November 30, 2012

Tina Brown and Arianna Huffington

Tina Brown and Arianna Huffington

The gossip is that the Washington Post is in bad trouble and losing money like only Tina Brown can. Not that Brown has anything to do with the Post. Tina wastes zillions of dollars for Barry Diller, who loses ten million greenbacks yearly at The Daily Beast and is closing the thirty-million-per-annum loser Newsweek. It’s not even Diller’s money, it’s that of those who invest with him.

If I’m confusing you, don’t blame me. I actually pay all my bills and also my writers, unlike that other Greek, Arianna Stassinopoulos Huffington, who dropped the Greek part of her name just as the Greeks let go of the drachma and went for the euro. If it’s all Greek to you, don’t worry. It gets messier.

Tina Brown is a Brit who became famous early on by romancing Martin Amis and Auberon Waugh, not the best-looking men but fodder for gossip-mongers because of the bitchiness of their pens. I am proud to say that I’ve never read a word Amis wrote and I aim to keep it that way, but I knew Waugh and read him in the Spectator, although I wouldn’t say we were bosom buddies.

“How would I go about getting others to pay millions while I get all the glory for losing those millions?”

But back to Brown and the Greek who now sounds like an American.

I first met Arianna when she was president of the Cambridge Union. She agreed to write a foreword to my book on the Greek colonels, a little deal arranged by my wonderful publisher and friend Tom Stacey. Arianna was ecstatic to do it. She considered me on a par with Aristophanes, Thucydides, and Herodotus, or so she is thought to have said to Tom. Then the Greek colonels collapsed, Taki became a nonperson in Greece for having served them, and Arianna decided to stick closer to someone such as the great Bernard Levin rather than the dirty little Nazi Taki.

Having left me behind, Arianna went from strength to strength. She wrote a book on Callas that was reportedly edited too much by Levin, a man who had forgotten more about music than she ever was to learn. Under the advice of Lord Weidenfeld, another suitor, she moved to America and befriended people such as Barbara Walters, probably the dumbest white woman to ever appear on television. (I note that she’s white because there is a very dumb black woman on South African TV that is apparently dumber.)

After a brilliant marriage to a very rich Texan oilman who preferred boys to girls, Arianna got divorced, kept custody of her two semi-Texan heiresses, and started The Huffington Post. After a while she sold it for 315 million smackers. I tried to commit suicide when I read about it but was prevented from doing so by my daughter, who runs Taki’s Mag and has promised to sell it one day for 316 million greenbacks.


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