New Yorker editor doesn’t like the e-word

Elitist? The New Yorker?
Hardly. Editor-in-chief David Remnick doesn’t like the word, saying it
doesn’t reflect what they do at the magazine.

In an interview with Market Watch, Remnick is quoted as saying;

“Look,” he said, “this word ‘elitist,’ I think sometimes it’s just something to flagellate other people or beat yourself up about. What does it mean in this context? It means that we have our noses up in the air and/or that we’re snobbish. I just don’t see it. I don’t see it as a useful way of looking at the magazine. I mean, are we for everybody? No.”

“Remnick, 51, has been listening to this kind of talk since he took the reins in 1998. “I just think this elitism stuff (has) become a weapon in a political discussion, most often.”

Market Watch notes that the publication came under fire when it published an illustrative cover depicting then-hopeful presidential candidate Barack Obama decked in Muslim clothing pumping fists with his Afro and gun-toting wife. Market Watch writes:

“Remnick remains quite bullish on the New Yorker‘s mission.

” “What gives me deep and abiding confidence about the New Yorker is I know — not just believe, but know — that we do something that a lot of people want and need. I know it from the reaction to the magazine in numbers and in passion. That’s an important thing for an editor to have a sense of.”

“When you read those words you might half-expect him to place his hand over his heart and gaze toward the heavens. But Remnick doesn’t give a damn how schmaltzy his sentiments might sound to the outside world.”

“People should come to the New Yorker expecting a certain level of writing is there,” he said. “There’s got to be a level of writing, a level of sensibility, a level of discernment that is not casual, that is not just rough and ready, that is not a blog post.”

“Contrary to what people may believe, Remnick doesn’t edit the New Yorker while sitting in some sort of ivory tower.

“Look, I read plenty of blogs,” he said earnestly. “I read plenty of things that are very short. I don’t live a separate existence from that, but I insist on the importance of consideration, analysis, deep reporting. Without it, we are lost in many, many ways.”