Did HuffPo use a racist metaphor?

July 27, 2017 • 8:00 am

Over the years, HuffPo has consistently used the term “bamboo ceiling” to refer to the barriers that, it says, are faced by Asian-Americans trying to advance in their careers. The first article below actually had the term “bamboo ceiling” in the big headline, but since yesterday it’s been relegated to the subheading. Click on the screenshots to go to the articles:

From 2013:

From 2014:

From 2016:


After all, the term “glass ceiling” as applied to women doesn’t carry any sexist connotations.

Granted, some of these pieces (there are more, but I got tired of looking them up) were written by Asians, but doesn’t the use of “bamboo ceiling” perpetuate a cultural stereotype? Do all Asian-Americans have something to do with bamboo? If HuffPo were writing about barriers to Jewish advancement, would they say “gefilte fish ceiling?”  If it were Mexicans, would they say “cactus ceiling?”

Now I don’t care at all about this, but believe me, the Regressive mindset of the HuffPo would call this out in a second if they thought about it. And Everyday Feminism would write an article about it: “Five ways that we stereotype Asians’ search for the American Dream.”


Some good news from HuffPo: they’re going under

June 15, 2017 • 9:45 am

Well, this time I can have unalloyed Schadenfreude, as I dislike HuffPo so intensely. Grania often asks me why I even read it, and my answer is “Why do we smell the milk in the carton even though we know it’s gone bad?” Here’s their headline (click on screenshot to see the good news):

I was surprised at this since PuffHo pays many of their contributors nothing—a form of exploiting people by promising them “exposure” while profiting from those poor wannabe writers. So much for their avowal to create more economic equity (see below).

Here’s part of the report:

HuffPost laid off over three-dozen [JAC n.b.: there is no hyphen in “three-dozen”] employees Wednesday, including a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, as part of broader corporate cutbacks.

The creation of a new Verizon digital unit called Oath, following the acquisition of Yahoo, is expected to result in roughly 2,100 layoffs. Verizon owns AOL, HuffPost’s parent company.

Writers Guild of America, East, HuffPost’s union, said Wednesday that they were notified of 39 members being laid off.

. . . The HuffPost layoffs come as Lydia Polgreen, who took over as editor-in-chief earlier this year, is assembling a newsroom leadership team, which includes former Daily News Editor-in-Chief Jim Rich, and charting a new editorial vision. She recently oversaw a rebranding of the site, which was co-founded by Arianna Huffington, who left the company in August.

. . . Polgreen and HuffPost CEO Jared Grusd praised outgoing employees’ “dedication and admirable passion” in an email to staff.

“We’ve spoken publicly about our mission to build HuffPost into the most impactful news brand in the world, and we are steadfast on our commitment to fulfilling that mission,” they wrote. “But today is not a day to talk about the steps we’re taking there, but to pause and reflect on our colleagues and to celebrate their contributions to HuffPost.”

“Impactful”? Is that even a word? I checked with the Oxford English Dictionary, my go-to authority, and a search turned up this:

 As for “the most impactful news brand in the world”, well, that ain’t gonna happen so long as HuffPo reports only news that fits its ideological biases, which are resolutely anti-Trump and pro-Regressive Leftism.  I, too, hate Trump, but his Presidency has driven the site literally insane, peppering article after article with gratuitous and irrelevant slurs on The Donald. And when their equivalent of an editorial writer is Samantha Bee, who’s treated as if she’s the equivalent of Rachel Maddow in political commentary, then you know something’s wrong.

I hope the rag goes under, as it’s an embarrassment to the Left. The only loss to me will be its use as a source of Islamophilic articles: the endless stream of PuffHo pieces celebrating the wonders of the Religion of Peace and the bravery of hijabis—pieces that have given me so much fodder to discuss.

As for their new mission under editor Polgreen, I’ve written about it before: it’s pure social-justice warriorism, not the dissemination of news. While the editor’s mission statement sounds good, it’s really a cover to advance a Regressive Leftist agenda, one that damages true progressives:

I think we can do better for people who feel that too much political and economic power has accrued to a very small elite. People who feel they are on the outside looking in at the prosperity created by globalization and technological transformation. That the game is rigged; that the deck is stacked against them; who feel that the house always wins. That definition includes many, many people who voted for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. I suspect it also includes the majority of people who voted for Trump. It certainly encompasses voters on both sides of Brexit and the French presidential vote that took place over the weekend.

For me, the biggest divide in America, indeed across the globe, is between those who have power and those who don’t, and that doesn’t easily line up with our red and blue, left or right politics. The media has come up short in telling the story of one side of that divide ― of the people experiencing anger, voicelessness and powerlessness.

Here’s how they empower the marginalized:

Who cares?

HuffPo: A combination of People magazine and Salon.

We need a word

May 22, 2017 • 10:30 am

The contest is in the last paragraph.

An increasing number of articles on websites, even respectable ones, seem to consist largely of a collection of people’s tweets. Here’s an example from a non-respectable site. (Click on screenshot to go to articles. The tweets given in the piece go on beyond the screenshot; nearly the whole piece is tweets!)

Now think about what this sort of journalism means. First, it abnegates reporting by journalists, whose jobs now can consist of trawling Twitter for reactions. Second, it makes those reactions the focus of the piece; but the story is not about social media. In the case above,. it’s about a walkout of students during Pence’s graduation address at Notre Dame. Finally, twitter-trawling is often associated with biased reporting (picking those tweets that you find ideologically convenient) and is simply LAZY.

Now we already have a word for website articles that consist of lists, like the one below: they’re listicles

How about a word for articles that consist of Tw**ts? I will pick a winner, though there’s no material prize.

HuffPo goes full SJW

April 25, 2017 • 11:30 am

Hufffington Post is now HuffPost, has changed its look and format (many of the sections, like “religion”—which gave me much mirth and fodder—seem to be gone, and the rag is now explicitly devoted to giving voice to the marginalized. There’s nothing wrong with that, except that they frequently do it wrong, can’t distinguish who’s really “marginalized,” and they now must admit what’s been true all along: this is not news, but advocacy.

Click the screenshot to see their explanation:

An excerpt:

I think we can do better for people who feel that too much political and economic power has accrued to a very small elite. People who feel they are on the outside looking in at the prosperity created by globalization and technological transformation. That the game is rigged; that the deck is stacked against them; who feel that the house always wins. That definition includes many, many people who voted for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. I suspect it also includes the majority of people who voted for Trump. It certainly encompasses voters on both sides of Brexit and the French presidential vote that took place over the weekend.

For me, the biggest divide in America, indeed across the globe, is between those who have power and those who don’t, and that doesn’t easily line up with our red and blue, left or right politics. The media has come up short in telling the story of one side of that divide ― of the people experiencing anger, voicelessness and powerlessness.

I don’t believe a word of their claim to give voice to Trump voters or the marginalized lower classes. Expect an even greater plethora of articles extolling the hijab and its wearers, more about “lived experience”, and clickbait pieces like “Samantha Bee schools her haters” or “Chrissie Teigen’s tweet is the perfect response to Ivanka Trump’s speech.”

Maybe they were losing money, but I don’t think this is a solution.

Once again, is female genital mutilation connected with Islam?

April 24, 2017 • 10:30 am

According to CBS in Detroit, Michelle Hoitenga, a state representative in Michigan, has introduced a bill (see it here) that in effect bans sharia law, although U.S. law already supersedes sharia law and the bill seems completely unnecessary and anti-Muslim.  The bill doesn’t specifically mention sharia law, but that’s clearly its aim:

A bill to limit the application and enforcement by a court, arbitrator, or administrative body of foreign laws that would impair constitutional rights; to provide for modification or voiding of certain contractual provisions or agreements that would result in a violation of constitutional rights; and to require a court, arbitrator, or administrative body to take certain actions to prevent violation of constitutional rights.

As used in this act “foreign law” means any law, legal  code, or system of a jurisdiction outside of any state or territory 5 of the United States, including, but not limited to, international  organizations and tribunals, and applied by that jurisdiction’s courts, administrative bodies, or other formal or informal tribunals. A court, arbitrator, administrative agency, or other  adjudicative, mediation, or enforcement authority shall not enforce  a foreign law if doing so would violate a right guaranteed by the 6 constitution of this state or of the United States.

A court, arbitrator, administrative agency, or other adjudicative, mediation, or enforcement authority shall not enforce a foreign law if doing so would violate a right guaranteed by the constitution of this state or of the United States.

According to Hoitenga, the bill was motivated by the recent case of female genital mutilation (FGM) practiced on several girls aged 6 to 8 by a Muslim doctor in Detroit. The doctor, Jumana Nagarwala, has been duly charged with a criminal offense:

The sponsor, Republican Rep. Michele Hoitenga of Manton, said in an email to House members this week that a Detroit-area doctor recently charged with performing genital mutilation on two young girls was “essentially practicing a fundamentalist version of Sharia law,” according to MLive.com.

Again, you can argue about whether sharia law promotes FGM, or even whether sharia law is oppressive, but there’s little doubt that many branches of Islam do promote FGM or even make it mandatory, and that sharia law is oppressive where applied though it is superseded by US law in our country.

The Huffington Post, however, argues that FGM is not an Islamic practice, and also that sharia law has been grossly misunderstood; this is part of PuffHo’s Regressive Leftist campaign to glorify Islam by hiding some of its shady practices. As always, this is because Muslims are considered People of Color and therefore oppressed.

HuffPo is right on one count: the bill is superfluous, prohibiting what is already prohibited. But it errs, deliberately, in saying that sharia law is innocuous and misunderstood:

Sharia law, a favorite bogeyman of anti-Muslim extremists, is the deeply misunderstood legal or philosophical code of Islam. It’s interpreted differently by Muslims across the world using an assortment of texts, including the Quran, the Sunnah and Hadiths.

Yes, sharia law is interpreted differently in different places, but in no place is it superior to the laws of Western democracies, and in many places sharia (which in most Muslim-majority countries has become part of state law) is oppressive, unfair, and ludicrously regressive. For instance, in many places sharia makes apostasy a capital crime, prohibits drinking, makes the testimony of a woman in court worth only half of a man’s (!), considers in judicial sentencing that a woman’s life is worth half of a man’s, and allows or even requires barbaric practices like beheading or the mutilation of hands or limbs. Yet, according to the 2013 Pew Survey of beliefs in Muslim-majority lands, support for sharia is widespread (note: countries like Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Iran weren’t surveyed), with many suggesting that it be applied to non-Muslims. Here are some data I’ve shown before from that survey:

So yes, Michigan’s anti-sharia bill is superfluous, but support for sharia among Muslims is widespread. Even in Britain, Muslim support for sharia is strong: the National Secular Society reports a Policy Exchange Survey of British Muslims that showed this:

“There are relatively large levels of support among British Muslims for the implementation of elements of Sharia law,” Policy Exchange said.

43% said they supported “the introduction of Sharia Law” and just 22% were opposed. 16% of British Muslims “strongly support” the “introduction of aspects of Sharia law into Britain”.

35% of 18-24 year olds expressed support for “aspects” of sharia and nearly half of the over-55s supported some “provisions” of sharia.

Okay, but putting that aside, is FGM an Islamic practice, or does it have something to do with the faith? The accused doctor certainly thought so! As the Detroit News reported:

A Detroit emergency room physician charged with mutilating the genitalia of two 7-year-olds from Minnesota denied cutting the girls, saying she merely performed a religious procedure that involved removing and then burying skin in the ground.

Dr. Jumana Nagarwala’s lawyer offered the explanation Monday during a dramatic 90-minute court hearing in front of a standing-room-only crowd. The hearing ended with a federal magistrate judge ordering the Northville doctor jailed without bond while awaiting trial, the first of its kind in federal courts nationwide.

Dr. Nagarwala is clearly a Muslim:

Dr. Jumana Nagarwala (Photo: Henry Ford Health System)

We all know that Reza Aslan, another apologist for Islam, has also denied that FGM has anything to do with the religion, and PuffHo echoes his sentiments:

The practice [FGM] “has not been confined to a particular culture or religion,” according to the Female Genital Mutilation National Clinical Group, a United Kingdom-based charity working with women who have suffered FGM. “FGM has neither been mentioned in the Quran nor Sunnah.”

FGM existed long before Islam and it sadly persists today as a cultural tradition that traverses religious lines. Qasim Rashid, visiting fellow at Harvard University’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal School of Islamic Studies

FGM is practiced in many Muslim-majority countries as well as in some Christian-majority countries, according to Politifact, citing a UNICEF report. And some Muslim-majority countries, such as Yemen and Iraq, have low rates of FGM.

Qasim Rashid, visiting fellow at Harvard University’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal School of Islamic Studies, wrote in a HuffPost blog post in 2014 that FGM predates Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

“FGM existed long before Islam and it sadly persists today as a cultural tradition that traverses religious lines,” Rashid wrote. “For example, in Ethiopia, Muslims, Christians, and Jews have all practiced FGM — though no faith endorses the act.”

And because there is no solid theological basis for FGM in Islam, Rashid said, the only people today who believe FGM is a part of Islam are “Islamophobes and extremists [who ascribe to Islam].”

Well, I can think of no better refutation of this nonsense than Heather Hastie’s post from 2014, “Reza Aslan: Lying for Islam on FGM.” Read it if you encounter people who disavow a connection between Islam and FGM, for Heather simply demolishes that claim with data. Here’s a small excerpt:

In Sunni Islam, there are four schools of jurisprudence that express an opinion on the matter. Two of them, the Hanbali and Shafi’i schools, consider FGM obligatory, while the other two, the Hanafi and Maliki schools, recommend it. In addition, there have been several fatwas issued regarding FGM over the years, the majority of which favour it. (Fatwas are not compulsory, but devout Muslims consider them morally imperative.) For example, Fatwa 60314 includes statements that express the importance of FGM within Islam and dismiss the opinions of doctors.

The belief that FGM is an expression of faith if you are a good Muslim is widespread, insidious and promoted by religious leaders. Even in those Muslim countries where it has been banned, there is push-back by religious leaders. In Egypt for example, FGM was finally banned after several failed attempts in 2008. However, it is still being carried out outside hospitals and the Muslim Brotherhood has a campaign to get the law overturned. Mariz Tadros reported in May last year that “the Muslim Brotherhood have offered to circumcise women for a nominal fee as part of their community services”.

FGM apologists like Aslan and PuffHo could find out about this stuff if they wanted, but it goes against their pro-Muslim narrative. Talk about “alternative truths”!  These are not a monopoly of the Right.

HuffPost publishes post urging that white men be disenfranchised, first defends it and then removes it because it was a hoax

April 19, 2017 • 1:36 pm
13/04/2017 03:56 SAST | Updated 12 hours ago

Huffington Post SA has removed the blog “Could It Be Time To Deny White Men The Franchise?” published on our Voices section on April 13, 2017.

We have done this because the blog submission from an individual who called herself Shelley Garland, who claimed to be an MA student at UCT, cannot be traced and appears not to exist.

We have immediately bolstered and strengthened our blogging procedures that, until now, have operated on the basis of open communication and good faith. From now on, bloggers will have to verify themselves.

We will hold discussions on putting in place even better quality controls.

In addition, we note the commentary on the content of the blog post and will submit it to the South African Press Ombudsman Joe Thloloe for his analysis of the opinion we carried.

Huffington Post SA stands aligned to the Constitutional values of South Africa, particularly the Preamble of our Constitution which states that: “We the people of South Africa believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.”

We further understand that universal enfranchisement followed a long struggle and we fully support this.

In addition, Huffington Post South Africa is a signatory to and supporter of the South Africa Press Code. We support free expression as limited by the following value as set out in that code.

5. Discrimination and Hate Speech

5.1. Except where it is strictly relevant to the matter reported and it is in the public interest to do so, the media shall avoid discriminatory or denigratory references to people’s race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth or other status, nor shall it refer to people’s status in a prejudicial or pejorative context.

5.2. The media has the right and indeed the duty to report and comment on all matters of legitimate public interest. This right and duty must, however, be balanced against the obligation not to publish material that amounts to propaganda for war, incitement of imminent violence, or advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm.

We apologise for the oversight. We welcome further discussion. Please email blogs@huffpostsa.com.

Well, would they have published the piece if they verified that Shelley Garland did indeed exist? That’s what they imply, but at the same time they say her article violated their own speech code and was “hate speech”. Which is it, PuffHo?

What I think happened is that HuffPo South Africa published a piece that resonated with their own ideology, which includes blaming the world’s woes on white men, without thinking too hard about what it means to take the vote away from a whole group of people and redistributing their property.  And, had the author not been a hoaxer, the article would be up still, because they’d refused to remove it on the grounds of content alone. What we see is a Sokal-style hoax that exposes PuffHo’s identity politics—an invidious identity politics that is explicitly racist.

Well, I’m done with this venue for the time being. Disenfranchising people isn’t right just because they’re not an “oppressed minority”. What happened to equal rights for everyone, including voting rights?

WaPo becoming HuffPo

April 17, 2017 • 1:00 pm

There is a new phenomenon I call “Twitter journalism”, in which people manage to eke out articles by stringing together Twitter “posts”. I myself have been tempted to do this, and sometimes have, though not very often.

But this is a website, and it’s much worse when the tw**t assemblages are disguised as journalism. PuffHo, of course, is the worst offender that I know of (see this list, for instance), and here’s the latest non-piece based on a single tw**t (click on screenshot if you must:

And the “perfect response”? It’s just this, which is lame—and just another demonstration of how PuffHo has been driven literally insane by Trump:

Stay tuned for a piece tomorrow on how PuffHo’s knee-jerk regressive Leftism caused it a huge embarrassment.

But Tw**t Aggregation is worse when the Washington Post, which has long enjoyed a reputation as a decent newspaper, engages in the same shenanigans. Have a gander at this “article” (click on screenshot):

The piece is in fact just a string of tw**ts assembled by reporter Cindy Boren. Is this reporting? I don’t think so. Is it interesting? Hell no! Is it clickbait? Certainly. And here’s the “perfect” response, which at least is slightly humorous.

Things are grim when this kind of stuff on social media becomes fodder for lazy reporters. Get off my lawn!


More signs that Trump has driven HuffPo to madness

March 6, 2017 • 4:00 pm

Despite Trump’s continuing screw-ups, which dominate real papers like the New York Times, HuffPo needs to pin everything on the Prez. Here’s one (click on screenshot if you must read it):

Why? Because Babs is forced to eat pancakes with maple syrup after she hears the morning news. Poor thing! It’s all the fault of Trump, not of her appetite!

And why did they report this, based on two tw**ts from Streisand? Because PuffHo has gone bull-goose loony since the election, and simply can’t accept that their candidate lost.

HuffPo Arabic pushes anti-Semitism and demonization of gays

January 16, 2017 • 12:00 pm

It’s not clear that, with the HuffPo, the left hand knows what the right hand is doing. In November, the Arabic edition of the site, which appears even more in love with Islam than is the American version, published a blog post (in Arabic here), that was a nasty, anti-Semitic accusation of a Jew poisoning Mohammed. This was noticed by the Anti-Defamation League, which reports this:

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today voiced disappointment over the failure by editors at HuffPost Arabi to remove a blatantly anti-Semitic blog after it was first brought to their attention several weeks ago. The Arabic-language blog promotes a conspiracy theory blaming Jews for the death of the Prophet Mohammed.

“It is troubling that an anti-Semitic screed cleared The Huffington Post’s editorial review process and that our concerns so far have been ignored,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “We call on The Huffington Post to immediately remove this offensive entry and to ensure that the proper safeguards are in place so that the Arabic site is free of anti-Semitism and incitement against Jews.” [JAC: As you see above, the post hasn’t been removed.]

The blog, initially titled “’Arsenic’ The poison, which a Jewish woman put in the food of the Prophet, peace be upon him,’” has been live on The Huffington Post’s Arabic language web site since it was first published on Nov. 29. It claims that a Jewish woman used arsenic to poison the Prophet Mohammed and includes other offensive anti-Jewish conspiracy theories.

After the ADL complained, the title was changed to “Did the Prophet Die From Being Poisoned With Arsenic?”, but the content of the post wasn’t changed.

In another issue, Mediaite reports that after singer George Michael died, the Arabic PuffHo headline noted that he was “addicted to drugs with homosexual tendencies.” This did not go unnoticed by Arabic-speaking readers, nor the different headline in the English notice of Michael’s death.




I’m not sure what’s going on here, and it’s entirely possible that the editorship of this site is non-overlapping, but still, HuffPo is a brand, and when this stuff is called to their attention, maybe they should do something about it. HuffPo, it seems, is engaging in the same sort of anti-Semitic nonsense that’s promulgated by the private and state media of Middle Eastern countries.

h/t: Tom