Graydon Carter: Editing Newsweek Would Be ‘A Completely Hopeless, Thankless Task’


Graydon Carter was unusually chipper last night at the Landmarks Conservancy’s Living Landmarks Celebration, at which he was honored. But the Vanity Fair editor, who was mingling with fellow honorees Jonathan M. Tisch and Phil Donahue inside the Plaza Hotel, was not feeling charitable when we asked him about Newsweek, the struggling, leaderless newsmagazine. “Who should edit Newsweek? You should ask Jon Meacham that,” Carter joked. “He’s got a better job now.” Okay, but [Fairchild’s] Peter Kaplan? “Peter would be good.” The New Yorker’s Dan Zalewski? “Don’t know who that is.” [Ed: Burn! You work at the same company!] But, he asked, why even play this guessing game? “It would be a completely thankless task, because it’s a hopeless job.” He clarified that “the job’s hopeless, not the magazine.” Still, when we asked why it was so hopeless, he explained matter-of-factly: “Because it’s over. It’s done.” And then so was our interview.