You may know or may not know what the Huffington Post is; I’m not holding that against you here. It’s basically a news outlet created by that lady who you also may remember as being the big lady bear in The Cleveland Show. Otherwise yeah, it’s not too big or notable over here.
So you may be surprised, or not surprised, or not care, that the Huffington Post has launched a UK domain all the way over here. Now I’m not one to decry a decent startup that admittedly has journalistic value, in the US at least, but what is a bit disappointing is the fact that it just seems that Huffington, and her Post, have clearly misunderstood the way that our media over here works and how we respond to what we see in it.
The Huffington Post’s main attraction is celebrities writing their opinions on the site, for free, either for the good of their own, or Huffington’s public image. Strangely enough, American culture kind of cares about this… which seems weird for people over here.
England isn’t a country that cares as much as America about the thoughts that celebrities think, or what they fervently believe, and to attempt to make us care by not even thinking to change the format of a website, while still calling yourself a reputable news outlet, seems either inconsiderate or numbly ignorant of how our culture works.
On top of that, English tabloid media isn’t as intelligent as the format that Huffington’s site offers. The media wants to know about what celebrities do, where they live, the things they have/wear/do. Celebrity is an objective subject here; a culture of knowing what
celebrities actually think from first-person perspective is in minority while a greater of a culture of observing them and their possessions from a distance pervades. Brits want to get into their houses, not into their heads.
The tabloids here, such as the Sun or Hello Magazine (retch), cover these bases admirably and already have an extremely fanatical and dedicated reader base which, for some reason, still actually buys paper magazines. Huffington, by proliferating celebrity intelligentsia and the like, seems to be both alienating herself from the untapped (by US concerns) UK online audience, as well as the UK readers from celebrities themselves.
People are going to change their opinions of people they (think they) know and (believe they) love. When money is the motivating factor, and the outcome potentially ruins someone’s happiness, the motive seems too dirty to justify the action. Profit out of problems proliferates more problems.
My only other observation is that Huffington either believes, or is unaware of, the actual intelligentsia of Britain’s distain for celebrity culture and its never-ending quest to find humour in their blundering nature and pervading sense of self-worth.
She wants clever people to laugh at celebrities they consider stupid and then make money from it. Whether this was part of her original business model remains to be seen, but in a nutshell it would appear if this is a correct hypothesis that Huffington is making money out of our bitterness, while simultaneously crushing what (we think) we believe.
There’s nothing more harmful to an English teenage girl than revealing to her that her idols are actually all complete idiots. People, and parents, need to be aware of potentially harmful celebrity opinions.
My advice? Stay safe. Stay subjectively misinformed. Stay happy.