Arianna Huffington's thick Greek accent is usually a social asset. It adds spice to a televised panel discussion, and on the party circuit encourages a conversation partner to lean in intimately to understand the former socialite's words. But give the internet publisher her own hourlong TV show, as with her guest-hosting stint tonight on the Rachel Maddow Show, and the accent becomes a liability, like a single seasoning taking over a dish. "You can't understand a word she says and she even makes my cat get irritated," one tipster wrote 20 minutes into the program.
The plodding pace of Huffington's delivery was at least as tough on viewers as her accent, but her pronunciation was, admittedly, often odd, and also often kind of hilarious: "Connect-icuit," "Philly-buster," "Newer mayor" (for "Newark mayor") and, best of all, "the biggest wiener of the election season." (They're all in the clip above.)
Huffington did make the most of her Greek background in the last minute of the show, when she talked about her kids' "ya ya" (that's for grandmother, mind you!) and life in Athens. (That's also in the clip above.) But going forward she should probably stick to guesting — or hire a voice coach.
Also noteworthy: Huffington's especially warm chat with rumored sometime rumored lover Cory Booker, the Newark mayor. Watch their eyes (and notice Booker's effusive compliment) in the clip below.