After a long wait (we heard about the site back in April and early word was that it would launch in August), Tina Brown's Website venture, the Daily Beast, has finally gone live. It looks good! It's a "soft launch," so it was done without much fanfare, but the site is up and running, already boasting content by Chris Buckley, Tucker Carlson (thank God), and, of course, Brown herself. The site, whose slogan is "Read This Skip That" (and whose logo is strikingly reminiscent of the Philly Daily News logo), features a "Buzz Board" on its front page, where prominent names like Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, Christiane Amanpour, Sheryl Crow, and Rachel Maddow can recommend articles. It has a central column of staff-selected stories from elsewhere, called the "Cheat Sheet," and in its off-lead position, a rotating story box features original material — including a "Big Fat Story" feature which innovatively gathers a news and information cluster about one topic.
In her self-deprecating opening Q&A, Brown describes the site this way: "It's a speedy, smart edit of the web from the merciless point of view of what interests the editors. The Daily Beast is the omnivorous friend who hears about the best stuff and forwards it to you with a twist." (We also learn that she, in fact, does not have her staff "print out the Internet" for her). Perhaps in preemptive defense against people who might criticize her venture for its similarity to Slate or the Huffington Post, Tina answers the question as to why reporters are so "mean" to powerful women. "Don't worry," she muses. "Powerful women always interpret hostility as unrequited love." Oh, Tina.
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