New Yorker editor David Remnick is badgering his writers to blog more, and to be more vicious/cutesy while they're at it, just like real bloggers! It's absolutely adorable.
Remnick hired a guy named Ari Zenelman to bludgeon the magazine's famously coddled staff contributors into doing more posts, according to the Observer. So basically all journalists everywhere have some kind of quota now, just like at Gawker! Just wait until they start breaking Web traffic down by writer, New Yorker people.
Anyway, the writers are clearly outside their comfort zones, or maybe just our comfort zones.
Television writer Nancy Franklin actually wrote the following in a post Tuesday she dubbed "Nancy's Fancies," about her top TV moments of 2008: "David [Letterman], this is between you and me. I loved you in 2008 as I have always loved you. You will be my favorite late-night talk-show host 4ever..." (Emphasis added, although it does jump off the page in the original.)
Also yesteday, the magazine's George Packer got totally snarky with actor Sean Penn, sarcastically calling him a "veteran foreign correspondent" and mocking his writing:
Travelling in the company of Douglas Brinkley, the noted actor, and Christopher Hitchens, the world-famous hedge-fund executive and philanthropist, Penn was the invited guest of President Hugo Chávez, of Venezuela, well-known as an advocate for the Social Gospel, and of Raúl Castro, Cuba’s humorous, wonky, and athletically gifted new chief executive. ...Good interviewers also know how to analyze the material they work so hard to elicit, and Penn treats his readers to gems such as “Inside, I’m wondering, Have I got a big story to break here? Or is this of little relevance?”
Then Packer writes that Penn should "stick to what you do well," acting, and stop attempting journalism, "which isn't his job."
Speaking of which: Stay in your lane, Packer. We'll take the bitchy media meta-commentary from here, thank you very much. (Although, in the meantime, our friend's sister's boyfriend heard some dirt on Penn that might make a good blind item; what's your "tips" email??)