Learning that AOL is buying out Huffington Post was as about as terrifying as it would be to hear that George W. Bush and Courtney Love are having a baby together.
Tim Rutten has a great editoral in today's Los Angeles Times about precisely why this is horrible, depressing news.
AOL's Patch headhunted me when they were sniffing around for someone to do a Granada Hills Patch. Would I have earned a hell of a lot more than I'm earning now had I accepted their offer? Yes. Would I have ever seen my family again? No.
Patch is basically AOL's attempt to create the journalistic equivalent of a Juarez sweatshop, but with writers instead of seamstresses, and now that AOL is teaming up with HuffPo, that other famously exploitative content aggravator, they're about to become the Triangle Shirtwaist Co. of news.
I've heard rumors that there'll be a Granada Hills Patch come fall. And good on ya, anyone who takes that job. I'll be reading it, and probably stealing content from it if that does happen. So what? I'm sure AOL can afford it.