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LEFT LEANING: Arianna Huffington and Wendi Murdoch packed the house — Huffington’s house to be precise — Thursday night to toast Kathy Freston for her new book “The Lean.” Crowded as the Huffington Post-er’s downtown pad was, the guest of honor stood out in a magenta cashmere sweater and a Barbie-pink sequined column skirt. Commendable as the author’s vegan-minded, healthy-living ways are, Huffington had a few other reasons for a public note of thanks — Freston had given her an iPod with all of Tom Freston’s music — 11,000 songs — and had introduced her to her HuffPo partner, Kenneth Lerer. Murdoch chimed in, telling the room how she and her husband Rupert have been following all of Freston’s pointers and have dropped a few pounds. But while the News Corp. chairman may be feeling lighter, he wasn’t up for any reporter’s questions.
Freston was energetic as ever, hugging guests and signing book after book while standing. She reminded Diane Sawyer, Tina Brown, Martha Stewart, Charlie Rose, Tory Burch, Dr. Oz, Jamie Tisch, Joel Klein, Katie Lee Joel, Lynn Forester and Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, Nanette Lepore and the rest of the guests to drink eight cups of water and to have an apple a day. Freston said, “I’m all about everything. I’m not about suffering and a hard-core life. I want to enjoy life.”
Afterwards, Huffington appeared to be enjoying life. Asked how she feels about having more control now that she has taken on several of AOL’s business functions, she said, “I don’t see it that way. Changes are necessary because of the growth of the Huffington Post. Being able to integrate technology and marketing with editorial is going to make it easier for us to grow much stronger.”
With the Huffington Post’s new national editor Kate Palmer (who was peeled away from The Onion) by her side, Huffington said a seventh anniversary party is being cooked up. “We’ve never had an anniversary party. I think it’s time. There will be clowns and face-painting. That’s what you have for a seven-year-old, don’t you?” Huffington said. “We never had one before because we were always working.”