Arianna Huffington flustered me.
The way these Q&A interviews usually go is that I ask the subject some questions about whatever they are promoting, along with other questions that I hope will foster a rollicking exchange.
Huffington shut down briefly, as you can see in my startribune.com/video, complaining that questions about Edward Snowden and Hillary Clinton would be “awfully disconnected” when the interview was supposed to be about her book “Thrive,” which she was promoting here at places like the Depot, where she spoke to WomenWinning.
An entire column about “Thrive” didn’t sound interesting enough to be picked up by, say, Huffington Post.
Q: Tell me about that third leg on the stool.
A: First of all, the first two legs of the stool of success: The way our society defines success are money and power. These are the two metrics of success and the theme of “Thrive” is that’s not enough. It’s like trying to sit on a two-legged stool. Sooner or later you fall off and we need the third leg of the stool which is the third metric. That includes four pillars. First of all, well-being: If we don’t have our health and our well-being everything else becomes secondary. The second is wisdom: How do we tap into our own inner wisdom to make the best decision? The third is wonder: How do we connect with all the beauty in the world and the mystery of life? And the fourth is giving: Otherwise, life becomes just about me.
Q: What was the last thing you experienced that gave you wonder?
A: Last night at Dan Buettner’s house overlooking the lake. He had a beautiful book party for “Thrive.” The view was absolutely stunning. Often we miss these things or we take them for granted because we are buried in our smartphones or in our thoughts.
Q: Do you regularly ask your employees to tell you how they are reconnecting with themselves and disconnecting from their overly connected lives?
A: We have some ground rules, like we don’t expect HuffPosters to be on e-mail when they’re off work. We make it very clear that if it’s something urgent, we text them but when they are off work it’s their own time.
Q: What did you ever do to Craig Brown? Is he not allowed to write for Huffington Post? He is a guy who has been savaging you in a Vanity Fair parody.
A: There you are. I don’t even know about him.
Q: Do you consider Edward Snowden a hero or a villain?
A: I’m not quite sure what the interview is about. Are we doing an interview about “Thrive” or … it’s going to be awfully disconnected to go from Edward Snowden to Hillary Clinton. You know what I’m saying? I just think we should keep some … [her assistant said something].
Q: Who does the best impersonation of you?
A: Oooh, um Tracey Ullman does a great impersonation. “Saturday Night Live” does great impersonations. We’ve had competitions at the Huffington Post to see who among HuffPost staff did the best impersonation [she laughed].
A more detailed version of this edited interview is online. To contact C.J. try firstname.lastname@example.org and to see her watch Fox 9’s “Buzz.”