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A note about our decision to cite HuffPo News under the “Smug Liberal Journalist Clown Car” vertical

A note about our decision to cite HuffPo News under the “Smug Liberal Journalist Clown Car” vertical

HuffPo corrupts and delegitimizes its news process by refusing to cover Trump campaign in “Politics” section.

Ryan Grim (Washington bureau chief for The Huffington Post) and Danny Shea (Editorial Director, The Huffington Post), have announced that because Donald Trump in their eyes is a sideshow, any news about Trump will be banished from the “Politics” section of HuffPo News to the Entertainment section, A Note About Our Coverage Of Donald Trump’s ‘Campaign’:

After watching and listening to Donald Trump since he announced his candidacy for president, we have decided we won’t report on Trump’s campaign as part of The Huffington Post’s political coverage. Instead, we will cover his campaign as part of our Entertainment section. Our reason is simple: Trump’s campaign is a sideshow. We won’t take the bait. If you are interested in what The Donald has to say, you’ll find it next to our stories on the Kardashians and The Bachelorette.

This was a political decision by the higher-ups at HuffPo to tell the electorate how to view a candidate not as part of the editorial process, but as part of the news process. Because HuffPo News has become a powerful force in news coverage, this will have a ripple effect beyond HuffPo readership.

Here’s how HuffPo it pitching the story on its homepage:

HuffPo Donald Trump Politics Entertainment Homepage

Is this a serious news operation?

Doesn’t appear to be.

Sam Stein, Political Editor and White House Correspondent for HuffPo, defends the decision, asserting it’s only a matter of which “vertical” Trump-related news appears under:

That defense, of course, is complete and utter BS. It is a political decision by HuffPo to impose on readers its view of Trump in the most pernicious way — not as part of an explicit and open editorial process but by corrupting HuffPo’s own news process.

In what universe, other than the liberal media bias, is a candidate currently leading national polls and all but guaranteed to be included in the first debate not a political issue?

You can hate Trump’s campaign, but it’s still politics.

There is some criticism of HuffPo, including this Dylan Byers at Politico:

Byers further writes, The art of the grandstand:

A quick fact-check: 1. Huffington Post is taking the bait, because they’re continuing to cover Trump and will continue to benefit from the clicks. 2. Trump’s campaign isn’t a sideshow. He’s leading the field, and is therefore a daily preoccupation for other candidates. (Hours after posting its note, Huffington Post sent an email clarifying that “the impact [Trump is] having on the Republican Party and the immigration debate is itself a real thing,” which it will cover “as substance, but anything that tumbles out of his mouth will land on the Entertainment page.”)

One might conclude that Huffington Post’s announcement amounts to the same Trump-style grandstanding they claim to condemn. On a larger level, they seem to miss the point that all politics is theater. Countless statements have tumbled forth from the mouth of candidates — top-tier and third-tier — that were made precisely to rile up the base, bait an opponent, get free play in the media, etc. The Huffington Post politics team has covered these stories, and will almost surely continue to do so — even when they come from candidates who have a less of a shot at their party’s nomination than Trump.

James Warren writes at, Huffington Post wrong to consign Trump to entertainment section:

This is especially dubious in an era where the nexus of entertainment and politics is often quite obvious and growing.

One need only look at the dramatic fragmentation in media and how the Obama White House is trying to find niche audiences anywhere it can find them.

That means not just going on lots of late-night and soft afternoon talk shows. It means doing garage podcasts and giving “exclusive” interviews to YouTube stars.

You might think Trump is a buffoon. But he may have, for the moment at least, touched some nerve of dissatisfaction, perhaps partial explanation of his decent showing in some early Republican polls.

Something of the sort happened long ago with some guys who were actually professional actors and were similarly disparaged. They, too, could have been journalistically segregated long ago as not meeting some arbitrary test of seriousness and legitimacy.

You do remember Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger, don’t you?

HuffPo has its defenders, like New York University media professor Jay Rosen:

I will agree with Rosen on one point, the HuffPo decision reflects the power of the press:

HuffPo confirms just about everything we have come to believe about liberal media bias.

Is Bernie Sanders a serious presidential candidate? Is a Socialist less of a clown than Trump?

I’m guessing that more Americans agree with Trump’s border security and immigration views than agree with Bernie’s wealth redistribution and anti-capitalist views. But I’m also guessing that the result is reversed in the HuffPo newsroom, and therein lies the rub. Huffpo’s supposed journalists are imposing their political views via the news operation.

And why stop at Trump, if only subjectively serious candidates get covered in the politics section?

What about Linc Chafee? Or Dennis Kucinich when he was in politics?

Or Alan Grayson’s Senate run. Is there a bigger clown in politics than Alan Grayson?

Legal Insurrection, in response to HuffPo’s decision, has decided that from now on HuffPo News coverage will appear under our “Smug Liberal Journalist Clown Car” vertical.


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Once he appears on a debate podium or get votes in a primary, does this momentous Charles Foster Kane-like Declaration of Principles still apply?

Well, if wackiness and purported fiction relegate one to the Entertainment pages, where does HuffPo put “news” about Bernie Sanders, Obama, and any member of the Clinton crime syndicate?

I’m reminded of George Orwell’s 1941 essay, Wells, Hitler and the World State, evaluating H.G. Wells’s attitude to Hitler. Orwell pointed out that to a Progressive like Wells, an anachronism like Hitler could not exist, or, if by some freak he did exist, he couldn’t be important; therefore, Wells was constitutionally unable to take Hitler seriously.

(No, I’m not saying HuffPo is comparing Trump to Hitler, I’m saying that the ideological blinkers they’re sporting at HuffPo are old ones.)

Everybody who isn’t an obscene progressive hack or shill already knows that Huff-n-Puff is a pathetic joke anyway. Who cares what they say?

    Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to Paul. | July 17, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    AMEN! I refuse to give any traffic to that Puff-Ho!

    Estragon in reply to Paul. | July 17, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    Precisely! How can you “corrupt and delegitimize” coverage that isn’t legitimate in the first place?

    Although I think Trump is a joke candidate who makes a mockery of the campaign and the office, he’s in and draws enough support to be a factor. It’s politics – rarely pretty. Some time ago we had to accept a backwater playboy steeped in corruption, and now his wife’s running, too. Trump is no worse than Clintons.

    People like you and I might see HuffPo as a pathetic joke, but don’t make the mistake of underestimating its influence.

      foodog in reply to Amy in FL. | July 17, 2015 at 7:34 pm

      Just because PuffHo invented fake content and collects a lot of lazy clicks from browsing millenials and LIVs doesnt make it influential. A good click and eyeball collection device, for suckering naive advertisers, sure. But the failure even in this market to gather $$$ tells you all you need to know.

      Anyone reading news for the last twenty years knows HuffPo is barely disguised propaganda, at best.

        I hope you’re right. But I do see several of my pretty much apolitical friends & family on FB posting links from them fairly regularly. For people who aren’t really “into” politics, I don’t know if they get how left-slanted it is.

JournoListic integrity. If I didn’t know better, I would think it was reverse psychology. Why do they want people to vote for Trump?

Meanwhile, indiscriminate killing of [wholly innocent] human lives and body parts trafficking at Planned Parenthood has left the news cycle. As if the former was not sufficiently wicked.

The civil rights and human rights advocates and activists, respectively, are up in arms, right? Perhaps not.

    Estragon in reply to n.n. | July 17, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    For the last 20 years or so, “journalistic integrity” has been a contradiction in terms.

…our “Smug Liberal Journalist Clown Car” vertical.

That’s gonna fill up fast!

Midwest Rhino | July 17, 2015 at 3:38 pm

The route for leftist propaganda is not quite clear to me, but Soros funds much of it, it would seem. Media Matters seems at the core (with a hotline to the WH), the JournoList is now reworked the way they redid ACORN, but is surely still actively arranging their narrative for the week.

From MediaMutters I guess it passes through HuffPo and all, and then gets passed off as real news on the network machine that masquerades as independent news agencies.

When FOX tried to get a response on San Fran’s sanctuary for criminals policy, the official chants “FOX News is not real news” as he runs away, with fingers in his ears. But “real news” tells us Trayvon was a child eating candy, and Brown had hands up, don’t shoot.

The People need to figure out, if they go to “the paper of record”, they need to come to LI as the “blog of record” to get “the rest of the story”.

Concerning Nuzzi’s tweet and Rosen’s reply – Nuzzi is not attempting to dictate to HuffPo what stories it should cover and how it covers them. She’s demanding, that as a purported purveyor of “news,” that HuffPo deal with facts – Trump is a candidate for a political office, that makes what he says and does on his campaign “politics,” no matter how entertaining he may be.

Rosen also seems to be confused as the the purpose of the press and how it’s supposed to exercise its power (in a way that maintains public trust in the institution). The press is supposed to report the news. It gets its shot at influencing opinion on the op-ed page. These two “verticals” are supposed to be separate and distinct. It is the blurring (or rather, complete elimination) of the line between these two journalistic functions that is the cause of the collapse in the public’s trust in the MSM.

I just did a quick search over at HuffPo and see that when a celebrity/entertainer like Bono makes a declaration about “climate change” and CO2 emissions reduction it ends up in the “Green” section of their web site, not in the “Entertainment” section, as it should, according to how they’re treating Trump (putting his political declarations in the “Entertainment” section instead of “Politics”). Is anyone surprised?

Does this mean y’all are going to stop using HuffPo as a primary source now? That would be nice.

News organizations should move their coverage of Hillary to the Crime section.

If the PuffHo had been around in 1980, they would have put coverage of an actor in second-rate movies [Ronald Reagan] in the entertainment section also.

Henry Hawkins | July 17, 2015 at 8:15 pm

Hah! Another newspaper section that fits someone we know: the O-bitch-uaries.

There is one bright side: More people go to HP for entertainment than politics – meaning more people will be exposed to Trump than if they had kept him on the Political page!

I don’t understand Huffpo.

Arianna Huffington bamboozeled a whole mess of writers to contribute content to her site for free, and then sold the site for an amazing profit, just like any profitable small business that succeeds, without a payout to the writers.

It’s either a plantation or a vehicle for political advertising.