Who’s That Girl? Arianna Huffington in Conversation with Marlo Thomas and the Commentariat

To celebrate the launch of new Huffington Post verticals HuffPo Women and HuffPo Parents yesterday, Arianna Huffington sat down for a live newsroom video chat with Marlo Thomas, star of the ’60s sitcom That Girl and author of the New Age children’s classic Free to Be You and Me.

Ms. Thomas will serve as editor at large for the lavender-themed women’s site, contributing original video content. According to Forbes, she will make a cool $1 million doing it—which, if true, must be the biggest payday she’s had in years. She will be joined by new managing editor Farah Miller, former digital chief of OWN: The Oprah Network.

The hires make sense: Ms. Huffington is known for her New Age leanings (she and a former flame, the late Bernard Levin, briefly followed metaphysical guru John-Roger), and Off the Record has noted a sort of Oprah Winfrey-style secular spirituality about Ms. Huffington lately.

“[HuffPost] Women will highlight an approach to living that centers on the happiness that comes from feeling good by doing good; that draws attention to the importance of ‘unplugging and recharging,’” Ms. Huffington wrote in the vertical’s introductory note.

When asked by a commenter for tips on managing stress, Ms. Huffington proselytized on one of her favorite topics of late—no, not the political abandonment of the middle class, but the holistic benefits of a full night’s sleep.

“It makes me less reactive, less judgmental, more creative, more productive and more joyful,” said Ms. Huffington, who reportedly hides her Blackberries in the bathroom while she sleeps. That’s why she outfitted the Huffington Post editorial offices with two nap rooms.

“I love to see one of our busy reporters or editors disappear for a 20-minute or 30-minute nap in the middle of the afternoon rather than having a doughnut, or a fourth cup of coffee or being grumpy,” she said.

“I think I might use it today because I got up really early to go on Morning Joe.”

More interesting were the HuffPo commenters questions (Did you hear they logged their hundred millionth comment today?) that went unanswered.

“Do you favor the passage of a constitutional amendment that would divest corporations of the First Amendment rights?” asked Jon.

“How can artists/creative types contribute to improving civil society, and building a more inclusive society?” wondered Amy.

“When banned from commenting at the Post, how does this senior who is still learning how to use his cell phone fix that mess that I got into? Nice websites, by the way, ladies!” contributed John Christopher Pevec.

“With current deficit agreement how bad do you think things will be for the next 10 years? I have visions, intimations of a Grapes of Wrath new Depression America. I am terrified. Do you think it will be that bad?” asked a Guest.

“Hi Arianna, I just tweeted you but I guess my question for you is a little bit personal, but how are you able to maintain and keep your youth so great you look really pretty :D” said Richard Holmes.

“Yes, me again Arianna you mention the merge with AOL, and you stated Black Voices Huffington Post will launch on Thursday, can you share a bit more on the expectations you see in that section of Huffinton Post?” asked Mr. Holmes in a follow-up.

Perhaps Mr. Holmes’s first question was already answered (beauty sleep), but as for the others, readers might have better luck on the site’s gender-neutral verticals.


Who’s That Girl? Arianna Huffington in Conversation with Marlo Thomas and the Commentariat