HuffPo's Sex Strategy Slammed

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Opinion-maker fights often take two forms: mano-a-mano duels, or barroom brawls. Mark Halperin of Time started the latter. Halperin posted a picture of Senator Landrieu (D-LA) edited to evoke a sexually suggestive moment from the movie There's Something About Mary. The Huffington Post's Jason Linkins condemned the photo as "exceedingly juvenile" and Halperin as a "babbling idiot."

That's when The Weekly Standard's Mary Katharine Ham jumps in. She bashes the Huffington Post for brilliantly illustrating the old saying about people in glass houses chucking stones. As she writes, "The Huffington Post's methods for getting traffic of late put it at a distinct disadvantage when trying to argue credibly about respectful treatment of women." In the course of her flawless evisceration, Ham enumerates the Post's sins:

  1. A side-by-side composite photo of Fed official Linda Robertson and Ashlee Dupre, the prostitute of the Eliot Spitzer scandal. The caption, writes Ham, underneath this illustration, read "Very different types of political whores." Her response: "feel the empowerment."
  2. A headline: "Pirelli's 20210 Calendar PHOTOS: Topless, Muddy Nudity, and SO Much More"
  3. Another headline: "Megan Fox Wears Panties, Lifts Foot Above Head (PHOTOS)"
  4. Coverage of Kate Hudson's "inadvertent exposure"
  5. Disney actress Vanessa Hudgens's nude photos
  6. Illustration of a prostitution ring bust: "if the story doesn't bring you in," says Ham, "this faceless woman in a hot dress with her feet up in the air will"

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Rough times for journalism or no, Ham isn't letting the publication off the hook:

Now, the Huffington Post has to make a buck, like any other business, and this is how it's going about doing it. Any headline with "NSFW" or "slip" or "upskirt" in it will bring you Internet traffic, but at what cost? ... I'd argue that the kind of Internet traffic HuffPo trafficks in is below a political site of the caliber it purports to be, period. But the Huffington Post is also a left-of-center reporting outlet with a keen interest in harping on what it calls the "anti-woman" views and policies of the Republican Party, conservative leaders, and even conservative Democrats. Somehow it's hard to take HuffPo's rant about Neanderthal Stupak-amendment supporters seriously when it's right next to Rihanna's exposed nipple and some D-lister's leaked sex tape.

Sexism denouncers beware: The Weekly Standard is checking records, and their takedowns pack a whallop.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.