Following the latest revelations regarding Huffington Post`s corrupt and misleading actions regarding Peter Rost, added to the George Clooney Blog Fiasco, I received a copy of an email sent by the guys at We Will Not Be Silenced regarding more duplicitous shenanegins in respect of Huffington Post`s lauded "Contagious Festival". They have given me permission to reproduce it...
Thank you for your mail. I have just read through the whole affair, and quite honestly, it appears that Huffington Post are up to their old tricks again.I am sorry that Peter has had to go through this.
Regarding We Will Not Be Silenced http://www.wewillnotbesilenced.com , calling for a boycott, is, in our opinion, the wrong way to go about it. Exposing the truth without negative energy is a far more erstwhile and positive goal, and we believe that by allowing people to do the right thing, based on truth and integrity, rather than instructing them to think a specific way, tends to have far more lasting effect.
We Will Not Be Silenced was entered into the Huffington Post Contagious Festival in March. The movie and music have won many awards, and has received acclaim from luminaries around the Globe, including Michael Moore. WWNBS has sparked a movement around the globe, involving 100 countries. We entered it into the March Contagious Festival to coincide with the anniversary of the Iraq War, and, pay tribute to the fallen soldiers and their families at this time. Initially, the movie was so far ahead of the competition, then we noticed that the following entry http://plasticassets.cf.huffingtonpost.com/ was given a front page listing and was submitted to a number of hardcore porn sites around the net. It further turns out that this entry came from Huffington Post associates.We immeadiately wrote a letter of complaint, pointing out that giving preference to a glorified porn entry over a serious piece that draws attention to the current situation in Iraq, was outrageous, and in the spirit of fairness, requested a link on the front page also. This was never granted. However, we believed at this juncture that the stats for the Contagious Festival were being manipulated to favour Huffington Posts own entries, and when Michael Moore and a number of heavy traffic sites linked to us on their respective front pages of their sites (It was for example on the greatest page on DU, and Daily Kos readers also gave us great support through one of our supporters diaries), our entry didn`t climb, but mysteriously, the Plastic Assets entry did.
Not dissuaded, we assumed that the panel of judges, based on the following criteria of "originality, creativity and best social commentary", would find hands down that WWNBS was the best entry. This view was shared unanimously by everyone. Imagine our surprise then, when, http://demballs.cf.huffingtonpost.com/ was selected. It again turns out, that this entry was another submission by a Huffington Post Associate. A furious email exchange then took place between myself and Jonah Peretti, who told us that "the competition wasn`t important" and we were making too big a deal out of this. However, we felt, as we still do, that this was a grotesque insult to the troops who have died and to the peace movement around the world.
In April, another entrant withdrew his submission based on the fact that the Contagious Festival was fixed in favour of Huffington Post Associates, that manipulation of the stats was indemic. Any attempt to discuss this in the blogs on the site, was either removed or flamed, it now turns out, that the people who were flaming each discussion point were more than likely Huffington Post staff.
The credibility of Huffington Post was damaged as a result of this behaviour, we have had a number of people express outrage and the duplicitous goings on regarding the Contagious Festival, the figures at Alexa seem to ratify this http://www.alexa.com/... . The Contagious Festival accounts for 7% of Huffington Post`s traffic, which, from an advertising revenue point of view, is a serious percentage. Huffington Post have a duty to see that the competition is conducted fairly, and until the credibility of this competition can be established, and allowing unfair advantages to your croneys is certainly not the way to go, until the so called panel of "esteemed judges" confirm that they are actually judging the competition (which by all accounts they are not), Huffington Post`s credibility factor will continue to rival George Bush`s approval ratings.
We have decided to allow the public to make their own minds up, rather than call for a boycott, and whilst this may be the long way to do it, we believe that, when presented with the facts, people tend to make their own minds up. Noone, when comparing WWNBS to the judges prize winner, can understand that decision, leaving the question, "Why was that deemed better than WWNBS?". The answer that most people conclude is that Huffington Post is not interested in the troops that have died, the families that have suffered etc etc, and this provokes a far more real reaction.
I wish you all the best for the future.