So, You Want to Make Millions? Here’s How…

(3 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Crossposted at Daily Kos and The Stars Hollow Gazette

Yes, friends, you too can start a blog (just as Art Fern would say it on the ‘Tonight Show’). Invite assorted celebrities to write for you.  For nothing.  Convince them that their brilliant ideas will be exposed to millions of readers.  Add a bit of fluff to your blog a few months later on.  Go on cable tv talk shows and make bombastic statements, preferably in a bad European accent.  Create faux controversies.  Add a few noted “journalists” to your payroll to give oneself a facade of respectability.  Then, find a corporate sucker to believe in all your hype. Walk away with millions of dollars.

Easy enough, isn’t it?  As Cartoonist Matt Bors predicted in 2009, “the future is grim”

Matt Bors

Matt Bors, (Idiot Bos)

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All Huff Everything

This cartoon from 2009 is turning out more accurate than I’d like in light of The Huffington Post’s merger with AOL.  I got it wrong on the Larry King part, but everything else seems on track.

Jen Sorenson, see reader comments on Slowpoke, Buy this cartoon

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Oh, there might be problems from time to time as your blog grows.  The peasants may rise up to make demands upon you.  You know, the old Marxist struggle between those who own the means of production vs those who do not.  Fear not.  Stand firm.  Refuse to compromise as it is a sign of weakness.  After all, tyrants always win.  

As Altie Cartoonist Jen Sorensen explains on her blog

I often hear people say that Huffpo’s unpaid contributors were fools for doing all that free work in the first place.  Which is mostly true, but overlooks the fact that Huffpo also seeks out work from published writers and cartoonists. And they simply refuse to pay.  As Matt Bors blogged last week, Huffpo contacted him while he was in Afghanistan, filing comics for paying clients. They wanted to post his work on the site, but darned if they just didn’t have the budget to pay for it!  Not only was Huffpo being unfair to him, but to the publications that were buying the work.  He said no, but this sort of situation creates an unfortunate race to the bottom for freelancers and paying publications alike.  Which is why I try to avoid clicking on any links to the Huffington Post if I can.

For further reading, I suggest this article in the Columbia Journalism Review about an earlier case of labor exploitation involving AOL.

Oh, and you can read my Huffpo-AOL comments and those of several other cartoonists over at Washington Post’s “Comic Riffs” blog.

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HuffPo Sale by John Cole, Scranton Times-Tribune, [Buy this cartoon ]

Matt Wuerker, Politico

(click link to enarge cartoon in

Wuerker’s February 2011 archives)

Arianna Huffington by Taylor Jones,, Buy this cartoon

Ted Rall, GOCOMICS/Universal Press Syndicate

(click link to enlarge cartoon)

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Matt Bors

Matt Bors,, see reader comments on the Bors Blog

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Altie Cartoonist Matt Bors has first-hand knowledge of dealings with representatives of a business model whose motto seems to be: work for us and help us get rich.  As for you, we will shower you with exposure.  Lots of it!

HuffPo Hell

When I was in Afghanistan, an editor at The Huffington Post wrote about publishing my work on their site.  They said I would receive “very prominent placement” and a “link back” to my website.  No pay, of course, but a link. Exposure.  The currency of the web economy: attention.

I said no.

For years many people have kept their mouths shut about Arianna’s abhorrent business practice of not paying contributors for fear of being blacklisted from her tabloid link farm.  Had she been a conservative that launched an influential website of this kind, I imagine she would have been branded the Wicked Witch of the Web years ago.  (Those sites already existing on the right, she changed her politics.  Now she’ll shift to the center with the money.)

Now that HuffPo has merged with AOL for $315 million, her contributors feel duped.  Maybe they thought it was a non-profit venture.

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Chip Bok

Chip Bok,

Jim Morin, McLatchy Cartoons/Miami Herald

(click link to enlarge cartoon)

Arianna Huffington by Taylor Jones,, Buy this cartoon

Steve Breen

Steve Breen, (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Matt Davies

Matt Davies, News)

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Above, I have outlined a summary of a business plan that if executed properly, could lead to your financial independence.  But, wait, there’s more!

You still need to learn how to become a world-class blogger and con artist extraordinaire.  For a small amount of $19.99 in five easy installments, you too can learn my secrets of how to become an effective blogger who would grab the attention of potential corporate buyers.  

To receive your first CD, “How I Can Emulate JekyllnHyde”… please mail your first payment of only $19.99 to

Mr. JekyllnHyde

1600 HuffPo-AOL Drive

Washington, D.C. 20001

This is, as they say in the business world, a “win-win proposition.”  Refunds are fully guaranteed.  No questions asked!

Operators are also standing by to take your orders right at this minute.  Call 1-800-Get-Richer.  Again, this offer is only good for tonight.  Call now!

Still not convinced?  Watch this persuasive video!  What are you waiting for?  Don’t let this opportunity of a lifetime slip away!

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1 comment

  1. Here’s a brilliant animated cartoon by Editorial Cartoonist Mark Fiore of the San Francisco Chronicle.  He won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning.

    See reader comments on Mark Fiore’s blog

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    Altie Cartoonist Matt Bors adds more on his blog

    Arianna is drawing inspiration from Orwell while promoting the deal, claiming the partnership with AOL is a time when “one plus one equals eleven.”  Pretty odd math for someone who recently counted to 315 million.

    Orwell seems a big inspiration over there.  For the HuffPo party line, check out Jason Linkins’ reactionary and childish lashing out at critics.  Amid the huffing and condescension comes the following defense of why not paying people is OK since they are not forced to contribute any certain amount of content:

    Please note, that part of what “free” entitles you to is a freedom from “having to work.”

    I imagine Orwell would have phrased it a little better, opting for the satisfying rhythm of  “Working for free is freedom from work.”  But then, you’d have to pay for that kind of writing.

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    Tips and the like here.  Thanks.  

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