'Rapacious' Arianna Huffington accused of devaluing journalists in scathing letter

By employing ‘predatory business practices... Ms Huffington seems to believe that journalism skills are worth nothing’, writes Lauren Lipton

This exchange of letters requires no comment from me, except to say - unsurprisingly - how much I agree with Lauren Lipton.

David Sze , who works for Arianna Huffington, sent this note to veteran journalist Lauren Lipton last week:

Subject: Inquiry from Arianna Huffington’s office:

Hi Lauren,

I’m David, a Research Editor from Arianna Huffington’s office. Arianna is currently working on a book about the importance of sleep in our lives. In our research, we came across your piece on hotel beds.

In that article, you mentioned that: “According to a 2014 Gallup survey, more than half of guests who stay in the highest-priced properties said they would pay more for an improved bed. Among all respondents, a comfortable bed was most often named as the most important feature of a hotel room”.

We were wondering if you have access to the Gallup research you mentioned in the article? We would like to cite it in Arianna’s book.

Thank you! Best, David

And here is Lipton’s wonderful response:

Hi David,

I know you’re just doing your job. So what I am about to say has nothing at all to do with you. It is solely for your boss, and I do hope you pass it along to her.

I have worked my entire career as a professional journalist. I have a masters degree in journalism from the USC Annenberg School and developed my skills as a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal and other A-list newspapers and magazines.

These days you can find my byline in the New York Times, the WSJ, Allure and Town & Country, as well as numerous additional print and online publications. I am very, very good at what I do.

Unfortunately, your boss’s predatory business practices have deeply undercut the ability of all reporters, writers and editors to make any kind of living wage. The rapacious Ms Huffington seems to believe that journalism skills are worth nothing, and that my beleaguered colleagues and I should be thrilled to help her make hundreds of millions of dollars in return for “exposure.”

If Ms Huffington would like to know how I uncovered that particular statistic, she is free to hire me and pay me for my time and expertise.

If she doesn’t wish to do so, she is welcome to track it down herself.

Best, Lauren

Source, and grateful hat tip: Jim Romenesko

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