If the common narrative of this post-election period has been that of an already polarized world pushed to even farther and tighter ideological poles, Lydia Polgreen’s Huffington Post will not be a participant in the great siloing. “The old ideological dividing lines seem irrelevant and inimical to our journalistic mission,” read last month’s staff memo from Huffington Post’s recently appointed EIC. “The question we must ask ourselves is this: Who are we for?”
Her answer addresses a different, less-discussed kind of media bias: the bias toward covering what interests the wealthy and powerful. “I see us as fundamentally representing the ordinary people anywhere in the world who feel that the game is rigged; that the deck is stacked against them; who feel that the house always wins,” she told Brian Stelter in an interview.
Polgreen’s word choice is reminiscent of the language used in President Trump’s campaign stump speeches, when the billionaire donned the mantle of populism to reach out to working-class, blue-collar America. And while the direction of the Huffington Post under Polgreen includes an overture to Trump supporters, the appeal, as Polgreen described it, looks beyond politics and toward a more inclusive representation of how life is lived in America and beyond.