1 For New York’s latest cover story, Brock Colyar went underground to report on the city’s nightlife scene (“Fear vs. Fun,” November 23–December 6). The story’s depiction of illicit partying drew the ire of many readers, along with praise for the reporting; @arcadecompos commented, “These people are contributing to the pandemic raging on in NYC, while many other people are losing their jobs, their apartments, and in many cases winding up in the hospital. Shameful.” Kristen Parisi wrote, “First off—f*ck the people in this article with the privilege of going on as if we’re not in the middle of a pandemic. Second—read it now.” Zachary Lipez praised Colyar for being able “to draw out their subjects in a way that I’m straight up jealous of.” Some critiqued the reporter for being immersed in the party scene. The New Republic’s Laura Marsh wrote, “Maybe I would feel different about this piece if [it] had … any critical distance from the people partying at all.” Author and attorney Jill Filipovic wrote, “The piece is very well-written but man, part of the job of being a journalist is that you try your best to not put other people at physical risk while you’re reporting. That means if you’re reporting on Covid, you’ve gotta wear a mask and stay as distant as possible.” For others, the story was an opportunity to reflect on the shortcomings of pandemic coverage in general. Matthew Yglesias wrote of the story: “highly politicized COVID denialist stuff has been overemphasized compared to just normal people with low levels of personal risk doing stuff that’s bad for society … This is an area where the lack of national leadership hurts.” And conservative commentator Ben Shapiro sniped, “Damn those Orthodox Jews in NYC.” After publication, the New York Post’s Nolan Hicks asked Bill de Blasio about the story and what the city was doing to enforce public-health guidelines. The mayor shrugged it off: “It’s a big city,” he said.
2 David Freedlander profiled Kathy Wylde, the head of the Partnership for New York City and a confidante of the city’s billionaire class (“On Behalf of the Plutocrats,” November 23–December 6). Reader Gabe Tobias said, “You literally could not invent a better allegory for NYC’s descent from working class progressive mecca to vulture capitalist playground.” Journalist Alex Yablon called the profile “a rich illustration of how a relentless focus on ‘what works in the real world’ and ‘getting things done’ can be as intense a set of ideological blinders as anything else … None of these things she said would kill the city have actually done so.” The Real Deal’s Erik Engquist defended Wylde’s suggestion that activists don’t have real “solutions”: “The implication was that ‘cancel rent’ and ‘socialize the land’ wouldn’t work. Wylde is not perfect. She was likely wrong about minimum wage, but right about Amazon HQ2.” Gotham Gazette’s Ben Max added, “The activists think the biz leaders have too much power and the biz leaders think the activists have too much power. Lots of examples to show they both have a lot of power in NY.”
3 In “Children of Quarantine,” Lisa Miller described how the pandemic is affecting young people’s mental health (November 23–December 6). The New York Times’ Michelle Goldberg tweeted, “This is such an important piece that should inform both the school reopening debate as well as people’s eagerness to shame others for breaking quarantine. Parents are being forced to make excruciating decisions balancing physical safety and mental health.” Psychiatrist Sylvia Fogel wrote, “This piece doesn’t even do justice to what professionals like myself are seeing every day in practice. But it’s a start.” Several readers blamed the government for the state of children’s well-being. Slate’s Lizzie O’Leary wrote, “American policymakers are failing our children.” And Bloomberg’s Ryan Teague Beckwith commented, “Every single thing in this article is preventable with just a modicum of the support we gave to failing banks in 2008.” The story also encouraged parents to share their own experiences. Reader Monika Woods tweeted, “I’ve been trying to write about how lonely parenting is, societally, for a while now. We literally don’t have anyone who can help us through. But reading this made me feel an iota less alone.” Rebecca Larson wrote, “As a teacher and a mother of 3, this is spot on. The fatigue is crippling and no amount of mindfulness cures it. I’m already seeing the effects in my own kids and my students. Thank you for your work on this. I hope others will see what’s happening behind our shuttered doors.”
4 Rebecca Traister spoke to Stacey Abrams about the work that went into turning her state blue (“Stacey Abrams on Finishing the Job in Georgia,” November 23–December 6). Journalist Eric Michael Garcia responded that Traister “does the best thing you can do in political journalism: she regularly changes my mind about things and when I disagree with her, I change how I think about things.” The profile was shared by former U.N. ambassador Samantha Power, actor Leonardo DiCaprio, and South Carolina politician Jaime Harrison, who wrote, “When we go everywhere and listen to everyone, we will win. Even in the South. And @staceyabrams is proving it again in Georgia.”
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*This article appears in the December 7, 2020, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!