Huffington Post CEO Arianna Huffington counters claims that her online news website’s merger with AOL will cause AOL to shift left politically.
Huffington, a well known liberal commentator, told The Wrap on Tuesday that the Huffington Post’s political coverage is “beyond left and right” and incorporates differing views.
“First of all, people forget that the Huffington Post now consists of 26 sections and only 15 percent of our traffic comes from politics,” Huffington said. “There is just an enormous array of content offerings. Beyond that, if you look at our political coverage, it’s what I describe as beyond left and right and we are determined to make it clear that having multiple views on all issues is just a new way to look at how political coverage proceeds rather than reflexively dividing each issue as a left wing and a right wing position.”
When asked directly if the Huffington Post would have a politically left-wing influence on AOL, Huffington responded, “Of course not.”
“It’s not a political site,” Huffington said of AOL. “It has Politics Daily, which is the section that covers politics, but it’s not a political site. In fact, from the beginning, I was always clear that I did not want Huffington Post to be just a political site. I always wanted it to be an Internet newspaper, covering every possible interest, including the whole issue of women and living and how we live our lives.”
Huffington, who reportedly earned a $100 million personal payday from her site’s sale to AOL, has been criticized by some for going through with the merger. Many have condemned her for “selling out” and threatened to stop visiting her website.
“The fact is that AOL and the Huffington Post simply recapitulate in the new media many of the worst abuses of the old economy’s industrial capitalism — the sweatshop, the speedup and piecework; huge profits for the owners; desperation, drudgery and exploitation for the workers,” wrote Los Angeles Times columnist Tim Rutten. “No child labor, yet, but if there were more page views in it.”
WATCH: Arianna Huffington on why the website collaboration won’t push AOL to the left