Host Katie Couric tried to insert some levity (and brevity) into last night's extended awards ceremony for the American Society of Magazine Editors, where the iconic Alexander Calder–sculpted "Ellies" were handed out. After a particularly long speech by GQ design director Fred Woodward, she cracked: "No offense, but now I understand why none of you guys went into television." National Geographic took top honors, with Magazine of the Year and Best Single-Topic Issue. Poetry, Women's Health, Garden & Gun, Scientific American and Los Angeles won the top honors in each of their magazine categories. New York won in a new category, "News, Sports and Entertainment Magazines." (We also took home the award for best magazine section for "Strategist.") And in what was regarded as an upset by some in the reporting category, Harper's' "The Guantanamo Suicides" won over Michael Hasting's controversial Rolling Stone story on Stanley McChrystal, which got the general fired by President Obama. Jane Mayer's New Yorker story on the Koch brothers was also considered a contender for that prize.
The Paris Review won for Essays and Criticism, Vanity Fair for Christopher Hitchens's columns, and the Virginia Quarterly Review for fiction. (The rest of the winners are listed here.)
We caught up with author Tom Wolfe, who himself was honored last night, during the cocktail portion. "I myself, if I ever had the chance, was going to start a magazine called Status," he told Intel. "It would all be about social distinctions, even minute ones, such as there are a lot of things people do completely by themselves that are status-driven."
What would this magazine write about specifically? "For example, just going to the bathroom I think." Whaaa? How is that status-related? "Because people want to go in a certain way, they want to use certain utensils. For example, they don't want to put their feet on top of the toilet, but there are many people around the world who do," Wolfe said. "And aftershave; there are people who go crazy over what after shave scents to have. It's really a scent the name of which other people admire. It's really endless."
So what's it say about your status if you only ever wear a white suit? "Nothing clashes with white," Wolfe told us. "You know that."