When Rob Lowe wanted to get ahead of news that his nanny was going to be accusing him of sexual harrassment, who did he call?
Huffington, founder and editor-in-chief of the online Huffington Post, has amassed a stable of 1,800 bloggers who contribute to a certain online sensation that's also in the business of some serious political reporting - see the recent work in these e-pages of HuffPo's Tom Edsall, for instance. And you first read about Obama's words about the bitterness of working classvoters, voiced in a closed-door San Francisco fundraiser, at HuffPo.
And, Huffington notes, the first venue that Obama chose to confront the controversy surrounding the Rev. Jeremiah Wright was with his own blog on.... The Huffington Post. "Before he went on TV, he did a blog post on The Huffington Post, where he could actually say exactly how he saw the Reverend Wright controversy,'' she notes. "And then he went on TV and talked about it.
"The idea, originally, as you know, when we started was to provide a platform for any interesting voice,'' Huffington said in an interview with Barbara Walters airing on Sirius Satellite Radio. "People were too busy to have their own blogs, or even too busy to write an Op-Ed for The New York Times... and that's really what happened.''
They started with 500 bloggers with their own password to the site and now count 1,800 - "people who use it to get their view out before something bad happens like Rob Lowe,'' Huffington told Walters. "You know, Rob Lowe called me on a Friday and said, you know, I want to write something by Monday morning. He knew that their nanny was going to be accusing him of sexual harassment. He wanted to get his view out ahead of that...''
Walters, on the Monday evening program, Barbara Live, on Sirius Stars Channel 102, asked Huffington what she makes of Tracy Ullman's impersonation of the inimitable Huffington on Ullman's new TV show, State of the Union.
"I actually loved it,'' Huffington said. "You know she's a friend of mine, in fact she was at ... my home in L.A. on Thursday having a cup of tea and collecting more info because she's doing another series and she does a really good imitation of me... And you know....she ends a lot of her imitations of me by saying "blogs and kisses," which is kind of something pretty good. I like that.''