The Toronto Globe and Mail profiled Arianna Huffington as she prepares to keynote the Canada's Most Famous Women summit, and D.C.-based writer Konrad Yakabuski underlines that the Huffington Post founder is mysteriously aligning herself outside the bubble of the super-rich with her book Third World America:
Ms. Huffington's 13th book is a cri de coeur bemoaning the evisceration of the U.S. middle class and America's slide toward Third World status. As she describes it to me, “that's really a country where there are the super-rich, who live behind gates with guards protecting their kids from kidnapping, and the rest of us.”
The rest of us?
If the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post seems so unself-conscious about lumping herself in with the proletariat – even though her own L.A. home is nestled safely behind electric gates – it is because she bleeds for the millions of formerly middle-class Americans, she says, who were left downtrodden by the Great Recession.
In the Globe and Mail piece, Huffington seems more sympathetic to the Tea Party than she does to Barack Obama, who is far too moderate for her mansion-based rabble-rousing tastes. He aids the malefactors of great wealth:
“The fundamental problem here is Obama's reverence for the establishments,” she laments, blaming the President for deferring to the Wall Street recruits in his administration by passing a loophole-filled financial reform bill and to his military advisers by escalating U.S. involvement in Afghanistan.
Third World America is Ms. Huffington's biopsy (her word) of her adopted country and it proposes a treatment, starting with a fundamental reform of campaign finance laws. Getting Congress to enact such a change seems like a liberal pipe dream.
She equated campaign finance "reform" and the 1960s civil rights movement. When she was a dilettante among conservatives instead of a dilettante among liberals, Yakabuski reminded the reader she was targeted by New York Times columnist Frank Rich, who saw in her an Angela Lansbury-type schemer parading around a feckless congressman husband:
“How has this pair – an empty suit and a crackpot – risen so far?” the preternaturally cranky New York Times columnist Frank Rich wondered of Michael Huffington and his wife at the time. To find out, Mr. Rich suggested, “rent The Manchurian Candidate.”
For people who are looking for funny quotes surrounding how Arianna sees her own website, there is this passage to be recommended:
Of course, HuffPo is more than a liberal organ. Only 20 per cent of its more than 24 million unique monthly visitors (making it second in online news traffic after The New York Times) come for the political fodder. Most check out the celebrity bloggers or enter one of its 26 sections, ranging from travel to divorce.
“The way the mainstream media suffer from attention deficit disorder, we suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder,” Ms. Huffington asserts.