Kate Betts, the former Editor-in-Chief of Harper's Bazaar, reviews The Devil Wears Prada, Lauren Weisberger's roman-a-clef about working at Vogue under editor Anna Wintour. Betts tears into Weisberger, criticizing her for the character's (read: Weisberger's) superiority complex: "Andrea makes no bones about the fashion business being beneath her, or that her true calling is not to be fetching tall lattes for Anna/Miranda but to be supplying high-minded prose for The New Yorker."

As far as book reviews go, Betts' review isn't an actual review. There's no discussion of the novel as a piece of literature. It's really just an ethical analysis of Weisberger's decision to trash her ex-boss in print and it should be noted that Betts probably feels some solidarity with Wintour, having likely terrorized a number of potentially-book-writing underlings herself.

Not that I disagree with her; I think she's right on the money. I know I've stated several times that I'd never write for Vogue, but to clarify, it's not because fashion writing is "beneath" me. I'm just not personally interested in fashion/facials/fat-free food, and I don't think my style of writing would go over very well there. ("How about an article on which items you'd steal from Saks if you were Winona Ryder? Yes? No?") They don't seem to have much of a sense of humor.

But, come on! Self-righteously slamming fashion journalism because your writing "really belongs at the New Yorker?" I don't think I know a single journalist who doesn't feel their writing "really belongs at the New Yorker." Some of them are wrong; some of them are right; and some of them are writing for the New Yorker.

Review of Kate Betts' review

Digression: I really like the New Yorker. I'd use the word "love" but that would require actual enthusiasm, and we've already established that I don't do that well. That said, the "sacred cow" nature of the New Yorker drives me insane. I never hear anyone criticize it. Ever. My theory is that anyone in a position to publicly do so secretly fears that it will prevent them from ever writing for the magazine.

[No one who wanted to write for the New Yorker would, for example, post a picture of themselves on the Internet wearing a Ken Courtney (of "I fucked Gisele" t-shirt fame)-designed tee that says, "I fucked [New Yorker Editor] David Remnick." ...I can hear my journalistic aspirations crashing through the floor even as I click on "publish." Aiiieee!!!]

The Devil Wears Prada: Anna dearest [NYT]