WSJ.'s Anna Wintour cover story is online and it is wonderful. Wintour enthusiasts will already know a lot of what's in there, which mostly revolves around how great she is at hosting dinner parties. When she's not serving her guests chicken pot pie, she's saving their careers and making sure they're schmoozing. If you're wealthy and important, or you're not wealthy but important to Anna, she'll seat you next to someone you can make business deals with. Careers have been known to be saved this way, and posh fund-raisers — such as the one Harvey Weinstein organized for Barack Obama before the 2008 collection with Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel — are known to have been born this way. Other highlights:
• At last year's Met Costume Institute Gala, Anna had a 30-foot hot-air balloon imported from South Dakota to float above Engelhard Court in the museum. "When we first saw it, we go, 'Never! We can't have gas in the museum!'" says Met president Emily Rafferty. "Anna's changed our attitude—she's brought us to new levels of thinking of what we can do, but without ever losing sight that we're working in a museum context here."
• When someone asked her at a press conference in China last year if she was as mean as the press make her out to be, she said, "It's true, of course, that I beat all my assistants, lock them in a cupboard and don't pay them." Well! If her being editor of Vogue stopped working out, she totally has the salt to be a blogger.
• But in all seriousness, she explains, "I care deeply about my friends and my family and they know it, but work is work."
• Vogue never released a statement of John Galliano's firing from Dior. Anna finally speaks about it, saying only, "This is all so tragic."
• When asked if Vogue is "overly clubby," she replies, "I try to remain open to new people, but obviously there's a stronger element of trust with people you've known for a long time. I think we have a Vogue vocabulary, and there are certain people we like to have as the backbone of the magazine—Vogue's signposts. We try very hard to integrate the familiar signatures with people we feel are new and up-and-coming, but I would rather err on the side of being a little more familiar than being too ... What's the right word? ... Edgy."
• Her Condé Nast boss, S.I. Newhouse, agrees that she was late to get Vogue on the Interwebs. "She started the site reluctantly because she believes that the expression of Vogue's effectiveness is print," he says.
• Newhouse said "it's too early to say" if Vogue.com will be the No. 1 fashion outlet on the web, like Vogue is the No. 1 fashion outlet in print.
• Though Anna is 61, Newhouse refuses to think about her retirement: "I hope she's here 10 years from now, 20 years from now."
• Calvin Klein explains what happened at the 2008 fund-raiser he co-hosted with Anna for Obama. "I spent time on the aesthetics, and Anna did the phone calls and was really responsible for the funds. She was a powerhouse, this tiny, beautiful woman who you think just lives and dies for fashion."
• Anna says she's not trying to leave publishing to get a job with the Obama administration. She feels a responsibility to set all the chaos happening online right, it seems: "With all the new media outlets out there, with all the noise, a voice of authority and calm like Vogue becomes more important than ever. The more eyes on fashion, the more opinions about fashion, the more exploration of fashion around the world, the better it is for Vogue. Vogue is like Nike or Coca-Cola—this huge global brand. I want to enhance it, I want to protect it, and I want it to be part of the conversation."
Brand Anna [WSJ]