With yellow-vest protests roiling France, Italian populists threatening an “Italexit” from the European Union, and a Chinese economic slowdown threatening the world economy, he and Ms. Stanley, 63, believe that American readers that are more interested than ever in matters abroad. “Trump has gone so inward, so nationalistic, that readers are rebelling by going more global,” she said by telephone.
Brexit is an obvious example. “To most Americans, Brexit is both an important but confusing story, that unfolds in a different direction every single week,” Mr. Carter said. That is why the duo has commissioned Francis Wheen, from Private Eye, the satirical British news publication, to write a humorous column called This Week in Brexit.
But Air Mail does not seek to compete with, say, Foreign Affairs, the international-relations journal published by the Council on Foreign Relations. “This is not homework,” Ms. Stanley said.
Rather, it should feel like “a calm read for a weekend, where you may stay in bed for two hours,” reading about food, film and football, which is “bigger than Norad and NATO and the United Nations,” Mr. Carter said.
One might fairly expect any publication of his to contain at least a smattering of aristocrats-behaving-badly stories, like the ones Mr. Carter used to find in foreign newspapers to pursue for Vanity Fair. But “there’s not much in the way of high-end scandal in America right now,” he said. “We’re going through a drought of rich people knifing each other, or shooting each other, or cheating each other.”
What about the British royal family? “Unless Meghan Markle starts strangling Prince Philip or something,” he said, “I have no interest in them.”