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Huffington snags N.Y. Times star

In the latest sign that Web sites can compete on an equal footing with media giants, a top reporter for the New York Times is defecting to the Huffington Post.

Peter Goodman, until recently the paper's national economic correspondent and now a writer for the Sunday business section, has just signed the deal. And his reasoning helps explain why he would leave the high-profile platform of the Times.

"For me it's a chance to write with a point of view," Goodman says in an interview. "It's sort of the age of the columnist. With the dysfunctional political system, old conventional notions of fairness make it hard to tell readers directly what's going on. This is a chance for me to explore solutions in my economic reporting."

Goodman, who spent a decade at The Washington Post before his three years at the Times, says he will still rely on facts and not engage in "ranting." And while he was happy at the newspaper, he says, he found he was engaged in "almost a process of laundering my own views, through the tried-and-true technique of dinging someone at some think tank to say what you want to tell the reader."

Goodman's hiring is a coup for Arianna Huffington, who earlier this week hired Howard Fineman from Newsweek, which The Washington Post Co. is in the process of selling to businessman Sidney Harman. The Web site's editorial staff is now nearing 100.

Huffington says Goodman will become business and technology editor and will be hiring several reporters to expand the coverage. He will also "be writing lengthy, deep-dive pieces" on such subjects as redesigning capitalism and job creation.

"This is an example of how the Huffington Post, because of our traffic and our ability to help shape the national conversation, has demonstrated we can have an impact," she says. "Traditional journalists can come to us and not give up any of that impact. Often they can increase it."

Goodman's wife, Deanna Fei, was already blogging for Huffington, and Goodman met her when both were on a Columbia University panel. When the couple was in Los Angeles, Goodman e-mailed Huffington, wound up having a drink at her mansion and going out for dinner, and found himself being courted.

Goodman is the author of the recent book "Past Due: The End of Easy Money and the Renewal of the American Economy."

Asked if he has reservations about joining a left-leaning Web site, Goodman says that "I certainly buy into Arianna's vision that we have to be very directed at exploring solutions" and that he wants to be an advocate for the creation of well-paying jobs.

Goodman has come a long way since the 1990s, when I was an editor at The Post and was using him as a stringer in San Francisco.

By Howard Kurtz  | September 21, 2010; 6:53 PM ET
Categories:  Latest stories, Top story  | Tags:  Arianna Huffington, Huffington Post, New York Times, Peter Goodman, economy  
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Comments

"In the latest sign that Web sites can compete on an equal footing with media giants"

I guess the reason an idiot might say that is because he is unaware of declining newspaper sales.

What's your reason?

Posted by: sherifffruitfly | September 21, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Goodman says at the Times he was engaged in "almost a process of laundering my own views." The "almost" says volumes about modern journalism, and the acknowledgment of the ploy of using think tank sources to express the reporter's views is candid to the point of embarrassment. Welcome to journalism as it's practiced at the New York Times circa 2010--and at the Washington Post as well.

Posted by: Rob_ | September 21, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Was this cat part of the Journolist? This quote is a classic. I wonder how many drafts this went through? "I certainly buy into Arianna's vision that we have to be very directed at exploring solutions". So, her vision is exploring solutions huh? All of them big government, socialist and statis in nature. He forgot to mention that last part and if anyone has seen Huffington on the Sunday talk shows, they already know that this dingbat can't carry a coherent solution through two consecutive sentences with contradicting herself. Try placing your solution through that? Just declare yourselves all in the Democrates POCKET already!

Posted by: skscottkeyes | September 21, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

"Asked if he has reservations about joining a left-leaning Web site..."

Um... he was already working at the NY Times. This just isn't that massive a shift.

Posted by: charlesbakerharris | September 21, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

To say that "this is the age of the columnist" means that reporting facts has gone out of fashion and doesn't sell well. If all journalists do is arm waving or "rant" as you say who will expose the corruption that surrounds us without investigative journalism? Those who read The Huffington Post are looking for political theater and unlikely to read ProPublic or other sources of genuine news. I fear that journalism has been given over to the mob. What would Woodward and Bernstein have done?

Posted by: werowe1 | September 22, 2010 6:23 AM | Report abuse

Just what our media need, another leftwing hack writing with "a point of view."

Posted by: NorplantNow | September 22, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Conservative politicians are increasingly pandering to the views like those of the previous posts - that an avowedly conservative partisan outlet is "genuine news," for example. No wonder a real journalist feels constrained by the practice of balance.

Posted by: ss007 | September 22, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

No news outlet did more to promote Mister Bush's Discretionary Warâ„¢ than The New York Times.

Posted by: mattintx | September 22, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I think that Mr. Goodman has made a good decision for his career and also reflects a level of maturity. When a person reaches a place in his/her career that they have become an expert in a field and the place they work cannot fully use their expertise, it's good to move on to a company that can. When a reporter recognizes that they are "laundering" their views, it's time to become a columnist and let the marketplace judge their worth.

Posted by: t_a_forrester | September 22, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

What's the news here? A reporter moves from a left leaning rag to a left leaning website. This is news?

Posted by: IntreoidOne | September 22, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

So a liberal economist moves to the liberal rag Huffington Post....so?
I find it hard to believe though that the liberal NYT is not liberal enough for him. So I presume we will expect, if we visit Huffington post to see his liberal agenda spewing forth even more than this paper allows?
I guess I won't be reading him here or there. For someone who says she wants to be a serious contender in the news fields, Arianna certainly needs to clean up the tone on her comment boards. She complains about other sites then forgets to look at the state of her own, or perhaps the tone she allows is exactly what she wants. I used her read her every day until her attacks on the Clintons in the primaries, but no longer. When she starts commenting that people who don't agree with her and Obama's agendas have lizard brains and undeveloped, then she loses the credibility to be taken as a serious player but only a liberal ranter like so many others.

Posted by: justmyvoice | September 22, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

We're seeing a lot of moving around. Fineman is a much much bigger fish for HuffPo to land than Goodman (who?). But perhaps Goodman can do what really needs to be done at HuffPo: clean up the messy, confusing layout, get rid of the 40 point font headlines (what will they do if World War III breaks out?), and help the readers find the news stories. Then make the coverage less bloggy and more newsy -- less opinion and more fact. That's what I see in the hiring of both of these journalists.

Another recent move is Yahoo's (Yahoo Finance's) hiring of Daniel Gross (formerly of Newsweek). Yahoo barely has a news organization but it has money. It's a blank slate for Gross to write on. And he knows how to write and edit. I look forward to Yahoo becoming relevant in the economic news business -- not just reporting numbers.

Posted by: Juris2 | September 22, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

And this is news because...? I guess that he felt somehow compelled to conceal his liberal bias at the NYTimes. Are you kidding??

Posted by: blushark1 | September 22, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

And this is news because...? I guess that he felt somehow compelled to conceal his liberal bias at the NYTimes. Are you kidding??

Posted by: blushark1 | September 22, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Spoiled by Sir Rupert Murdoch's Market Watch 5000 character limits on bare knuckle commentary, archived without censorship, I find that my shortest considered opinion exceeds the 3000 characters allowed by WP's admittedly far superior approach to copying Sir Rupert's open commentary, than, for instance the NYT. The Gray Lady, shedding employees, as related here to the left coast huffing before post, and shedding stockholder's substance to union waste, and Carlos Slim's predatory emergency loan, chooses to shield much of the Gray Lady content from any commentary, thank you very much. I may share this article with Facebook, as I do for the stingy limited and perhaps even censored Fox news comment sections, also owned by Sir Rupert, but under guidance from hands that like the NYT, still do not get it, or due to their TV ratings are too important to submit to better editors. I may include my comment there, as best I can, sending it as well, if I can find an email address to WP editors, et al. We will see if they find it as amusing to read, as I have found it amusing, to write. This will also test the no censorship concept, that NYT certainly does not get, to see if it applies to the WP, with their amazing acceptance of even conservative civil comment, for the first time in my life.

Posted by: WastingtonDC | September 22, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Goodman says at the Times he was engaged in "almost a process of laundering my own views." The "almost" says volumes about modern journalism, and the acknowledgment of the ploy of using think tank sources to express the reporter's views is candid to the point of embarrassment. Welcome to journalism as it's practiced at the New York Times circa 2010--and at the Washington Post as well.

Posted by: Rob_ |
*****

And I suppose you think that Fox is an exception?

The right makes sure you don't have to go looking for a quote by investing tens of millons annually, withheld from middle-class paychecks, in AEI, CATO, Hudson, and dozens of other propaganda centers masquerading as 'think tanks'. They are so little interested in independent thought, AEI even dumped former Bush speechwriter David Frum.

Posted by: j3hess | September 22, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

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