Arianna Huffington on Journalism: 'It's Time to Move Beyond Left and Right'
The Huffington Post founder and AOL chief Tim Armstrong downplay concerns about a partisan AOL following its $315 million acquisition of the site.
AOL chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong and Arianna Huffington dismissed the idea that anyone should be concerned about AOL losing its nonpartisan standing after agreeing to buy the Huffington Post.
After the $315 million deal was announced late Sunday, concerns were raised that the liberal reputation of Huffington's site may cause worry among some AOL advertisers or content partners by possibly ending its reputation as a nonpartisan online firm.
"It's time for all of us in journalism to move beyond left and right," Huffington said on PBS' NewsHour on Monday night. "Truly, it is an obsolete way of looking at the problems America is facing. What's happening to the middle class, what's happening in our foreign policy in Afghanistan are not easily divided into left/right positions. People have different positions across the political spectrum.
"All voices have been welcome at the Huffington Post," she added, pointing out that Republicans Newt Gingrich and Joe Scarborough are among the site's bloggers.
She also noted that the Huffington Post covers "26 other sections," from entertainment to college to books to divorce, the most recent addition.
For his part, Armstrong told senior correspondent Jeffrey Brown that the company isn't risking its brand by partnering with Huffington.
"From a standpoint of editorial, AOL historically has played in a very deep way across many different verticals in the content space," he said. "Huffington Post adds a very large new dimension to that. But my guess is, Arianna has the same interests we do, which is serving consumers' needs and going beyond the -- the just straight political needs of people. And I think the majority, 85 percent, of Huffington Post content at this point is not driven around politics."
Watch the interview below.