Arianna and Tina Brown (who you might know from The Daily Beast) sat down with Harper's Bazaar's Elisa Lipsky-Karasz to talk about how they first met and to weigh in on whether they're truly rivals. Here's our favorite Qs and As from the interview:
ELK: What did you make of each other when you met?
AH: I already knew about Tina. She was writing plays at the time.
TB: Yes, but Arianna was the big star of the debating squad at Cambridge. I always thought Arianna was far more sophisticated and mundane. I was merely an undergraduate, but Arianna was known beyond the campus. I was at the Weidenfeld party probably only because I knew my [future] husband, Harry Evans. But Arianna was there because she was a figura.
AH: Ah, no, that is definitely not the case. I mean, the thing for me was Tina's voice. From the first time I read [her], I thought, Here is a distinct voice. Another thing: Harry bought [the serial rights] to my book on Maria Callas for the Sunday Times in London and got really involved.
ELK: did you ever think you would both end up being media powerhouses?
AH: Oh, it was completely planned.
TB: I think it was as planned as Hillary marrying Bill Clinton. I think both of us saw ourselves as writers. I didn't see myself as an editor. I wanted to be a playwright, in fact. And I was going to write articles on the side. I don't know about you, Arianna, but I always thought you were more likely to be a political candidate. Which in fact you were for a minute.
AH: Yes, I was for five minutes. I always thought of myself first as a writer and a debater. I joke [now] that I planned it all, because the rise of the Internet and blogging was so not at all where journalism was back when we first met. And that is what the conversation has moved to.
ELK: You are so often pitted against each other. Is it because as women you attract more scrutiny?
AH: I don't think there's more scrutiny directed our way. I think that there are certain stereotypes that are activated when you have two women like Tina and me running things. Catfights--you never had that when it was Jon Meacham and Rick Stengel, right?
TB: There is such delicious lip smacking at the notion of any girl-on-girl action, if you know what I mean [laughs]. It's very retro.