Arianna Huffington, Satan's Botoxed Handmaiden

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bill Maher: anti-Christ or the Antichrist?

Posted By on Wed, Jul 8, 2009 at 10:37 PM

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Bill Maher all these things and worse, and despite his reputation, he probably wouldn’t dispute them. “I’m all for unsettling people’s opinions,” Maher says. “For my money, that’s the best kind of comedy.” The former host of Politically Incorrect (ABC canned him in 2002 for refuting the supposed cowardice of 9/11 hijackers) and current mastermind of HBO’s live-format Real Time with Bill Maher (9 p.m. Fridays) brings his incite-ful standup routine to the Mahalia Jackson Theater tomorrow, and Gambit rang just to push his buttons. Easier done than said. (Full transcript after the jump.)

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Monday, June 1, 2009

Allman Apoplectic

Posted By on Mon, Jun 1, 2009 at 4:46 PM

Gambit editor Kevin Allman is about to explode. Turns out his favorite person to despise, “Satan's own Botoxed handmaiden” Arianna Huffington, is going to receive a lifetime achievement award from Syracuse University’s journalism school, Newhouse School of Public Communications.

     Newhouse is bestowing the I-3 honor on Huffington because of her “impact, innovation and influence” in the field of journalism. Who else could have come up with the idea of not paying journalists, and even charging internists for the pleasure of writing for her?  And when that doesn’t work, she copies off the kid sitting next to her, or all the kids sitting next to Huffington on the Internet.

     Unlike Newhouse dean Lorraine Branham — who makes her living at a university, which is anything but free, and doesn’t have to worry about reporting for a living, or her job — not everyone is happy about the announcement. 

     We await Allman’s reasoned response.

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Intern-apalooza '09

Posted By on Sat, May 30, 2009 at 12:45 AM


Summer's here, and you know what that means: pants-wetting terror every time there's a cloud in the Gulf new summer interns at Gambit! They're bright, they're young and they're looking forward to the limitless possibilities ahead in the completely healthy, not-at-all troubled world of print journalism! And what better way to do that than to learn how to check listings and other mundane office tasks? Lucky them! Lucky us! Welcome! Pull up a cube and join us!

They'll also be posting on Blog of New Orleans and Gambit's Twitter feed (we hope) with some fresh viewpoints -- check out new intern Briana Prevost's profile of The Dirty Bourbon River Show elsewhere on the blog -- and maybe even collecting some bylines along the way.

But what of our former interns, you ask? Bryan Davis just graduated magna cum laude from Tulane (we like to think we had something to do with that) and will soon be taking over the world in flip-flops. And the stylish Kyla Boutte has been bumped up to contributor to our monthly fashion magazine, CUE, entitling her to the usual Gambit perks: a car and driver, wardrobe allowance, open credit line at Galatoire's her own part-time cube and a modest stipend. (Be sure to check out Kyla's own personal fashion blog, Mane and Chic.)

So welcome one and all; we're glad to have you. Coffee's in the kitchen; if you finish a pot, please make a new one. And sorry about the pay thing, but at least we're not charging you to intern here, like Satan's own Botoxed handmaiden, Arianna Huffington, who recently auctioned off a $13,000 opportunity to be an unpaid intern for The Huffington Post. We're not that evil.


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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Arianna Huffington wishes she'd thought of this

Posted By on Tue, Feb 10, 2009 at 6:22 PM

Now here's a unique solution to the financial problems besetting the newspaper industry: just fire everyone and use unpaid "interns" instead. Don't forget to describe it as making "a small adjustment."

A Toronto free daily newspaper has laid off all of its staff writers – but it won't be without copy for its pages because it will be using non-paid interns instead.

Metro, which has published in Toronto since 2000, terminated four unionized staff writers last week and two managers, citing economic reasons....

A few days before the layoffs, Metro management brought in the interns. The union representing the laid-off writers says the labour contract allows interns to stay in the event of layoffs; however, it has launched five grievances over this.

Brad Honywill, president of Local 87-M of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (which organized Metro's staff three years ago), told us: “In this kind of environment, layoffs are inevitable. But we reject the notion they can fill jobs with interns hired three days beforehand.”

Metro's group publisher for English Canada, Bill McDonald, says: “We made a small adjustment to our staff. We're managing our business in these economic times.”

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Coming up in Gambit Weekly: Would This Crazy Weather Make Up Its Mind Already Edition

Posted By on Sat, Dec 20, 2008 at 6:47 PM


Last week it was snowing, right now it's 75 degrees, and by Monday the high is predicted to be 47. This is December? All this, of course, is just an excuse to publish a picture of Bob Breck in a Santa hat. (Bob is recovering from rotator cuff surgery, so if you want to wish him well, head on over to his blog and leave a comment.)

Anyway, coming up in Gambit Weekly (in newsboxes around town on Sunday, and online at our new Web site,, on Monday):

• In our cover story, Noah Bonaparte Pais gets inside the world of Park the Van Records, the indie-rock label that disappeared from New Orleans post-Katrina and is moving back to the city this week....

David Winkler-Schmit looks at the site selection for the new LSU/VA hospital and finds it nearly identical to the one outlined in a memorandum of understanding issued a year ago, long before the public meetings gave the hoi polloi a chance to weigh in. A number of folks, including Dr. Ed Blakely, explain why this is standard operating procedure....

Clancy DuBos breaks down a new study gauging New Orleanians' issues about race....

Alison Fensterstock continues her obsession with bizarre Christmas music (David Hasselhoff! "Yuletide Disco"!), which is precisely why we love Alison....

• and remember that item on the blog a couple of days ago where I called out the Huffington Post (no link for them!) and Arianna Huffington for lifting material from the Chicago Reader and putting it up, wholesale and in toto, at HuffPo? The whole contretemps got picked up elsewhere, including in Wired magazine, and now the HuffPo's Jonah Peretti has apologized and taken down the appropriated material. But Jonah's still not getting it:

As for disgruntled publishers, Peretti seems genuinely perplexed and says The Huffington Post links should be good for them — and suggests that upset editors get in touch and build relationships with Huffington Post editors.

Nice try, Jonah. We don't want a "relationship." Just keep HuffPo's mitts off other people's stuff.

That's it. I'm going out and not sure whether I need shorts, a parka, or an umbrella. See you on the newsstand, and happy holidays to all. Especially Bob Cerasoli.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Arianna Huffington's Web site reprints the work of others without permission. Just try it here. The 504 don't play.

Posted By on Fri, Dec 19, 2008 at 5:29 AM

I've written on my personal blog about my extreme objection to Arianna Huffington and the Huffington Post's model of using the work of others for free, then selling ads around it. (Net result: bloggers and writers get "exposure," Arianna gets money from ad sales.)

As a journalist, I have made repeated requests for an interview with La Huffington on the subject...and gotten nowhere.

Now our friends at the Chicago Reader (a fellow Association of Alternative Newsweeklies publication) have found that Arianna's site is committing a new outrage: it's lifting, verbatim, the newspaper listings from the Reader and presenting them in toto on the Huffington Post site.

Without permission. Without pay. That's called theft, Arianna.

And it's not just the Reader. It's Time Out Chicago. And Centerstage. And the Decider. And lots more from the Reader.

The editors of those papers are, naturally, P.O.'d. Fortunately for them, they have not been through a levee collapse, dereliction of government at all levels, the ongoing I-10 construction nightmare, Derrick Shepherd and Vince Marinello and Ellenese Brooks-Simms, the Army Corps of Engineers, continued civic malfeasance on a scale that would make the Duvalier régime blush, crime that would be ridiculous if it wasn't so tragic, and a football team that sends us reaching for the Xanax every Monday. In short, the rest of the country don't know from P.O.'d, and we could teach them a thing or three.

So I'll take up cudgels here, and draft this personal note to Arianna:

Dear Ms. Huffington:

There's a young man who sits in a drab cube outside my office. His name is Alex Woodward. Talented fellow. While you're up in Malibu, bathing in koala milk or whatever, dictating your latest "progressive" missive while you plan your next Bill Maher appearance, Alex spends every day typing listings into a database for the benefit of our readers in print and online. He works hard, he does a damn good job, and, like most journalists, he's not paid enough. But we do pay him a living wage, which is more than you do for most of your flying Web monkeys. (As your minion Ken Lerer told in 2007, paying for content is "not our financial model.")

Good Lord. Even the most rapacious of outsourcers pay the poor sods who actually make their own salaries possible, even if it's just a pittance. But they don't have the stones to call themselves "progressive" and then go on Jon Stewart.

If people want to write for you for free, that's their lookout -- and, in my opinion, their stupidity. ("Exposure" never paid the rent, much less bought a po-boy lunch.) And if you want to call yourself a "progressive," that's your lookout as well, though all it does is cheapen a language that's already on fire sale in our devalued linguistic economy.


If you or your minions ever copy-and-paste anything out of our copyrighted publication (or from our city's fine bloggers), you'll find out just how P.O.'d we can get down here in the 504.

We don't need you, we don't want you, and we're not scared of you. We've got Southern lawyers, we've got righteous anger, and we've got bloggers with tongues sharper than a Beverly Hills surgeon's knife.

And if Chicago wants to lead the charge against your faux-"progressive" politics, we'll be in lockstep behind them. Just don't touch our stuff. Yahearinme?

Mess with Chicago, or Texas, or Malibu all you want. But don't mess with New Orleans.

Here's what our Chicago compatriots say about your lifting of their material. And I agree, heartily:

You want to do a post that says, "According to Jessica Hopper, Bon Iver rules, check 'em out, go here for the info," fine. But taking an entire concert preview is bush league. Doing it as a practice is just beneath contempt. If the future of journalism--which everyone keeps telling me the Huffington Post represents--is a bunch of search-engine optimization scams, we have bigger problems than Sam Zell's bad investment strategies.

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Saturday, August 23, 2008


Posted By on Sat, Aug 23, 2008 at 11:08 PM

That’s not the only word, but it is the best word I can think of to describe Rising Tide III, from which I have just returned. High fives to the organizers, panelists, and participants for putting together an awesome and altogether memorable experience. And a great big “thank you” to all the bloggers for welcoming Gambit Weekly and blogofneworleans into your growing fold. On a personal note, it was really fun to finally put faces and names to all the local bloggers I’ve started reading in the past year. I would name you all here, but I’m quite sure I’d leave someone out, so forgive me if I acknowledge you collectively. You guys rock.

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