I'm sure I'm not the first one to point this out, but it must be said: in the July 23 issue of The New Yorker, Jane Kramer has written a "Personal History" story entitled "A Reporter At Odds: Trading the notebook for a guidebook." The intro:
I am a reluctant tourist. Most reporters are. We've been spoiled by the license to pry that comes with the job— and, perhaps, by the illusion of anonymity that working in strange places can produce. Call it professional deformation. The fact remains that, given the choice between a vacation without a notebook and a revolution with one, most of us would pass on the yellow sundress or the cargo pants and buy a flak jacket. The advantage is that I can pack in a half hour for any work trip, as long as I have a daily supply of pens, a stack of my favorite interview pads— six by nine, lined, spiral on top— and a couple of clean black turtlenecks and jeans. But how do you pack for a vacation? Who would willingly exchange license and anonymity for the role of gawker in a sundress?
Are you getting this? This is a story about Jane Kramer going on vacation. But not just any vacation—a non-reporting vacation.
I did. For three weeks in January, I became a tourist. No notebooks, no Bic twelve-packs. No interviews at all— an exercise in self-restraint triggered by the news that years of frequent-flier miles, racked up in the pursuit of stories, were going to expire in February.
THIS IS A STORY PUBLISHED IN THE NEW YORKER ABOUT A REPORTER GOING ON A VACATION THAT PURPORTS TO BE NOTABLE BECAUSE IT IS A NON-WORKING NON-REPORTING VACATION. THE REPORTER THEN WRITES UP THIS VACATION IN A NEW YORKER STORY.
HERE IS THE STORY OF JANE KRAMER'S VACATION THAT DID NOT INVOLVE WORKING ON A STORY—PUBLISHED AS A NEW YORKER STORY.
"Fact checkers" my butt.