Tina Brown and Arianna Huffington used to swim laps in the pool at Covent Garden back in the seventies, and they’ve been swimming laps in the same pools ever since, is the gist of today’s Times story about the founders of the Daily Beast and the Huffington Post. Tim Arango does his best to take to task the “people within the media gossip world [who] want to put them at each other’s throats” by highlighting the friendship between the two women, which he says “is deeper than many realize” and dates back to their college days in London. (“Theirs was a world of fun, of spas and dating and who said what about whom,” says a mutual friend, awesomely.) But while there are lots of loving details about how the pair bonded over motherhood, etc., it still ends up exactly like every story ever written about how a blonde and a brunette who seem to be rivals are “totally best friends, no really!”
It all comes down to a simple formula, you see.
1. Have both women react with resigned and bemused disappointment to the assumption by the patriarchal culture that their “friendship” is merely a passive-aggressive front for a decades-long catfight:
“I understand it,” Ms. Huffington said of the interest the pair elicits among the denizens of the media social swirl. “We are two women that were brought up in English higher education and are friends.”
2. Include a quote that makes it clear that, actually, they’re just dying to tear each other’s hair out:
“She goes on David Geffen’s boat,” said Ms. Brown, who said Mr. Geffen invited her for a jaunt on the yacht last summer, but she could not make it. Ms. Brown said she has been chained to her desk, and lacks the stamina of Ms. Huffington. “I don’t know how Arianna has figured out how to be on a boat and be editor of HuffPo at the same time, but she can do it,” she said.
Oh, Lordy. At 55 and 58, aren’t Tina Brown and Arianna Huffington a little long in the tooth for the pillow-fighting fantasy? What’s next? A story about how Betty White and Estelle Getty really did always get along? Oh, never mind, that actually DID happen. Christ.
Huffington and Brown: Paths Intertwine in the Blog Thicket [NYT]
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