Former RIAA CEO is the Huffington Post's new political director

The Huffington Post just appointed former RIAA CEO Hilary Rosen as its new political director. Rosen presided over the RIAA's total and utter failure to come to grips with the Internet, the period in which the record industry rejected every single overture of money in exchange for licenses to its catalog from venture-backed P2P companies, choosing litigation over cash, and leading to a world in which the majority of music consumption online is illegal and doesn't give a dime to the record industry.

Nevertheless, Rosen is also an old-time political hack, epitomising the wing of the Democratic party that has progressive politics on every issue except the Internet: they're all for freedom, except for when it comes to that magic wire that delivers freedom of the press, freedom of assembly and freedom of speech in one package. As far as that wire goes, one Police Academy or Brittney Spears download is grounds for termination of access to the net (and confiscation of every cent you can lay claim to).

But Rosen, 50, has had a long career in politics that spans beyond her 17 years at the RIAA, and it's her network of contacts and know-how that Huffington wants to tap into as The Huffington Post grows.

"Hilary really knows Washington and its political players intimately, and everyone on [The Huffington Post's] team in Washington loves her," said Arianna Huffington in an interview.



  1. HuffPo has a political director? It’s pretty cheesy when it comes to politics. Occasionally there’s some hard news, but mostly it’s a lot of “OMG John McCain picked his nose on camera” kind of articles. They mention the existence of Iraq about once a week, and the rest of the planet is non-existent unless there’s a cute animal video involved. I’ve noticed that, in the last month, many of their culture articles appear about a day after they show up here. I think that someone there started reading BoingBoing recently. I don’t imagine that Ms. Rosen’s political agenda will show up until after November when Clinton’s hairstyle and Obama’s lapel pin cease to be breaking news.

  2. She’ll still have to get in line at Hufpo to have Obama’s baby. It’s amazing, really, how fast they dumped Hillary and started shilling for Barak. Ms. Rosen can soon add another wrong-headed org to her resume, but this one is self-destructive on a much higher level; she’s going to have a voice in destroying a political party, a movement, and maybe a country.

  3. So is anyone surprised about this particular incident?

    Or better yet, does anyone who both reads BoingBoing and cares about what’s going on in the world read the Huffington Post?

  4. I think anyone who reads BoingBoing would be saddened that someone who worked for the RIAA is getting any sort of gainful employment, and not being tarred feathered and thrown to a pack of rabid dogs to be dismboweled by.

    I don’t think the Huffington Post dumped Hillary for Barack…

    Eight months ago, Barack was running a mostly grassroots operation and didn’t have anyone ‘high profile’ in his organization.

    On the other hand, Hillary had her DC ‘in the beltway’ staff that had a lot of overlap with the Huffington Post staff. For example: Hillary’s Internet director Peter Daou was one of the Huffington Posts widely touted bloggers.

    As the election drew on and on and on and on, more and more people at the Huffington Post flocked to Obama. Peter Daou is still there posting anti-Obama pro-Hillary articles .

  5. As far as I can see, HuffPo changes its mind about twice a day. If Obama makes a gaffe, it’ll be pro-Clinton until she makes a gaffe and it switches back. If one of them does something brilliant, it doesn’t seem to garner quite the same level of attention. It’s a gossipy tabloid barely disguised as a political blog.

  6. Are you sure as an old-time political , Rosen really epitomises “the wing of the Democratic party that has progressive politics on every issue except the Internet”.

    I mean I seem to remember the old time political hack wing being:

    1) Pro-war, including the latest Iraq fiasco

    2) Pro-corporate deregulation

    3) Pro-corporate tax cut, and rich guy tax cut – maybe not as large as the Republicans favor but big

    4) Pro-nuclear

    5) pro-mandatory sentences and pro war-on-some-drugs

    And so on and so forth. Maybe Rosen has been an exception. You know if she really is good on all those and is only lousy on the internet, that would be quite an exception. Only didn’t she go and take part in drafting Iraq’s constitutions, thus supporting the occupation? Which would seem to put her on the wrong side of the whole Iraq thing at least.

    I just have to raise my eyebrows a bit at the idea that it is common enough for someone to be bad on internet issue, and good on almost everything else for that to constitute a type. Harlan Ellison maybe, but “hack” or “type” are not words I’d really apply to him.

  7. Hilary Rosen’s former partner was Elizabeth Birch, one-time director of the Human Rights Campaign. That seems like an unholy alliance if there ever was one.

    Apparently, progressive values aren’t transitive. That is, just because you hold a thoughtful, progressive stance on one issue doesn’t mean you do on other issues.

    Which, to me, seems like a symptom of a profound lack of imagination… just the sort of deficit we’ve seen in the RIAA’s approach to Internet music.


  8. Huffington Post has become the Police Gazette (Or National Enquirer) of the Internet. A waste of time over the last several months. WTF about the Hollywood crap?

  9. “But Rosen, 50, has had a long career in politics that spans beyond her 17 years at the RIAA…
    Minus seventeen years at the RIAA makes her 33. If she graduated from college at twenty-two, that’s eleven years unaccounted for. Minus two more if she got a MA leaves nine. What was she elected to to have nine years equal a log career, dogcatcher?

  10. Since we’re trashing HuffPo, what’s a good online source for US news? NYT, WaPo, etc. tend to be really verbose. I find it easier to get news from Japan and the Middle East than my own country. Currently I get most of my US news from BBC. That seems weird.

  11. @11
    Antinous, why would anyone want to ruin a perfectly good martini -or two- by reading her bio?

  12. @ Antonous: I agree she is the Alberto Gonzales of copyright enforcement. As to US news sites, I visit the International Harold Tribune, Christian Science Monitor and great new site, LinkTV often carries in depth reports on a wide range of issues other than the middle east as well.

  13. Browsing through a list of her blog entries on HuffPo over the past couple of years (just titles and first few lines; I didn’t click through to read the actual posts), I don’t see anything about the RIAA or copyright issues. She seemed more interested in gay rights.

  14. Why the hell would they hire Roslin? She’s been a thorn in the side of the fleet for the last season.

  15. She’s build her career on what economists call “rent seeking”, AKA corporate welfare. Despicable.

  16. The HuffPo crapped itself long ago, when it started publishing woo and pseudoscience from people like Deepak Chopra.

  17. I stopped reading the Huffington Post some time ago, and hell I’m a socialist leaning leftist. They are just as bad as the very right conservatives they complain about. Both are upper class elitists who don’t give a damn about people in the lower and middle classes. At least the conservatives have the cajones to say it to your face.

  18. Ariana huffington is one of those rich right-wingers pretending to be left in order to destroy the left. Noise in the channel.
    Part of an on-going cultural rear-guard action, so to speak. “Progressive” comes to mean “celebrity” – and there are so many little people to enlighten! And to teach about the “evils” of socialism and psychedelic drugs… and the necessity of harsh laws and prisons…
    And #7 you forgot to add the qualifier “strongly” before each of the “pro-” statements…
    And I’ve been thinking about Judas Goats lately, my Democratic friends…

  19. The Beeb is a good choice.

    Not directly influenced by the US or biased against it.

  20. Pretty disgusting news on this. Frankly, I wonder how she got the job. I’m going to delete that bookmark now. I guess Huffpo’s idea of progressive politics is listening to a lobbyist hack. Not to mention all the copyright drivel that she has spewed forth in the past.

  21. #4 says:

    “I think anyone who reads BoingBoing would be saddened that someone who worked for the RIAA is getting any sort of gainful employment, and not being tarred feathered and thrown to a pack of rabid dogs to be dismboweled by.”

    h grw p!!

    I assumed anyone that reads BoingBoing would not be given to such smpl brsh behavior.

    Guess I was wrong snc thr r mny cmmntrs ttrng smlr nfntl sttmnts.

    Apparently The Huffington Post and BoingBoing have one thing in common – thy bth ttrct shr f smpltns.

  22. HuffPo & BoingBoing are 2 of my 5 read-every-day links. HuffPo may be biased and employ douches, but they have a fantastic format and they filter for entertaining and smart stories.

  23. Hilary Rosen worked to pass the DMCA. That means she either:
    1) doesn’t support the US Constitution;
    2) doesn’t support international treaty law;
    3) is ignorant of the constitution or treaty law; or
    4) knows she is a criminal.

    Given the background, position and resources of Hilary Rosen in particular, I think we can rule out #3.

  24. Sadly, ever since Pat Schroeder, former progressive Congresswoman from Colorado, became a shill for the Association of American Publishers, this sort of thing doesn’t surprise me. Rosen probably still has some sort of prog cred from her brief association with the HRC, although they’re increasingly becoming known as a bunch of careerists that have lost touch with their mission, as well.

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