07/09/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Happy Birthday, Huffington Post!

And what a wonderful birthday party it is, for an extraordinary five years of the Huffington Post! It's time to celebrate, with birthday hats, cake, noisemakers - especially the noisemakers, to pay tribute to an organization that's been making plenty of noise since its inception five years ago.

Think back to those sad and lonely days when we didn't have the Huffington Post to help us, educate us, lift our spirits up and energize us. Who would ever have imagined that five years later, we would have something that surpassed the Drudge Report by a thousand miles, with much more traffic, original reporting, more political impact and more fun. With real facts and actual reporting.

And Arianna rose to the challenge. Ignored the naysayers, won over those who were sure it would fail, and has built something unique and long lasting.

Watching the changes, improvements, and additions to the Huffington Post in the five years since then has been a thrill and an inspiration.

With National Editor Nico Pitney and a great group of news editors finding the most interesting and engaging content, the site's impact just grows and grows.

Star reporters such as Sam Stein, Ryan Grim, Arthur Delaney, and Dan Froomkin proved that digging, probing, and asking the questions that weren't being asked could pay off, big-time. As evidence, consider that exciting moment when Sam was called on at a press briefing by President Obama. Talk about coming a long way in a short time!

HuffPost is truly a game changer, and we at Brave New Films are thrilled to be inspired by the Huffington Post every day, and to be providing video reports and investigations for the Huff Post front page on Afghanistan, on the housing crisis, on the lies of the right wing noise machine and the stories of regular working Americans struggling to get by in the aftermath of the disastrous Bush administration.

It's heartwarming to look back at the role that the Huffington Post played in calling attention to candidate McCain's hypocrisy and extremism, as documented in BNF's Real McCain series, helping to expose the lie factory that is Fox News, helping shine a light on the insurance profiteers lobbying to kill healthcare reform, giving our "Sanders Unfiltered" series a platform so that the most progressive member in the Senate could speak straight to the American people. And perhaps most importantly, Huffington Post's brave decision to challenge the conventional wisdom on the Afghanistan War, by showcasing BNF's "Rethink Afghanistan" series speaks volumes of the courage and integrity of the HuffPost editorial staff.

As Huffington Post goes forward, I would like to extend a loud and hearty shout out for a job well done. Huff Post is a critical voice in a media landscape dominated by insiderism and mediocrity, and here's to years and years more of its bold reporting and media innovation!