Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Prefab Scrotes

Jeez, I'd spent quite a while wondering what it was I didn't like about The Huffington Post. The stupid thing was blocked from dayjobland's servers for quite a while, and I'd formed an unreasonable personal dislike of Arianna Huffington based on her past as a republican and, worse, a student politician. The thing eventually got lodged in my RSS, because some of her writers got a few links elsewhere, and there was occasionally posted a screed of great beauty.

But the blog, even the best of the blog feed, is rather samey and shrill, rattling off the contents of the NY Times' op-ed commentators (RIP, culturally) in a slightly less articulate fashion. It's also stupidly long-winded. If I have the time, I might wade through those exhaustive posts on The Next Hurrah, because TNH's authors usually have reason for being that careful.

Finally, though, there was this feeling that Arianna wanted to turn the blog into something corporate and fabulous. Yes, the fact that Gwyneth Paltrow was lined up to write something at launch should have tipped me off. Then we hear that she's cooking up ghostwritten posts with the publicists of Hollywood celebrities. I don't know what the hell that is, but it isn't blogging.

Arianna, or at least her interns, pieces together this amalgam of left-leaning quotes from Clooney, and sends them to his publicist, who mumbles "sure". Clooney denies ever writing the post, and Arianna, proving that she cares more about being right than her blog's credibility says "this is kosher, I cooked it up withh his flack in advance." Just an epically bad move. The sound you hear is my feed getting that little bit smaller.

Still, does mean you get a topical choon:

RJD2 - "Ghostwriter"
Buy "Deadringer" here. It makes collages from sound, rather than left-wing dogma

[Update: Honourable exception goes to the Secret Presidential IMs. Now that's funny]


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