Nothing if Not Inconsistent


A tale of two Lexis-captured CNN appearances by Arianna Huffington, discussing Proposition 187. First up, Nov. 3, 1994, just days before her then-husband was defeated by Dianne Feinstein for a U.S. Senate seat from California:

One-eighty-seven is strictly about the anger and the frustration of taxpayers, who work extremely hard, often having two jobs in one family, to take care of their families, to take care of their children. And then, their hard-earned money is being used to pay for taxpayer services for illegal immigrants. This is at the heart of 187. And if you try to portray it in any other way, you're missing the point.

Now Aug. 12, 2003, just weeks before she will run for California governor.

HUFFINGTON: Well, because Arnold Schwarzenegger is a Bush Republican. He is going to back the Bush economic policies all the way. He is for the tax cuts. He has Pete Wilson, for heaven's sake, chairing his campaign committee.

I mean, how insensitive can you be? The man who introduced Proposition 187 about illegal immigration into California and the man who is despised by Latinos, the very people Schwarzenegger needs. So there is some kind of disconnect between the moderate image and the reality. Incidentally, Schwarzenegger himself was in favor of 187.

PAUL BEGALA: But now did you support Proposition 187? Because I know that your husband did when he was in the Congress. He was running for the Senate.

HUFFINGTON: Yes, my ex-husband did. I voted against it.

NEXT: Starry Eyed Democracy

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  1. Let's not assume Arianna was lying when she said she voted against it. Perhaps she was confused by a butterfly ballot.

  2. It's not what you say that counts, it's the body language you deliver it with. We needn't pay any attention to Matt Welch's superb bust because he didn't furnish videos of her making the statements.

  3. Have you never changed your mind about an issue over the course of TEN YEARS???

    I know I have.

  4. Everyone changes their mind, Guyjean. The point is that Arianna is obviously lying now about what her position was then.

  5. Good find Matt. Changing her mind doesn't account for her own claims about the issue.

    Personally, Matt, I don't think she's a liar or a hypocrite. I just think she's too stupid to remember her own thoughts for longer than minutes.

  6. We all have, guyjean, but few of us with the insidious combination of self-promotion and hyprocrisy that infuses this woman's every word. It's hard to take anything she says seriously except "Me!"

  7. Huffington is two-faced and obviously untrustworthy.

  8. I'm starting to think that Mark Steyn's recent column comparing Arianna to Angelyne was unfair to Angelyne.

  9. Doesnt anybody else remember Ariana dressed in a nighty lieing in bed with Al Franken on Comendy Centrals ill fated election coverage in 96? I admit I've tried to block it out myself. That stunt alone should disqualify her from ever being taken serious again, much less running for governor. I'd prefer Larry Flynt. At least he knows good smut.

  10. I should point out that the lying hypocrite comment was from Glenn Reynolds link to here, not from Matt who is too much of a gentleman to use such terms ... *cough*, *cough*.

  11. Since this was a transcript, that "cheering" was almost definitely "chairing." In fact, I will go change it now.

  12. I want to put a 10 carat diamond in her navel with my tongue.

  13. We don't actually know how she voted. So we're not sure that she's lying.

    Inconsistent, yes, but then we've already agreed here that it's okay that she changed her mind.

    Hypocritical though, could be.

  14. Where's the inconsistency? In the first paragraph, she appears to be describing what people think of 187. The second one talks about how she voted on it.

    It's like reading some analysis by John Madden about a football team in 1995, where he says people like this team because they go boom, and then finding another paragraph by John Madden saying he didn't like that team that went boom.

    Are you so blinded by hate? You don't have her saying "I voted for it" and "I didn't vote for it." There's no logic supporting your claim that there is inconsistency here.

    I don't know squat about California or Huffington, don't care, and just came here out of idle curiosity. Keep on keepin' on, you crazy internet people.

  15. Lie or not, atleast herfibs did not get
    American men killed in Iraq. And the fibs aboujt "service" in the military from relish finding a slim piece of nonsense andtotally ignore what Your Side does with great consistency...the partisanship here is typical of the partinsanship that has brought this nation to what now appears a very bad situation. Blog on,blog on

  16. Ok, in response to jerry... there's two cases. Either she voted for it or she didn't. If she voted for it, then she lied to Paul Begala about not having done so. If she didn't vote for it, then she was being deceitful in 1994 about the virtues of Prop 187. Unless of course, she is willing to admit that she often votes against good policies. In which case, I'm not sure she should be governor.

  17. The funky thing is that she had to know they had her prior opinion on tape. I can't stand politicians lying, but it becomes that much more odious when they lie and they know that we know they are lying, but they do it regardless.

  18. "HUFFINGTON: Yes, my ex-husband did. I voted against it."

    Sock puppets get the vote in California? News to me. ]:-)

  19. Somewhat off topic, but if all of California's problems are due to the Bush administration like she is claiming, then why is she running for governor? By all rights she should be against the recall and out there supporting Davis.

  20. Robin Roberts -

    You may be right that she's too stupid to remember what she said ten minutes ago. She had an op-ed in the LA Times about 2-3 wks ago in which she first said the recall was an attempt to undo an election Davis had won fair and square, and then in the second paragraph following noted how Davis had unfairly highjacked the Republican primary with the anti-Riordan campaign. I got the impression she was interrupted dictating he column to someone, and forgot where she left off or what her point was.

  21. So...she is saying that while she understands that hard working people may be angry and frustrated that their hard-earned money is going to be used for services for illegal immigrants, she herself is NOT angry or frustrated that their hard-earned money....

    And if you try to portray it in any other way, you are missing the point.

  22. "Doesnt anybody else remember Ariana dressed in a nighty lieing in bed with Al Franken on Comendy Centrals ill fated election coverage in 96? I admit I've tried to block it out myself."

    Give Arianna her due--she's a rather attractive woman. Between that and her personality, she'd be a natural for Lady MacBeth if anyone ever makes a "MacBeth" movie again--assuming that HRC's calendar is full.

  23. Proteus -- Support for Proposition 187, and attacks on the state's handling of illegal immigration, was one of the central themes of Michael Huffington's campaign. Arianna was widely perceived to be the political brains behind that campaign (she even stood in for her husband during a primary debate). When the press revealed a week before the election that she had hired an illegal immigrant nanny for five years, she was deeply contrite. For years after 1994, she routinely mocked liberals for not respecting the "will of the people" as reflected by the yes vote for 187.

    Beyond that, here's the textual inconsistency: In '94, she said "if you try to portray it in any other way, you're missing the point." In 2003, she portrayed it in another way -- as immoderate and insenstive, concerns she did not once voice during her extended media exposure in 1994. As for being "blinded by hate" -- I like Arianna. She's funny.

  24. More hypocrisy:

    TV commentator and author Arianna Huffington, who launched her campaign for governor with criticism of "fat cats" who fail to shoulder a fair share of taxes, paid no individual state income tax and just $771 in federal taxes during the last two years , her tax returns show.

    Huffington, who released her tax returns for the last two years to The Times, lives in an 8,000-square-foot home in Brentwood above Sunset Boulevard that is valued at about $7 million. She socializes with many wealthy and prominent people.

    Failing to close corporate tax loopholes, she argued, would "be a slap in the face of all the hard-working taxpayers being forced to dig deeper and deeper in their pockets so the well-connected can pad their bottom line."

    In an interview Wednesday, Huffington said there was no inconsistency between her campaign message and income tax record. She characterized her deductions as "very conservative" and said that any comparison between her and those whom she has criticized would be unfair.

    Uggh. Gag me.

  25. Proteus is correct. The first quote is AH describing what she thinks working class voters think of 187. It's a pretty rookie mistake to credit her with an opinion she is ascribing to someone else.

    It's similar to how people always say that Orwell said that the working class smells. He did not say that; he said that some people in the middle class think that the working class smells. There is a big difference between the two. (See C Hitchens' "Why Orwell Matters" for more on this error of misatribution.)

    It's certainly likely that AH is spinning this issue, but these quotes do not demonstrate or prove that she is.

  26. I have to agree with maryc above, but also with Jough. Arianna's statements are not necessarily inconsistent, which is the point of this post. They are, as Jough points out, pretty lame, though.

  27. The lie exposed here is NOT how she voted on Prop 187 (Because of the secret ballot, she can maintain that, notwithstanding her supportive comments she actually voted NO, fantastic as that sounds.) Rather, Arrianna is now claiming that suppoort of Prop 187 is evidence of anti-Hispanic racism, the very thing she was most adamant that couldn't be said at the time.

  28. dude, you wear your ignorance like a crown. Did Arianna have any serious *income* in the last two years, during which she paid so little in income taxes? or are you under the impression that in America we tax wealth, not income?

    You wanna tax wealth, go do it, but don't confuse the issues. Arianna probably makes a few bucks off her various liddle jobs, but her primary source of income is undoubtedly her investments, and precious few people in that category made any money over the last two years.

  29. Something else I'd like to know...

    How does A-Huff get off knocking Arnold about driving a Hummer when she racks up hundreds of thousands of dollars flying around the country on a private jet? One trip probably sucks up more fuel that a Hummer burns in a year. Plus we're talking about ARNOLD here. It's not like he's going to be shoehorning himself into some subcompact hybrid.

    In other words, shut your goofy accent the hell up about Arnold's car when you're pumping tons of pollutants directly into the upper atmosphere trying to save your faltering business.

  30. "dude, you wear your ignorance like a crown. Did Arianna have any serious *income* in the last two years, during which she paid so little in income taxes? or are you under the impression that in America we tax wealth, not income?

    You wanna tax wealth, go do it, but don't confuse the issues. Arianna probably makes a few bucks off her various liddle jobs, but her primary source of income is undoubtedly her investments, and precious few people in that category made any money over the last two years."

    If you read the LA Times article, it said that she had a taxable income of $183,000 -- a little more than a "few bucks." To pay less than $800 in federal taxes for $183,000 income via deductions for "entertainment" (read: cocktail parties with the elite glitterati) and "travel expenses" (read: stays at the posh Four Seasons) is shocking.

    And as the article further points out, she earned (at the very least) an additional several hundred thousands of dollars in child support payments, which are not considered taxable income.

    So, in other words, she received/earned probably at least half-a-million dollars but paid less than $800 in federal taxes. Was it legal under the tax code to make such deductions and pay such minimal taxes? Sure. But, hey, the "fat cats" she rails against generally avoid taxes the legal way, too!

  31. It's possible she isn't lying and that her views changed over time. If you accept this possiblity than you can NEVER call anyone a liar unless they admit to it. Bush and any other politician gets an automatic pass from you, or your so partisan that it's blinding you.
    btw Arianna recieves well over $183,000 a year in un-taxable child support from her ex husband. She uses losses from her company as deductions, "The corporate expenses include the costs of research for Huffington's books and speeches as well as for travel, entertainment and rent. The corporation lists the Brentwood house as its address." Great I wish I could claim my "entertainment" and rent as a business loss.
    from the latimes

  32. crap oh well at least I left the web address.

  33. "Where's the inconsistency? In the first paragraph, she appears to be describing what people think of 187. The second one talks about how she voted on it."

    No, in the first one she is DEFENDING people's support for 187; in the second she is ATTACKING people's support for 187.

  34. rich guy:

    believe it or not, I'm *against* class warfare. Meaning, I'm more on your side than not. The guy with no sig pointed out above that her screeds against "fat cats" could very well be applied to her...

    Basic point: I can't stand Arianna Huffington-type limousine liberal hypocrites. They are SO rich that they can afford to have a "conscience" and thus accuse other people of "anti-Hispanic racism" because paying for illegal immigrants won't hit them in the pocketbook.

  35. Did Arianna have any serious *income* in the last two years, during which she paid so little in income taxes?

    In excess of half a million dollars.

  36. Arianna has an incredibly low opinion of the average voter -- low enough to the point that she doesn't even feel the need to maintain any consistancy between her statements today and similar ones made half a decade ago.

    It's the type of strategy that might have worked, pre-Internet, when only media people or special interest groups with the financial ability to pay for or maintain a major news database could fact-check claims with ease; nowadays, anyone with a web broswer and the ability to type in the correct key words into the Google box can come up with conflicting statements the way Matt did.

    Arianna would be scary were it not for her blind spots about how nakedly ambitious she appears in public, and her unshakable belief that she's smart enough to outthink everyone else. But thanks to those flaws, Matt's right -- She's funny, both intentionally and unintentionally.

  37. I don't know why I give a shit (yes, I do--I can't stand her) but as the owner of now my third California loan-out corp (like AH) I can tell you that the pseudonymous RichGuyBledDry above who says "dude, you wear your ignorance like a crown. Did Arianna have any serious *income* in the last two years, during which she paid so little in income taxes? or are you under the impression that in America we tax wealth, not income?" is a crackpot. These loan-out corps are built to hide income. I have no idea how much she's earned in the last 12-months but I can tell you right now it starts in the seven-figures (or she better fire her agent!). This doesn't include her TAX FREE child support payments from Michael Huffington, which probably approach seven figures as well (hey, those kids are used to flying in private jets). I can promise you--this woman is loaded!

  38. Uhmmmm...has Arianna ever been elected to anything that would make her "vote" important?

  39. 187 was a ballot measure. Her vote was just as important as Pete Wilson's, Cruz's Bustamante's or anybody else's on the issue.

  40. Man, for a self-promoting bimbo/airhead with an accent, she seems to take up too much newsprint, air time and pixel space!

    She is not winning anything anywhere anyway. May be if ONLY the media and socialites voted, she might have a chance - but this is a general election, right? Wonder if the anti-Dem vote will be split between Arnold, Simon, etc. and Cruz will end up being the governor.

    Part of me says, well they (CA) deserve it, but then my heart bleeds for the 45% or so non-Dems who are the victims of the Dem experiment on our left coast. Hope you guys sort this mess out.

  41. I cant even look at her without laughing and thinking bout Ben Stein flipping her off after she got snotty

  42. You mean former UN secretary-general Kurt Waldheim?

  43. Gentlemen: The issue is hypocrisy. Yes, AH is interesting and stylish, but why must she talk of the arrogance of the fat cats and then behave as one? She is not fundamentally different than Davis or Bustamonte, et al.

    Humorous note: Am I the only one who thinks she sounds like Ms. Gabor in Green Acres? "Well naturally I will name Arnold Ziffle as my secretary of agriculture..he's so smart you know."

  44. Californo,

    Well, it appears that liar or not, no one is much interested in electing her.

  45. FWIW, illegal aliens then and now, ain't eligible for much of anything. The sin of Prop 187 is that it was cruel AND stupid. Hell, even the great myth of illegal alien moms in border hospitals (like San Diego) is primarily an accounting trick -- they get reimbursed faster from the Feds.

    The Supreme Court had held in a Texas case (Plyler) that illegal alien kids had to be educated. So much for that.

    And illegal alien kids in free clinics? What, it's a GOOD idea to have some kids catch diseases?

    The National Academy of Sciences did find (in 1997) that immigration of all sorts does cost California taxpayers about a grand a year more, primarily for education. The same Republicans who pushed Prop 187 buried those findings -- because they'd rather have subsidized labor for their favorite industries and send the bill to those "liberals" who are for health care and public schools. It's the great GOP strategy -- to pretend to be 'pro-immigration' while actually being anti-immigrant: illegal aliesn and guest workers replacing citizens.

    The fact is, if ya wanna deal with illegal immigration, you need to go after the worksite AND the border, not the clinic and the classroom. Prop 187 was a con.

  46. She's not saying she supports it in the first quote. She is saying that people need to understand where voters are coming from. In essence, she is saying you're gonna have people voting for 187 because you're not addressing the concerns of people.

  47. dude, thanks for your comments. Most people seem to be willfully misreading the LA Times article, though. Here it is from the original source:,0,3462013.story?coll=la-newsaol-headlines

    The $183k was non-taxable child-support payments from her ex-husband. She says she owed so little in taxes because she took big losses. Sure, she could be lying, but it's ridiculous to simply assume so, and especially dishonest as one guy above did in spinning some wild class-baiting conjecture about cocktail parties.

    In short, we have to assume that Arianna lied big-time on her returns in order to conclude that she had taxable income beyond what she claimed. Maybe she did. I'm not impressed by her either, and I agree with your assessment of limousine liberals (sort of the contrapositive to shotgun-shack conservative), but I personally am bricked into the top tax bracket, and I am DAMNED SICK AND TIRED of people who don't know anything about taxes, large incomes, and losses claiming that people like me don't "pay our share". I'm paying mine, and it hurts, and there ain't anything I can do to avoid it...not that there should be, but let's be honest.

    People, edumacate yourselves about income taxes; those with high incomes are getting reamed like never before. Go look it up on; they publish lots of stats.

  48. The best irony in Arianna's '94 comments isn't their dissonance with her position today (after all, she is allowed to change her mind like anyone else) but the fact that only shortly after she made those comments it was revealed in Santa Barbara papers that the Huffingtons employed several illegal immigrants on their own household staff.

  49. Regarding her low opinion of the electorate, isn't this the same bunch that elected a dead guy in MI, a carpetbagger in NY, and the rocket scientist we have in the white house, in the last election?

  50. ariana has come to jesus and has been born again. the question is whether she makes a better saul or paul, not whether or not she's hypocritical.

    hell. all the guys i knew in the third grade said they'd never ever kiss a girl.

  51. Interesting. If you go here:

    You can make her send a whole bunch of emails to herself (if you know her address)!

    Best of all, they claim not to keep any record of the email addresses or what you said!

  52. Oh wow. A politician lied. Shocking! Now is Arnold going to lie about his connections with Nazis in Austria?

  53. Hey Jon b-
    Not that the electorate aren't idiots.. but the chimp wasn't actually elected.

    Those of you holding out for heroes who never lie should remember what the electorate did to Jimmy Carter - replaced him with a trained professional liar. We want to be stroked, not told harsh truths.

  54. Cool. Arianna has all the cheap-labor conservatives frothing at the bit.

    She's obviously doing something right.

    I really get a kick out of the fucking idiots who call her a hypocrite for speaking out for the little people when she's supposedly so rich, but you don't say a thing about Arnold's weath.

    Talk about hypocrites.

    Obviously to be a Republican requires two traits: stupidity and ignorance, just like their criminal leader.

  55. Seems that the Dems are again trying to present themselves as the party of the common man when in fact, the majority of the truly wealthy in the United States are liberal Democrats. It is amusing that the liberals are blaming the Republicans for somehow causing the liberal CEO's to steal from their companies and bankrupt them. The Dems have somehow convinced John Q Pulic to not check on the politics of the people who are the CEOs and leaders of the large corporations that are in trouble. Check out who the supporters off the parties really are. Don't take the media's word for it. They have been falsifying the "facts" for years. Very wealthy contributors and labor unions, mostly government employee unions, are the major and almost only support for the Democrats. The Republicans are supported by some wealthy and a vast number of small contributors from the middle class, and yes, even a lot of poor.

  56. Never been to California, but lived in Mexico and Texas long enough to see that if all this I'm reading is the political (and or social) proving grounds for the rest of the country, Pray for a BIG earthuake on the san andreas to spare us all this progress.

  57. Robert,

    The Democrats were the ones pushing for limits for big political donations, but the restriction hit them harder. Repubs get more middle class contributions, while the Dems depend on the big money fat cats. Sure, felons, crack heads, and illegal aliens prefer the Dems, but they don't poney up with political contributions.

  58. "I really get a kick out of the fucking idiots who call her a hypocrite for speaking out for the little people when she's supposedly so rich, but you don't say a thing about Arnold's weath."

    Arianna attacks fat cats, yet she is one herself. I.e., she's a hypocrite.

    Arnold may be rich, but I haven't heard him attack fat cats. Not a hypocrite, as far as I can see.

  59. I haven't read through all the comments, and I'm not going to, but I'm a little confused- It seems that she's bashing prop 187 in 94, nominally supporting it ten years later (an a change of mind is excusable and understandable) when she admits that she was against it in 94, which is consistent. ...Someone please correct me and point out her inconsistency. Another thing, if anyone goes to her website, she states that she paid $98,042 in property taxes and $44,216 in employer payroll taxes in the past two years. That doesn't really add up to $771. Now, someone tell me who to believe: Arianna herself (would she lie straight out) or the LA Times (not doing research)?

  60. RichGuyBledDry:
    "People, edumacate yourselves about income taxes"
    Edumacate? Not sure what that is. Perhaps you could educate me.

    By the use of your expletive in describing idiots it would seem that you lack the creativity or vocabulary to come up with an adjective that is more interesting and original. Perhaps this would fall into the category of "stupidity and ignorance." You must be a Republican.

  61. Scrinchy, you ain't got no edumacation? Or maybe you just been hypmotized?!!

    Humor was attempted. Apparently, it didn't succeed on you.


  62. This whole rail on the income tax thing is blowing my mind. For folks saying/thinking "I wish I could do what she's doing with her taxes," YOU CAN. I'm not saying any moron can actually pull it off, but any moron (with a little tenacity) can surely try. Yes, even you. Just go down to the bookstore and buy a book and learn how to set it up. Then pick the right business and be successful enough at it to be profitable 3 out every 5 years. That's all.

    The law is like that is because businesses promote economic activity (even money losing ones, to some extent). Her business buys things and services from other businesses and the other business pays the tax on that chunk of change. It's also why the payroll taxes she paid are relevant. Even if the corporation employed only her, realize that the income she paid out to others supports jobs downstream at the other companies. No educated person has EVER suggested that legitimate business expenses can accurately be called a LOOPHOLE. What constitutes a legitimate expense *is* quite debatable though. She doesn't get to write-off losses at that level every year. If she can't pull a profit 3 out of 5 years she?ll have to shut down and they'll come and give her a tax bill.

    Here's what I don?t get about the ranting. The focus seems to be ?she is railing against exactly the sort of person that she herself is? OK ? but wouldn?t it be more important to note that if she were elected (she won?t be) and actually worked to do what she is suggesting -- wouldn?t that be against her own best interests and therefore sort of noble?

    Maybe what has been left unsaid/assumed by the other posters is that they believe that there is no way in hell that she would actually do what she is suggesting. I guess I don't think any politicians actually keep their campaign promises, anyways. How sad, what a dilema of trust.

    If she is bald-faced lying on the 187 issue it seems like she?s acting the politician role pretty well ? I mean, didn?t Bill Clinton and George W. Bush show us how essential it is to be able lie and obfuscate and do it well when you hold high office? Machiavelli lives on. Sigh.

  63. Get a life guys. She was married then, and presented a united front with her conservative husband. I read this in the newspapers. I will bet you guys did too.

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