You’ve really done it this time, Arianna Huffington. You’ve violated the unwritten rules of our culture. Rose above our comfort zone. Now, sadly, we must destroy you. But don’t take it personally. It’s simply because, well, you’re a woman.
Here’s how we’ll do it…
First, we’ll need to create a caricature. Something we can use to demean and diminish you — and right away! Distract you and get that darn hammer away from the glass ceiling. Hmmm, let’s see. Which tools haven’t been deployed against a powerful woman lately? We used not likable with Hillary Clinton. Stupid and talks funny with Michele Bachmann. Bitchy boss with Meg Whitman. Hmmm, what’s left?
Yep, that’s right. Huffington is a sellout. She co-founded and grew a media empire and then made a profit. How dare she? She sold her soul to the devil (a.k.a. corporate America). It’s true. And it’s been confirmed: one of her competitors counted comments on her website. Yep, she’s a sellout alright! My gosh, this is simply awful. What’s next with this Huffington woman? Maybe Tim Rutten is right: child labor?
We’ll need to take action and right away. Here’s what we’ll need to do…
We’ll need to bring the “sellout” caricature to life by branding her with real-world examples (or make them up). Then, we’ll spread these stories all over the media: an all-out media blitz! We’ll explain that she only cares about her own financial benefit. We’ll claim she uses the realm of politics as a vehicle for making money. We’ll let everyone know that she sold out her followers for her own celebrity and wealth.
Yeah, this plan will work just fine. Branding Huffington will work like a charm. She’s a sellout, alright!
But, not so fast. There’s a problem. Those news stories seem kind of familiar, like they’ve been around for a while. Oh, no! Those are all stories about Sarah Palin: Arianna Huffington has been Palin-ized!!!
But, wait a moment. Would the “sellout” caricature work if Huffington were, say, a man? No way! Not for a minute!
If Arianna were Donald Huffington, we would label her a titan of industry. If Arianna were Jeff Huffington, we would label her a true visionary. If Arianna were Stephen Huffington, we would extol her business savvy for cashing in on her years of hard work. If Arianna were Kenneth Huffington — hold on — Kenneth Lerer is an owner of HuffPost and did cash out alongside Huffington. But, hey, he’s a dude. So, here’s what we say: Ata boy, Kenny!
But back to Huffington. Let’s just keep going with the sellout caricature. Works like a charm. For now, let’s just keep this as our little boys’ club in the media secret!
Amy Siskind is the President and Co-Founder of The New Agenda, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls.