The HuffPo Writes a Book Retort

Don’t call The Huffington Post (sorry) spineless. Today brings the launch of HuffPost Books, the outlet’s section devoted to, yes, books. And the site’s newest vertical has, indeed, all the fixings of a Serious Attempt at Bibliophilic Inquiry: a partnership with the venerable New York Review of Books; oversight from Amy Hertz, a Penguin editor; and even more oversight from a media maven who is herself an author many times over and whose self-professed “love affair with books” is “a long one.” There are even Marlowesque/Homeric undertones in the section’s stated goal: “to spark a thousand conversations.”

However. All the showy erudition and professed passion notwithstanding…we can still pretty safely assume that the vertical will be, rhetorically and in every other sense, under the pageviewtastic purview of The Huffington Post. The headline of one of the first pieces to be added to the new section? “Huffington Post Editors’ Picks: Favorite Books (PHOTOS, POLL).”

Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by joining CJR today.

Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.