The Huffington Post, which has been trying to publicly distance itself from its liberal roots since merging with AOL, had to go into damage control after one of its executives admitted that the website is not as conservative as its new partner.
Taylor Gray, the Senior Vice President of Marketing, may have revealed a little too much information during a panel hosted by the Silicon Valley chapter of the Public Relations Society of America last week when he was asked about the politics of AOL-HuffPo:
AOL is more conservative than HuffPost. The two pieces of the business do target different audiences, and will continue to have different home pages with different styles of entry. But, there is more diversity in both of those audiences than people realize. HuffPost has many conservative banks as advertisers, and they are happy advertising with HuffPost.
That statement brought a quick response from HuffPo Standards Editor Adam Rose who tried to correct Gray’s answer:
HuffPost is trying to move beyond left and right. For example, we do not view unemployment as left or right; it’s an issue that affects the ability of people to put a roof over their family’s heads and that’s what matters. HuffPost embraces and welcomes different political viewpoints and will continue to do so.
Embracing different points of view sounds good and probably placates some of AOL’s shareholders, but one look at the Huffington Post’s main page tells a different story. As of this writing the featured stories are the GOP’s License Plate Slush Fund Agenda, legalizing pot and leading environmental expert Ted Danson on banning all offshore drilling.
That doesn’t exactly look to me like they have moved beyond right and left.
The fact is that since the AOL-HuffPo merger, conservative voices have disappeared from the combined sites and the result in essence has been a HuffPo takeover of AOL while receiving a fat wad of cash in the process.