Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fighting Words

National correspondent for The Atlantic, James Fallows, delivers some sick burns to The Economist:

"There are certain English products whose quaintness is put on mainly for export purposes -- they're the equivalent of Ye Olde Tea Shoppe-style tourist traps, which the locals avoid. Something similar is going on with The Economist. The Economist now has considerably fewer readers -- and is strangely less influential -- in England than in America."

"Another key to the magazine's boom in America during the 1980s must lie in its sycophancy toward Ronald Reagan in particular and American culture in general. We are all so used to being sneered at by the French or Swedes. To hear someone who poses as a British aristocrat celebrating American vigor -- it's just irresistible! If it came from the Wall Street Journal or USA Today, we'd consider it plain boosterism, but it works from The Economist, since we imagine we're overhearing the foreigners' real views. I think the flattery is actually the most refined and vicious version of the old British condescension toward the colonies. These Yanks! They'll believe anything! Let's give them another dose of how the world looks up to them!"

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