Precious Cargo

Refreshingly Bitter And Twisted Observations On Life's Passing Parade.

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Location: Valley Village, California, United States

Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Huffington Post

I was in no rush to inspect Arianna Huffington's newest self-promotion machine, but elsewhere someone mentioned David Mamet's "incoherent rant against computers." I was curious to read that, so I went to Arianna's 300-person coffee klatsch and, because the site is not searchable, spent an hour to find Mamet's little piece, which is rather typical of most of the posts there: short and undeveloped.

On KCRW's Left, Right & Center, Arianna's always going on about the clueless, clubby, insular media. It seems to me that that's exactly what she's created. She's invited all her Hollywood celeb friends, some fellow liberal pundits, and extended an olive branch to a couple of token conservatives like David Frum to maintain the illusion of balance.

With 300 people posting, I skipped and skimmed a lot, but I found very little that engaged me or makes me want to return.

No, I think the sheer number of contributors is a problem. Who wants to read an Op-Ed section of the newspaper with 300 editorials, most written by people who share the same sensibility?

Arianna hasn't selected people because of the inherent worth of their writing, but because of their established reputations. She thinks that if one famous person will attract readers, 300 famous people will be that many times more attractive. But many of the people she hosts are uninteresting, overexposed, have nothing novel to say and don't deserve a platform. Do we really need former Paramount president Sherry Lansing telling us that schools should hire retired people to fill teacher vacancies? Talk about out of touch liberal condescension. Now that Lansing's out at Paramount and has made a bloody fortune as a studio executive for three decades, maybe she should try teaching. Ignoring the fact that schools only want credentialed teachers, which requires two years of post-graduate studies and several grueling competency tests to acquire, which is what deters many from pursuing teaching to begin with.

Should Dennis Prager really get another venue from which to bloviate? I wish he'd go away.

Arianna should have spent time and hired editors to discover blogs by people who don't have a famous name but who have something fresh to say, but that would have required a lot more work than just rounding up the usual suspects by consulting her party lists.

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