ANNOUNCEMENT: Big Journalism Pledges to Help AOL/HuffPo Enforce No 'Ad Hominem Attacks' Rule

Early yesterday morning, the Daily Caller published an interview with Andrew Breitbart where the Big Journalism publisher had some choice words on Color of Change founder, former Green Jobs Czar, and HuffPo blogger Van Jones.

“Van Jones is a cop killer-supporting, racist, demagogic freak. And a commie. And an eco-fraudster,” Breitbart said. A few kind words were volunteered for Jones: praise for being “spectacularly well-dressed.”

Mario Ruiz, The Huffington Post’s senior vice president for media relations, told TheDC that Breitbart will not be censored in response to the campaign.

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Later in the day, HuffPo caved to Color of Change pressure to blacklist Breitbart. Color of Change is famous for leading an advertising boycott against Glenn Beck’s show and took credit for Breitbart’s ouster from ABC News’s election night coverage. HuffPo SVP Mario Ruiz issued the following statement; pay attention to their specific reasoning, emphasis mine:

The Huffington Post is committed to fostering a lively and often provocative debate about the issues of the day and encourages a wide range of voices from all perspectives to participate. Andrew Brietbart’s ad hominem attack on Van Jones in The Daily Caller — right down to calling him a “commie punk” and “a cop killer-supporting, racist, demagogic freak” — violates the tenets of debate and civil discourse we have strived for since the day we launched. As a result, we will no longer feature his posts on the front page.

He is welcome to continue publishing his work on HuffPost provided it adheres to our editorial guidelines, as the two posts he published on HuffPost did — guidelines that include a strict prohibition on ad hominem attacks. Our decision today recognizes that placing posts on the front page is an editorial call that elevates some posts over others, and is an indication of how seriously we take these judgment calls.

So Breitbart is no longer allowed to publish on the front page of HuffPo because he made an ad hominem attack? By this logic, the same standard will be applied to all AOL/HuffPo writers going forward. If Breitbart is being thrown under the bus for making ad hominem remarks off the site, then that means… no other AOL/HuffPo bloggers can make them either.

We’ve never seen the Huffington Post make an effort like this to suppress the speech of any of their other (mostly left-wing) personalities. The hypocrisy is laughably obvious, and it was left-of-center bloggers Mickey Kaus of the Daily Caller, Alex Pareene of Salon, and Dave Weigel of Slate who were quickest to point it out. Pareene sums it up this way:

Andrew has now gotten exactly what he wanted. He doesn’t need to publish his idiocies at the Huffington Post. But getting banned from the Huffington Post proves his thesis about the repressive, anti-free speech liberal media. And he’ll never shut up about it.

True, we don’t plan to shut up about it any time soon, but we also don’t plan to shut up about the fact that HuffPo doesn’t just speak for HuffPo any more. They speak for AOL too. And the message they have sent is crystal: radical-left “truther” Van Jones and the anti-free speech race-baiting organization Color of Change he founded have editorial control at the new AOL/HuffPo, and they’re out to silence the Americans with whom they disagree.

AOL/HuffPo has thousands of bloggers, many of whom have said and will say things much worse than what Breitbart said, so we here at Big Journalism are hereby pledging to help AOL/HuffPo enforce their “no ad hominem attacks by bloggers” rule. The work will be hard, the hours will be long, but in the name of equality and for the good of the site Andrew Breitbart developed, we will do our best to save AOL/HuffPo from itself.

Let’s start with none other than Van Jones.

First of all, Van Jones, who at one point campaigned for Huffington’s run for Governor of California, has plenty of ties to Marxism/communism:

He is a racist:

“To solve the new century’s mounting social and environmental problems, people of color activist and white activists need to be able to join forces. But all too often, the unconscious racism of white activists stands in the way of any effective, worthwhile collaboration. The Challenging White Supremacy Workshop is the most powerful tool that I have seen for removing the barriers to true partnerships between people of color and white folks. If the CWS trainings were mandatory for all white activists, the progressive movement in the United States would be unstoppable.”

Van Jones, Executive Director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights


He is a cop killer-supporter.

He is a demogoic freak:

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And also (from Breitbart’s interview), he is an eco-fraudster:

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Jones says the goal of the green movement is revolution away from capitalism.

Furthermore, Jones signed a petition demanding investigation into the possible link between the Bush administration and the 9/11 terror attacks. Yup, he is, or at least was, a “truther.”

All of this is technically fine according to AOL/HuffPo’s new editorial standards, mind you. But this isn’t:

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The reason Van Jones doesn’t meet AOL/HuffPo’s standards is because he uses ad hominem attacks. Here he is referring to Republicans as “assholes.” And we all know of AOL/HuffPo’s zero-tolerance policy regarding ad hominem attacks:

[Ad hominem] violates the tenets of debate and civil discourse we have strived for since the day [the Huffington Post] launched.

Surely calling Republicans “assholes” violates AOL/HuffPo’s tenets of debate and civil discouse, so we can safely assume we won’t be seeing Van Jones on the front page at HuffPo anytime soon, right?

The same should go for the many, many other AOL/HuffPo bloggers who have used and will use ad hominen to attack people and institutions, even on the Huffington Post itself, and we’ll make sure to bring examples of these to your attention early and often. We’ll also update you when the Huffington Post releases statements banishing each one of these bloggers from their front page.


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