AOL ‘Lost its Mind’ With $315 Million HuffPo Purchase, Says Media Watchdog President

February 7, 2011 - 6:06 PM

Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington

In this Sept. 23, 2010 file photo, Arianna Huffington speaks at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

(CNSNews.com) - The announcement early Monday morning that America Online (AOL) is buying Arianna Huffington’s liberal Web site, The Huffington Post, for $315 million -- $300 million in cash -- left at least one conservative outraged.

“This proves AOL News has lost its mind,” said L. Brent Bozell III, president of the Media Research Center.

Huffington, who switched from being a conservative commentator to a “liberal/progressive” writer in the ‘90s, will lead the newly formed Huffington Post Media Group, which “will integrate all Huffington Post content with AOL Content, including news, tech, women, local, multicultural, entertainment, video, community, and more,” according to the news release issued Monday morning.

“They must be in such dire straits that they’ve been blinded by the millions and think an acquisition of The Huffington Post is worth sacrificing credibility and objectivity,” Bozell said. "AOL News is fooling only itself in thinking there is no journalistic conflict in merging with a hate-filled, vicious, radically left-wing rag.”

According to AOL, the new combined media group will reach 117 million Americans and 270 million globally, in terms of unique visits each month. The Huffington Post, which Huffington started in 2005, currently has a monthly online readership of 25 million unique visitors each month.

The Huffington Post, Bozell said, is not just a liberal publication -- it is a purveyor of anti-conservative hate speech.

“Let’s do a quick review of The Huffington Post," he said in a statement. "Our ‘Huffington’s House of Horrors’ Special Report revealed beyond a shadow of a doubt the ongoing campaign of profanity, crude sexual and excretory metaphors and outright hate speech against conservatives, all under the leadership of Arianna Huffington."

“In fact, just last month, Huffington's site published a man saying the next 'Great American Story' would be Dick Cheney receiving a heart transplant from a brain-dead American soldier from Iraq, possibly causing ‘the heart to implode knowing it was trapped inside Dick Cheney,'" said Bozell.

In her HuffPo blog, Huffington explained that the deal came about because she and AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong both attended a panel discussion on “Digital Darwinism.”

“Tim and I chatted briefly and arranged to see each other the next day. At that meeting, we talked not just about what our two companies were doing, but about the larger trends we saw happening online and in our world. I laid out my vision for the expansion of The Huffington Post, and he laid out his vision for AOL. We were practically finishing each other's sentences," Huffington wrote.

“Two months later, we were having lunch in LA and Tim was demonstrating that he got the Innovator's Dilemma and was willing to disrupt the present to, if I may borrow a phrase, ‘win the future.’ (I guess that makes this AOL's -- and HuffPost's -- Sputnik Moment),” she added.

“We can only assume that AOL News has been infected with the same vicious motive: to target and obscenely smear conservatives,” Bozell said. “They can do that if they want, of course, but please don’t call it AOL ‘News.’ That’s now become an insult.”

CNSNews.com is a division of the Media Research Center.