W visits Arianna

HuffingtonThe May issue of W (with Cameron Diaz on the cover) proclaims Arianna Huffington more influential than ever, with her new book doing well and the Huffington Post "arguably the most popular political site on the web." On the Sunday of the interview that made the opening anecdote, she had lunch with David Geffen and hiked in the morning with Norman Lear's wife Lyn. “There’s no question that it’s harder to dismiss me or write a caricature now,” says Huffington. The piece is by Diane Solway. Excerpt:

Central command is up the circular stairway in the corner, past the landing and hidden behind the sliding bookcase. Here, in the Huffington Post’s West Coast bureau, an office resembling a college dorm room, four staffers keep tabs on the traffic. (The editorial office is in Manhattan.) Huffington jokes with them as she clicks on to 23/6, a new comedy site financed by Barry Diller’s IAC, in which the Huffington Post is a partner. It’s an unlikely sight: a 57-year-old woman giddily surfing political campaign-ad parodies with her tech-savvy, twentysomething cohorts....

As a cybersalonista, Huffington is perpetually brokering connections among the A-listers she knows from Hollywood, Washington, the media and beyond. She launched the Huffington Post in 2005 as the left’s answer to the Drudge Report, introducing boldfaced names to the blogosphere. The betting was that it would last as long as the Segway. Today, it is the fourth most-linked-to blog, as ranked by Internet tracker Technorati; in February it surpassed Drudge for the first time, drawing 3.7 million unique visitors to Drudge’s 3.4 million, according to Nielsen Online. Recently, London’s Observer magazine ranked Huffington Post first on its list of the world’s 50 most powerful blogs.

Agent Ari Emanuel says in the story that he talks to her everyday.

Photo: Brigitte Sire / W

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