Taki Taki

High life | 29 November 2012

The gossip is that the Washington Post is in bad trouble and losing money as only Tina Brown can. Not that Brown has anything to do with the Post. Tina loses zillions for Barry Diller, who finances the Daily Beast at about 10 million greenbacks a year, and is closing the 40 million per annum loser Newsweek, although it’s not his own money, but that of those who invest with him. If I’m confusing you, don’t blame me. I actually pay my writers, unlike that other Greek, Arianna Stassinopoulos Huffington, who dropped the Greek part of her name just as the Greeks let go of the drachma and went for the euro.If it’s all Greek to you, don’t worry. It gets messier.

Tina Brown is a Brit who became famous early on by romancing Martin Amis and Auberon Waugh, not the best-looking of men but fodder for gossip-mongers because of the bitchiness of their pen. I am rather proud to say that I’ve never read a word written by Amis, and aim to keep it thus, but I knew Waugh, and read him in these here pages, although I wouldn’t say we were bosom buddies. But back to Brown and the Greek, who now sounds like an American.

I first met Arianna when she was president of the Cambridge Union. She agreed to write a foreword to my book on the Greek colonels, this little deal arranged by my wonderful publisher and friend Tom Stacey. Arianna was ecstatic about doing it. She considered me on a par with Aristophanes and Thucydides, not to mention Herodotus, or so she is thought to have said to Tom. Then the Greek colonels collapsed, Taki became a non-person in Greece for having served them, and Arianna decided to stick closer to someone like the great Bernard Levin than to the dirty little Nazi Taki.

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