Arianna Huffington Is The Gift That Keeps On Giving

It doesn't matter that there have already been 800 profiles of and interviews with Arianna Huffington. New ones are still endlessly entertaining.

Part of the reason is because Huffington is both endlessly charming and lacking in a certain self awareness, a titan and schmoozer who blithely spouts populist rhetoric about media and politics. Case in point: New York's Chris Rovzar's chat with her on the occasion of her relocating to New York, in which she enthusiastically embraces her junior staff to show what a warm boss she is — even as Rovzar can't help but notice that they're mildly terrified. And then there's this:

An assistant brings us coffee. Huffington asks for a Stevia, which begins a lengthy search of drawers. "We don't have a hierarchy in our operation," Huffington continues. "I see everything as a team, and I love empowering people." The assistant is now on her hands and knees, rooting through Huffington's bag. She finds a Stevia.

The canonical Huffington work is Lauren Collins' 2008 profile in The New Yorker, which shows Huffington's many laudable and energetic qualities, but also provides a similar contrast:

"This isn't journalism; it's a Sag Harbor circle jerk," Huffington wrote in March, 2006, after Vanity Fair published a story defending [Judith] Miller. She chose to ignore the fact that, eight months earlier, she had substantiated her own criticisms by writing that she had heard them from people who knew Miller well, "since I spent the weekend in the vicinity of her summer hometown."

There's also her tendency to ask everyone she meets to blog, a networking tool that appeared endlessly in The New Yorker profile and retains its amusement as a gag for New York:

"We literally arrived at the little Amalfi port, and there was Newt Gingrich with Callista, his wife. And so Barbara Walters was with me and she invited him to appear on The View and I invited him to blog. He said he will." But aren't they foes? "He has a book coming out in November," she explains.

Imperfect, yes, but still, we prefer limousine liberals to limousine conservatives.

101 Minutes With Arianna Huffington [NYM]
Related: The Oracle [The New Yorker]