Journalists were busy updating their LinkedIn profiles and congratulating each other for how great they are more than usual yesterday when personal move after personal move was announced on the Twitters. The loudest trumpet of self-congratulation of all came with the news that the Huffington Post had hired former NFL wide receiver Donté Stallworth to cover national security. Stallworth hasn't been relevant in football since 2008, which raises the question: Did these Beltway media types know whom they were congratulating?
Stallworth had a fairly middling pro career, catching 35 touchdowns over a decade-long span with stops in New Orleans, Philadelphia, and New England to name a few. His only notable season was playing opposite Randy Moss for the 18-1 Super Bowl losing New England Patriots.
It was during Stallworth’s stop at the Browns that he was convicted of DUI manslaughter after colliding with and killing a 59 year-old man, earning him 30 days in jail and a year suspension from the NFL. The NFL handed out a similarly lengthy suspension recently for a player who popped positive for marijuana. Huff Po Washington bureau chief Ryan Grim told the Washington Post that he and his colleagues "obviously believe in redemption and second chances."
Huff Po has assigned Stallworth to the national security beat, an inspired personnel move as Stallworth's public stances toward Russia and the previous administration fall into lockstep with the current White House. Stallworth has also shown a skepticism toward the "official" narrative of 9/11.
On the same day Stallworth’s hiring was announced, 70 employees at USA Today were released due to budget concerns.
It is not known whether Ray Rice is also under consideration for a Huffington Post fellowship.