The Economist: “shat out by a civet cat”

An amusing discussion on why The Economist does so well while other magazines are hurting: According to Tom Ascheim, the boss of Newsweek, it is because we:

  • are non-American and thus necessarily global in outlook,
  • have high subscription rates, and
  • snob appeal

But the fun is in this quote attributed to Vanity Fair writer Matt Pressman:

The Economist is like that exotic coffee that comes from beans that have been eaten and shat out undigested by an Indonesian civet cat, and Time and Newsweek are like Starbucks — millions of people enjoy them, but it’s not a point of pride.

Would that make me the shitting civet cat?

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10 thoughts on “The Economist: “shat out by a civet cat”

  1. Sir-The cats make the beans, you make the coffee.

    With all due respect, you would be the person who walks around behind the cat and sorts the beans from the composite. Not every one has the stomach.

  2. The coffee you mentioned in the quote may be Kopi Luwak in Indonesian language. According to Wiki, there is similar one in Tawan, coming from the special seeds which monkeys spat out after once eating and biting. Quite interesting.

    Anyway, journalists should be likewise. I mean, to doubt what is being taken for granted by a large number of people, and pursue the truth that they have not found the worth of yet.

    You, the shitting civet cat, and me,hopingly,would-be the spitting Taiwan monkey.

    • Once again, we see the quintessentially cosmopolitan character of The Economist on display: My colleague cats and I shit beans cross-culturally!

  3. Tom got it wrong.

    He obviously is not a true coffee person; say, a pedant in coffee. Like me.

    The Economist cat would have been Guatamalan, Ethiopian, or Peetean.

  4. Yes, the Economist is an excellent “newspaper” for all the reasons put forth. But another equally excellent newspaper is the Guardian (UK), whose international readers now far outnumber its English ones. Snob appeal may also account for this.

    Like the Economist, the Guardian is succinct, well-written, and gives a worldly perspective. There’s also an American section (Guardian America), whose (American) editor (Michael Tomasky) writes several entertaining and insightful blogging pieces each day.

    If, having read this far, you are now tempted to abandon the Economist for the Guardian, I entreat you to read both. Both, after all, are free.

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