Here's a tough pill for Huffington Post readers to swallow. The parent company that just acquired HuffPo is run by "one of the most conservative people around." That's according to Business Insider's Nicholas Carlson, citing a source close to AOL chief Tim Armstrong. Making matters worse for Huffpo's liberal readership, Armstrong may also be a registered Republican. "Unless there is another Timothy Armstrong living in Riverside, Connecticut," writes Carlson, "the AOL chief is also a Republican donor, having given $500 to Thomas Herrmann's 2010 run for Congress."
As many will recall, in 2004, the Huffington Post was conceived as the liberal answer to Matt Drudge's conservative news site The Drudge Report. Already, word that the site is being acquired by a large corporation whose CEO "calls himself a libertarian" has provoked a strong reaction among readers. "This is a mistake, I'm boycotting Huff Post," wrote a reader on HuffingtonPost.com. "Can Arianna bring progressive values to a mega-corporation like AOL?" began another reader. "Not if history serves as an example of what happens to smaller successful new companies that merge with (get bought out by / sell out to) mega corporations."
For his part, Carlson thinks liberals should relax:
No matter what you hear from Armstrong and Arianna Huffington about going "beyond left or right," The Huffington Post isn't about to lose its progressive voice.
Armstrong had AOL buy Huffington Post because, unlike AOL blogs, it has been able to attract a dedicated and loyal audience. If the Huffington Post does that by appealing to progressives, Armstrong is not likely to fix what is not broken.