By: Greg Mitchell
After much fanfare, syndicated columnist Arianna Huffington, launched her star-studded blog today, delivering, as promised, a very active site that has already included entries from director Mike Nichols, actor John Cusack, comedian Ellen DeGeneres, playwright David Mamet, and even a conservative, David Frum.
Harry Shearer contributed his first edition of a regular column called “Eat the Press.” Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Brad Hall try a marriage column. An almost endless list of fellow blogs line The Huffington Post’s right side, and there’ s an RSS feed.
The site also includes news links and, naturally, reader feedback, all in a visually appealing (for a blog) format. Of course, one would imagine that it wanted to start with a bang and frontload some of its best early material. One can’t expect a Mamet column every day, or even one from Mike Isikoff, though most of the entries range from one to four paragraphs only.
A Monday rolled on, the site added contributions from Walter Cronkite, Sen. John Corzine (D-NJ), Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. and Tina Brown.
The new site, which is meant, in part, to take on The Drudge Report, includes an instant-submission box, a la Drudge, to send Arianna “scoops.” Also, like Drudge’s site, it features photos of well known figures, this morning starring Tom Cruise and Rupert Murdoch. (Drudge today had Paula Abdul and Geena Davis, along with Vlad and George.) And it includes delightful Drudge-like headlines, such as “Dog ‘Adopts’ Abandoned Baby in Rural Kenya.”
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Cusack writes about attending Hunter S. Thompson’s wake in Aspen: “The sun was shining and gunfire echoed as friends and family gathered and shot targets on the lawn. Norman Greenbaum’s ‘Spirit in the Sky’ booming. Books, notes, numbers, pills, bullets, totems and talismans everywhere. Outside his wife offered liquid acid to people in the driveway.”
DeGeneres speaks up against the slaughtering of wild horses. Frum quotes a newspaper saying that his job at the left-leaning blog is to “disturb a cozy worldview.”
Here’s Mamet: “I know there is such a person as ‘Arianna Huffington,’ as I have had dinner at her house. There I met people as befuddled as myself about the state of the world, and as confused as to whether or not a vast coup had occurred in our government.”
Laurie David, wife of Seinfeld creator Larry, and a political activist in California, reveals: “Here is a dirty little secret: Larry David watches American Idol. In fact, it’s one of his favorite shows….” (Later in the day, Larry posted, too, on John Bolton.)
Here’s Tina Brown on what she learned in hosting her now-defunct TV talk show: “Insincere smiles are strangely hard to do even after years of practice at cocktail parties. Insincere smiles even harder to do when listening with fascination to guest speak about his theories about class warfare and producer is saying into earpiece ‘Blah. Blah. Can?t you put a bomb up his ass?'”