How the Huffington Post Is Helping to Elect Donald Trump

The Huffington Post, founded in 2005, is one of the most popular Internet news sites, with an Alexa global traffic rank of 158 (mid-way between the WaPo and the NYT). Although it is probably the best source for real time election returns on the Internet , it has also earned a reputation as the most openly hostile and biased (major) news website reporting on Trump. It was one of the first news organizations to be banned from Trump events and routinely compares Trump to Hitler in its news stories. In comparison, the more balanced NYT and WaPo use editorials and blogs to make their Trump-Hitler case. The Huffington Post openly flaunts its contempt for Trump by concluding each news story with its standard “disclosure” warning its readers that Trump is a liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist, etc., etc.

HuffPo reporting is so extreme and offensive that Trump is most likely the benefactor, while the news website is damaging its brand.  All of our sample stories are from HuffPo’s news section, unless explicitly indicated otherwise.

The Huffington Post’s unusual coverage of Presidential candidate Donald Trump made its debut on 7/17/2015 when they announced how they would cover his campaign:

After watching and listening to Donald Trump since he announced his candidacy for president, we have decided we won’t report on Trump’s campaign as part of The Huffington Post’s political coverage. Instead, we will cover his campaign as part of our Entertainment section … If you are interested in what The Donald has to say, you’ll find it next to our stories on the Kardashians and The Bachelorette.

Trump’s coverage remained in the “Entertainment” section until a 12/7/2015 blog titled “A Note on Trump: We Are No Longer Entertained” outlined the new policy. Trump news would be moved to the “Politics” section. The pretense was Trump’s proposed shutdown on Muslims entering the United States and the threat posed by that ban to American security:

“Donald Trump is now an actual threat to national security. He’s providing jihadists ammunition for their campaign to demonize the US.”

Trump’s backing by “white supremacists,” has been a common theme in HuffPo coverage (Nothing about cop killer Black Lives Matter supporters backing Hillary). These two headlines appeared in the 8/25/2015 and 1/11/2016 news sections of the website:

Meet The Members Of Donald Trump’s White Supremacist Fan Club  

White Supremacists Campaign For Trump Because “We Don’t Need Muslims”

On 1/28/2016, HuffPo announced that it would add a disclaimer to the bottom of every news story on Trump (as of 7/31/2016, the disclaimer is still being used, unchanged from its first appearance):

Note to our readers: Donald Trump is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist, birther and bully who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

Several editorials, including a 1/29/2016 Jason Fuller Blog in the HuffPo, warned that their disclaimer and unprofessional coverage would likely backfire. Fuller argued that:

As an op-ed piece, this is fine. But as a footnote to every major article about a major presidential candidate, I believe that this causes considerable harm to The Huffington Post as a serious media source … The Huffington Post’s disclaimer may have the effect of boosting Trump’s popularity even more … and is doomed to failure if they are hoping to combat his growing hold on the American conscience.

HuffPo ignored the warnings. They were just getting started on Trump.

Determined to totally undermine their reputation as a credible news source, HuffPo ran this news headline on 2/9/2016 following Trump’s New Hampshire primary win:

A Racist, Sexist Demagogue Just Won The New Hampshire Primary

Early comparisons of Trump with Hitler were only speculative, but The Huffington Post proved their case on 3/5/2016 when “footage surfaced” of Trump and his storm troupers exchanging Nazi salutes. In reality, Trump had asked a Florida campaign crowd to raise their right hand and promise to vote for him in the upcoming primary. Photos of the pledge were published as a news story under the Huffington Post headline:

This Donald Trump Rally Looks Like A Scene From Nazi Germany - It is getting way too scary

 The article began:

Donald Trump’s ascent to the top of the Republican presidential candidate heap has been increasingly likened to the rise of Adolf Hitler, as both men have used racist rhetoric and blamed select groups of minorities for many of the country’s problems. On Saturday, that comparison became even more apparent when footage surfaced of Trump at a rally in Orlando, Florida, that was eerily reminiscent of 1930s Nazi rallies.

The foolish young woman who wrote this childish news story had no conservative colleagues to scrutinize the article before publication. If she had, she might have realized how it would impact many anti-Trump conservatives, learning of her unhinged reporting from their own conservative news sites.

Since Hitler stories are always good for a laugh, The Huffington Post added the Trump-Hitler comparisons to their comedy section. Six days after the secret “footage surfaced” of Trump and his storm troopers, they ran the headline:

Adolf Hitler Hates Being Compared To Donald Trump - Der Führer is der furious. The story began:

Hitler took issue with the recent comparisons to GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, saying that he really only agrees with the candidate on about 90 percent of the issues.

HuffPo congratulated Trump for securing his party’s nomination with the 5/4/2016 headline:

A Racist, Sexist Lying Con Man Sits Atop The Party Of Lincoln - Congratulations, America

Headlines with the words “racist” and “white supremacist” had become so common that they were loosing their impact. On 6/3/2016, HuffPo decided to mix things up a bit with some new wording. They told their readers what Donald Trump really believed (but had not yet openly admitted):

Sorry, Brown People, Donald Trump Doesn’t Believe You’re Real Americans

Just three days later the news website had a full confession from The Donald: 

Donald Trump Finally Admits His Campaign Is Racist - He’s no longer pretending

With Trump’s confession secured, it was time to take off the gloves. On 6/6/2016, The Huffington Post published a blog by Jesse Benn proposing that violence be used to stop Trump. Benn’s headline and the closing words in his blog were as follows:

Sorry Liberals, A Violent Response To Trump Is As Logical As Any

Some people have the privilege to consider the implications of Trump’s rise in the abstract and negotiate which means are necessary. That’s not true for everyone. And when those who hold that privilege dismiss the potential validity or logic of violent resistance, it’s effectively an effort to dictate the rules under which oppressed peoples respond to existential threats, and to silence forms of resistance disagreeable to privileged sensibilities. Don’t be that liberal.

The “violence blog” received widespread coverage outside The Huffington Post echo chamber. It was repulsive to Republicans, independents, and most moderate Democrats (those not facing “existential threats”). It would provide a further boost to The Donald’s campaign.

In the weeks leading up to the conventions and throughout their convention coverage, The Huffington Post continued to do what many thought impossible: they were turning a bully and a braggart into a sympathetic figure. They failed to appreciate how most Americans would view their coverage.

Disclosure: The author was a NeverTrump National Review conservative. His exposure to the outrageous Huffington Post reporting convinced him to support Donald Trump.

The Huffington Post, founded in 2005, is one of the most popular Internet news sites, with an Alexa global traffic rank of 158 (mid-way between the WaPo and the NYT). Although it is probably the best source for real time election returns on the Internet , it has also earned a reputation as the most openly hostile and biased (major) news website reporting on Trump. It was one of the first news organizations to be banned from Trump events and routinely compares Trump to Hitler in its news stories. In comparison, the more balanced NYT and WaPo use editorials and blogs to make their Trump-Hitler case. The Huffington Post openly flaunts its contempt for Trump by concluding each news story with its standard “disclosure” warning its readers that Trump is a liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist, etc., etc.

HuffPo reporting is so extreme and offensive that Trump is most likely the benefactor, while the news website is damaging its brand.  All of our sample stories are from HuffPo’s news section, unless explicitly indicated otherwise.

The Huffington Post’s unusual coverage of Presidential candidate Donald Trump made its debut on 7/17/2015 when they announced how they would cover his campaign:

After watching and listening to Donald Trump since he announced his candidacy for president, we have decided we won’t report on Trump’s campaign as part of The Huffington Post’s political coverage. Instead, we will cover his campaign as part of our Entertainment section … If you are interested in what The Donald has to say, you’ll find it next to our stories on the Kardashians and The Bachelorette.

Trump’s coverage remained in the “Entertainment” section until a 12/7/2015 blog titled “A Note on Trump: We Are No Longer Entertained” outlined the new policy. Trump news would be moved to the “Politics” section. The pretense was Trump’s proposed shutdown on Muslims entering the United States and the threat posed by that ban to American security:

“Donald Trump is now an actual threat to national security. He’s providing jihadists ammunition for their campaign to demonize the US.”

Trump’s backing by “white supremacists,” has been a common theme in HuffPo coverage (Nothing about cop killer Black Lives Matter supporters backing Hillary). These two headlines appeared in the 8/25/2015 and 1/11/2016 news sections of the website:

Meet The Members Of Donald Trump’s White Supremacist Fan Club  

White Supremacists Campaign For Trump Because “We Don’t Need Muslims”

On 1/28/2016, HuffPo announced that it would add a disclaimer to the bottom of every news story on Trump (as of 7/31/2016, the disclaimer is still being used, unchanged from its first appearance):

Note to our readers: Donald Trump is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist, birther and bully who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

Several editorials, including a 1/29/2016 Jason Fuller Blog in the HuffPo, warned that their disclaimer and unprofessional coverage would likely backfire. Fuller argued that:

As an op-ed piece, this is fine. But as a footnote to every major article about a major presidential candidate, I believe that this causes considerable harm to The Huffington Post as a serious media source … The Huffington Post’s disclaimer may have the effect of boosting Trump’s popularity even more … and is doomed to failure if they are hoping to combat his growing hold on the American conscience.

HuffPo ignored the warnings. They were just getting started on Trump.

Determined to totally undermine their reputation as a credible news source, HuffPo ran this news headline on 2/9/2016 following Trump’s New Hampshire primary win:

A Racist, Sexist Demagogue Just Won The New Hampshire Primary

Early comparisons of Trump with Hitler were only speculative, but The Huffington Post proved their case on 3/5/2016 when “footage surfaced” of Trump and his storm troupers exchanging Nazi salutes. In reality, Trump had asked a Florida campaign crowd to raise their right hand and promise to vote for him in the upcoming primary. Photos of the pledge were published as a news story under the Huffington Post headline:

This Donald Trump Rally Looks Like A Scene From Nazi Germany - It is getting way too scary

 The article began:

Donald Trump’s ascent to the top of the Republican presidential candidate heap has been increasingly likened to the rise of Adolf Hitler, as both men have used racist rhetoric and blamed select groups of minorities for many of the country’s problems. On Saturday, that comparison became even more apparent when footage surfaced of Trump at a rally in Orlando, Florida, that was eerily reminiscent of 1930s Nazi rallies.

The foolish young woman who wrote this childish news story had no conservative colleagues to scrutinize the article before publication. If she had, she might have realized how it would impact many anti-Trump conservatives, learning of her unhinged reporting from their own conservative news sites.

Since Hitler stories are always good for a laugh, The Huffington Post added the Trump-Hitler comparisons to their comedy section. Six days after the secret “footage surfaced” of Trump and his storm troopers, they ran the headline:

Adolf Hitler Hates Being Compared To Donald Trump - Der Führer is der furious. The story began:

Hitler took issue with the recent comparisons to GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, saying that he really only agrees with the candidate on about 90 percent of the issues.

HuffPo congratulated Trump for securing his party’s nomination with the 5/4/2016 headline:

A Racist, Sexist Lying Con Man Sits Atop The Party Of Lincoln - Congratulations, America

Headlines with the words “racist” and “white supremacist” had become so common that they were loosing their impact. On 6/3/2016, HuffPo decided to mix things up a bit with some new wording. They told their readers what Donald Trump really believed (but had not yet openly admitted):

Sorry, Brown People, Donald Trump Doesn’t Believe You’re Real Americans

Just three days later the news website had a full confession from The Donald: 

Donald Trump Finally Admits His Campaign Is Racist - He’s no longer pretending

With Trump’s confession secured, it was time to take off the gloves. On 6/6/2016, The Huffington Post published a blog by Jesse Benn proposing that violence be used to stop Trump. Benn’s headline and the closing words in his blog were as follows:

Sorry Liberals, A Violent Response To Trump Is As Logical As Any

Some people have the privilege to consider the implications of Trump’s rise in the abstract and negotiate which means are necessary. That’s not true for everyone. And when those who hold that privilege dismiss the potential validity or logic of violent resistance, it’s effectively an effort to dictate the rules under which oppressed peoples respond to existential threats, and to silence forms of resistance disagreeable to privileged sensibilities. Don’t be that liberal.

The “violence blog” received widespread coverage outside The Huffington Post echo chamber. It was repulsive to Republicans, independents, and most moderate Democrats (those not facing “existential threats”). It would provide a further boost to The Donald’s campaign.

In the weeks leading up to the conventions and throughout their convention coverage, The Huffington Post continued to do what many thought impossible: they were turning a bully and a braggart into a sympathetic figure. They failed to appreciate how most Americans would view their coverage.

Disclosure: The author was a NeverTrump National Review conservative. His exposure to the outrageous Huffington Post reporting convinced him to support Donald Trump.