Tag Archives: leadership

The Huffington Post LIE

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Dear Me, Congratulations on getting your by-line on The Huffington Post. We’re glad you decided to give us publishing rights to your content for free. We hope you enjoy your experience here. We’re awesome. Welcome.


And the succession of 50 odd posts I got published on the site was also a thrill.

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And I generated quite a bit of traffic for my blog The Whole Parent. It was a match made in heaven. I was writing a positive co-parenting blog and The Huffington Post was benefiting (still benefits) from my writing. What I got in return was traffic, a by-line and bio page on The Huffington Post. Boom. I had arrived as a writer.

Then last November, as in a year and 2 months ago, my last post appeared on The Huffington Post under the Fitness and Lifestyle banner. See, I’d been doing so good, I had started publishing from another blog on The Huffington Post as well. But without a whimper or reason, my publishing never progressed beyond submission. And I continued to submit my work religiously.

In general they do reserve the right to NOT publish your work. But I had a 95% publish ratio. We liked each other. I even had a viral hit that was published under the Women banner. It was about dating.

You know, they even wrote a piece on me about being a divorced dad and my divorce survival skills. Another great honor. I started asking the blogteam@huffingtonpost.com questions about what was going on. And I got ZERO responses.

I still have no idea what happened. Does The Huffington Post have a kill button that censors a writer, causing their posts not to show up in the slush pool of available articles? Did someone take offense to something I had written? Had I gotten too big for my britches? Well, it wouldn’t be so bad if I had a clue what I did, or who black-listed me. But I heard crickets.

So I reached out directly to Adrianna. She, in fact, is who personally invited me to the Post. I reached out to the editors of each of the sections I had published with before. Health and Lifestyle, Parenting, Dating, Divorce, Dads. And somewhere along the chain of command, even their responses were shut down. I heard nothing. It seemed there was nothing I could do, but stop publishing, or trying to publish on The Huffington Post.

But my publishing credentials are still live. They are still generating traffic from my content. And they are still not publishing any of my writing. I’m ready to take this to the next level. Now it’s personal.

Let’s look at the editorial board for my biggest section DIVORCE.

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I’m pretty sure Brittany is the woman who wrote the Huff Po piece on me. Let’s go see…

7 Things That Helped This Single Dad Feel Whole Again Post-Split by Brittany Wong

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Then something funny and fishy happened.

Update 8-20-15:  I got a Twitter response from Sr. Women’s Editor Emma Gray. And just as I responded to her she deleted the tweet. (Before I was able to screen grab it. But I have the traces captured elsewhere.) Then, I’m pretty sure she MUTED me on Twitter. (A first for me.)

So when she tweeted back to me she said, “That’s above my purview.” She was saying, she had no idea why I was being prevented from getting any articles published. Why then would she DELETE the Tweet and BLOCK me on Twitter? Was I being abusive? Did someone tell her I’m a pervert, or a dead beat dad, or something that makes me offensive? I don’t know. And since she’s muted me on Twitter she doesn’t even see when I tweet at her. BAD FORM Emma Gray BAD FORM HUFFINGTON POST.

So the woman who wrote the nice post on me and my divorce survival strategy doesn’t have the time to respond to me? Or she’s not allowed to tell me what’s going on? Both of which are awful concepts.

One thing is certain: The Huffington Post is being run by children. Low cost millennials who are happy to work for recognition and ego strokes. Titles like Editor and Executive Editor on one of the globe’s leading media publishing companies. Pretty impressive to me, as well. But the youngsters are running Adrianna’s empire as she continues to cut media deals.

Adrianna had a vision for The Huffington Post. She’s too busy with her GMP and Good News love fest to pay attention to what’s going on in the inner workings of her Blog Team. And why should she. We know the power of the Huffington Post is politics. And we’re ramping up for a doozy of an election year.

So I’ve been swept under the proverbial rug. But I won’t go quietly. It’s time to blast and blanket the editorial team until I get an answer. I’ll start with the woman who wrote the piece on me. Let’s see if I can get a single response out of a single human being (young human being) about why I can’t get any of my 30+ submissions published, when I still have 50 articles live on The Huffington Post.

John McElhenney Huffington Post Archive

I never give up. The dream was big when I got accepted and added Huffington Post author to my material. Today, it’s been a year and 2 months since they pushed on of my articles live. I’m still writing at the top of my game, and still writing about positive post-divorce strategies for parenting, dating, and staying healthy. What’s not to love?

I’ve still got Brittany’s email address. Let’s see if she will share some information about WHAT’S GOING ON AT THE HUFFINGTON POST?

My by-line Googled: John McElhenney

John McElhenney
@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

My correspondence with Arianna Huffington:

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And today I wrote Arianna a letter. Sure, the odds are low on getting any response from her, but I have to keep trying.

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The Agile Meeting Manifesto

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  1. Is the meeting necessary?
    Occasionally meetings are the lazy way to move a project along the process. If you don’t need a meeting, don’t schedule it.
  2. Is there an agenda?
    Without a solid agenda, please refer back to question 1. Agendas should cover what the goal of the meeting is and the brief topics to be covered.
  3. Timekeeper and Scribes in the meeting
    Nothing worse than waiting for someone to get their notes down, or a meeting that runs over because someone wasn’t watching the clock.
  4. Clamshells down.
    If you’re in the meeting, be in the meeting. Unless you are presenting your computer should be shut and you should be paying attention. If you’re checking email, please check items #1 and #2 and make sure you are the appropriate member of the team you represent.
  5. Take Derailing Questions or Discussions to Sidebars
    “Can we table that issue for a discussion after the meeting? I’d like to stay with the agenda for now.”
  6. Good post-meeting notes within an hour of the conclusion of the meeting: action items and dates recorded.
  7. Do you need the next meeting? Can you take the previous discussion notes and turn them into the next agenda? If you don’t need the meeting, cancel it and give your colleagues time back in their day.

John McElhenney
@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

Why Are We Losing Men’s Voices on The Huffington Post? Why It’s A Big Issue.

I tried asking questions first. For a month. And got no reply from any of the Blog Team or directly from Arianna. Dear Huffington Post, WTF Is Going On with You? So, I guess I need to dig a bit deeper to see if I can understand what’s going on with the conversation about Parenting, Relationships, and Divorce at the Huffington Post.

Women *and* men get divorced, our children are along for the ride, we both make the difference in how their lives and future relationships will be managed.

I am not claiming that men’s voices have been completely shut out of the Family & Relationships sections of The Huffington Post. But I do see that the Divorce, Parenting, and Dating posts are 95% by women for women. Something bigger is going on here. Something that creates a complete imbalance in the viewpoints discussed, something that misses the fact that in traditional parenting one woman AND one man are required.

I was a Huffpost blogger with great success in the Parenting, Dating, and Divorce sections. I’m not saying I made the Front Page, but I often made the front page of these sections. And my posts are still live on The Huffington Post, gathering traffic for them, and a few click-throughs for me. And I’m very interested in keeping men in the conversation about these very important topics. I’m a contributing editor to The Good Men Project, who regularly shares content with The Huffington Post. Even last week, one of our editors, and good friend, Mark Greene was interviewed by Huffington Post about his transformative ideas about divorce and parenting. BRAVO!

But why are there no men editors in the entire staff of Family & Relationships? If you look at The Good Men project, a site that shouts, “The Conversation That No One Else is Having,” you’ll see a pretty even balance between men and women. It’s important, even in a powerful site about men that women and women’s voices are represented fairly. So why is the Huffington Post so down on men? Or is it just me?

Here’s the staff section from Family & Relationships section of The Huffington Post.

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Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 8.22.05 AMAnd while it’s not a bad thing to have mostly women, and mostly women in their twenties and thirties running such a critical portion of The Huffington Post, can you see how their perspectives might be a bit skewed? And when the Senior Editor on Divorce is also the Senior Editor on Weddings… And is, just getting married… You can imagine that “divorce” might not be one of her points of interests. And I’m guessing not part of her history, either.

I’m not sure how I would compartmentalize my enthusiasm for this major beginning in my young life, while espousing the views and pains of so many older women, and yes, men. And it’s sorry what’s happened to the sections over all. The conversation is not so much a conversation any more, it’s a blast of celebrity reporting (marriages and divorces) alongside some well-known authorities on dating and divorce. And mostly… eh hem… women.

And I have to respect the business model here. The Huffington Post is in this business to make money. And if their demographic is 90% young upwardly-mobile women, well, then I guess they’ve nailed it. But I’m pretty sure the intension that Erma Bombeck had when she convinced Arianna to start the divorce section was something more inclusive. After all, divorce usually involves two people, and 50% of those people happen to be men.

The story that Arianna tells is that she was approached about adding a Divorce section and she asked Erma why. Erma responded, “Marriages come and go, but divorce is forever.” It’s on the Divorce Masthead, though no longer attributed to her. The light went on for Arianna and the section was born and has thrived ever since.

I’ve chosen to live my life and to survive my divorce by finding the good in everything that comes my way.

I met Arianna at a trade show in 2013 where she spoke about her newest passion, The Third Metric. In that meeting of high-level communicators, she gave out her email address asking the audience to send her their ideas. And true to form, she responded to my email within a few hours of that trade show. I imagined her zooming to the airport in her limo and cleaning out her inbox with a fury and efficiency.

At that moment, she caught my voice in the post that I sent her. Here’s her emailed response to me that same day. It was a HUGE win for me.


And 8-months later I really hit the post sums up the bulk of my writing on Divorce.

click to read article on Huff Po
Getting men’s real and honest stories in the mix of the conversation about Parenting, Dating, and Divorce is critical for all of us.

What you see there is a picture of a dad’s hand and the hand of my two young children. I have pledged to say 100% positive about my divorce, and in all of my dealings with my co-parent and ex-wife. That’s my message. There are Good Men who get divorced. There are good father’s who try to stay connected as often as they are allowed, even when the system is stacked against them. I write The Whole Parent as a voice for men who are doing parenting right, before, during, and after divorce.

I’m not sure I’ll ever get new posts up on The Huffington Post. And I’m not sure that’s important to me any more. But getting men’s real and honest stories in the mix of the conversation about Parenting, Dating, and Divorce is critical for all of us. Sure, professionals who write about the subject and offer platitudes and brief sounds bites of men’s stories, to illustrate their points, are fine, but they are professionals, and therapists, and lawyers. Even if they’ve been through a divorce of their own, they are now making it their business to tell us what to do.

farahWhen The Huffington Post lost Farrah Miller as an editor (she was the person Arianna cc’d on the email above) we lost an experienced editor with a broader vision.

I don’t know what to do. I only know that I’ve chosen to live my life and to survive my divorce by finding the good in everything that comes my way. Have I lost a lot in the process, yes. But I have also gained a new voice, a resonant voice that comes from deep within me, and sings out MY STORY, and ultimately, MY POSITIVE STORY OF DIVORCE.

I think men need to be in the conversation, and I would like Arianna Huffington to address this lopsided conversation with the same vision she had when she started the section with her dear friend. Women and men get divorced, our children are along for the ride, both partners have a huge impact on our kids lives and future relationships will be managed. If only a small percentage of the posts are by men, and 90% of those men are relationship professionals (lawyers, coaches, and therapists) rather than fathers, then the conversation on the Huffington Post is written by women and to women. That is not a not a holistic or healthy conversation at all.

John McElhenney
@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)