On Sunday the Hillary Clinton fan ‘zine The Daily Beast came out swinging against what they called “Brit Grifters” — such as Milo Yiannopolous and Sebastian Gorka, complaining that the UK is “not sending their best” to America.
Lambasting British media figures working in the US, it said: “Dear Britain: Please stop sending us your failed media celebrities.”
It went on: “When Britain sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us.” Journalist James Kirchick put his Yale degree to use to cite examples Yiannopolous, Gorka, plus Piers Morgan and, prominently, our friend Louise Mensch.
There was just one problem with this line of attack: the Daily Beast conveniently forgot to mention its own founder and in-house British grifter, Tina Brown.
Perhaps it was just a glaring oversight, or perhaps (more likely?) The Daily Beast piece is slyly taking a subtle dig at Brown, who was known at the Beast as an indecisive nightmare of an editor.
Whatever the reason, while some of the media figures it mentioned arguably should have stayed in Europe, it’s a staggering omission that UK-born Brown was left out of its hall of shame.
This is a woman, after all, who has proved a spectacular failure in the media industry herself, leaving in her trail a catalogue of busted budgets and shattered dreams as those who worked at publications like The New Yorker and Talk magazine will testify.
During Brown’s tenure at The New Yorker, for example, the magazine lost an estimated $11 million in 1997, $14 million in 1996, $17 million in 1995, and $30 million in 1993. Can this really be called competent management?
According to the New York Times, the 1993 losses were due to: “severances, high kill fees to writers honoring commitments made by Mr. Gottlieb [former magazine editor over whose assignments Ms Brown rode roughshod], staff overlap and creating a new infrastructure.” It went on: “Ms. Brown also established contracts with writers that ranged from $12,000 to $200,000.”
Following her departure, Brown, who now has US citizenship, went on to launch Talk magazine in 1999 with a legendary star-studded “party of the millennium” attended by 800 guests. Hillary Clinton was on the first cover, of course. The venture lasted just two-and-a-half years and failed to turn a profit. She bombed around $50 million, Politico reported.
And then there was The Daily Beast itself, a publication founded by Brown in 2008. The outlet managed to lose $10 million a year. The site then merged in 2010 with another failing media venture, Newsweek, in a bid to make some money. (Newsweek was sold in 2013 to IBT Media, which is owned by a South Korean cult.) The merger proved to be a mistake and lost about $70 million as a result.
Despite leaving every publication she has edited since the 1990s in flames, Brown was handsomely enriched for her failures. She and her fellow Brit grifter husband, Sir Harold Evans (who left his wife for Brown, 25 years his junior), were well known for their media-crowd cocktail parties at their lavish maisonette in Sutton Place, although at many of these “cocktail” parties, only more economical beer and wine were served.
Brown is still adored in liberal circles. She continues her grifter act with “Women in the World” events where obscenely wealthy liberal women like Sheryl Sandberg and Meryl Streep fawn over Hillary Clinton and discuss trivial feminist issues.
Last month, Mrs Clinton spoke at the “Women in the World” Summit and blamed “misogyny” on her loss in the Presidential elections last year.
“Certainly misogyny played a role,” Clinton told the audience. “I mean, that has to be admitted.”
The Daily Beast is surely right – some British media figures have failed dramatically in the US. And Brown, its own founder, sits at or near the top of the whole stinking heap.