David Mamet, Ellen DeGeneres, John Cusack, Julia-Louise Dreyfuss, etc. | 802 Online

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Monday, May 9, 2005

David Mamet, Ellen DeGeneres, John Cusack, Julia-Louise Dreyfuss, etc.

Posted on Mon, May 9, 2005 at 8:54 AM

Those are just some of the contributors to Arianna Huffington's new celeb/j-blog/citizen journalism site, which launched today. In the mission statement, up in the corner of the page, Huffington addresses readers: "Welcome to the Huffington Post, which, as our motto says, has been delivering news and opinion since, well, a few hours ago." There's also a blog attached to the site, which includes commentary from Russell Simmons, Max Blumenthal, and Jonah Paretti.

Ok, so the celebs are the big draw, right? But I'm more interested in Paretti. He's a clever and provacative troublemaker, associated with Eyebeam, which I think is a nonprofit think tank. Its website says it "engages in cultural dialogue at the intersection of the arts and the sciences."

You might recognize Paretti from that anti-sweatshop Nike campaign a few years back. Nike had this campaign where they were going to let you order your shoes with your name printed on them, and Paretti asked to have the word "sweatshop" printed on them. I saw a live exchange between him and this spokesman from Nike on the Today show. It was brilliant! I've been a fan ever since.

Paretti is also involved with Contagious Media, which produced Fundrace.org, an extremely helpful database that tracks political contributions by street address, The Rejection Line, which you just have to check out for yourselves, and this hilarious satirical site about a fictional white couple and their many black friends.

In short, this Huffington project should be very interesting. It's the first large-scale celebrity-run offensive against traditional media, so it's sure to attract a lot of attention. Which means a lot more people are going to start learning about blogs.

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