Arianna Huffington's blog has gone live and it's funnier than anyone could have imagined.
What was billed as a mecca of famous, liberal commentators has turned out to be a satire site in the tradition of The Onion. Yep, Arianna has done it again and fooled us all. Kudos.
At first glance, The Huffington Post has the look and feel of an average but at least real web site, if you ignore the site's name. It has supposed entries from the likes of Walter Cronkite and John Cusack. But the dead giveaway that this is a spoof after all comes from the blog entry titled "Steve Jobs, Let my Music Go."
Hilary Rosen - the former head of the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) - claims to be the author of this post. In the entry, she begs and pleads with Apple's CEO to open the iPod to digital rights management schemes from other vendors - namely Microsoft.
"(K)eeping the iTunes system a proprietary technology to prevent anyone from using multiple (read Microsoft) music systems is the most anti-consumer and user unfriendly thing any god can do," the faux Rosen writes. "Is this the same Jobs that railed for years about the Microsoft monopoly? Is taking a page out of their playbook the only way to have a successful business? If he isn’t careful Bill Gates might just Betamax him while the crowds cheer him on. Come on Steve – open it up."
It's a little sad that this entry is so obviously fake because Huffington Post would otherwise have fooled a lot of people.
Rosen, you'll remember, is actually the person that kicked off the RIAA's strategy of suing file-trading music lovers into submission. After more than 10,000 lawsuits, the RIAA and its member music labels are seen as some of the least consumer-friendly organizations on the planet. Not only do they hunt down 12-year-olds and grandmothers, but they've worked to lock music away behind DRM (digital rights management) chains and done everything they can to slow the adoption of music online.
So, it would really be something to see a former RIAA chief publicly protest about Apple trying to thwart consumer freedom. (Apple is restrictive about music use with iTunes and is taking a pretty anti-consumer stance on the matter, but, come on, the iPod plays MP3s. We wouldn't need anything more than that if the RIAA wasn't trying to shove DRM down our throats. Having Rosen, even a fake one, write about restrictive, unfriendly anything is like Stalin whinging about a lack of good literature in the Soviet libraries. Speaking of which, be sure to enter our "Biting the Pigopolists" contest before it's too late. )
Should you have any doubt that this grand whine is a fake, we leave you with this part of the entry.
"I know Steve Jobs is a god . . . He is as laconically casually cool as Bono and makes really good cartoon movies too."
Now that's comedy. ®
Apple founder Jobs joins IKEA
End the tyranny of bomb-happy RIAA
RIAA attacking our culture, the American Mind
DRMing up support for Steve's music shop
Sugared water Apple censors Miles Davis
Steve Jobs blesses DRM, and nothing happens
RIAA's Rosen writing Iraq copyright laws