Arianna Huffington, the editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, routinely meddles with the work of HuffPost reporters who criticize her friends. According to a new report in Capital New York, the Greek-American multi-millionaire recently picked up an even worse habit: Suspending reporters who write negative but otherwise completely factual articles about any of her pals.
Sources tell Capital’s Joe Pompeo that Huffington ordered the temporary suspension of five newsroom staffers—three editors and two reporters—over a pair of recent articles. The first piece, published in August, documented the most recent plagiarism allegations against CNN anchor Fareed Zakaria. The second article, published in late October, concerned yoga clothier Lululemon’s controversial donations to the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education.
The only thing the articles have in common: Arianna Huffington’s well-known connections to one or more of their subjects. Huffington regularly appears on Zakaria’s CNN show, and has personally interviewed the Dalai Lama for her site.
The articles themselves contained fairly minor transgressions. The author and editor of the first item failed to obtain comment from Zakaria, who is infamously difficult to obtain comment from, before publication. His misdeeds, however, had been well documented by various other publications—and the Huffington Post’s bread and butter has always involved aggregating others’ reporting. The second item initially included negative anonymous quotes obtained from Lululemon’s company blog. Suspending staffers over these kinds of errors, which are not really errors, is ludicrous.
To her credit, Huffington doesn’t deny punishing five staffers who committed the sin of writing negative things about her friends:
Huffington also emphasized that she is, after all, the editor-in-chief, and that it is part of her job to exercise control over the content of the site and preside over disciplinary measures.