Some of the contextualizing is questionable. But overall, Toby Young’s The Spectator essay about the money-losing media trail trodden by Tina Brown and his companion commentary for The Daily Telegraph are thrillingly thought-provoking.
From The Spectator piece:
Take the case of Tina Brown, a New Yorker whose business ventures have lost far more than L’Wren Scott’s ever did, but who is completely inured to these setbacks because of her posh English upbringing… You won’t find Tina retiring to a darkened room with a bottle of whiskey and a revolver. On the contrary, she’s just signed a contract with Doubleday to write her memoirs — the appropriately titled Media Beast. Failure is just another career opportunity for her, which has always been the British way. As Winston Churchill said, ‘Success is going from one failure to the next with no loss of enthusiasm.’
From the Telegraph column:
The explanation for this galactic chutzpah, I think, is that Tina is the beneficiary of an upper-middle-class upbringing and a public school education. In America people are judged by where they’ve ended up, whereas in Britain it’s more about where you start – still true, alas, in spite of successive Prime Ministers declaring Britain to be “classless”. That means that an upper-middle-class Brit like Tina can be involved in a series of businesses that lose over a quarter of a billion dollars without it making any dent in her self-esteem.
Young, associate editor of The Spectator, isn’t sure which is better: “the hypersensitivity of up-by-their–bootstraps Americans or the unimpregnable self-regard of born-to-the-purple Brits.” But he sure wishes Brown was a little bit more pregnant.