Retribution has been paid to the Huffington Post in the form of the editor-in-chief of the South African division resigning, and a scathing critique of the publication’s advocating of racism and sexism spawned from a satirical piece written by a South African man who wanted to prove that ethical standards have been foregone in traditional mainstream media.
Age of Shitlords picked up the news from various articles covering the hot-button topic, mainly from Huffington Post’s South African parent company Media24.
One of the South African subsidiaries under the Media24 brand called News24 did a report on the Ombudsman’s findings after a formal investigation was launched into the incident. The investigation came about after a worldwide blow-up over a piece written by a supposed “Shelley Garland” that Huffington Post editor-in-chief Verashni Pillay published, which was entitled “Could It Be Time To Deny White Men The Franchise?”.
The Ombudsman, Johan Retief, commanded the Huffington Post apologize. They did so while also noting that they would be taking necessary corrective measures to remedy the situation…
“The Press Ombudsman of South Africa has found the Huffington Post South Africa guilty of the publication of hate speech.
”HuffPost SA apologises unreservedly for the publication of the blog titled Could It Be Time To Deny White Men The Franchise on 13 April 2017.'”
Retief went on to further criticize the publication for even publishing the piece that was actually written by a researcher named Marius Roodt who penned it under the pseudonym “Shelley Garland”, a supposed South African college student going for her masters degree in philosophy, and a supposedly staunch third-wave feminist. Roodt had also criticized the Huffington Post for not fact-checking his piece, which was littered with factual inaccuracies. He purposefully added in the inaccuracies in an attempt to expose the fact that the mainstream media would publish the most extremist of views so long as it toed the line and fit within their mandated agenda and sociopolitical worldview. Roodt compared the incident to the hoax known as the Sokal Affair.
“By publishing this blog without having identified the author, The Huffiington Post was not true to this commitment, and contributed to the erosion of public trust in the media,”
“The blog was discriminatory and denigratory to white males, and impaired the dignity of some men in this group. By publishing, she also impaired the dignity of some white men, a breach of Section 3.3 of the code which cautions the media to ‘exercise care and consideration in matters involving dignity and reputation…'”
The Huffington Post violated multiple statures of the South African Constitution, especially in regards to their anti-discrimination stance and adherence for press to avoid using “objectionable” and “racist” propaganda.
As a way to get back at Roodt, the Huffington Post exposed him to the public and attempted to smear him as someone creating civil disturbance, which resulted in Roodt having to resign and lose his job as a researcher at the CDE, a think-tank in Johannesburg. In reality, however, the Huffington Post was at fault for not adhering to South Africa’s Press Code, and for violating their Constitution by pushing and defending a clearly racist and sexist piece of propaganda.
Following this embarrassing turn of events, including the scathing critique from the Ombudsman, former South African editor-in-chief Veashni Pillay was forced to resign.
According to News24, the head of the parent company of Huffington Post, Andreij Horn, issued a statement about the matter, saying…
“With immediate effect, Ferial Haffajee, The Huffington Post SA’s editor-at-large, and Pieter du Toit, the site’s deputy editor, will take over the editorial management of the site until we have appointed a new editor. We have the utmost faith in their ability to lead the site through both the changes we are making to address the internal issues that made this situation possible in the first place, and the impact it had on society at large, the company, and its staff.”
Ferial Haffajee and Pieter du Toit were the two journalists who exposed Marius Roodt, the man behind the Shelley Garland pseudonym. Whether or not they will correct the clearly regressive agenda being pushed by the Huffington Post across the board remains to be seen, but this is one of the few times since #GamerGate started – a movement about fixing ethics in media journalism – where clearly defined consequences have been applied to an unethical outlet for advocating the institution of discrimination, racism and sexism.
This isn’t the first time the Huffington Post was caught being an advocate for clearly biased political leanings when it comes to agitprop. They were also one of the many mainstream outlets outed in the Podesta e-mails published bv Wikileaks, where it was revealed that the original owner, Arianna Huffington, wanted to use the Huffington Post as an “echo signal” to help Hillary Clinton become President of the United States.
(Main image courtesy of SuperSoftly)