The PJ Tatler

Arianna Huffington prepared to sell the HuffPo for a year and a half? (Update: HuffPo responds) Update: Source sticks by story

Look, we all know that it can take a while to sell any kind of property in Obama’s economy, but if what the Tatler has learned is true, Arianna Huffington started making the moves to sell the Huffington Post much earlier than her loyal lefty following realizes. Shortly after the AOL-Huffington Post deal went public, the Tatler has learned that there was a conference call between AOL bigs, Arianna Huffington, and some of the bloggers involved with Patch.com. Patch.com is the AOL-owned web site that drills down to very local coverage of restaurants, entertainment and news. According to what we’ve heard about this conference call, one or more of the Patch bloggers expressed concern about Huffington’s obvious far left political leanings and biases, and how Huffington’s left wing advocacy might impact the nonpartisan Patch.com. Press reports have said that in her new role as part of the AOL deal, Huffington becomes editor in chief of a slew of AOL-owned sites including Patch.com, and Huffington has been quoted saying that Patch.com is a key part of her strategy for generating deep and local coverage of the 2012 elections. According to our source, Arianna Huffington responded to the political question by saying that she herself had been concerned about how her politics might impact the sale of the HuffPo, so she has worked to moderate the HuffPo‘s voice for the past 18 months to boost its appeal.

So, in other words, she started selling her Obama stock short less than a year into his time in office. She went corporate by stealth long before AOL overpaid for the HuffPo. And, if our source is correct, has been plotting to sell out the thousands of mostly lefty bloggers and commenters who make up the bulk of the HuffPo‘s daily operations for quite a while.

What does this say about what Huffington really thought Obama’s policies would do to the US economy?

Update: The HuffPo‘s Mario Ruiz responds–

The ‘scoop’ is laughable. And completely and utterly untrue. For proof that HuffPost’s coverage hasn’t been watered down, all you have to do is check out the site.  I’ll give your source the benefit of the doubt – they probably just couldn’t understand her accent.

Update: We reached our source this afternoon, and the source stands by everything. According to our source, the call happened as described.

Our source also commented that Ruiz’s response raises a question: Is HuffPo planning on staying ultraliberal now that it has been grafted into the AOL universe?