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Friday, March 25, 2011

Huffpo Opens Huge Can Of Worms By Banning Andrew Breitbart From Front Page Citing 'Ad Hominem' Attacks

The Huffington Post, run by Arianna Huffington, banned Andrew Breitbart from their front page content citing "ad hominem" attacks that Breitbart made in another publication, The Daily Caller, against Huffington friend Van Jones.

Here is Huffington's statement:

Andrew Breitbart’s ad hominem attack on Van Jones in The Daily Caller -- right down to calling him a "commie punk" and "a cop killer-supporting, racist, demagogic freak" -- 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.

Headline reaction to this pretty much shows exactly the rancid can of worms this has opened for Huffington Post with other liberals.

Lee Stranahan, because of this move on the part of Huffington Post, has announced he will no longer write for them- "Why I’m Quitting Blogging At The Huffington Post"

I’ll keep this short. As I wrote this morning, writing for the Huffington Post has been one of the great joys of my life for the past few years and I’ve been proud to be associated with them.

But as a writer, this latest move by The Huffington Post of banning Andrew Breitbart from their front page (because of comments he made to a different website) is both unprecedented, arbitrary and deeply offensive to the intellectual openness that Arianna Huffington has purported to believe in.

Although I’ve had a number of pieces featured there, I’m certainly not a huge presence at HuffPost so in that sense, I don’t expect this move on my part to make much of a ripple but I can’t in good conscience support this awful, short sighted move by the site that I loved.

Alex Pareene over at Salon, no fan of Breitbart either, lays into Huffington with "The stupid saga of Andrew Breitbart and the Huffington Post."

A strict prohibition on ad hominem attacks! ("Against Arianna's friends," is the bit of that sentence that spokesman Marco Ruiz left out.) (Also there is apparently no prohibition on constant, practically obsessive race-baiting, but whatever.) (And obviously there is no prohibition whatsoever on spreading toxic bullshit about autism and other assorted crimes against science.)

Andrew has now gotten exactly what he wanted. He doesn't need to publish his idiocies at the Huffington Post. But getting banned from the Huffington Post proves his thesis about the repressive, anti-free speech liberal media. And he'll never shut up about it.

David Weigel is disappointed as he titles his piece with "Huffington Post Wimps Out on Breitbart."

He didn't write or say any of that at HuffPo, a site he helped develop in 2005. Is the Huffington Post's standard that contributors can be to some modified limited hang-out if they use ad hominems in other forums? Boy, good thing Breitbart doesn't have an army of contributors who can comb HuffPo authors' published and spoken work to see if they've done that.

Moving right along to reactions from right leaning sites and people, we see that Weigel was spot on in his snark as well as Breitbart's "big" contributors being more than willing to sift through the leftist drivel over at Huffington Post to show the extreme hypocrisy of their actions against Breitbart.

Blaring headline by Alexander Marlow on Breitbart's Big Journalism site, states "ANNOUNCEMENT: Big Journalism Pledges to Help AOL/HuffPo Enforce No ‘Ad Hominem Attacks’ Rule."

We’ve never seen the Huffington Post make an effort like this to suppress the speech of any of their other (mostly left-wing) personalities. The hypocrisy is laughably obvious, and it was left-of-center bloggers Mickey Kaus of the Daily Caller, Alex Pareene of Salon, and Dave Weigel of Slate who were quickest to point it out. Pareene sums it up this way:

Andrew has now gotten exactly what he wanted. He doesn’t need to publish his idiocies at the Huffington Post. But getting banned from the Huffington Post proves his thesis about the repressive, anti-free speech liberal media. And he’ll never shut up about it.

True, we don’t plan to shut up about it any time soon, but we also don’t plan to shut up about the fact that HuffPo doesn’t just speak for HuffPo any more. They speak for AOL too. And the message they have sent is crystal: radical-left “truther” Van Jones and the anti-free speech race-baiting organization Color of Change he founded have editorial control at the new AOL/HuffPo, and they’re out to silence the Americans with whom they disagree.

AOL/HuffPo has thousands of bloggers, many of whom have said and will say things much worse than what Breitbart said, so we here at Big Journalism are hereby pledging to help AOL/HuffPo enforce their “no ad hominem attacks by bloggers” rule. The work will be hard, the hours will be long, but in the name of equality and for the good of the site Andrew Breitbart developed, we will do our best to save AOL/HuffPo from itself.

Head on over as they provide their first set of examples with video proof of their assertions.

Big Journalism isn't the only ones being "helpful" in pointing out examples of ad hominem attacks published on the Huffington Post site itself (just not against one of Arianna's friends) and are highlighting them.

The Daily Caller with "Breitbart banned from front page of Huffington Post for ‘ad hominem’ attacks despite HuffPo history of printing ad hominem attacks."

Breitbart is far from the first prominently featured contributor to The Huffington Post that has made ad hominem attacks (though unlike others who had their ad hominem attacks published in posts on The Huffington Post, Breitbart’s comments were not made in posts on the site).

The Huffington Post published an article by actor John Cusack in November 2005 that called Republicans “a league of bastards” and said that Iraq war supporters “are human scum.”

Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz wrote an article appearing on The Huffington Post a day after the death of Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist in September 2005. Dershowitz wrote that Rehnquist “started out his political career as a Republican thug” and that “Rehnquist’s judicial philosophy was result-oriented, activist, and authoritarian.”

Rehnquist was a “friend of corporations, polluters, right wing Republicans, religious fundamentalists, homophobes, and other bigots,” Dershowitz wrote.

“Cheney is a terrorist. He terrorizes our enemies abroad and innocent citizens here at home indiscriminately,” wrote actor Alec Baldwin in February 2006.

Baldwin wrote in a subsequent post, “I want to apologize to all of the readers of this blog for referring to Vice President Cheney as a terrorist… How about something more measured, then? How about… a lying, thieving Oil Whore. Or, a murderer of the US Constitution?”

That was just examples from page one, they provide a few more on page two.

This is just day one folks, imagine all the wonderful things still left to find in the years Arianna has allowed her leftist writers free reign to write absolutely anything their heart desires without restraint, as long as it wasn't against one of her friends.

Mickey Kaus calls it "Huffpocrisy"

I would have to agree.

Andrew Brietbart gets the last word or to rephrase, the last laugh. (Via his Twitter feed)

Check my Twitter feed: Toldja the organized left are totalitarian anti-free speech freaks. Van*glorious & van*quished Jones leading charge!

Point made Andrew.