Another weekend, another fireside chat with the Tina Brown's zookeeper and editor-at-large of The Week, Sir Harold Evans. As we've mentioned, Evans is doing a weekly radio broadcast on BBC4 in the vein of Alistair Cooke's Letter from America series. Naturally, this is the sort of hard reporting Henry the Intern was made for. In our latest installment of Weekends with Harry, we learn the Evans-Brown clan loves vacationing on a Arizona cattle ranch. After the jump, Henry indulges all of your cowboy fantasies.
Harold Evans' second contribution to BBC Radio 4 dealt with "the new American dilemma" of illegal immigration in the southwestern United States. The problem is dear to Harry's heart because he long fantasized about "riding the range as a cowboy." Of more interest to us, however, is that he regularly convinced his family to vacation in Arizona. In fact, my records show that Tina Brown recommended Elkhorn Ranch in Arizona on Topic A last summer. Since Harry provided no anecdotes about Tina and the kids, let's revisit the transcript from August 1, 2004:
TINA: I'm gonna recommend a place I've gone for 17 years running, that's how much I like it, and you'll be shocked to know it is a dude ranch in Arizona. Yes, I ride a horse. I know, it's a staggering thought.
TINA: Me. Absolutely. I have pictures of myself looking...
TOURE: I need to see the pictures.
TINA: Shall we say, you'll never see these pictures of me and it's...
JESSI KLEIN: You're such a jock, Tina.
TINA: It's an amazing—it's the Elkhorn Ranch. It's incredible. You will never meet anybody remotely fashionable or exciting.*
TOURE: You ride fast?
TINA: It's just a most fabulous, you know, place to take your kids where you just only relax and it's heaven and I just dream of it every year. I'm going at Christmas, so stay there.
Elkhorn Ranch, for the record, is no snooty Canyon Ranch spa, favored by CNBC's Maria Bartiromo. For approximately $1,000 per person per week, guests of Elkhorn Ranch reside in simple bungalow houses on 10,000 acres and pass the time horseback riding. As for the inspiration of Harry's report, the ranch is located mere 25 miles from the Mexican border.
To BBC listeners, Harry rattled off big numbers and statistics about immigration. "Where do they go?" he asked, referring to the people "we dehumanize simply as an illegal."
"Various studies all suggest there are today something like 11 million illegals in the United States, in a shadow world outside of the rule of law. What I call the new American dilemma is what to do about them," Harry said. "It doesn't make sense nearly four years after 9/11 to make grandmothers take off their shoes at airports when terrorist infiltrators at the broken border could wreak havoc."
Harry hopes lawmakers will use their August recess "to reflect how very hot it is in the Arizona desert" for those trying to enter the States illegally. While they reflect, Harry and Tina will be galloping across the landscape with children in tow.
* Tina, of course, may not meet "anybody remotely fashionable or exciting," but we know of two somebodies who visit the ranch, and they are both.