WashPost Tidbits: New NPR Prez Worked for Clinton, Sexism Wounds Arianna

September 22nd, 2006 6:57 AM

Here's a few tidbits from the Style section of Friday's Washington Post. Paul Farhi reports that NPR has a new CEO. It's executive vice president Ken Stern, who will replace Kevin Klose on October 1. Only at the end of the short article are we told Stern "was deputy general counsel for President Clinton's 1996 reelection campaign." Stern's official NPR bio also notes he was "chief counsel for the 53rd Presidential Inaugural Committee," Clinton's second inauguration.

Book reviewer Carolyn See has taken a strong liking to Arianna Huffington. She even claimed sexism was responsible for people disliking her: "She's that social climber with the funny accent who married some rich Republican who tried to buy a Senate seat. When that failed, they separated, and she switched political sides. Then she gave many Gatsby-style parties, invited everyone, got a newspaper column and set up a blog called the Huffington Post. Groan. People don't care much for women who think, and it's not only men who get creeped out: If a woman like that disagrees with you -- and has the nerve to say so out loud -- it's more than possible that she may be right." See is wrong.

Arianna had a syndicated newspaper column in the mid-1990s while she was a conservative and still married. But See wasn't done carrying her feminist torch for poor "luminous" Ms. Huffington:

She was a woman of strong opinions who didn't mind sharing them -- had to share them. She ran for governor in the last California gubernatorial circus, appearing on television with a horde of other candidates, all men, who patronized her, ignored her, insulted her. They ended up looking like mindless oafs; she more than held her own.

And Arianna is even a spiritual sage:

As for God, Huffington is matter-of-fact: Over the centuries, men have put humanity between a theological rock and a hard place, with hellfire-and-brimstone organized religions on the one hand and bleak existentialism on the other. She recommends a third way -- recognizing an overarching spirituality above the strictures of any particular belief and praying to aspects of our own choosing of the Divine. For her, it's the Virgin Mary, Hestia (the Greek goddess of the hearth) and Hermes (the god of serendipity and change). It's an appealing idea.

It's an appealing idea...if you're a feminist with a weakness for New Age goo.