The deal will allow AOL to greatly expand its news gathering and original content creation, areas that its chief executive, Tim Armstrong, views as vital to reversing a decade-long decline.Now, the part that struck me was 'expand its news gathering and original content creation.' News? Mr. Armstrong is aware that Huffington Post is a radical, extreme, uber-left leaning website, dedicated to promoting hyper liberal social, political, economic, and philosophical ideals, isn't he? It embraces the finer points of multi-culturalism, and post-Western progressivism. And its basic theme is that those who embrace the same group think mentality are, of course, rather swell; while those who are bad and don't embrace the dogmas, are morons, loons, scum, hatemongers, racists, bigots, losers, etc., etc. And that's from the official contributors. Check out the comments section and it gets worse.
So why would AOL pick such an over-the-top example of partisan rhetoric, vitriol, and hackery as the flagship for its news gathering initiative? Well, I don't know. Mr. Armstrong failed to consult with me before he made his big decision. But one thing I've notice, it's that a growing number moguls of the new digital age are, for want of a better term, liberal. Leftist. Progressives. Call it what you will. They lean to the left. Whether Google, Youtube, or possibly AOL?, Microsoft, Apple, many wear their ideals on their sleeves.
So much are they open about their beliefs, that they are willing to put their money where their mouths are as Apple demonstrated when it banned an Iphone App by the Manhattan Declaration simply because gay rights groups cried foul and, as usual, called for immediate censorship of unacceptable speech.
Which got me to thinking, as I am wont to do. As our society falls over itself to seize the highest principles of Orwellian culture and make it our own, I can't help but see a growing trend. AOL is just the latest. The merging of art, journalism, business, academics, science, and politics is something that seems to be gaining speed. We are a country where everything is becoming punditry. And an increasingly powerful group of individuals are inventing the very tools with which we seem so eager to invite Big Brother into our homes. And some of these individuals seem to have little compunction about enforcing their beliefs, including and up to banning the right to use their products that are linking our society and the world.
Now, in the 60s and 70s, if a radio station refused to play The Doors, or a record store didn't carry a Stones album, that was censorship. That was fascist totalitarian thought control no questions asked. As we've finally gotten rid of that silly notion, and as we see a growing tendency of many who used to define such things as censorship now calling for the same type of things from the mega-billion dollar stores and stations of today, I can't help but wonder where those who don't conform to the dogmas of Leftist ideals will fit. When FOX News is partisan, and HuffingtonPost is News, and a growing cadre of billionaires feel it is their right to use their mediums to enforce the dictates of goodthink, where will those who don't want to play ball end up playing? Makes me wonder.
P.S. I realize that Apple says it reserves the right to pull things based on content. My guess is, companies always should have been able to do just that. I just can't help but notice there was a time when 'pulling for content' was Big Brother 101, and now those who once cried Censorship are the ones demanding it today.