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Arianna's Huffington Post and Incest: Imperfect but Together


One can imagine the screeds emanating from the media half-wits that mutter at Media Matters for America (MMFA) had an Andrew Breitbart blogger been accused of incest; however, it appears that Arianna Huffington has not just one, but at least two prominent bloggers with serious allegations of incest on their resume. Most readers are probably familiar with the recent news of Huffington Post blogger David Epstein.

… it appears that Palin-hating Huffington Post blogger and Ivy League Professor, David Epstein stands accused of maintaining a 3-year incestuous relationship with his daughter.

Yet, Huffington Post blogger and personality Tony Hendra seems to still have his place under Arianna’s masthead, even if he hasn’t used it since earlier this year. That despite far more troubling allegations involving incest and exploitative, seemingly sadistic behavior toward children that go back years.

Tony Hendra, author of the international best-seller Father Joe, attended Cambridge University where he performed with Pythons-to-be John Cleese and Graham Chapman. He was an original editor of The National Lampoon and editor-in-Chief of Spy. He also played Ian Faith in This is Spinal Tap. For lots more egregious self-promotion from a long and varied career visit:

In fact, they were chronicled by his daughter, Jessica Hendra, in book form back in 2005.

How to Cook Your Daughter begins with Jessica Hendra’s memory of a funeral of her parents’ friend that died of a heroin overdose in sunny California. Two years later, the Hendras fled to New Jersey under cover of night (better to avoid the landlord) to the big, creaky house that Jessica would come to associate with both sweetness and betrayal. The story gently drifts between that house on Red Mill Road, to the wild streets of New York’s East Village in the late ’70s, to Los Angeles, to London, to France and back, following Hendra’s path from an incest-scarred childhood to the life of an adult trying to free herself of her father’s poisonous influence.

If the Washington Post‘s version of Hendra’s daughter’s story is accurate, his actions were not only incestuous, but also sadistic. Evidently, Hendra even dressed her and some of her young friends up as hookers, publishing them in the National Lampoon, which he was editing at the time. Yet, this man not only seems to maintain his blogging privileges per Arianna, amazingly, he’s still embraced by the media. Certainly that wouldn’t be the case were he of the Right.

The molestations, according to Jessica, happened three times, once when she was 6, two more times before she turned 10. When she was in her twenties, trying futilely to get him to apologize, or at least to admit what happened, her father told her, “You are sitting around picking at old scars, bringing up history, so you can make excuses for yourself. If you have problems, they are yours, not mine. Stop being so self-involved. Much worse things have happened to children. . . . Think about the Holocaust . . . Babies being gassed to death. And in Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge bayoneting six-year-olds in the rice paddies.” By those standards, of course, Hendra was a five-star dad.

The great bulk of “How to Cook Your Daughter” is a memoir of what it was like growing up during the height of the sexual revolution under the aegis of a sanctimonious bully who thought it was his sacred duty less to “save the world through laughter” than to illuminate the world’s evils with biting, bitter, acrimonious satire. Thus, when Tony Hendra dresses up the very young Jessica and some of her friends as hookers and poses them in National Lampoon for a “back to school” edition, he’s not exploiting the children but delivering a timely lecture on American consumerism. When he sets up a “slow walk” contest for his barefoot daughters on steaming hot asphalt, promising $50 to whomever can stay on the asphalt longest, then signing the check “Mickey Mouse” and admonishing them, “Never do anything just for money,” he’s not torturing little girls and cheating them to boot, but treating them to a salutary lesson on the evils of materialism.

It’s hard to know where to begin with the questions here. Is this part and parcel of the Left’s moral relativism, in line with the Left’s Gramscian march through America’s institutions, meant to undermine American exceptionalism from within by destroying the culture? Or, is Hendra simply too big a name, too well protected for Arianna to risk disassociating herself from him as she should? Unfortunately, we don’t know the answers, as no one has seemed interested in putting them to Arianna, the way they most assuredly would were her site aligned with the Right.

Whatever the case, it seems safe to say that by associating herself with, not just one, but two prominent individuals accused of incest, Arianna certainly doesn’t seem to have any standards, or judgment when it comes to moral behavior. Perhaps it’s just the Leftist in her in the end, or, like so may other Hollywood types, any behavior is deemed acceptable, so long as one’s politics are in line.

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