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Happy 10th Anniversary, David Remnick!

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I’ll expand this post a bit later this week, but for now, I’ll just wish David Remnick a very happy 10th anniversary at The New Yorker. Here’s another of his many appreciators (who just turned 21! the twentysomethings are reading—see below), with a similar cheer and a link to a Financial Times profile about Remnick’s first decade at the magazine. From the FT piece:
Remnick has much to celebrate after 10 years: circulation of The New Yorker has risen by 32 per cent, to more than 1m copies a week; re-subscription rates, at 85 per cent, are the highest in the industry; and despite the conventional wisdom that young readers don’t have the attention span to do more than blog, text and twitter, the magazine has seen its 18-to-24 readership grow by 24 per cent and its 25-to-34 readership rise 52 per cent. Twenty-four of its 47 National Magazine Awards were awarded under Remnick’s tenure. Perhaps most reassuring of all, The New Yorker’s balance sheet has moved from red to black - although its private ownership precludes him from revealing how much profit it makes.
Let’s hope he’s celebrating today and not just fielding calls about the cover; that’s what the animatronic Eustace Tilley is for.


Given the fact that magazines in general are struggling, that’s very good news about The New Yorker’s circulation and financial health.

The downside, however, is that the magazine’s too popular: it usually arrives in my mailbox on no dependable schedule (though usually late), and the July 7 /14 issue didn’t arrive at all, which suggests to me that it’s a favorite with my postal carrier.

That’s a shame! I’ve had good luck with calling the subscription dept. when I’m missing an issue, which happens occasionally. Here’s the info from the magazine; the people who answer these phones are remarkably friendly and helpful.

You may also contact our subscription department by e-mail at subscriptions@newyorker.com, or by calling 800-825-2510; if you are outside the United States, you may call 515-243-3273.

As Gawker might say, not afraid to be servicey!

David Remnicks New Yorker cartoon of Barak Obama looks a lot like low class-jewish politics…booooooooo

Jim HernandezJuly 14, 2008

Either you’re kidding, Jim, or you’re playing into the exact kind of disastrous thinking that the Barry Blitt cover is mocking. In any case, as you surely know, the cartoon isn’t by Remnick and probably wasn’t conceived by him, and quite a few people are responsible for a single magazine cover.

Here’s a discussion at barackobama.com about the cover, its merits or lack of them, its success or lack thereof.

Having recently had an cartoon (earthquake related) purchased and then spiked, (not published, at least for now), I have no doubt that every cartoon and cover is thoughtfully considered before it goes to print. In fact, I think this cover will probably be a net positive for Brock O’Bama (there, I’ve made him a ruddy Irishman for the quimish out there) as it may pop this pimple of popular misconception rather than letting it fester throughout the election.

I just read Rachel Sklar’s interview with Remnick at the Hufflington Post, in which he says:
We have now published three very long, extensive Profiles of Barack Obama and any number of Comment pieces, and I think it adds up to detailed, fair, insightful coverage. This cover is part of the picture, too, but it uses the language of political satire and cartooning, not of reporting and essays, and sometimes not everyone likes that or gets what’s intended. I would prefer not to over-explain things, but I’d rather be clear than there be lingering misconceptions about what Barry Blitt was exploring.
For instance, in George Packer’s “The Choice” (published in the January 28 issue), there was this passage, which I admired in a Pick of the Issue:
Obama spoke for only twenty-five minutes and took no questions; he had figured out how to leave an audience at the peak of its emotion, craving more. As he was ending, I walked outside and found five hundred people standing on the sidewalk and the front steps of the opera house, listening to his last words in silence, as if news of victory in the Pacific were coming over the loudspeakers. Within minutes, I couldn’t recall a single thing that he had said, and the speech dissolved into pure feeling, which stayed with me for days.
What does it mean to try to joke about Obama? The Times and Salon weigh in. From the latter, by Gary Kamiya:
Beyond these considerations, there’s something ridiculous about the whole debate. The New Yorker is the most prestigious magazine of its type in the country, with a circulation of over a million and a disproportionate influence, but it’s not a network or CNN or Fox. If the New Yorker starts trickling down to supermarket racks in Des Moines, Iowa, as the critics seem to fear, the GOP is toast. The only demographic it’s going to swing is between 110th Street and Canal. What next — riots in the left-wing blogosphere because the New York Review of Books runs a cartoon depicting McCain as Superman?

But this whole discussion is mostly irrelevant. A satirical drawing is a satirical drawing, regardless of which magazine’s cover it runs on. Regardless of the context, one can still “read” Blitt’s drawing, and what it says is very clear: These attacks are ridiculous and absurd, and it’s OK to laugh at them in any way you want. If you want to smile over sherry in a drawing room, go right ahead.

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