I've gone on numerous rants before about how the Huffington Post is officially the most ethically bankrupt publication on the internet, run by the most clueless socialite on the planet. (And no, I'm not just saying that because they once declined to reprint one of my blog posts).
From their screaming click-bait tabloid headlines to the fact that Arianna Huffington herself has personally lured friends of mine away from good writing jobs into dead-end ones, the main reason (up until today) that HuffPost sucks so hard is that they don't pay their professional contributing writers. I know this from personal experience. My husband Geoff wrote for HuffPost for awhile (for money, you know, since that's his job), but pretty soon they were like, hey, we'd love for you to keep writing (i.e. working) for us--but for FREE from now on!
Wow, REALLY Arianna Huffington?! I know you've never actually had to pay a bill with a paycheck, but we mere mortals do that every month. Hating on Arianna Huffington is quite possibly the only thing Donald Trump and I have in common.
That's like me going to a gift shop down the street and just asking for jewelry. You know, because a few people in town like my blog, right? And they'll see me wearing your jewelry. It's like, EXPOSURE for the jewelry store. That's a little closer to extortion than exposure, if you ask me. Make no mistake: HuffPost is very canny about this; they even have their own surrogates in full Patty Hearst/Stockholm Syndrome mode, trumpeting all the reasons you should work for the Huffington Post (and elsewhere) for free and just give away your livelihood.
M'kay. No thanks.
So I didn't think I could hate the Huffington Post any more, but now HuffPostUK has gone to next-level craven journalistic atrocity by posting--and then deleting--in its "comedy" section a video prank mounted by a misogynistic sociopath.
In the video, which is still available in the deeper crevices of the internet (a.k.a. YouTube), this dude named Brad Holmes rubs a chili pepper on a tampon and then records his girlfriend screaming in agony at the result as she inserts it into her vagina. Staged or not, this does not send a good message: commit an assault-crime, film it, and then post it on the internet for likes and shares.
I couldn't agree more with Jezebel's Joanna Rothkopf when she says pranks are "a made-up thing that allows people to be terrible to other people in a socially-acceptable context."
A video like this isn't funny. It's normalizing domestic violence to a bunch of impressionable millennial bros who love the Jackass movies and think this is an okay, clever, hilarious thing to do to another human being; someone you supposedly love.
I don't share HuffPost articles and I don't click on them anymore. I'm not here to tell anyone what to do or what to read, but just know that when you click on the Huffington Post, you're driving traffic to a site that exploits and gaslights creative labor, and celebrates and trivializes domestic violence.
Think before you click.