Reflections Magazine August-September, 2011
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Huffington the hater

Dragging AOL into the gutter



America Online is now endorsing masturbation. Recently, AOL posted an item on its general page discussing how men often fake orgasms, and that they should engage in masturbation to help “discover what stimulates you.” Apparently, women aren’t the only ones faking it in the bedroom.

The fact that AOL would even run a lewd story like this—never mind give it top billing—reveals the change in editorial content since its merger with the far left Huffington Post. The liberal website, founded by Arianna Huffington, was acquired by AOL for a stunning $315 million. Moreover, the deal made Ms. Huffington the editor-in-chief of AOL’s 1,200-member newsroom. AOL’s stories are starting to reflect her radical views—undermining its credibility as a respectable Internet news source.

“If you think women are the only ones who bluff in the bedroom, think again: One in four men say they have faked an orgasm at some point in their sex lives,” the article said. “For both men and women, faking orgasms seems to be tied to relationship troubleshooting—namely how one is perceived during and after sex.”

Fascinating. Yet, there is more. To enhance your sex life—and prevent the great evil of fake orgasms—the article urges masturbation. “Masturbate,” it says. “Self-stimulation is recommended to help you discover what stimulates you. Next, share this information with your partner.”

This is what now passes for informative news at AOL? Under Ms. Huffington’s leadership, the popular website has become a pimp for the sexual revolution. It is peddling the Playboy philosophy, hoping to make it mainstream. Perversion and moral indecency are packaged as part of a “healthy lifestyle.” What’s next: the benefits of bestiality, polygamy or oral sex? For years, the Huffington Post has championed sexual permissiveness and social liberalism—gay rights, bisexuality, abortion, pornography and euthanasia. It gives a forum not only to rabid progressives, but vulgar—and ignorant—left-wing Hollywood celebrities. Sean Penn, Alec Baldwin and John Cusack have written blogs littered with f-bombs and profanity. Some even get into urinating and defecating (I guess it’s healthy for you).

In short, Ms. Huffington embodies the coarsening of American culture: the all-out assault on traditional morality and civilized standards. AOL is frittering away its hard-won reputation by allying with her. Just like the Huffington Post, she is dragging AOL into the journalistic gutter.

The fact that she has become a rising media star, at least on the left, shows the bankruptcy of modern liberalism. Ms. Huffington is a transnational progressive, who espouses economic collectivism and moral anarchy. Born and raised in Greece, she is a shameless Balkan opportunist. Her columns and blogs are essentially nothing more than vehicles for self-promotion and self-aggrandizement. During much of the 1990s, she strongly backed then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Ms. Huffington was a fire-breathing conservative Republican. Yet, when the tides turned against the GOP, so did the Greek pundit. Ms. Huffington was transformed—almost overnight—into a liberal Democrat. This was the ticket to social acceptance and media fame—especially, among the Hollywood glitterati.

Ms. Huffington’s call for pacifism and social democracy, however, masks her resentful politics. Her worldview can be distilled to one idea: hatred—the hatred of capitalism, America and Judeo-Christian values. Many of the Huffington Post’s contributors live in the fever swamps of the left, spouting ideological vile.

The Hollywood screen writer, Aaron Sorkin, once wrote that he wished prominent conservative hunters, such as Sarah Palin, get shot. “I get happy every time one of you faux-macho s**theads accidentally shoots another one of you in the face,” he said.

Mr. Baldwin claimed that then-Vice President Dick Cheney was the equivalent of Osama bin Laden: a murderous butcher. “Cheney is a terrorist,” the actor wrote. “He terrorizes our enemies abroad and innocent citizens here at home indiscriminately.”

Mr. Cusack, a washed-up Hollywood has-been if there ever was one, in a blog accused the George W. Bush administration of erecting a corporate-fascist regime akin to Hitler’s Germany. “We have become a Nazi monster in the eyes of the whole world – a nation of bullies and bastards who would rather kill than live peacefully,” he said. “We are not just Whores [sic] for power and oil, but killer whores with hate and fear in our hearts.”

This is not serious, substantive commentary. It is a form of journalistic pornography—the deliberate degradation of public discourse and political opponents in the service of sordid emotional gratification. To compare Bush’s America to Nazi Germany is more than simply ignorant. It is historically obscene: Hitler’s death machine nearly exterminated the Jews, conquered most of Europe, oversaw a brutal police state and was responsible for the deaths of nearly 50 million people. If Mr. Bush had been anything close to a Hitler, Mr. Cusack and the entire Huffington Post crowd would have been slaughtered and dumped into mass graves. For all of his flaws, Mr. Bush was the anti-Hitler—a democratic leader, who sought to defend the West from Islamic fascism.

Ms. Huffington embraced the virulent hatred of Mr. Bush. She even indulged in dark, ugly fantasies about murdering him. Ms. Huffington filmed a role in a science-fiction movie in which its two heroes seek to cleanse the world of evil by assassinating then-President Bush while on a trip to Iraq.

She has now taken up a new cause: supporting the rioters in Greece, protesting the government’s austerity measures. For Ms. Huffington, the street violence is really a manifestation of people power—direct democracy in action. However, her populist sympathies doesn’t stop her from sitting down with the Greek prime minister, and bragging about how she gorged on sea food and fresh fruit with him at a swanky Athens restaurant. She may stand with the down-trodden peasants, but she parties with the corrupt elites.

Ms. Huffington is a typical Hollywood hypocrite: she professes to care about the underprivileged, but lives as a pampered jet-setter. The more extravagant her lifestyle, the more her limousine liberalism panders to radical secularists and anarcho-socialists. She is a spoiled dilettante posing as an armchair revolutionary. AOL’s days are numbered.

-Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a columnist at The Washington Times and president of the Edmund Burke Institute. An alternate version of this was published in The Washington Times on July 8, 2011:


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