics suck. I think a lot of democrats think of American civil rights and politics that way, with a grin because they think they outsmarted the right that didn’t figure out how to dominate journalism, education, media, and the bureaucracy.

    I know the right has plenty of bastards too, but nothing like that sheer domination for political gain. You don’t even have to read between the lines of Rules for Radicals to see that a fair fight in politics for the Obama administration or an Illinois or Wisconsin educator, or Mass Media democrats is a completely strange concept.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  60. And my point here (in case it’s not clear) is that at some point I get really frustrated because I don’t see the shame on the left.

    I know there have to be some people out there who worked for Gore’s Florida campaign in 2000 and know the wrong they did. Hopefully it makes them sick to their stomach and they can’t sleep. Surely Arianna Huffington has some twinge of guilt for betraying Breitbart.

    Where’s the shame? If there isn’t any, then what’s the point? We’re a republic stuffed with populism, and if we can’t reason with the left, we aren’t going to solve our bigger problems.

    So someone like Lee Stranahan is a breath of fresh air. This is why I find the attempts to see a common humanity (like Patterico’s ‘Good Man’ post) to be utterly patriotic.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  61. I know I have mentioned several times that I spent a few years as one of less than a handful of conservative commenters in Glenn Greenwald’s swamp. I’m used to the rank dishonesty, but in spite of the incessant demands for my banishment, as long as I had facts to support what I was saying, which I did, Glenn refused to bow to the demands of his commentariat. I have to give him credit for that. Many other liberal sites brook no dissent. It forced me to become a better commenter in terms of backing up positions. I wish some of liberals here, I’m looking at you in particular kman, had learned similar lessons.

    daleyrocks (9b57b3)

  62. Give it time Lee and you will be an actual liberal[Classic Liberal] not a follower of anti-liberty liberals.

    DohBiden (984d23)

  63. Welcome aboard!

    Also, if you haven’t heard of it yet, neoneocon.com is a blog you should check out. The blogger(ess) is a woman who went through a transformation from being a liberal to a conservative. That’s not to say that you are doing the same, but you might find her experiences of interest. She’s a very thoughtful blogger.

    Y-not (45d6ad)

  64. “Back in the day it was possible and often considered intellectually challenging and enlightening to have passionate “bull sessions” with friends and co-workers with whom one did not agree politically– and still leave as friends. That sort of discourse has become almost impossible in America…”

    Yeah, my wife fixed that one as far as our social set goes.

    I’m simply not allowed to talk politics at social events.

    Works pretty good too. I haven’t caused a lefty to have a heart attack or stroke in years.

    Dave Surls (6b6d8c)

  65. “Works pretty good too. I haven’t caused a lefty to have a heart attack or stroke in years.”

    Dave – They usually go running out of the room with their hands over their ears or throw a drink on me if I start talking. That’s when I’m polite.

    daleyrocks (9b57b3)

  66. Just saying you’re not a lefty and don’t admire The One is enough to cause many of that ilk to experience coronary distress.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (59ca42)

  67. Arianna is a deluded fool.

    For three hundred million, I’d be a deluded fool too.

    stari_momak (d5f987)

  68. Thanks Lee

    SteveG (cc5dc9)

  69. I’m very excited about your posting here Lee, because I want to expose myself to both sides of positions. Yet over and over again I’ve had to stop frequenting my regular leftist blogs because of some of the horrible things said — often just in the comments, but unbearable regardless. I gave up one after seeing multiple commenters wish death upon Sarah Palin and “her retard baby”. The fact that the blogger did not condemn such vitriol was inexcusable IMO. Of course, we’re all prone to excuse bad behavior on the side we agree with while being outraged by it on the side we don’t. The fact that you clearly condemn such behavior on your own side speaks volumes.

    I’d like to point you (and everyone else) to another blog written by a self-critical leftist, a philosopher, who wants to reform leftism from the inside: I Want a New Left. You can read a recent post of his on “American imperialism” and the left here.

    Jim S. (3afdd5)

  70. I like what you have to say, but, seriously dude, you need to proofread your work.

    D'oh! (36e2a7)


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