Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Most Ironic Demonstration of Irony, Ever

I've asked this question before. I'm sure I will ask it again. Now that the executive and legislative branches are comfortably in the hand of Democratic party, can we please give Arianna Huffington back to the Republicans? This is not a joke. If it were a joke, then I would be the kind of person who repeatedly goes for the same punch line over and over again and of course I am not that kind of person.

Today, on KPCC's Airtalk show with Larry Mantle, Ms. Huffington was a guest during a segment in which she implored Americans to move their money to smaller banks and credit unions. Now I agree with her sentiment. I agree with part of her reasoning. But when another guest brought up the very cogent point that smaller banks are also failing and do not tend to give out loans to small businesses (an issue more important to the people on the radio than to me), Arianna Huffington turned into the familiar super-condescending version of herself that has made me cringe with horror.

Now, I have actively disliked Huffington since her stint as a very public and extremely shrill angry conservative back in the 1990s so maybe I am unfair in my description of her behavior. But when show host Larry Mantle - normally a calm, patient, exceedingly prepared, and skillful interviewer - is surprised and put off by a guest's ridiculous behavior, you know something is up. After Huffington condescended toward Larry Mantle (something you simply do not do) by suggesting that her new pet fake move-the-money movement (which I, again, agree with) would benefit if Mantle himself moved his own money to a smaller bank, Mantle mercifully but cheerfully shut the interview down. You could almost hear him thinking "maybe over in Santa Monica you can get away with that crap but not in Pasadena, not on my watch." 

After a news break, it was off to the next segment, titled - and I am being completely serious here - Condescending liberals and angry conservatives. Really, KPCC? You're going to have on your airwaves the one person on earth who has been the epitome of both of these things at various times in her life. And you're going to use her in a completely different segment of the same show? In the immediately preceding segment? This was either intentional or the most ironic demonstration of irony, ever. Or both. I can just see Mantle rubbing his hands together and giggling in his windowless studio lair while thinking "that was my greatest work of art, ever. Most will not have gotten the joke but the few who get it will work hard to make sure that the word gets out, via their web logging and pamphleteering. Ha ha ha ha ha ha."

Finally, let me get one thing out of the way. At least two of my male friends find Arriana Huffington hot. This is their word - "hot." Now I consider their line of thinking absurd and perhaps sociopathic. In my list of the five most unattractive things in the universe, Huffington's website* and Huffington's accent, make the list at #4 and #1, respectively. (For the record, #5 is the smell of cold eggs in a salad, #3 is the sight of more than one Peter Gabriel album on anyone's shelf (we all get one Gabriel free pass but more than one is inexcusable), and #2 is the way intestines really look inside a living person.) 

Now, my dislike of her sickening accent (not to mention her reptilian physical appearance) might mean that I objectify Huffington in a way that is unfair to her and this objectification may be informed by the fact that she is a woman and, especially, by the fact that she is a very visible woman with a very public forum. Yes, I will admit that if she looked like Catherine Keener and spoke like Frances Anderton, I might have less of a problem with her. I don't think her status as a successful female media figure informs my dislike all that much, though. She was my enemy as far back as '93 when I first heard her voice curdling through my radio speakers. But hey at least I don't objectify her in the other direction. Hot?? Really J and M? You honestly believe that?

*I understand that the Huffington Post's web designer may actually be to blame but she puts her name on it and she likely profits from it and plays a role in how it looks. That is one ugly website. It's almost as if she were a secret operative sent by the right to infiltrate the left. Wait a second.... Oh I get it now!