Bicoastal battle of the overexposed media pundits

ahuff.jpgIt has come to my attention that Arianna Huffington, our city’s own curious hybrid of Socrates and Zsa Zsa Gabor, is locked into an ideological tussle with a guy named Tim Russert, who hosts a TV show out of Washington, DC (I know, kind of an oxymoron) called ‘Meet The Press.’ ‘Meet The Press,’ for those who haven’t seen it, is kind of like ‘The West Wing’ with the non-boring parts taken out, as performed by a third-string community theater group in Teaneck. Seriously, the actors are practically amateurs. Or maybe it’s some weird attempt at a reality show.

Our cousin site FishbowlDC has the details:

According to Lloyd Grove today, Arianna Huffington is drawing blood from Tim Russert with her charges of conflict of interest.

In her latest attack, Arianna is mocking how Russert will headline a journalism ethics conference in Wisconsin next week: “Inviting Tim Russert to keynote a conference on journalistic ethics is like having Jack Abramoff keynote a conference on lobbying reform, Jim Frey lecture on truth in advertising, or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad lead High Holy Days services at Temple Beth Israel.”

Arianna also wonders what his paycheck will be: “According to the Washington Speakers Bureau, which exclusively handles Russert’s speaking engagements, his standard speaking fee is $60,000 plus first class travel for two for west coast appearances, and $50,000 and first class travel for two for east coast locales — although, they say, private planes are strongly preferred.”

Now all of these attacks appear to getting under NBC’s skin: Yesterday NBC attacked her saying, “The last time we heard from Ms. Huffington, she was hiring private eyes to investigate reporters”–a charge from her husband’s 1994 Senate campaign, which she has repeatedly denied.

More still from our sister at FishbowlNY.

Now, I know FishbowlLA has made fun of Arianna in the past (and, uh, earlier in this post), but we do have our local pride. So, NBC: please stop picking on Arianna. Thank you.