Yesterday The Huffington Post “posted” the last piece I will write for them, probably, barring the serendipity of life. Below is my email exchange with Roy Sekoff, the founding editor, on the subject. Arianna Huffington, for her part, is surprisingly accessible via email; however, she never delivers bad news personally, it seems, but always leaves that task to Roy. At least, so I deduce from the fact that so it has gone three times over the past year (last winter and then now) in email exchanges with Arianna and Roy about paying me for work. And at the end of the day, that is the crux: I want to be paid for my time and effort—or at a minimum, to get a little remuneration in return for the money I spend myself in order to do original reportage. I would not expect to be paid for punditry. The Huffington Post business model is to provide a platform for 6,000 opinionators to hold forth. Point of view is cheap. I would never expect to be paid there when the other 5,999 are not. However, the journalism pieces I have done in the past year seem to me as good as anything HuffPost’s paid reporters Sam Stein and Ryan Grim produce. Why do they get money, and I do not? I don’t recall either of them writing the story about Barack Obama waxing large on “clinging to guns and religion,” which seems more and more as time goes by to be the one big story out of the last presidential election to live on. Or at least it is the one that journalists and pundits are quoting regularly now.
So anyway here is my email exchange with Roy. He has always seemed to be a good man, and he is nice in his emails, so I do not think he will mind, even though I am going to use them to make a few points about what Arianna & Co. do not seem to understand, although, of course maybe they just don’t think I’m a good enough reporter to be worthy of paying. (more…)