It’s not often these days that we find ourselves forced to read the Huffington Post, best known for not paying writers and shoveling out piles of vacuous nonsense and overly worthy commentary. But this week HuffPo actually scored a rare entertainment hit with its column, by Jennifer Aniston, confirming that she was NOT after all pregnant and hitting out at the tabloid magazine culture for objectifying women.
Aniston’s strongly-worded piece, headlined ‘For the Record’, has attracted the support of celebrities including Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy and is perhaps the most celebrated lifestyle intervention by an actress since Emma Watson’s ‘He is She’ gender equality address to the UN in September 2014.
In her article- that also came as a boon to the mags she flamed as they subsequently covered her piece which attacked them- Aniston wrote: “For the record, I am not pregnant. What I am is fed up. I’m fed up with the sport-like scrutiny and body shaming that occurs daily under the guise of ‘journalism,’ the ‘First Amendment’ and ‘celebrity news.’ ”
The Friends veteran added: “We use celebrity ‘news’ to perpetuate this dehumanizing view of females, focused solely on one’s physical appearance, which tabloids turn into a sporting event of speculation.”
— Arianna Huffington (@ariannahuff) July 13, 2016
The article is likely the product of a most productive friendship between Aniston and Huff Po founder Arianna Huffington. In the last 18 months the pair have become firm friends with Huffington joining Courtney Cox and Chelsea Handler in Aniston’s close-knit circle of friends.
A source at the Huffington Post told Heat Street: “Arianna assisted Jennifer Aniston with the editing of her article and even let her choose the headline [‘For the Record.’]”
Huffington hosted two lunches for Aniston’s film Cake in the winter of 2014 in a failed bid to get her an Oscar nomination, one in New York and one at her home in Brentwood, Los Angeles.
The source added: “It’s hardly a secret that Arianna has been advising her on building up her lifestyle branding beyond hair products and water. They meet up when Jen is in New York and Arianna is in LA.”
Aniston participated in a Q & A with Huffington last April to publicize her book The Sleep Revolution. Huffington described Aniston as “not only one of our most gifted actors but a lifestyle icon for millions.”
Aniston told Huffington in the Q & A: “I feel like your book is going to be a big step in the right direction for helping me with my insomnia. But my one key tip- and actually I feel like it’s you who told me this!- is to sleep with my phone at least five feet away from me.”
The Huff Po source also noted the site does not run critical articles of Aniston and that headlines like 2014’s “Jennifer Aniston Reveals ‘Nasty’ Cyber Bullying Means She Rarely Goes Out These Days” are a thing of the past.
Indeed, it’s clear that this friendship is mutually beneficial. Huffington, for one, is notorious for cultivating celebrity friends to build her own brand and increase her social standing — often at the expense of responsible journalism and of the sanity of her famously harried staff. An anonymous Gawker column by a HuffPost editor, titled “Hell Is Working At The Huffington Post”, put it this way:
“If any of Arianna’s people get caught in a public mess, there can be lots of internal delays while editors figure out whether they actually have permission from on high to mention the scandal. You will also be expected to dutifully and fawningly cover any of her friends’ new projects, no matter how stupid. If a person is not Arianna’s BFF but is still a celebrity, it’s a very good bet she’ll side with them too.”
As for Aniston, by being BFF with Arianna, she gains a fawning sycophant as a friend and the slavish adoration of a major digital publication. It’s the kind of press that Aniston, whose celebrity has been aided and abetted for years by the very tabloids she trashes, has always wanted: unquestioning, sycophantic, and uncurious.
In her most recent article Aniston, who is 47, wrote: “I may become a mother some day, and since I’m laying it all out there, if I ever do, I will be the first to let you know.”
She might as well have been speaking to The Huffington Post, not the readers.
Jennifer Aniston just clapped back in Huffington Post essay form. What a time to be alive.
— ash (@realityxash) July 13, 2016