So there I was browsing through the Huff Post today, like I do, and clicking on links to stories I might find interesting. The front page had some interesting stuff about the latest failed attempt to stop the BP Oilgasm, Sarah Palin dissing Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, Benjamin Netanyahu defending the Israeli flotilla raid, the impending divorces of Al and Tipper… you know, newsy stuff. After looking at the news, though, I move on to “the good stuff.”
Next, I turn my attention to the mid-level newsesque stories that HP has been increasingly filling its columns with. Some of the stories I didn’t choose to read include:
- “Climber Goes Blind, Is Left to Die After Reaching Top of Everest”
- “Alleged Tiger Mistress Claims Harassment at Bar”
- “Natalee Holloway Suspect Sought in Murder of Young Woman in Peru”
- “Buffett Says He’s Not Like AIG” (If it was a story about Jimmy Buffett, I’d have read it, but there was a big picture of Warren Buffett there, so I skipped it.)
Then, for round three, I glance over the absolutely craptastic garbage that HP now considers “front-page worthy.” This is usually the point at which I start to feel embarrassed—for them because they post this stuff, and for myself because I sometimes can’t resist the urge to click on the links despite all my better instincts. Here are some of the ones I summoned up enough willpower to avoid today.
- “Most EXPENSIVE Shorts—Which Cost $2,000?”
- “PHOTOS: The Most Ironic Mug Shot T-Shirts Ever”
- “M.I.A. Blasts NY Times Writer in New Song”
- “TORPEDOED! Mystery Sailor Found—But He’s Married”
- “The Strangest Credit Card Ad Ever?”
But, alas, the bastards got me on a couple stories. (Oh, the shame.)
The Citibank lawsuit story is really just a recap of a Village Voice article, with a much better title: “Is This Woman Too Hot To Be a Banker?” I read the Voice story—which, unsurprisingly, was accompanied by a slide show of this woman, Debrahlee Lorenzana, dressed in pretty clothes and looking all “come-hither-I’m-a-bank-executive.” It’s an interesting story. Though, from the sound of it, there should have been pictures of a bunch of pudgy middle-aged, middle managers and a headline like “Are These Men Too Horny To Be Allowed To Work Around Women?”
Now, the Porn Star story…classic. This is an Associated Press story, by the way, not a Huff Po original. I found the same story posted on a number of “legit” news sites also. So anyway: Apparently there was a guy living in a warehouse owned by his bosses, and when he was told he had to move out, he went all mental, picked up a weapon and started going ballistic, killing a guy and injuring two others. Then he fled the scene and was later apprehended by police. That’s the story in a nutshell. Sad, but not sensational, right?
But WAIT…this guy was a porn star! And the weapon was a “machete-type prop weapon used in porn production,” according to the story. Just let that image sink in for a moment and see what happens? Was your question: “What kind of porn production involves machete-type prop weapons?” That was my question. Luckily for me, the first guy who responded to this story in the comments section was way ahead of me. His (I’m just assuming it’s a guy) post was: “Just so you don’t have to, I have checked the Ultima website. The sword was used in a video that was released on May 29. The samurai sword.” Thank God for the journalistic instinct of commenter “CessnaDriver.” No wonder he has 170 fans on HP.
The absolute best quote of the entire article, however, comes in two sentences at the very end of the story. “The victims, whose names were not released, were not established porn stars, Price [the police detective investing the crime] said. A phone listing for Ultima [the name of the porn production company] could not immediately be found.”
Ah, journalism at its finest. The victims “were not established porn stars.” Does that mean they were journeymen porn stars who have yet to make their big breaks? Or they were accountants working late that night? What does that sentence mean? And why does it matter to me that they weren’t established porn stars?
And the phone listing for the company “could not immediately be found.” So, what, that means the reporter googled it and didn’t find anything so he gave up? I’m assuming the point of mentioning that the phone number couldn’t be found was to let us know the reporter, like, totally woulda called somebody for a quote, but it was just too much of a hassle, so he just said to hell with it. “I’ll put a little disclaimer in at the end about how I tried to call somebody. That’ll impress the Pulitzer committee.”
I didn’t personally track down a phone number for Ultima DVD, Inc. either. But I did learn, through my own strenuous investigative efforts, that the company runs a “network of fetish sites” including one that’s all about armpits and one about “femdomcuckolding,” which I don’t really want to learn anymore about. I’ll leave that to the more qualified researchers of the Huff Post comment squad.