Arianna Huffington's Deal Will Save the Progressive Movement

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 9 2011 8:28 AM

Arianna Huffington's Deal Will Save the Progressive Movement

Simmi Aujla transcribed this from Rep. Allen West, R-Fla, at yesterday's Tea Party town hall.

You look out there, you see that AOL has purchased the Huffington Post. Now all of a sudden a very far left liberal blogger such as Arianna Huffington has a huge influence in the Internet world. We cannot allow ourselves to be suppressed. We cannot allow them to take over the Internet.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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When I was reporting this piece about the relatively muted reaction to LiveAction's Planned Parenthood sting, this issue actually came up. Quoth Ari Rabin-Havt, one of the Media Matters operatives who helped coordinate the discredit-LiveAction campaign:

[W]e, progressives, don't have a news network that will take this stuff right to air, frankly. That's part of the success here. Breitbart launched Big Government on Fox News. Glenn Beck previewed the ACORN tapes on his show.

According to progressives, is the sequence of events that brought down ACORN:

- The Leadership Institute trained James O'Keefe
- O'Keefe gave his ACORN videos to BigGovernment
- The videos were previewed for Glenn Beck
- BigGovernment and Fox (and other NewsCorp properties) reported every inch of the ACORN story
- Democrats, spooked, defunded ACORN

So: Imagine a future in which AOL, the online portal for millions of people, farms out its news content to the Huffington Post. Imagine a future in which Yahoo!, the online portal for millions of similar people, hires the deputy publisher of Talking Points Memo to launch its blog network.

For a progressive who thinks the Internet is increasingly driving the narrative, this is heartening. For a conservative, it's terrifying. Allen West is on to something.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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