Arianna Huffington Says She Believes In Newspapers. Buy It?

Seeing Arianna Huffington in the LA Times Sunday, someone who has worked for the internet publisher tipped us to a purported lookalike: Ursula from the Little Mermaid. Mean and juvenile! But maybe appropriate!

In an interview with former Gawker editor Choire Sicha, the Huffington Post publisher insists her operation isn't putting any newspapermen out of work. "No, no, no,"she said. She totally reads books and newspapers whenever she can, even on her friends' fancy yachts!

I was on vacation in the Caribbean and our host had software on his boat where he would print newspapers. And there we were overlooking the Caribbean, all of us totally wired—laptops, iPhones, BlackBerries— and we're passing around the New York Post and the Herald Tribune....I don't think it's either/or. I don't think books will disappear. I think they're appealing to different needs. And I see the future as a hybrid future, I don't see it as a future where only online exists.

Arianna Huffington Says She Believes In Newspapers. Buy It?

Awww, sweet.

But isn't Huffington expanding HuffPo into local markets? And stealing entire articles from newspapers when she gets there, to obliterate competitors on Google?

Yes, and that's the thing about Ursula: She was notorious for promising to help desperate little mermaids, and then totally undermining them for her own nefarious purposes. Which is why she'd pop into the head of one of the HuffPo workers past and present: They know the Huffington's Ursula moves firsthand.

(Arianna Huffington Photo: Liz Baylen, LA Times)