Arianna Huffington Studies Up for Her CNBC Co-Host Gig

By Chris Ariens Comment

Huffington_3.30.jpgArianna Huffington says she’s finally putting her Cambridge economics degree to good use. Tomorrow she’ll co-host CNBC’s Squawk Box. In fact, she booked four of the guests on the show, including Rep. Barney Frank, economist Nouriel Roubini and author Nassim Taleb.

Huffington joked it’ll be real show of Mediterranean economic prowess with the Turkish-born Roubini, Taleb, who is Lebanese, and Athens-born Huffington. We talked with Huffington this afternoon about her guest-hosting gig:

TVNewser: Why are you doing this?

Huffington: I was invited to do it while I was in Davos. (Huffington was a guest on CNBC while at the World Economic Forum earlier this year). It was a lot of fun and they said ‘would you like to come to co-host the show?’ So we picked that day and it turns out to be on a day that an enormous amount has happened.

TVNewser: Last week you asked for suggestions from HuffPo readers about what to ask your guests. How have they responded?

Huffington: Amazing. Hundreds of suggestions. Once again I am full of respect and admiration for our commenters. Thoughtful, erudite, detailed and they have definitely shaped the questions I am going to be asking.

TVNewser: Two CNBC personalities recently drew the ire of the White House for their criticisms of Obama’s economic policies, and you yourself have been critical of Secy. [of Treasury Timothy] Geithner. Has CNBC asked you to tone down the delivery of your opinion on the show?

Huffington: No. Nothing at all. They did not question any of my choices of guests. They didn’t even ask me to change my accent.

TVNewser: You’ve been doing more cable news guest-hosting, recently filling in for Rachel Maddow. Do you like the role of co-host over that of pundit?

Huffington: I think that it was fun guest hosting for Rachel. She has a great team. I loved working with them. “Squawk Box” is different. It has a very special target of economic news. It is much more detailed and I have enjoyed that.

Huffington says she finds the story of the troubled economy “absorbing.” “I’m finally grateful that I got a degree in economics.” But she stresses her disappointment with the Obama administration and their promise of transparency saying, they’ve been “extremely opaque.”

Later Now on WebNewser: Huffington on the new investigative journalism endeavor coming to The Huffington Post…