Arianna Huffington and her copyright bodyguards grace The Paley Center for Media with their presence

9 11 2011

all the good photos got beaten with the censorship stick

Irony of the night: being told by a security guard at The Paley Center for Media that I can’t take a picture of the Arianna Huffington sign in the lobby because “everything is copyrighted.”

Really. Really?

Does the security guard not know who Arianna Huffington is? Does he not get that her “news aggregator” site is code word for “not paying journalists for their work” or “ripping people off?”

Security brouhaha aside, The Paley Center’s An Evening with Arianna Huffington, part of their She’s Making Media series, was a lovely evening.

The audience was a curious mix of shabby chic intellectuals, eager PR girls and society couples in evening wear and bad plastic surgery faces. But as Arianna outlined her multifaceted life, everything blended together nicely.

She mentioned that The Huffington Post would publish its first print edition called Occupy soon to distribute to the Occupy Wall Street crowds.

Most of the evening was dedicated to inspirational tips, such as life has more imagination than we do, so allow yourself to be open to the unexpected.

Still, there were some comments that reminded me why I have a vague sense of not liking her. She defended her website’s policy of screening user comments because she said it created a civilized environment where her celebrity bloggers could be free to be themselves.

One woman’s civility is another’s censorship. And is there really that much harm in letting the public comment freely on a Ted Danson blog post or letting a paying audience member take a photo in your lobby?

I believe what we have here is another opportunity to rethink the Greek thought process.


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