Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group, told ABC News’ Benjamin Bell that her biggest pet peeve is “people who pride themselves at working 24/7.”
“You know, people who say, ‘Oh, I don’t need sleep,’ ‘I can just work around the clock.’ And they use this, especially men, as a virility symbol, you know. I was having dinner with a guy recently and he bragged that he only got four hours of sleep the night before. And I didn’t say it, but I thought to myself, ‘You know what, if you had gotten five this dinner would have been a lot more interesting.’ So I think the fact that people brag about how they over-work and they don’t notice that this is making them less healthy and less effective is a pet peeve.”
Huffington sat down for a web exclusive interview on Sunday, answering viewer questions from Facebook and Twitter, after her appearance on the “This Week” roundtable. She responded to a variety of questions regarding her perspective as a Greek-American, the Huffington Post news site as well as her Saturday Night Live doppelganger and her “real life” love for Seth Meyers.
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Q: Soultana Nolidis: What distinguishes a Greek-American vantage [point] in a sea of diverse views, opinions [and] perspectives?
A: “Well, definitely, the fact that I’m an immigrant in this country. That I’ve been blessed to live the American dream makes me very sensitive to many issues. Not just immigration issues, but what’s happening to the middle class. The fact that right now…the middle class is actually suffering, and…instead of seeing upward mobility, which is a big part of the American dream, we’re seeing downward mobility. And that’s why everything I said on the show today had to do with prioritizing jobs, prioritizing growth. Because these are like keys for the lives of millions of Americans.”
Q: Ilene Angel: Has the enormity of the success of HuffPost changed your view of the media and its responsibility?
Katherine Dobay Edmiston: Why does she lower the tenor of her website with such features as those devoted to catching celebrities revealing their flesh, either accidentally or intentionally?
A: “Well, first of all, we feel that putting our community at the center of everything we do, we’ve made the Huffington Post very engaging. So the Huffington Post now has almost 50 million unique visitors, is not just about us talking to our readers. It’s about listening to our readers and giving them a platform where they can express themselves.”
“Also, the Huffington Post is unapologetically a mixture of high-brow and low-brow. We believe that people want a mixture of everything and it’s up to them to decide what to click on.”
Q: Miguel Gomez: Could Julian Castro mount a challenge against Hillary just like an unknown Illinois [state] senator who also delivered the keynote at the 2004 Democratic National Convention did?
A: “You know anything is possible. Obviously, Hillary Clinton, if she decides to run, it appears she’s already running, would be the presumptive nominee. But as we saw in 2008, the presumptive nominee did not turn out to be the nominee. So it’s a long way between now and 2016.”
Q: Tom Dwyer: When will she go on ‘SNL’ and do ‘Weekend Update’ with [Nasim Pedrad] that does a spot on impersonation of her?
A: “I think she does an amazing impersonation of me. And I also think the writing is so funny. I love Seth Meyers in real life as much as on SNL pretend life. It’s a fun, fun segment.”
Q: Favorite show?
A: “Veep. Julia Louis-Dreyfus on HBO.”
Q: Guilty pleasure?
A: “My guilty pleasure is spending a large part of the weekend in bed—even doing my work sometimes, reading books that have nothing to do with work, and just kind of completely luxuriating without having to get out, get dressed, get makeup or anything like that.”
Q: Biggest misperception about you?
A: “The biggest misperception about me is that I have a funny accent.”
Viewer questions have been edited, shortened and condensed in some cases.