A while back I mentioned that of all the pieces I've submitted to the good people at the Huffington Post, there's only been one that was flatly rejected; that would be the scathing column I wrote mocking Jenny McCarthy for her inane, arrogant and potentially dangerous advocation of celebrity pseudoscience to parents of autistic children. That little experience marked the first time I became aware of what may be the one rule of writing for HuffPo: You can't insult Arianna's friends.
Well, maybe I didn't quite learn my lesson because although a slightly altered version of my piece on Julian Assange was accepted and published at HuffPo this morning, something happened to it that's never happened to one of my columns in the two-and-a-half years that I've been contributing to the site.
It got buried. Quickly. As in it stayed at the bottom of the politics page for about a half-hour then vanished into the abyss.
I'm obviously not going to criticize anyone over at the Huffington Post; they've honestly been quite good to me over the past couple of years, particularly Roy Sekoff, who's as big a supporter of the blogging rank-and-file, and of guys like me and Bob Cesca in particular, as anyone could be. HuffPo has given me a terrific outlet and brought me loads of readers, even going so far as to publish one of my pieces in the book Arianna and the Huffington editors released back in late 2008. I also knew going into it that I was taking a swipe at a few new media icons of the left -- people with enormous fan bases at the Huffington Post and who were much higher up on the contributor totem pole that I am. People like Glenn Greenwald, Jane Hamsher and David Sirota, as much as I find them to be ideologues, and self-defeating ones at that, have an enormous amount of clout within the liberal blogosphere; you don't take a shot at them in what's ostensibly their house and expect to have it go unnoticed. So maybe I should've known that what I had to say wouldn't simply get me labeled a right-wing propagandist with a "deep affection for authority" who should be sending "(his) resume to Faux News" by the HuffPo peanut gallery, but would get my thoughts relegated to the slush pile where no one would even see them unless they went looking or happened to stumble across a link to them at the bottom of a related post.
A friend of mine told me not long ago that the best thing about me is that I hold nothing sacred and will take on anyone or anything -- and the worst thing about me is that I hold nothing sacred and will take on anyone or anything. Believe me when I tell you that it gets lonely being willing to piss off just about everybody.
The question of course becomes, does fearlessness -- or stupidity, depending on how you want to look at it -- matter if nobody can hear the tree fall in the forest anyway?
(Update: Maybe someone was listening over there, or Sekoff just sent the right kind of e-mail, because as of this morning I'm on the main media page. For the record, it was where the piece always belonged, rather than in the politics section, so we'll see what happens next.)