Huffington Post’s Yellow Journalism



Did Clyburn Break with Obama?


James Clyburn ‘Breaks with Obama’ on Gay Marriage. That’s the headline in the Huffington Post. But did he? Wrong. The fact is Clyburn didn’t break with the President. He actually agreed with what the President said last week on gay marriage.


The only thing is he would have wanted the president to go much further than his gay declaration. He wanted Obama to say that he supported a federal approval of gay marriage. Or to pledge his support for gay marriage without adding that his personal preference was for the matter to be left to states.


In other words, he’s to the social left of Obama, but he still supports the president. Clyburn didn’t break with the president, except you wouldn’t know it from the Huffington Post headline. And if you went ahead and read the underlying Huffington Post article, it becomes clear that Clyburn agreed with Obama.


Even better, if you watched the interview Clyburn had with CNN or MSNBC early Monday (May 14) and then read the HP headline, you would be left wondering how the writer got the idea that the two politicians differed much on the issue.


I’ve seen this type of journalism. It’s called yellow journalism—in which a reporter or an editor sometimes willfully misconstrues, or mischaracterize, or juice up, or outright makes up stuff to get what he or she considers a sexy story.


Huffington Post and Politico are good at this type of sensationalism. They should know better. They make hay out of nothing. It’s totally cynical and probably unethical. I don’t know where they learned their journalism, but I’d better go with a boring but accurate story rather than a great, wrong one. HP’s aim, as does Politico, is to push a political agenda.


It’s easy to see why: they want either to attract readers, or to put further pressure on the president, or to portray the president in bad light. This is the same approach HP has had over the past four years.