The XX Factor

Christiane Amanpour, Domestic Newbie

It’s been comical watching Christiane Amanpour have to defend her qualifications to anchor the Sunday Beltway Show This Week . Amanpour is replacing George Stephanopoulous, and people have been “puzzling” about this out-of-the-box choice, reports the Washington Post’s Lisa de Moraes . What makes it so puzzling? Amanpour, who grew up in Iran and Britain, has mostly foreign-reporting experience. For decades, news organizations have groomed their top men by sending them overseas. This has long been the standard path of success at the Washington Post and the New York Times . Until now, it never occurred to anyone that spending four years isolated in Moscow or Beijing would not be the absolutely ideal preparation for covering the White House, running the national desk, or writing the paper’s editorials on health care policy. In fact, it was absolutely de rigeur . But suddenly the lady-who happens to be one of the best-known TV reporters in the business-appears, and the network feels it has to release tortured explanations about how the “international and the domestic have come to effect one another” and how global conflict is now domestic conflict and other such nonsense.

Photograph of Christiane Amanpour by Nicholas Kamm/AFP.