The Huffington Network

By and
Photo: Jed Egan, PatrickMcMullan.com, Columbia Pictures

Last night, Politico reported that two Democratic consultants, Peter Daou and James Boyce, have sued Arianna Huffington for allegedly stealing their idea for the Huffington Post. According to reporter Ben Smith, Daou and Boyce "charge that Huffington and partner Ken Lerer designed the website from a plan they had presented them, and in doing so, violated a handshake agreement to work together, according to a lawsuit to be filed in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan." Amazingly, a screenplay of the still-unfolding controversy has already been written in Hollywood, and Daily Intel, through its high-level contacts, has secured exclusive excerpts.

INT. POLITICAL OPERATIVES CLUB — DAY
One of the most exclusive private clubs in Manhattan. James Boyce is sitting in a chair, reading a textbook, as the heavy wooden door opens and Arianna Huffington is escorted in by Peter Daou.

PETER
We can’t take you past the bike room, but we can sit here and talk.

ARIANNA steals a glance around the room ...

JAMES
Want a sandwich?

ARIANNA
No thank you, I just ate a basket of truffle fries.

JAMES
Anyway, we were really impressed with what you wrote in your book, How to Overthrow the Government, about the public's cynicism over corruption in Washington. Then we checked you out, and you also ran Resignation.com, a rallying site for conservatives who opposed Bill Clinton during the Lewinsky scandal.

PETER
Anybody try to buy it?

ARIANNA
Ken Starr.

....

INT. SECOND DEPOSITION ROOM — DAY

ARIANNA
It's raining.

LAWYER
I'm sorry?

ARIANNA
It just started raining.

LAWYER
Ms. Huffington, do I have your full attention?

ARIANNA
No.

LAWYER
(beat)
Do you think I deserve your full attention?

ARIANNA
I don't want to get arrested for perjury so I have a legal obligation to say no.

LAWYER
Okay. "No" you don't think I deserve your attention.

ARIANNA
I think if your clients want to stand on my shoulder pads and call themselves tall they have a right to give it a try. But there's no requirement that I enjoy sitting here listening to people lie, especially when I could be having lunch with Bill Maher right now. You have part of my attention — the minimum amount needed. The rest of my attention is back at the offices of the Huffington Post, where my employees and I are doing things, like aggregating news stories and building vote-able slideshows, that no one in this room, including and especially your clients, are intellectually or creatively capable of doing.

....

INT. FIRST DEPOSITION ROOM — NIGHT

ARIANNA is sitting alone in the conference room. The only one left is MARILYN. The lights of the New York City skyline fill the huge picture window.

MARILYN
Pay the fine, Arianna. That's what Sy and the guys will tell you to do in the morning.

ARIANNA
Would anyone mind if I stayed and used the computer for a minute?

MARILYN
Stay as long as you want.

ARIANNA
Thanks.

MARILYN
You're not an asshole, Arianna. You're just trying so hard to be one.

MARILYN exits the room.

ARIANNA turns to the computer and clicks on her latest Huffington Post diary, "The Split-Screen Struggle Over Gay Rights," which is featured prominently on the home page. She clicks the "e-mail article" button, and in the "To" field types in the name of her ex-husband, oil baron Michael Huffington. She sends. She refreshes her in-box, awaiting a reply. Again. And again ... And again.