Last night, Vogue editor Anna Wintour stopped by “Late Show with David Letterman” to discuss the upcoming Vogue-centric documentary The September Issue and all the press Wintour has been getting recently in advance of the film.
Wintour was charming, funny and engaging, even making light of Maureen Dowd‘s description of her as an alien, among other things:
“I read in The New York Times this week that I’m an ice queen, I’m the Sun King, I’m an alien fleeing from District 9 and I’m a dominatrix,” she said. “So I reckon that makes me a lukewarm royalty with a whip from out of space. What do you think?”
Wintour was endearing, which is nothing less than we would expect. She may be a difficult boss to work for, but that’s just part of what makes her such a fascinating character. We would imagine that she only pulls out the charm when she wants to, which makes us feel like part of an exclusive club. Having been Wintour fans for a while, we love her a little bit more now.
What did you think about her Letterman appearance?
There’s something about Maureen Dowd‘s column in The New York Times yesterday that just rubs us the wrong way, but we’re having a tough time putting a finger on it.
Dowd discussed Vogue‘s Anna Wintour in light of the upcoming documentary centered on the fashion bible’s 2007 September issue. It was a chance for Dowd to really tell us something we didn’t know about Wintour. Instead, she talks about her diet, her clothes and her likeness to Meryl Streep‘s character in Devil Wears Prada. The column isn’t serious, it mocks the famously frosty editor. It seems like an unoriginal way to attack a familiar target. If she wants to criticize, can’t Dowd find something new about Wintour to pick on?
“So the question invariably arises: Behind those bangs and dark glasses, is Anna human? Or did she tie Hermes scarves together and make a daring escape from District 9 in a getaway car driven by Oscar de la Renta?”
Although many a shell-shocked assistant may have wondered the same thing, isn’t there something else the New York Times columnist could have latched on to? As the documentary, “The September Issue,” prepares to hit screens on Friday, many journalists, fashionistas and movie reviewers are focusing on Wintour (in fact, the Timesran a great story about the movie last wek) and we don’t blame Dowd for jumping on the bandwagon. Especially when she was “sitting a stiletto’s throw away” from Wintour at Graydon Carter‘s Monkey Bar after the doc’s screening at the Museum of Modern Art. But unfortunately, her attempts at humor have all been done before, namely in The Devil Wears Prada, which Dowd references more than once.
It was a chance to comment on a major New York media player, but what could have been the column equivalent of a five-inch Louboutin stiletto just ended up feeling like a well-worn pair of flats.
What do you think about Dowd’s take on Wintour? And are you as excited for “The September Issue” as we are?
A few hours later, Dowd responded to the accusations through an email to the Huffington Post. She blamed the oversight on a friend, claimed it was inadvertent and promised to set things right with added attribution on the Web version of the story and a correction in the paper today.
Dowd acted fast to correct the problem after it was discovered, but the question remains: will this mistake effect Dowd’s credibility moving forward?
Elizabeth Edwards has been all over — showing up in interviews in magazines and on “Oprah” and the “Today Show” — promoting her new book, “Resilience,” in stores last week.
Last week, we sat down to watch Edwards on “Oprah”, expecting to sob hysterically as the terminally ill cancer patient discussed her husband’s affair with campaign employee Rielle Hunter and his possible love child. Admittedly, Elizabeth’s confession that she had only asked John for one thing — loyalty — pulled at the heartstrings. But the sight of former Sen. John Edwards slinking off at the beginning of the interview, and then waiting around to be chastised by Oprah at the end of the show, was off-putting. Then, Elizabeth unfeelingly described how she had learned about John’s affair shortly after he launched his presidential campaign, how she had begged him to pull out, but then stood by him when he decided not to, in order to avoid drawing more attention to their family. There was a disconnect. It wasn’t what we had expected at all.
In her latest column, New York Times op-ed writer Maureen Dowd takes a look at Twitter. Dowd traveled to San Francisco to interview Evan Williams and Biz Stone, the inventors of the popular microblogging service. Dowd told the Twitter team that she: “would rather be tied up to stakes in the Kalahari Desert, have honey poured over me and red ants eat out my eyes than open a Twitter account.”
Interestingly, there’s a
Twitter account purporting to be from Dowd that has over 5,000 followers. Peter Kafka All Things Digital speculates that the page is probably maintained by either a “well-meaning fan” or a member of the Times’ staff.
Dowd may not understand Twitter’s appeal, but the site is clearly catching on with the rest of the country. According to ReadWriteWeb.com, after daytime TV talk queen Oprah Winfrey joined Twitter last week the site’s overall share of US internet users increased by 24 percent.
You may have noticed New York Times editor Andy Rosenthal is in the ‘Talk to the Times’ hot seat this week. Romenesko picked up this little gem of a question from Paul Bilsky who asked: “I find it a bit peculiar that the two women columnists, Maureen Dowd and Gail Collins, are satirical and humorous. I adore their writing, and generally think they are spot on, but it is almost like you cannot get a “serious” woman columnist. Do you agree?” Says Rosenthal:
O.K., so I admit. I’m answering this because it’s a slow, hanging ball…I would be the last person alive to suggest that Maureen Dowd and Gail Collins are not serious columnists. They are indeed, very serious.
Slow hanging ball? Our opinion of Modo (questionable) and Gail Collins (unquestionable) is no secret around these parts, but what say you readers, does he have a point?
New Yorker film critic David Denby appeared on Charlie Rose last night to discuss his new book Snark. Denby spends a large part of the interview trying to define snark for Rose. After which Rose spends a considerable amount of time defending Maureen Dowd (“a friend”) from…well, herself maybe.
Ifill, whose brother, sister, and pastor were all in attendance, remarked that when it came to the book “timing was everything.” When she had first taken the idea to her publishers their first reaction was “‘A black president? Yeah, whatever…’” And with regards to the controversy that surrounded her book after it was announced she would moderate the Vice_Presidential debate: “Of course, there was the moment when everyone decided they knew what the book was about before I had even finished writing it. I thought, ‘Well that’s fine. Truth will out. I will just survive it.’ And I did.”
Little bit of trivia: The Bradley’s home is located on Embassy Row and despite rumors floating around that it had once belonged to the Cuban Embassy, however host Katherine Bradley told us that its former occupant was in fact the last U.S. ambassador to Cuba. More pics after the jump.
Our two favorite stories to come out of last night’s party-going both involve New York Observer reporters. The first from Gwen Iffill‘s book party hosted by Atlantic publisher David Bradley at his home on Embassy Row. Rumor has it when a certain NYO media reporter asked guest Maureen Dowd (looking svelte in black lace) whether or not she had a minute for the paper she answered “No.” Did she have 50 seconds? Still no. Forty-five? Nope. And so on. In a last ditch effort said reporter wanted to know whether MoDo had time for one question. Not so much.
Meanwhile, NYO‘s Felix Gillette, who was declined an invite for the HuffPo wrist-banded cluster scene last night at the Newseum, managed to sweep in as part of the Jonas Brothers entourage. For her part (also uninvited) Julia Allison told she’d managed slip through the security by storming the red carpet.
OBAMA: The Historic Journey, a heavily-illustrated book covering Barack Obama‘s life, from his childhood through his inauguration as the 44th president of the United States, with a final chapter that includes the inaugural address and a 32-page photo essay by 12 New York Times staff photographers, with an introduction by NYT executive editor Bill Keller and essays from Times staff and contributors including Frank Rich, Thomas Friedman, Paul Krugman, Maureen Dowd, David Brooks, and Gail Collins, to Geoff Kloske to Riverhead, for publication on February 16, 2009, by Scott Moyers at The Wylie Agency, produced by the New York Times and Callaway Arts & Entertainment.