Move over Cathy Newman, here’s Zanny Minton Beddoes

I recently discovered that the editor of The Economist was a woman by the name of Zanny Minton Beddoes who, inevitably, went to Oxford. It certainly explained their political stance regarding such things as Brexit, the election of Trump, and the European Union: it’s hard to imagine someone with that name being in touch with the common man. I bet she’s not lived outside a capital city since she was a student.

Yesterday I came across this 35 minute video of her trying to interview Steve Bannon. I say trying, because she spends half the time interrupting with little high-pitched shrieks every time Bannon says something which doesn’t align with her elitist, metropolitan worldview. Have a look for yourselves.

The lack of self-awareness of this woman is incredible, seemingly incapable of responding rationally to someone with a different opinion. It’s as if she’s watched the disastrous Cathy Newman interview with Jordan Peterson and thought her performance worthy of admiration. She’s clearly gone into the interview with the sole intent of smearing Bannon as a racist and misogynist, oblivious to what he is actually saying. It’s quickly apparent she’s way out of her depth and for all her expensive education and cut-glass accent she’s not half as smart as she thinks she is.

Several people invited by The Economist to take part in the same event declined because of Bannon’s presence, including that intellectual heavyweight Laurie Penny. The New Yorker cancelled his presence at a similar event, citing objections from right-thinking participants. Whether you agree with his policies or not, Steve Bannon is a man worth listening to; the fact establishment types such as Zanny Minton Beddoes are so terrified of him reinforces this.


22 thoughts on “Move over Cathy Newman, here’s Zanny Minton Beddoes

  1. The leftward charge of the Economist under her ‘leadership’ is the reason I stopped my subscription.

    PS I confess that I too went to Oxford.

  2. In defence of the Economist; at least they didn’t wimp out and cancel like the New Yorker*.

    I am sure Zanny is perfectly charming and that her opinions on all matters of import could be predicted with unerring accuracy by any regular at this blog.

    The Economist is an establishment publication; it is left wing because the establishment is overwhelmingly leftist. I say leftist; more like 21st Century Whigs maybe…

    *now there’s a deathly, overwritten bag of utter shite

  3. She evidently doesn’t read her own newspaper. They’ve just printed a very good essay about how the Davis liberal has to change, Bannon referee to it.

    I’ve started turning more and more to the Intellectual Dark Web to get thinkers who can discuss subjects openly with people they may disagree with without spending half their time virtue signalling their own superiority.

  4. I didn’t think she anywhere near as bad as Newman; at least she let him speak, and didn’t try to put words in his mouth.

  5. Her hubby is Sebastian Mallaby, son of a UK ambassador, went to Eton (like his dad) and Oxford.

    I’ve no doubt they’re completely down with the common people.

  6. The dumbest things the old media have done is to focus competing with online opinions. The unique asset they have is the ability to ask a politician (etc) a question and make the person look bad if they don’t answer (and keep asking until they get a proper answer). That ability to quiz has real value to people seeking information.

    Instead, they focus on posturing. Statistically they are never going to be the smartest opinion going and that is a competition they will and do lose. By turning news into entertainment (and watching your paper call someone you don’t like a racist is nothing more than entertainment) they are a mediocre competitor in a field where the cost of opinions is zero. Then they wonder why they are losing money.

    Economist and FT which had audiences who will pay proper money for data are the dumbest firms in this space. The daily mail has always been entertainment (though some of the people there then used the amazing profits to go do some top notch journalism)

  7. The amazing thing like the Newmans and Minton Beddoes and the rest of their ilk is they don’t have to mix with us plebs. That would be disgusting.

    They just *know* what we peasants are like and better still, what we need. As such, it makes them perfect darlings in helping our elite rule us with a rod of iron.

    @isp001: “they are a mediocre competitor in a field where the cost of opinions is zero” Agreed. That’s why journalism now in a so-called age of information is called ‘power without responsibility’

  8. @isp

    ” they are a mediocre competitor in a field where the cost of opinions is zero. Then they wonder why they are losing money”

    This is an excellent point. Actually the ability to drag politicians and celebrities in for face-to-face interviews is only one of their advantages – there are other lots of other uses for their generous contact lists (I read several political blogs but how many of them have called round a few cabinet ministers or senior MPs to read the mood before publishing?), their access to specialist investigative journalists, their ability to pay for, compile and present high-quality data, the use of editors and fact-checkers to vouch for this being “real” not “fake” news … there are lots of things where they should have an unassailable lead over a bunch of random bloggers or youtubers.

    I think part of the tendency towards “analysis” or “comment” pieces is the worry that breaking news is difficult, and the published word goes stale fast in a 24/7 news cycle. A commentary can remain timely for longer, and if you pitch it at just the right level of controversy, can bring in a lot of pageviews. But the more they become a viewspaper rather than a newspaper, when views are cheap elsewhere – and often less restrained by the editorial line – it undermines their higher quality USPs.

    It’s a tricky one, and I’m glad I don’t work in that industry.

  9. It would seem to me that ‘Zanny’ as a character would be right at home on Ab Fab. ” Who’s coming tonight darling? We only want fabulous people.”

  10. Can’t help but think having a woman and progressive males run the economist is why it’s gone from the worlds premier newspaper to the guardian in magazine format. They have gone from enlightened liberal commentary to supporting a somewhat authoritarian governments in the West.


  11. I started reading The Economist in the 1970s and stopped subscribing about fifteen years ago. Its opinions had stopped seeming relevant. Bannon is a working class guy who went to Harvard and worked for Goldman. He has some interesting views on the world and economics. Zanny and her class suffer from group think and she seems out of touch.

  12. She comes from Shropshire, from a relatively old landowning family. Her Wiki page calls her simply the daughter of a former army officer. That she is, but the Wiki doesn’t mention that (unless I’m mistaken, of course) the future Major Minton-Beddoes (b. 1939) inherited houses and land in Minton and Cheney Longville, and that his family had already owned at least some of these properties in the 18th century. I’m not claiming Zanny (Susan Jean originally) was born very rich but, by American standards, she definitely comes from an old elite. Pillars of society since 1745.

  13. I think part of the tendency towards “analysis” or “comment” pieces is the worry that breaking news is difficult, and the published word goes stale fast in a 24/7 news cycle.

    I disagree. I think it’s more of a case of old media types believing their own bullshit and thinking their opinions are considerably more important than simply reporting the news, and their increasing isolation from ordinary people. The likes of Zanny has grown up surrounded like people just like her who no doubt think her opinions are just marvellous, and she thinks there’s a market for it beyond her circle. Look at all the prominent media types nowadays, all they want to do is talk about themselves and promote their narrow worldview.

  14. Re: the papers moving towards commentary and away from reporting, isn’t that a trend that started with radio/TV news?

  15. Worth pointing out that “Zanny”, like Bill Emmott, and so many other people of that type, is not merely an Oxonian, but a PPE graduate. PPE is not an intellectually rigorous degree, judging from the low quality of these people. There are a handful of exceptions.

    I’ve no idea if you have to be preternaturally arrogant to get into to do PPE, whether the degree instils arrogance, or whether they are born wicked and grow worse. What ever the cause – you can always tell when you’re reading a PPEist.

  16. Totally agree. She deserves credit for speaking with him, but she didn’t even bother trying to engage in good faith. It’s highly illiberal behavior.

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