Just to be clear

Since About Last Night’s Laura Demanski seems bemused by my outrage over the Target-exclusive ads in the most recent New Yorker, I’ll revisit the subject.

My concern about the Target advertising is fairly straightforward: on every other page, as you flip through this issue, there are targets emblazoned on pictures of buildings, subway stations, and bridges throughout New York City. Perhaps I’ll scan in some images tonight, for those of you who don’t have a copy of the magazine at home. That jpeg I pulled from The New York Times story doesn’t even begin to capture the campaign.

Having lived in New York City on September 11, 2001, and since, I (and at least some others who reside here) find these ads, to say the very least, alarming. Allowing them to go forward was in incredibly poor taste. Surely David Remnick, as The New Yorker‘s head honcho, would have been involved in approving the ads, so I don’t really see the sort of stratification between the editorial side of the magazine and the advertising side that Laura seems to believe exists.

What’s more, I have on several occasions offered precise objections to the editorial direction of things at the magazine. As far as I’m concerned, pretty much the only good decision David Remnick has made during his tenure at The New Yorker was hiring Sasha Frere-Jones to cover music. And he didn’t exactly have to sniff out that talent, since Mr. Frere-Jones was a known quantity in music journalism by the time Remnick took him on board.

Finally, while I have appreciated Seymour Hersh’s recent journalism, and articles from other long-term staffers, Remnick can’t really take credit for that. Those folks have been at The New Yorker for years.


  • Laura posts a (wholly unnecessary) apology.
  • A reader writes in to say, in essence, “dang, girl, you sound like a pro-censorship Republican.” So let me just say that I don’t believe that an ad like this should be barred from the pages of any magazine as a matter of policy. It’s just another log on the burning fire of my disdain for the New Yorker.
  • It occurs to me that a Marxist would probably see these ads as a brilliant, if unintentional, critique of late-stage capitalism and the current U.S. political climate.


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