Mayhill Fowler was the Huffington Post election blogger who got a lot of attention during the 2008 campaign for recording Bill Clinton's three-minute rant about Vanity Fair writer Todd Purdum and Barack Obama's critique of "bitter" small-town Americans. She has posted the news that she no longer will report for Huffington because they won't pay her — and she makes a distinction between the site's reporters and the 6,000 or so pundits who post for free.
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....
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.
* Update: Huffington Post is not impressed.