It's a tangled web. Liberal-ish MSNBC pundit Chris Matthews hates liberal convert blog-runner Arianna Huffington because of a feud between Huffington and center-liberal deceased NBC journalist Tim Russert, whom Matthews idolized (and who never cared for Matthews). Why? Where did this all begin? It all started with a terribly nasty Vanity Fair piece written back in 1994 by Maureen Orth, Tim Russert's wife. The piece is about Michael Huffington, who almost bought himself a seat in the US Senate back when he was married to Arianna. This story helped end his political dreams, won Orth an award or two, and caused bad blood that lasted up until the day Tim died. And we have awesome clips from it!
It is a seriously nasty story that makes Arianna sound like a loopy new-age cut-throat bitch who doesn't even care about orphans. Much like the Private Eye story reported by Ed Rollins some time later (in which Arianna allegedly hired a detective to tail Orth), it's hard to know how much of it is actually 100% true. But it's still a fun ride! Click through for a couple excerpts from the piece.
So. Orth calls Michael Huffington a brain-dead idiot a number of times, quotes a dozen people calling Arianna his pupper-master, and even calls Michael gay, in two separate passages. (Michael Huffington came out as bisexual-though lots of people doubt even that-years later when the couple divorced.) Arianna joins a crazy new-age cult, whose leader organizes her wedding to a wealthy fool. Arianna pretends to volunteer for a childrens' charity but it's all a photo-op and she never does any work. She also fires all her servants and according to one unnamed observer calls Mexicans lazy.
As we said, an unfriendly story.
Years later, after the divorce, when Arianna became (once again, if you believe this piece) a bleeding-heart liberal, Vanity Fair amusingly ran another long profile of her. This one was glowing (comparatively). But then compared to the Orth piece, 13 pages of "WHAT A BITCH" would've been a friendly review. And here are some excerpts!