On Thursday, according to The Huffington Post, President Obama hosted a small lunch for a select group of Progressive media types.

Amongst the guests were Susan Collins of the New York Times, Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post, and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. I wonder if Rachel’s main course included a healthy serving of crow, considering the luncheon took place 24 hours after the President effected the establishment of a $20 billion escrow account, as well as $100 million from BP for clean-up expenses in the Gulf as well as a cover for wages lost on the part of those people whose livelihoods were affected by BP’s negligence/incompetence, and 48 hours after her celebrated attempt at biting satire by establishing herself as “Fake President Obama” in a mock-up Oval Office, for the purpose of instructing the President (and the nation) on what, precisely, Rachel had wanted the President to say in his Oval Office address.

Suffice it to say, that, in Dr Maddow’s opinion, the President’s address was distinctively below par, and what she had wanted him to say, was infinitely better.

Yes, I know it was meant as satire, but Rachel’s forays into satire lately have fallen a bit flat.

Still, she was invited to this luncheon, which had probably been planned a long time before the Oval Office speech, and the President is good-natured and thick-skinned enough probably to have ribbed her about her effort, with good grace, and maybe even gave her a tour of the real Oval Office, itself. He seems to be that sort of soul.

But I hope she did have to swallow a bit of crow that afternoon and that a little bit of egg stuck to her face, especially considering that, 24 hours after her attempt, the President had shown, without a shadow of a doubt, that however vague and directionless his Oval Office speech appeared to be on Tuesday evening, by Wednesday afternoon, we were given no doubt that there was intended and well-planned action behind the narrative.

Sometimes, it doesn’t pay to second-guess a President, just as sometimes it’s necessary for a President, the gambler-in-chief, to play his cards close to his chest, especially regarding the 24/7 cable news media.

Rachel is young, clever, ueber-intelligent and with a high level of political acumen. She’ll learn from this, and she should. In fact, she’s probably the only person, certainly the only woman, in that cable news equivalent of Animal House with any kind of either personal of professional integrity, and she deserves better.

In fact, near the end of what I hope will be the President’s second term, perhaps he and Rachel will meet for an interview and share a laugh in the real Oval Office about her attempted foray into the fake one.

One noticeable absentee from the luncheon was the self-styled Queen Mother of the Progressive Movement, herself. In fact, near the end of what was really a very short, concise article (by HuffPo standards, anyway), was a pithy sentence, which simply stated, “Huffington Post founder and editor-in-chief, Arianna Huffington, was invited to the luncheon, but could not attend due to scheduling commitments.”


Who, in their right mind, turns down an invitation for lunch with the President at the White House? Certainly not someone who had righteously railed against the too-big-to-fail financial CEO’s who let it be known earlier this year that they were too important to travel to Washington for any sort of negotiation with the President. Huffington, rightly, called them out for being distinctly disrespectful – not that she hasn’t, on many occasions, herself, been openly and scathingly disrespectful of Obama as President of the United States.

Her recent assessment of the President was that he was a “Nowhere Man”, in a low, sarcastic and inaccurate criticism of the fact that, in her estimation, the President paid far too much attention to honouring Paul McCartney at the White House, when he should have removed all White House operations, physically, to the Gulf for the foreseeable future.

If she were, indeed, too busy to lunch with the President, not only was that the height of disrespect, it was also amazingly hypocritical, considering her slating of the financal fat cats.

But I don’t think she was too busy or double-booked for this event. I don’t think she was even invited.

A media whore like Huffington would kill for the opportunity of sitting down at a table to eat with the President and monopolise the event. Her site would be filled, for days thereafter, with a plethora of photographs:-

– Here’s Arianna being greeted by the President, upon her arrival at the White House. See how he bows from the waist.

– Here’s Arianna at the table, seated at the right hand of the President.

– Here’s Arianna on the sofa with the President. See how her hand lingers on his knee.

You get the picture (pun intended).

After days of photos, there would be an infinity of blogs, replete with Presidential name-droppings:-

“I told the President, over lunch on Thursday …”

“I’m pleased that he President appears to have listened to what I said …”

“The President told me …”

“As I was saying to the President …”

But, no … Arianna had a conflict of schedules, and couldn’t attend, even after making continuous and gratuitous Obama-bashing part and parcel of her meme, almost since the President assumed office in early 2009.

Seen from that angle, his reeks of disrespect. The action speaks volumes in saying that this President is such a disappointment as to be totally insignificant and unworthy of this grande dame’s attentions; and, subtly, by extension, he should be singularly unworthy of her dittoes’ attentions too. It was a dismissal.

Yet, it seems, a worm of deceit is turning, because many of the people commentating on the article, regular readers of her aggregate, saw through the deception.

Arianna wasn’t invited. She never had been.

It was a lie.

Thursday evening, I received an e-mail from a close friend, who lives and works amongst the great and the not-so-good in Washington. Considering the fact that, living in England, I’m five hours ahead of the East Coast, it would have been about 3pm when he sent the correspondence.

Knowing I’m not the greatest Arianna fan, he thought he’d rib me by saying he’d seen her that afternoon. Arianna, on Thursday, was indeed in Washington, DC – eating lunch in The Palms, an ueber-posh, ueber-expensive steakhouse on 19th Street … alone.

Maybe she does consider him an irrelevance, and maybe she did decline the invitation; but maybe, in view of the fact that a lot of her criticism and shilling has bordered almost on a point of sedition, it was the White House, who thought she was irrelevant. Maybe the “Nowhere Man” saw fit to remind her that exactly what the word “nowhere” means, in terms of influence, or perceived influence.

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Marion – this is fascinating! To have such an insight into the REAL news behind the HuffPo disclaimer is amazing and wonderful to read. Thank you!

I do agree that Rachel was over the top on her pseudo Obama speech, and I’m glad that her lunch came on the heels of policies already in the works that the President could hand her on a platter along with her club sandwich (or whatever they were eating.) That said, I love her 99% of the time, whereas AH is getting more shrill and less relevant by the minute.

When AH ran for governor during the special election, she was the CAUSE of Ahnold’s success. During the phony “debate” with the leading candidates, Arnold was asked – it was a question FOR him – just what he would do to that Gray Davis had not to fix the crash in CA state budget income. Just as Arnold opened his mouth – AH butted in and started exoriating him, and the others followed suit. They never themselves answered the question, but she in particular would not SHUT UP and make him answer, so he NEVER had to say a word. That was the one chance Californians had to see that Arnold hadn’t a clue how to govern, and SHE allowed him to slip free. So he was elected based on the fact that he was famous, and only shortly thereafter did people begin to understand he hadn’t the foggiest idea how to govern.

She keeps pretending she has great ideas, hires columnists who also think they show “courage” by browbeating the president, and incresingly has headlines that don’t even reflect the actual story but sure are sensational. HuffPo has taken on that nearly breathless air of National Equirer in way too many areas.

AH is mostly enamored of AH. Being the dahling of the slightly left media is her top priority. But what HuffPo once offered – a genuinely interesting place to have real discussions – is just shot to hell now. I read it about once every other day, but I rarely trust what I read anymore. The stories have too often been wrong AND the troll factor has become way too big. She has sold out, and I’ll be damned if I will go down with her.

Thanks for outing her and her ‘previous engagement’. I now also believe that she was never invited, and frankly, I think she’d make a lousy lunch companion anyway. Good move, Mr. President.


Oh, I saw that “AH was too busy to attend” note and found it very difficult to believe. What a delicious little tidbit…Thank you.


You know, if I were to have said I had scheduling conflicts (and yes, this goes down with “exhaustion” or “spending more time with my family” as lamest standard excuses – especially when it involves the POTUS) – I wouldn’t be off Dupont Circle in a posh restaurant, but would’ve ordered Chinese, and finished it off with a pint of ice cream. When she was down with that, she could finish with a bottle, of, what else, but ouzo. Because, she produces an ouzo effect all her own.

As to Rachel, I don’t know, ’cause I haven’t had access to MSNBC for a few weeks, but sometimes she does go a little overboard and tries a little too hard, and I like her because she is the anti-Keith.


Woohoo, Marion! I have been getting increasingly disappointed if not outright disgusted with Queen Arianna, myself…. and this just tickled me! Thanks for posting it. You really nailed it on the head. As to Rachel, I adore her, and like all heartfelt people, she’s bound to get a bit too fervent at times… she is young, by my standards, and I’m a big fan. Her brains and wit are matchless in today’s TV. Thanks again.


I liked Maddow’s speech, and think she has nothing to feel ashamed about. But Ariann? Jeez! Imagine that; turning down a luncheon with the president because of “scheduling conflicts”! Uh…right! I’m just wondering what type of appointment can’t be rescheduled when one has been invited to sit down with POTUS.
Especially, as you point out, someone like her who would milk it for all its worth, having article after article appear on the site about how she “nudged” and “scolded” him throughout the proceedings.

Thanks for a good laugh, Marion!


Hi, wts! I see you have the same thoughts and feelings about Queenie as I do!


MsB! Howdy! “Queenie” – I like that. Suits her perfectly. It hints at the delusion she seems to have that the world spins to do her bidding.

I still think she’s a good writer, usually, finds a good turn of a phrase. But the site has become little more than a forum to play on with fellow bloggers, not a “player” in the world of media, progressive or otherwise.

Nice rubbing whiskers with you!


Yes, glad you agree, wts! How are you today/tonight? I think HP has degenerated a lot and I’m sad about it. I’ve been part of it for the social aspect for most of the time I’ve been on, a little over a year now. I look elsewhere for my news! Good to rub whiskers with you too, that’s very cute! 😉
Hope to see you soon on the HP, so we can socialize some more!