The Washington Post

Huffington Post puts strong, provocative hanger on homepage

In case you were wondering about the worldview of the Huffington Post on the question of abortion, the image above may resolve your uncertainty. Twitter is alive with discussion of the quite-provocative art direction:

@danielshea @huffingtonpost @dylanbyers I wouldn’t have been brave enough for the hanger. but yeah, that’s a top! I did click after cringing

— Katharine Zaleski (@kzaleski) August 21, 2012

@huffingtonpost I know you don’t like the Republicans, but was the wire hanger really necessary?

— Nathaniel (@Hoosier2012) August 21, 2012

@huffingtonpost While I agree with your point... the use of the hanger image on the homepage is pretty gross. You should probably change it.

— The Dude Society (@DudeSociety) August 21, 2012

No, keep it just the way it is. The Huffington Post makes no pretense of driving up the middle of America’s ideological road. This treatment fulfills every possible ideal of excellent art direction: It’s simple, it’s clear and it’s jarring. And yes, by jarring, I mean flirting with offensiveness. Which is precisely what good media outlets should be doing.

The idea sprung from Huffington Post front-page editor Whitney Snyder and senior editor Danny Shea. They knew it might rankle a few people out there, so they sent it up the chain of command. Roy Sekoff, the site’s founding editor, saw at first sight the objections that the image could generate. “But it was in­cred­ibly powerful,” he says. “I said, ‘That’s one of the best tops that I’ve seen in a while.”

But Sekoff wanted yet another set of eyes, so he passed it along to Huffington Post President and Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington. Apparently not napping or recharging or unplugging, Huffington “got it imemediately and loved it and that was that,” recalls Sekoff.

Ryan Grim, the Huffington Post’s Washington bureau chief, says of the attention-grabbing hanger: “It’s the truth. This would be the consequence of the platform being enacted into law, and there’s no reason to shrink from that.”

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.


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