The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘Gutfeld Claims He Was Offered His Fox Show Because of His Writing on HuffPost’

Posted on | February 22, 2011 | 7 Comments

Jehuda the Rhetorican called my attention to that claim made, in a letter to the president of the Newspaper Guild, by the senior vice president of public relations for Huffington Post, Mario Ruiz:

We couldn’t agree more with your goal of ensuring journalists are paid for their work. It’s why HuffPost has 143 editors, writers, and reporters on our edit team. But we feel there’s a critical distinction between our editors and reporters and the people who contribute to our group blog. While we pay our editors and reporters, we don’t pay for the opinion pieces submitted by our thousands of bloggers. The vast majority of our bloggers understand the value of having a platform that reaches a very large audience. People blog on HuffPost for free for the same reason they go on cable TV shows every night for free — because they are passionate about their ideas, want them to be heard by the largest possible audience, and understand the value that that kind of visibility can bring (the visibility of being on HuffPost has led to our bloggers being invited on TV to discuss their posts, to paid speeches, to book deals, to a TV show — Greg Gutfeld claims he was offered his Fox show because of his writing on HuffPost). Our bloggers can choose to write for HuffPost — or not write for HuffPost.
They can write as often as like they like or as little as they like. It’s both wrong and offensive to insist that HuffPost is exploiting journalists.

I suppose we’ll hear more about this from Greg “I Would Be Nobody Without HuffPo” Gutfeld. But I ask you to pay attention to how HuffPo itself distinguishes among its contributors: If you write a free blog for them, you are by definition not a journalist.

Because if you were a journalist, they’d have to pay you. As it is, you’re writing for free because you’re “passionate about [your] ideas,” as opposed to Arianna Huffington, who’s passionate about her $18 million lump-sum payment and her $4 million annual salary.

Also, if you blog for HuffPo and don’t have your own cable-TV show yet, it’s because you suck.


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