In today’s media market, it’s not good enough for an outlet do well in its own web traffic. If you have dirt on another company’s tactics, it kind of behooves you to bury the other company alive.
On Tuesday, CNN Politics pretty viciously went after HuffPost Politics.
The TV network’s political site claims to be the “#1 source for political news” and announced that Comscore determined that the site earned 25 million multi-platform unique visitors for December, 2015. But here’s where things get sticky. CNN says HuffPost Politics cooked the books. Specifically, CNN charges that HuffPost “deliberately misrepresented” and “manipulated” its numbers by including a “decidedly non-politics entity” called “Good News” into its Comscore rating.
CNN explained that “Good News” is a really a “hodgepodge of posts about breastfeeding in bars, shelter chihuahuas and a mini donkey with a prosthetic leg.” (Is that last one really good news?)
CNN says it’s CNN Politics — not HuffPost Politics — that “remains the Web’s number one source for actual political news.”
Mediaite‘s Tommy Christopher, an openly liberal White House correspondent, came out swinging against CNN and planted a gigantic smooch on HuffPost‘s cheek. (Which one? It doesn’t really matter.) Christopher argues that if it’s good enough for Comscore it’s good enough for him. He also expressed sympathy for HuffPost for all the traffic it must have lost by relegating Donald Trump to the site’s entertainment section.
The Mirror sought comment from HuffPost‘s Washington bureau chief Ryan Grim and was directed to a publicist.
Publicist Sujata Mitra rehashed a quote she gave to Politico back in December: “We have no comment beyond what we said to Politico in December, which was: ‘This is nothing new. It’s common practice within ComScore for smaller categories to roll up into a larger one.'”
In that Politico report, Comscore supports its own findings on HuffPost.
How kind of Comscore to back its own findings.