Huffington Post spokesman Mario Ruiz accused The Daily Caller of asking a “silly and leading” question of him early Friday afternoon. “That’s a two-fer. Your question is both silly and leading,” Ruiz responded when TheDC asked if The Huffington Post will be removing all bloggers from its front page who have made ad hominem attacks against people — and if there was a different HuffPo policy for ad hominem attacks by conservatives and ones by liberals, given all the disparity surrounding conservative web publisher Andrew Breitbart’s blog being removed.
The Huffington Post removed Breitbart’s blog posts from its front page as a result of a pressure campaign from far-left group, Color of Change, launched after the conservative publisher attacked its founder, Van Jones, in comments to TheDC.
“Andrew Brietbart’s [sic] false ad hominem attack on Van Jones in The Daily Caller violates the tenets of debate and civil discourse we have strived for since the day we launched,” Ruiz said in a statement on Thursday. “As a result, we will no longer feature his posts on the front page.”
Breitbart told TheDC that The Huffington Post’s front page bloggers have made countless ad hominem attacks against him – and in joining HuffPo he was biting his pride to add a new voice to the left-wing media website AOL recently purchased for $315 million.
“Their front page bloggers have made more ad hominem attacks at the Huffington Post against me, I thought I was being a big person going into a venue, accepting the premise that this was ad nausea de ad hominem,” Breitbart said in a phone interview on Friday morning.
Breitbart contends that HuffPo has let its left-wing bloggers make ad hominem attacks against him on its website, including Color of Change executive director James Rucker. Rucker has used his HuffPo blog to accuse Breitbart of producing a “brand of race-baiting propaganda and lies,” after his organization and CREDO Action got Breitbart removed from ABC News’s election coverage last November.
“The Huffington Post in the fall, and now again, has allowed for one of its featured bloggers to lead Color of Change to launch an ad hominem attack to quash my free speech,” Breitbart said. “Van Jones himself has used ad hominem attacks off-site to attack me during this coordinated left-wing campaign to silence a political critic. Color of Change founder Van Jones has used at least one ad hominem attack off site.”
Breitbart commended left-wing bloggers Alex Pareene of Salon and Dave Weigel of Slate for reporting on The Huffington Post’s newest “anti-ad hominem” policy, but ripped the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent for failing to report on HuffPo’s newest bout of hypocrisy – and running a piece cheerleading HuffPo’s decision.
“I credit Alex Pareene and Dave Weigel for pointing out the obvious,” Breitbart told TheDC. “I’d like to point out that the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent is emerging as the journ-o-list’s journ-o-list. He’s the one who ‘broke the story.’ Let it be noted he didn’t even make this basic, lowest-common-denominator observation.”
The “basic, lowest-common-denominator observation” Breitbart’s referring to is that The Huffington Post has and continues to publish blog posts from authors who have made public ad hominem attacks against several people, both on the HuffPo site and elsewhere. For instance, on Bill Maher’s television show in 2008, PBS’s Tavis Smiley called conservative commentator and politician Pat Buchanan a “racial arsonist.”
HuffPo’s Jason Linkin called Maryland Delegate Sam Arora, a Democrat, “one of the biggest douchebags in a all of politics,” and called blogger Ann Althouse’s husband an “idiot.”
On Friday afternoon, HuffPo began promoting a blog piece former CNN broadcaster Rick Sanchez wrote. Sanchez was fired from CNN for calling Comedy Central’s “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart a “bigot,” and implying he had a limited worldview and that Jews controlled all television networks, including CNN. The Huffington Post even reported the story of Sanchez being fired for his ad hominem attack on Stewart.
HuffPo also regularly promotes MSNBC host Ed Schultz’s blog posts on its front page. Schultz called a viewer a “prick” and “right wing scum” in e-mails TheDC acquired in January. TheDC has compiled more HuffPo front page blogger ad hominem attacks here.
Breitbart calls HuffPo’s new mission opposing what they consider to be ad hominem attacks worse than hypocritical.
“It’s a Dali-esque policy that is flummoxing and giving heartburn to even the upper-echelon of the left blogosphere,” Breitbart said. “I hope that that is not taken as an ad-hominem. Linguists of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory have been forced into overtime to come up with a word stronger than hypocrisy.”
Breitbart said he’s not sure if he’ll continue contributing to HuffPo after this, but thinks he may post his “NL-only fantasy baseball sleeper picks sometime between now and my Monday night draft.”