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Friday, October 3, 2008

Huffington talks politics at UNCP

By Chris Adams

“The war in Iraq is not a mixed bag… it is an unqualified disaster,” Arianna Huffington said to a crowd of 400 at the Givens Performing Arts Center on September 23 at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

Arianna HuffingtonHuffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of the blogging Web site The Huffington Post, author of 12 books, syndicated columnist and co-host of National Public Radio’s popular political program, Left, Right & Center, stated many personal opinions about the issues concerning the 2008 Election.

During her speech, “Road to 2008: Presidential Politics Today,” she said the war in Iraq is the “greatest foreign policy disaster in American history.”

Originally from Greece, she moved to England at age 16 and graduated from Cambridge University with an M.A. in economics. At age 21, she became president of the Cambridge Union, a famed debating society.

Huffington openly supported Senator Barack Obama, Democratic presidential nominee, and informed the crowd that “if you’re still undecided after seven-and-a-half years of the Bush administration, you are just not paying attention,” which was followed by applause.

“I’m focused on the 83 million people who did not vote last time,” Huffington said. “They have given up on the process… who can blame them?”

Arianna HuffingtonHuffington also spent the night talking about the Republican presidential and vice-presidential nominees, Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin.

“Any minute spent talking about Sarah Palin is a good thing for John McCain,” she said. “She (Palin) speaks with a fearlessness that is very attractive, and she is at ease with herself.”

Huffington referred to the Alaskan governor (Palin) as a “Trojan horse; which distracts the public from the really bad thing that is going on.”

She then compared McCain to Upton Sinclair, a socialist journalist and muckraking author. “The Republicans are the party of deregulation, and McCain has been in Washington for 20 years,” she said.

“Obama is being attacked by Republicans for not being in Washington long enough, but he is now being attacked for being from Washington,” she said.

Huffington said the media’s focus was on “where did she (Palin) buy those glasses?” She continued, “We spent our time on many irrelevant things, such as ‘lipstick on a pig”’ before focusing on many pressing issues like the collapse of Wall Street and AIG (American International Group).”

Mainstream media’s job is not to present all sides of the story, she said. Their job is about “fairness not balance.” Today’s media is dedicated to giving “equal time to lies,” she said, “The American people have to really be paying attention to know what’s going on,” she said. “This is truly an election where everything is at stake. We’re here at a real

Arianna Huffington was the first speaker in the 2008-09 Distinguished Speaker Series. The Series continues on Monday, November 3, 2008, with Patch Adams, an American medical doctor, social activist, citizen diplomat, professional clown, performer, and author. For more information about the Distinguished Speaker Series or to order tickets, visit www.uncp.edu/gpac/speakers/ or call 910.521.6287.

Chris Adams is a senior mass communications major.

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