Having been encouraged/nudged/prodded/pushed into writing about Tina Brown in various previous jobs by various editors and publishers (who were, more often than not, English), we’ve gotten sort of tired of it and were seriously considering retiring our copy of Tina and Harry Come to America and instituting a Tina ban at FishbowlNY—just because we could. No more Tina Brown, we told ourselves. None. Niente. No mas Tina Marrón!
The Reagan cover was a runaway success, allowing Brown to avoid, at least temporarily, what she called the “New York Finger.”
“That’s when people stick their finger in your chest and ask, ‘When is that magazine of yours going to fail?’”
If it were just about the magazine failing, you could chalk it up to friendly competition. But this is New York, and when you put a few million type-A neurotics on a 31-square-mile island you end up with a surplus of schadenfraude that must be expended, lest the entire city descend immediately into Hobbesian violence. It’s not “when is that magazine of yours going to fail?” It’s “when are you going to fail?” If it were about the magazine, you’d have to assume that there’s some industry-wide premium on high-quality magazine publishing, and well, history and the stack of magazines on our desk would seem to indicate otherwise.
But if it’s any consolation to those of you being fingered in the chest at any given moment, the people waiting for you to fail are spending way more on therapy than you are. And it’s probably not working, which means that you have your own schadenfraude opportunity. So it all balances out in the end. Everyone’s happy. Happy in a small, petty and self-destructive way, but happy, nonetheless.
Update: We neglected to mention that Tina’s currently writing about people who fall from lofty heights (figuratively speaking). It is/was called The Icarus Complex—a schadenfraude-laden title if there ever was one.