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  • I'm a writer, journalist, and the editor of The Gambit, the alt-weekly newspaper in New Orleans.

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    Publishing: Tight Shot, my first novel, was nominated for an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America. Its sequel, Hot Shot, was roundly ignored by everyone, but was a far better book. I'm also a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

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« Write for free!: Huffington Post goes local | Main | Pubic support at the Portland Tribune »

August 16, 2008

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Marilyn

Hi Kevin. Thanks for the shout-out and for getting this sham out in the open. Maybe Ms. Huffington should have realized after the Marshall Field's protests that Chicago wouldn't roll over and die.

As to censorship, I wasn't intending that to mean gagging the press. Not allowing certain things to appear on her site is certainly within her purview, but she is still censoring the site. I have done that on my blog, but only with some anti-Semitic comments to a documentary about Hitler I reviewed. I consider hate speech inappropriate, not to mention, illegal. In my case, the only thing I was hating on was Ms. Huffington's "style."

Kevin

No problem, Marilyn. I'm just glad to see that some Chicagoans aren't falling for the HuffPo BS that it's somehow a form of new media when all that she's doing is what Matt Drudge has done for years: providing links to other people's work. Her twist is somehow convincing bloggers that she values their work enough to feature it...only not enough to, you know, actually pay for it.

I'm gobsmacked at the number of people whose kneejerk reaction is "Hurray, she's killing the Old Media." Most of her content (so far) is coming from "old media," and the rest comes from people who are willing to work for free. This is new? This is progressive?

If Chicago writers are willing to rise up and speak up against this crap, I've got your back. Wanna pass this on to your buddy Steve at the Beachwood Reporter?

Marilyn

I'll definitely let Steve know. He'll probably show up here himself to comment. The Beachwood is a popular site, especially with journalists. The word is out. We'll see what happens next.

Schmaltz

Thanks for publicizing this write-for-free outrage. I'm sure Arianna Huffington's books aren't given away for free.

David Winkler-Schmit

Nice job, Kevin. The fact that HuffPo is censoring the comments section just shows Arianna's true colors. Kind of like a (red) devil in a blue dress. And if she's looking for "talent" I hear that Ari Fleisher is available these days when he's not lying about the Green Bay Packers or New Orleans Saints.

Scott Harney

Well after hearing your comments at Rising Tide Saturday I wanted to check this out. HuffPo occasionally breaks some national news so I do read it from time to time via Digg. But I'm totally with you on this one -- they can stay out of NOLA. We don't need 'em. We already have a vibrant local community and you can just check the blogroll of any number of New Orleans bloggers to see more.

If HuffPo local does try New Orleans, I suspect it will be about as successful as Starbucks. New Orleans has always had a coffee culture and Starbucks really couldn't compete with the local shops. Similarly, I don't think something like this will gain much traction here. The whole active blogging culture has grown up organically and stands on it own. So something like what HuffPo is doing would whither and die a quiet death. You can see it happening. And then eventually they'll shut it down with some editor complaining about how New Orleanians just weren't engaged enough or some such trash while we continue on doing what we've been doing all along.

Nice meeting you (very briefly), on Saturday.

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Hi. I just happened upon this site and felt compelled to respond. As a writer, I respect your opinion. I really do wish that writers (and other creative people: musicians and actors, for example) got more respect from our society. Seems to me that most creative people struggle financially until they "make it big," at which time they are overpaid for their work. Seriously, should writers, actors and musicians make more than firefighters?

However, having said that, I need I point out that bloggers typically don't get paid by most sites, i.e., wordpress, myspace, facebook, etc. If the Huffington Post were to begin paying bloggers that would result in their having to limit the number of writers who could participate. That would result in a kind of censorship too--by limiting the number of people who could express their opinions on the site. I think the purpose right now is to provide an opportunity for a variety of people to blog on the site. As with most blog sites, the reason people submit blogs is to get their voice heard. Many writers are happy to get published on Huffington Post (as well as many other sites or publications) even though we're not being paid just because we want to get our names and our work seen. What's wrong with that?

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