Last night at the 92nd Street Y here in NYC’s Upper East Side, a panel from the Huffington Post gathered to go over the ‘teachable moments’ from the last year. What a perfect night, the first night of Obama’s presidency, to gather Arianna Huffington, author and co-founder of the Huffington Post, Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, Nora Ephron, author and screenwriter of several scripts including my beloved ‘When Harry Met Sally,’ Erica Jong, author, Paul Rieckhoff, author and Iraqi War Veteran (whose book Chasing Ghosts is a must), and Trey Ellis, author, screenwriter and professor. Barbara Ehrenreich, originally scheduled to join the panel, could not attend due to illness, which bummed me out but only until the conversation began.
Huffington moderated, of course, and Obama’s inauguration was first on her list. The room erupted into relieved and electric applause at the mere mention of it and then she instructed the panelists to let every one know where they were for the event. Yet it wasn’t all hugs and kisses last night as Ephron and Jong disagreed visibly and voraciously more than once. It’s good to know we can agree to disagree, ladies.
Huffington moved the panel through discussions about the ‘culture of service,’ the bailout(s), the media, who would replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the Senate and even First Lady Michelle’s ball gown choice (of which Rieckhoff was the first unashamed panelist to answer; he dug it). She also made specific mention that she had met with the magazine editors from Hearst and had told them that the future was web. In order to survive in this world where rumors of the New York Times’ closing are no longer shocking, she said print journalism would perish without a striving online strategy. HOO-RAH, says this web video producer.
Overall, an encouraging and enlightening evening. We have to roll our sleeves up and get involved. We need to ‘be the change we wanna see,’ ‘ask not what our country can do for us’ and ‘yes we are’ ourselves right up outta this crisis.
Posted by: Autumn.