Froomkin Hired by HuffPo


So the WaPo wanted to silence Dan Froomkin. And instead, their stupid decision has led to Dan Froomkin getting hired by an outlet with greater online circulation than them.

From Glenn Greenwald:

In yet another sign of how online media outlets are strengthening as their older establishment predecessors are struggling to survive, The Huffington Post has hired Dan Froomkin to be its Washington Bureau Chief and regular columnist/blogger.  Froomkin will oversee a staff of four reporters and an Assistant Editor, guide The Huffington Post’s Washington reporting, and write at least two posts per week to be featured on its main page and Politics page.  I learned last night of the hiring and spoke to both Arianna Huffington and Froomkin this morning.


Huffington says that it is Froomkin’s views on the media that, for her, is his primary appeal.  The key to vibrant, successful journalism, she said, is "getting away from the notion that truth is found by splitting the difference between the two sides, that there is always truth to both sides."  Huffington argues that establishment journalism is failing due to "the idea that good journalism is about presenting both side without a voice — without any passion."  The outlets that continue to adhere to that "obsolete" model "are paying a price."  Froomkin — who has written extensively about how passion-free, "both-sides-are-right" journalism is the primary affliction of the profession — echoes that view:  "The key challenge is to present an alternative to the ‘splitting the difference’ culture that has infested traditional media."  

I guess Arianna has none of the fears of criticism that the WaPo has–and knows how to bring in the page views.

Congrats to both the HuffPo and to Froomkin. 

  1. freepatriot says:

    so can we all agree that outside of Eugene Robinson, there is no reason to link to kathy weymouth’s “Whores And Prestitutes Organization” (wapo) ???

    seems reasonable to me

    not to say that I’m all that familiar with “reasonable” or anything …

      • Waccamaw says:

        How ’bout we go with Palavering Pundits & Pressitutes?

        Nothing like a big umbrella. *g*

        Quel surprise that Arianna should snag Froomkin! I knew he’d not be out of circulation for long. *GGG*

        • freepatriot says:

          Quel surprise that Arianna should snag Froomkin! I knew he’d not be out of circulation for long.

          I told ya we shoulda offered him a FRESH bag of cheetoes …

          seriously though, kathy weymouth is a total fucking fool if she didn’t realize that Froomkin was going to land on his feet somewhere

          and generate a lot of free publicity at the expense of his former employers

          • Petrocelli says:

            Leave Kathy aloooooone … WaPoot somebody had to fill the void left by DC Madam !

            Congrats to HuffPo, Froomkin and all the lucky journos working with him.

    • FormerFed says:

      I still read EJ Dionne, but other than him and Gene, I agree.

      Good on you – Arianna!!

  2. BayStateLibrul says:

    WAPO, worse than the Washington Nats….
    Great free agent pick-up for the Huff.

  3. bobschacht says:

    I suggest spotlighting this post to every member of the WaPo. Your nice little graphic sticks home the point that decisions have consequences.

    Nice to know where we can get a regular Froomkin fix!

    Bob from HI

  4. Aeon says:

    Who’ll be taking Froomkin’s place at the WaPo?

    Both the media and the political punditry continue to struggle with what to make of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s decision to step down. One theme is that she is set to join the world of media pundits. ABC World News reported that “sources tell ABC News” that Palin “is being offered everything from hosting TV shows to radio, to speaking engagements” but so far, “her political future was unclear.” NBC Nightly News adds that stepping down and “taking her fight elsewhere could make Palin a very rich woman indeed. With her book deal, with speeches, possibly a talk show. It’s a long way from Wasilla.” Indeed, Eugene Robinson, writing in the Washington Post, says Palin “is by nature more of a firebrand opinion-maker than anything else. I know one when I see one. She can deny it all she wants, but really she’s — gulp — one of us.”

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      That should make Mr. Robinson very afraid. Adding Palin as a regular commentator would make it plain even to the inattentive that the WaPoop is simply the best material for Beltway kitty litter.

  5. bobschacht says:

    I spotlighted this post to the following:

    Bob Woodward : Assistant Managing Editor & Reporter : Washington Post
    Carol Melamed : Vice President – Government Affairs : Washington Post
    Colbert King : Editorial Page Deputy Editor & Columnist : Washington Post
    Howard Kurtz : Host : Washington Post
    Donald Graham : Chair : Washington Post
    Karen DeYoung : Associate Editor : Washington Post
    Leonard Downie : Executive Editor : Washington Post
    Jill Dutt : Assistant Managing Editor – Financial News : Washington Post
    Charles Babington : Deputy National Editor – Congress : Washington Post
    Benjamin Bradlee : Vice President – At Large : Washington Post

    I provided this Comment: ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||

    Decisions on staffing have consequences. The WaPo will be paying the
    consequences for its handling of the Froomkin affair; their loss will be
    the Huffington Post’s gain as the once-glorious Post again fails to
    understand the present media market.

    Bob from HI

    • Mary says:

      Nicely done.

      Froomkin will be a boon to Huffpo. There’s so much opinion floating around there, and wildly different degrees of credibility and foundation v. fame, that it will be a nice, recurring “anchor” in the stream to have him there.

      @13 I would too, but hasn’t she been fairly quiet lately? Amazing how all the whistleblowers dry up when the Change Agent comes in loaded for bear … to prosecute the whistleblowers who got him elected.

  6. Rayne says:

    Oh, you’re still digging that chart I pulled up, huh?

    The other chart I’m digging is WaPo’s stock performance.
    -Go to
    -look up WPO
    -select 5 year chart
    -add NYT and GCI (next two biggest papers)
    -add Dow index

    WaPo’s parent is underperforming its closest competitors and the entire market, in spite of the substantial financial buffer its education holding Kaplan provides.

    Frankly, WaPo should be sold off in the best interests of WPO shareholders. Might be worthwhile to buy a few shares and demand this come up for a vote at the next shareholders’ meeting…

    [edit: actually, shareholders should have suggested this to the board after S&P cut WPO’s ratings due to WaPo’s drag on the stock.]

  7. acquarius74 says:

    Dan’s columns were and will be the nearest thing to real journalism available to us. [except FDL, of course] Great move, HuffPo!

  8. hackworth1 says:

    Frequent guest on Countdown, Eugene Robinson typically provides a “measured” commentary. He is often reluctant to criticise as he uses laughter (not humor, per se) to blunt Olbermann’s blistering truth-telling critiques.

    One wonders if Robinson will endeavor to become even more milquetoasty out of fear of becoming Froomkinized by the Corporation/Beltway-favoring (Fascist) Washington Post.

    I think we will begin to see Robinson chuckle more and speak less.

  9. hackworth1 says:

    Huffington Post will speed away from WaPoop and NYT like a runaway train. Note that reader stats for the Dinosaurs are estimated (to their maximum benefit, no doubt).

    It was as brilliant for Ariana to hire Froomkin as it was mind-numbingly stupid for WaPoop to have first tried to minimize him and second, to have fired him.

  10. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I don’t care much for Huff Po’s tabloid appearance and its many Twitter-deep posts either.

    I suspect adding meat to its bones – as well as establishing a full-blown DC bureau – was one of the reasons Arianna didn’t mention for why she hired Dan so quickly.

  11. Mary says:

    Completely OT – but I didn’t know that Anthrax War was available on youtube, but it is (some of the David Kelly stories talk about this documentary)

    Part I here

    • fatster says:

      Just in case you missed it, Mary, back on the HPSCI Stern Letter thread, Lindy @57 provided this link: “There’s a diary up on DK about David Kelly’s death (UK bio-weapons inspector).”

  12. njr83 says:

    HuffPo is being added back into my bookmarks list…

    Good to see F. has landed on his feet, running!

  13. Waccamaw says:

    We may not have gotten Froomkin but we DO have EW.

    Chip in a little more if you can, pups. We gotta get that fundraiser guage on the uptick again!

  14. MaryCh says:

    The folks Dan was pissing off don’t care — when he left WAPO they were able stop the “lalalalalala I can’t hear you!”

    To them he’s still silenced, suiting WAPO’s short term agenda. And no, I don’t want to hear about stock price or company performance. Lalalalalalala!

  15. Neil says:

    I’m looking forward to Dan’s news analysis and especially, his media criticism.

    I hope he’ll have his own rss feed. My computer doesn’t like all the cpu sucking ads that run on HuffPo. Loading pages is an exercise in …… p . a .. t .. i . .. e …. n ….. c …… e.

  16. howard says:

    This is a watershed moment, and you just knew that the media-wise lady who helped assure EW’s credential for access to liveblog the Libby trial would make it happen. Years from now we will look back on l’affaire de Froomkin as another huge marker in the flight of public trust from Village press.

  17. floundericiousMI says:

    huzzah for Huffpo
    cheers for Dan Froomkin

    good on them both and I hope they continue to be a sore spot for the paleojournalism firms.

  18. Neil says:

    Anderson Cooper needs a briefing in Live Blog 101.

    Who will explain to him that Live Blog means there is an author who witnesses the events in person or by audio or video feed and writes about what transpires. Cooper seems think live blog means setting-up a trash talk thread but without the setup… that is a forum for comments:

    AC360 live-blog-jacksons-memorial-service

    • Petrocelli says:

      The Squint is the epitome of today’s MSM … nothing to say and all the time in the World to say it !

  19. fatster says:

    Back to Gitmo trials:

    “WASHINGTON, July 7 (Reuters) – The Obama administration said on Tuesday that only voluntary statements by foreign terrorism suspects at the Guantanamo Bay prison should be used as evidence at their military trials or else convictions could be reversed on appeal.”

  20. rhfactor says:

    Good News re Froomkin having a publishing venue.

    For me, bad news it had to be HuffPo — It started off so well, then began rapidly descending into Tabloid Junk, interspersed with few and far between original reporting. Iran elections are one of those notable exceptions.

    I don’t quite understand why HuffPo gets any respect at all in the left blogosohere. A more liberal drudge with NY Post and TMZ added and a bunch of guest columnists who generally speaking don’t have much in the way of enduring commentary… Average shelf-life there: about 18 hours, before new salacious stuff screams from the pictured headlines atop each page.

    Maybe with Froomkin there he can make it a respectable joint. But to do so, they’d also have to reformat to something that takes itself just a bit more seriously.

    My view of Arianna plummeted with the past year of Huffington Post. It’s one thing to ensure a profitable venture — so that people like Froomkin CAN be hired. It’s another to present 50-75% junk everyday in order to do so.

    • Rayne says:

      There’s an upside to the tabloid-ish appearance of HuffPo, though: people who might only come for the tabloid stuff are exposed to the political content they might not otherwise get at places like Perez Hilton or GoFugYourself.

      Pulling together both the dishy and the wonky content makes politics more accessible to the younger voter as well as the the disaffected folks who might not have participated in politics in the past.

      Just skim past the tabloid stuff. You’ll find there are some serious people who’ve already been populating the pages.

      And Nico. Good gravy, what would coverage of Iran post-election have been like without him crunching away, making HuffPo the place to be? This was the intersection of the tabloid, the political and the blog; we’ll continue to see more of this, including copycatters.

      And bad copycats will fail and stink; personally, I’d rather weed past HuffPo’s tab content than try and stomach WSJ liveblogging of MJ’s memorial today. Yeesh…now that’s just plain bad.

      • cinnamonape says:

        It’s the old Rolling Stone model. Fluff, fashion and a few real stories. How well some of that meshes with a philosophy of social change is dubious.

        • Rayne says:

          Look, I’m proof that the stuff can work. Way back in the day, when I could have been reading other pure crap like women’s magazines or decorating magazines, I read Rolling Stone and Playboy.

          Which meant I cut my teeth on the likes of Hunter S. Thompson’s gonzo journalism, some really phenomenal interviews by Playboy contributors, and excellent short stories in what are generally considered pop culture outlets. Rolling Stone remains the home of some solid political columns with an attitude, like that of Matt Taibbi; I’m sure some of us have pointed to or discussed his work as just one example.

          For men like my spouse who catches the news in 30 seconds at a time between flights in airports and in emails spammed to his Blackberry by moronic corporate friends, content which shows up in pop culture outlets may be the only thing that breaks through the fog of info in which he lives. HuffPo might have to do, and it might just do it.

          Now if only Arianna could pull together the kind of short fiction Playboy once had, like Atwood, Oates, Dick, Ellison, Bradbury…

          [edit: just dawned on me that Robert Scheer, who did the only Playboy interview of a presidential candidate in 1976 of Jimmy Carter, is a contributor at HuffPo. Wonder who else I’ve missed?]

  21. orionATL says:

    bell @22

    me neither.

    huffington post is a smart-alec, mainstream look-alike, with a way-too-busy front page, a penchant for giving a voice to “famous people” with absolutely nothing useful to contribute to the public discourse, and an editorial predilection to exploit science and sex to sell.


    they do provide a home for a few educational voices –

    if these can be heard amidst all the “noise” (in an information technology sense) the site generates.

  22. orionATL says:

    and rhfactor @42

    the problem is, i suspect, as with all media, is the editors and producers. imagination and daring is NOT their game. neither is being too far ahead of the herd. they are careerists with mortgages to pay and years to go before they could take a risk – but then they are not constitutionally inclined to take a risk.

  23. orionATL says:

    and then there this this from bob somerby, the diogenes of american political journalism:

    [… THE DUMBNESS OF THE WHALE/Washington Post edition: We hadn’t read The Huffington Post in some time. Yesterday, when we went there, we remembered why.

    Until recent decades, the public discourse was maintained by a carefully picked “elite”—the Edward R. Murrow crowd. Regular rubes weren’t allowed to take part in these august discussions.

    At yesterday’s Huffington Post, we began to remember why.

    No, it really doesn’t make sense to report on “rumors”—or to cry, weep, sob and complain when the subject of your “rumors” tells you that you’ll have to stop. (For the most part, even the mainstream press corps doesn’t report on “rumors”—for example, by telling us how many weeks the “rumors” have been in circulation.) And Paul Begala’s post was simply the work of a new, degraded man—a person who has begun to talk way down to the crowd. (In the past, that wasn’t his way.) Meanwhile, did we say, just yesterday, that elite criticism of Palin has often been designed to tag her as “trailer trash?” Those kinds of elites are at HuffPo too, we saw when we read this sad, inane post. Headline: “Reading the Pictures: Palin Proud To Be Trash.” … ]