In Slate today, Adam Gopnik, the "Adam Gopnik's kids" correspondent for The New Yorker, explains the fine distinctions of New Yorkerania: "compare Mencken and Liebling, often mistaken as twin stylists, and you see the difference between heavy-handed Teutonic mockery and the ideal ironic, stinging, New Yorker tone."
H.L. Mencken, one of the sharpest American critics this side of Mark Twain, was not quite New Yorker material, according to Adam Gopnik. I say this as a great, great fan of A.J. Liebling: fuck you, Adam Gopnik. If A.J. Liebling represents the best tendencies of The New Yorker, then you, Adam Gopnik, represent the very worst: relentless undeserved self-fascination, intolerable elitism, and abiding belief in the fundamental importance of your fucking dog. The group "H.L. Mencken, A.J. Liebling, and Adam Gopnik" includes two of the biggest badasses of 20th century journalism and one dude who believes that "Just a year ago, I gave up sweets" is a legitimately enticing first sentence to readers not related by blood to Adam Gopnik.
"The cynics are right nine times out of ten." - H.L. Mencken. He would have rather written for Gawker, anyhow.