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Thursday, June 22, 2006


Huffington Post Blogger Victim of Fraud

-By Warner Todd Huston

Usually, I do not do too much Blogger news because this site is more for news and commentary on the important issues of the day as opposed to a "fan" site about blogging, but this story is too delicious to pass up.

Some of you may recall the dust-up between Arrianna Huffington and actor George Clooney when a blog entry on the Huffington Post was posted making it appear that Clooney had actually written and posted it himself when he did no such thing? It turned out an HP staffer had written the thing by compositing several Clooney interviews. So, it was what Clooney had said in the past, but it was not an original piece by Cloony himself though pretending to be.

Very messy and embarrassing for the Huffy Post, that.

Well, now we have a new bit of fraud exposed on the Huffy Post to report. It appears that one of the contributing Bloggers (all of whom are invited and approved as well as moderated by the Huffy Post Staff), a Dr Peter Rost, a former vice-president of drug company Pfizer, had himself a "troll" problem. A heckler who was dogging the good Doctor's posts in the comments section was making life miserable for him.

Turns out, that heckler was one of the Huffy Post's administrative technicians and not just a fan of the website as he pretended. Worse, that technician manipulated the system to get his heckling of the Drs. posts spotlighted as a "readers' favourite comment" within half an hour after being posted.

Then, after a bit of on-line investigation, when Rost brought this fact to the attention of the Huffy Post staff, his Blogging column was unceremoniously terminated.

They dumped the poor feller!

Rost said of the incident, "This is a sad day for online journalism. I was terminated without any investigation of the statements in my blog post, all of which were referenced using independent sources."

The Huffy Post folks tried to make amends and reinstate him after all became public, but putting a bandaid on a compound fracture never has been good medicine.

Ah, the hypocrisy of the left strikes again!
The problem is that Huffingtonpost was , let me repeat WAS a great idea, but has manipulated numbers and comments in order to keep viewership up for advertisors.

AS a liberal I USED to like the site, but it has been over run by trollz. Whether or not you agree with a site should not make it a target for destruction by trollz.

As well, however, the trollz should not be working within the company itself.

What Arianna has done, most unfortunately, is do the exact same thing she accuses, and usually proves, the Bush administration of doing, which is target the whistleblower and ignore the message.

Huffpost has become the Jerry Springer of the blogosphere.
Arrianna Huffington is not a Liberal, she may have become a progressive but she views herself more a populist.

She used to be a staunch conservative until she realized that conservatives only paid lip service, and precious little of it, to assisting the less fortunate.

What we're seeing here may well be the last prestigious of her conservativeness wworking its way out of her system.

"Worse, that technician manipulated the system to get his heckling of the Drs. posts spotlighted as a "readers' favorite comment" within half an hour after being posted."

This comment of yours is a prime example with what is wrong with conservatives in that they have a tendency to "mis-"report.

The good Dr. never claimed that this individual manipulated the system, he merely said that it was possible given the quick rise to favorite comment. Certainly the individual had the technical expertise, and the access to make it happen if he were of a mind.

But there was, and is no certainty that that young man did what "You're", not the good Doctor, is accusing him of.

Personally I think the kid should be fired, and the Dr. Reinstated,

HuffPo acted rashly, but that doesn't negate her numerous accomplishments.
To tell the truth, I think sites that are supposed to be serious policy discussisons should not enable commenting.

A blog is one thing, but if you mean serious discussion, comments will just make a circus of it all.
It seems that this is all about advertising. JWT just bought up all of HuffPo's ad space, and Arianna Huffington is in France right now with JWT's CEO, at a marketing conference. Rost exposing a insider troll right now is bad timing for HuffPo, and they are trying to cover it up. They won't allow any truly critical comments on their behavior in this matter on their related blogs, including Peter Rost's. It's all about the money, it always is.
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