Being in the ‘Belly of the Beast’ at Huffington Post ‘Drained’ Jonah Peretti

In his long overdue Atlantic media diet, BuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti called out the previous contributors to the column, the ones who claim to read The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times in print, every day, and say they are so embarrassed by how the Economists they never got around to reading pile up around the apartment.

He wrote:

“The main way I discover information is my Twitter feed and my Facebook news feed. One of the interesting things about this Media Diet column is if people were honest, I think they would give more credit to Facebook and Twitter, which can mean totally different things depending on who you are. But social is the new starting point.”

Of course, it’s in his best interest to promote the notion that our social media feeds now dictate our reading habits—it’s the whole idea behind BuzzFeed. (As each of his hires has dutifully reminded us.) In fact, taken as a whole, his media diet served to explain why and how he had to create BuzzFeed.

Mr. Peretti explained that he decided to hire Ben Smith and make the site a home for bipartisan, scoop-driven reporting because he was burned out by the opinion-mongering at the Huffington Post.

“I started to get fatigued by partisan journalism and partisan reporting and columnists who have to be controversial: This is wrong, this is right. Being in the belly of the beast at HuffPo drained me.”

He also rehashed that Parisian cafe defense of BuzzFeed’s animal photos.