* “The crazy thing I did with a cucumber after divorce”
* “People are weirdly into baby talk”
* “Christopher Walken shows you how to make his recipe for scallops”
* “Lady Gaga + Prince = The Great Gatsby’?”
* “Anyone else feel duped by Justin Bieber?”
* “Miley Cyrus wears a bra as a top on Jay Leno”
* “Joe Biden ate WHAT before the debate?”
* “Does this video change your opinion about Burger King?”
* “Christina Hendricks is so mean to her boobs”
Okay, enough. These aren’t dumb tweets from some of your idiot friends. These aren’t even dumb tweets from celebrities or athletes or Real Housewives. These are dumb tweets from a Pulitzer Prize-winning online newspaper and digital media enterprise: The Huffington Post.
And they all happened in one day.
HuffPo is immense, so its Twitter curators (there are five of them) tweet constantly with a link to every single blog post, every single news story, every single wedding tip, every single inspiring dog story until your feed is entirely inundated with slideshows of “17 outrageous Halloween costumes for pregnant women” and hard-hitting questions like “Can you really clean your home with a balloon?”
It’s idiotic, and you’d think such a supposedly reputable news website would try its best to hold itself to a respectable standard, but nope! Clearly, they’re more invested in asking their two million followers, “Did Ke$ha have sex with a ghost?”
Sunday, @HuffingtonPost tweeted over 250 times. 250 times! And that’s just from its main news feed. There are 49 sections of the site (which include gems like Huffington Post: Divorce, Huffington Post: Taste and my personal favorite, Huffington Post: GPS For the Soul, which focuses on stress relief and meditation) and each has its own separate Twitter account.
And occasionally, they will tweet about the same story two, three, four times, to make sure you don’t miss the fact that “Liam gets tattoo that matches Miley’s. Love it or hate it?” They really, really need your opinion, you guys! Don’t let them down! (Personally, hate it).
Let me remind you that this publication won this year’s Pulitzer Prize in the category of National Reporting. I hope by now you’re wondering “HOW?”
Well, it went to HuffPo’s David Wood, who wrote a ridiculously excellent 10-part series of detailed profiles about wounded soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan called “Beyond the Battlefield.” So don’t worry; they didn’t win it for tweeting “Matthew McConaughey looks way too thin.”
That brings up my biggest point. By intermingling gut-wrenching Pulitzer Prize winners with wishing Marie Osmond a happy birthday, it creates one hell of an unmendable disconnect.
Instead of waterlogging their followers’ feeds with “The one item Alexa Chung spent all her money on” or a Real Housewife of NYC’s wine-drinking secrets, HuffPo ought to try their hand at more critical journalism. That way, it’ll cut down the nonsense and really make a difference.
When Wood won his Pulitzer, HuffPo editor-in-chief and namesake Ariana Huffington said that she was proud both of Wood’s individual achievement and of HuffPo’s commitment to enterprise reporting, saying, “great journalism is thriving on the Web.”
That statement tastes pretty salty to me.