Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Huffington Post

The Huffington Post (Arianna Huffington's website) is on its second day. Farhad Manjoo of the Salon claims that it is intended to compete with the Drudge Report:

But whatever else it may be, the Huffington Post is not a left-wing Drudge Report. It is instead, you might say, both a lot more than Drudge and quite a bit less. It's not the disaster a riled Nikki Finke immediately proclaimed it to be in the L.A. Weekly (Finke, who has also written for Salon, called Huffington's new site "such a bomb that it's the box-office equivalent of Gigli, Ishtar and Heaven's Gate rolled into one") -- nothing that features a regular contribution from Larry David can be so quickly dismissed. But it is not revolutionary, either. Huffington's site is, quite simply, a daily news roundup married to a very big group blog (with, curiously, very few participants under the age of 40 -- and possibly 50) and little to no original reporting content; like most bloggers, Huffington's high-profile opiners are generally trolling topics well covered elsewhere.

The blogs, many of them written by celebrities, have no comments-ability, and the bloggers are free to talk about whatever they like. Quite a few of the bloggers are wingnuts, so Manjoo is right about the Huffington Post not being especially left-wing. But it's an interesting phenomenom in the blogging world: a megablog created in an instant. Whether that works remains to be seen.

Still, I don't quite get what Arianna hopes to achieve with the Huffington Post. If it's not intended to strengthen the liberal/progressive voice in the media, what is it for? To allow for political debates?