I’m too superficial to read The New Yorker because it’s so unrelentingly boring. Even the cartoons suck these days. So back in 2008, soon after the writers strike ended, I said no when The New Yorker first approached me to cooperate for a profile. Fast forward to this summer, when the mag was desperate to liven up this week’s dullsville “Money Issue” with some Tinseltown mockery. The writer said the last time he profiled somebody without their cooperation was a serial killer. I would be joining Murderers Row. When I did start talking (but only with a lot of pre-conditions), months and weeks and hours of my time were wasted because little of what I said was used. (Not even when I responded to Peter Bart’s statement “I don’t think she has an impact among the real decision-makers” with this good quote, “Finally, Peter and I agree on something. He’s absolutely right: I’m not powerful, and I’m not influential. Which is why I don’t understand why The New Yorker is now crawling up my ass claiming I am.”) Instead, the article is a superficial clip job, no better than David Carr’s rushed Page One profile on me in The New York Times recently. As I expected, it’s an amusing caricature, only occasionally true but hardly insightful. Still, I’m relieved that The New Yorker didn’t lay a glove on me. I found Tad Friend, who covers Hollywood from Brooklyn, easy to manipulate, as was David Remnick, whom I enjoyed bitchslapping throughout but especially during the very slipshod factchecking process. (Those draconian Conde Nast budget cuts have deflated the infamous hubris of this New Jersey dentist’s son.) But I wasn’t the only one able to knock out a lot of negative stuff in the article without even one lawyer letter, email, or phone call. I witnessed how The New Yorker really bent over for Hollywood. NYC power publicist Steven Rubenstein succeeded in deleting every reference to Paramount’s Brad Grey. Warner Bros and Universal and DreamWorks and William Morris/Endeavor and Summit Entertainment execs and flacks and consultants also had their way with the mag. (They were even laughing about it. When I asked one PR person what it took to convince Tad to take out whole portions of the article, the response was, “I swallowed.”) At Harvey Weinstein’s personal behest, his description of me as a “cunt” became “jerk”. (Then the article would have contained two references to me as a “cunt” in addition to its four uses of ”fuck”. Si Newhouse must be so proud…) And so on. Now remember, readers: you, too, can make The New Yorker your buttboy. Just act like a cunt and treat Remnick like a putz and don’t give a fuck.
Editor-in-Chief Nikki Finke - tip her here.