While "Occupy Wall Street" is spreading to "more than a thousand countries," a key liberal supporter of the movement has been enjoying the past few days in the birthplace of the radical French Revolution, where she's expanding... her media empire.
Arianna Huffington is in Paris today announcing Le Huffington Post, a French-language version of The Huffington Post set to launch later this year in partnership with Le Monde:
PARIS -- Bonjour from Paris! It's 3 a.m. Tuesday morning here. This has been a really exciting day. Every time I come to Paris -- starting with my first trip outside Greece when I was 11 -- I love every minute here. But this trip was special, as I'm here to announce the upcoming launch of Le Huffington Post, in partnership with Le Monde and French media powerhouse Les Nouvelles Editions Indépendantes (LNEI).
The new site, which will of course be in French, will be up and running by the end of the year, combining HuffPost's signature mix of news, blogging, community, and social engagement with our partners' unmatched local expertise. Le Huffington Post will be deeply rooted in French culture and run by French journalists. It will, like France itself, have a very distinct personality -- its own way of approaching the world.
And to make that happen, we couldn't have found better partners. Though it's certainly venerable, Le Monde is actually not that old. It was founded in 1944, at the request of Charles de Gaulle, to be an independent and truly French voice that would take the place of Le Temps, which had been irreparably tainted during the German occupation. Le Monde's founding editor was the legendary Hubert Beuve-Méry, who was famously feisty, independent, incorruptible and pessimistic (for which some might say there's a pretty high bar in France). ''He was upright, exacting and constant," said President François Mitterrand when Beuve-Méry passed away in 1989. "He never betrayed himself." He was also legendary for being a fierce thorn in the side of those in power. "Journalism is contact and distance," he wrote. "Both are necessary. Sometimes there is too much contact, and not enough distance. Sometimes it's the opposite. A difficult equilibrium."