With all the hype surrounding the launch of HuffPost Live, we were expecting to tune in to see an extravaganza like nothing we’d ever seen before. Imagine the shock when I tuned in this morning to see a young, diverse staff on a stylish set talking about news of the day. The news, when I tuned in, was Julian Assange being granted asylum in Ecuador. The hosts, Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, Abby Huntsman, and Marc Lamont Hill, sat on a comfy set with a giant leather sofa. (We hope that’s faux-leather to avoid pissing off the base.) Analysis from the team doesn’t dig too deep in the issues. At one point, Huntsman chimes in that since her father, former GOP Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, was ambassador to China, this issue of asylum was “very sensitive” to her. Sure, Abby.. We’re sure this is REALLY tough for you.
The program has an unpolished quality that you will either find refreshing or amateur hour, depending on your mood. While the hosts haven’t fully committed to any kind of real look, Shihab-Eldin is a pair of suspenders away from being classified as a full blown hipster. One of the best features of the broadcast is watching the running commentary from viewers as the show runs live. While the hosts will read some of the comments on air, they didn’t read this one, from Hashhero. Hash says, “I’m logging off until Abby’s off camera. She reminds me of Elizabeth Hasslebeck, who is also very annoying.”