November 30, 2012

Tina Brown and Arianna Huffington

Tina Brown and Arianna Huffington

How one sells something for 315 million dollars without paying the writers or breaking any news is a Greek mystery to me, but good luck to Arianna. They say there’s a sucker born every minute, and she found one in AOL, who bought her out but also kept her running things.

Tina Brown is someone who has lost countless millions but is known as a brilliant editor who saves magazines. She lost millions with Vanity Fair until Graydon Carter took over, then lost millions with The New Yorker, lost fifty million big ones for Harvey Weinstein with Talk magazine—now defunct—and is at present losing tens upon tens of millions with Newsweek and The Daily Beast. Yet Tina is a success while Taki is considered a bust. It simply ain’t fair.

The good news for Tina is that she is not running the Washington Post, because that old paper is in a mess since the publisher, Donald Graham, decided to give it as a plaything to his niece, Katharine Weymouth, daughter of the infamous Lally Weymouth, named Lally because no one could spell “Ugh” back when she was born. The niece got into trouble right away by hosting dinner parties for rich people in DC in exchange for the fatties meeting Washington Post writers. (Personally I’d pay not to meet those pompous asses, but we don’t all think alike.) After that little trick was exposed, la Weymouth reportedly kept firing good editors for compliant ones. The Post sold Newsweek to Barry Diller via a 90-something magazine mogul wannabe who died just in time for Tina to make her entrance. From Weymouth to Harman to Diller to Brown, it sounds like a triple play in baseball and a sucker play in business.

I have been writing for the Spectator, the greatest weekly in the world, for close to 36 years now and we are finally making oodles of moolah. But we never lost anything like the amounts that Tina drops. Taki’s Mag is ready to break even next year, and we have millions reading us. And we pay our writers, something the Greco-Texan never learned to do.

I wish someone would tell me the trick. How would I go about getting others to pay millions while I get all the glory for losing those millions? Now that’s what I call a good editor. Step up and be counted, Tina Brown.



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