The set of HuffPost Live, the 12-hour-per-day live news stream that launched last August, is separated from its newsroom by a transparent glass wall. Throw pillows cover tufted leather couches, oriental rugs lie under rough-hewn wooden coffee and side tables, and floating bookshelves line the clear walls—lending a hipster chic hotel-lobby vibe, which makes sense, considering the set was designed by the team behind trendy establishments like the Ace Hotel and the Standard.
In spite of this casually polished vintage aesthetic, there is an amateur quality to many of the HuffPost Live broadcasts, as “experts” (a term broadly defined) offer their opinions via Skype and video chat. Part radio-call in show, part curated chatroulette, part cable news, HuffPost Live has moments of profundity and moments of drivel. It is, in this way and many others, the Huffington Post come to life.
Hollywood actor John Cusack has developed some strong opinions on the mortgage crisis. He’s been doing some reading, even talking to a few experts, and is reasonably well-informed about a plan some California cities have to use eminent domain to seize troubled mortgages.
Those of you curious to hear what Lloyd Dobler thinks about a complex policy initiative can now satisfy that curiosity in a poorly-produced, 15-minute long video of John Cusack discussing these issues. Mr. Cusack shares his expertise during a painfully long HuffPost Live video, kicking off the first day of Huffington Post’s video news initiative in true Huffington Post fashion. Appearing via Google Hangouts, Mr. Cusack has a badly organized discussion with Arianna Huffington, segment host John Zepps, a random homeowner in California and John Vlahoplus, the guy who’s pitching the plan and the lone expert in the group.