It's Huffington season in the magazines

Arianna Huffington, in The New YorkerBoth The New Yorker and Los Angeles have pieces on Arianna Huffington in their current issues. The New Yorker profile by Lauren Collins (with the photo here by Jonathan Becker) says that half of the Huffington Post's traffic comes from its political coverage and that the bloggers now number 2,000. There are also six paid politics editors and reporters and 11,000 citizen journalists with the Off the Bus project. The writer followed Huffington to a Planned Parenthood speech for color:

Seated at a table of philanthropists at Seattle’s Bell Harbor International Conference Center, Huffington produced a couple of hard-boiled eggs—food as fuel—from her pocketbook and deposited them on her plate. She is almost six feet tall, and has a tiny forehead, a peaked upper lip, and hair with the lustre of a copper pot. She is approachable, but, when approached, she assumes a default posture: hands clasped, one foot pointed in front, like a gymnast about to begin the floor exercise. Her comportment is flirty yet disciplined—wearing a ruffled blouse, as she did in Seattle, she could have been channelling a French maid or George Washington. Eventually, she ascended the stage. “Now trust me, I have two teen-age daughters,” she began. “I would love it if abstinence was the way to go.”

Michael Huffington talks briefly about his bisexuality, and the piece cites a 1986 Los Angeles Times story about John-Roger by Bob Sipchen and David Cay Johnston. The Los Angeles magazine piece by RJ Smith also charts Huffington's personal and political transformations, concluding:

It’s in going from a networker to a Net worker that she has found her most convincing iteration yet. As editor-in-chief of the Web site the Huffington Post, she has achieved something more than celebrity—she’s become an Influence. She doesn’t need comedy writers to get people interested in what she has to say. They already are.

This election season the three-and-a-half-year-old Huffington Post has attained a new level of prominence and a new group of readers....

In a year when the Webbiest major candidate ever is campaigning against a guy who doesn’t text message, the Internet and Huffington keep colonizing each other. Obama’s Web base and hers comfortably overlap, a connectivity that has not escaped either side. After comments by Jeremiah Wright almost derailed Obama’s campaign, the candidate gave his first statement on the Rev to the Post. It was a savvy thing to do: a direct appeal to his constituents.

Smith says to watch for the Huffington Post to begin a Los Angeles section, similar to its recently new Chicago section.

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