Comments: Week of April 26, 2021


 “What Is the Meaning of All This Money?,” April 12–25

New York’s latest cover story explored the ever-more-chaotic future of finance. In an introductory essay, Max Read wrote about “the new and funny money” (“There’s Nothing to Do Except Gamble”). Will Blaze tweeted, “Crypto, IPO’s, economy roaring back, government spending at epic highs, MMT, SPAC’s … this article hits all of it. What really is money anymore?” Alex Ayon said, “This article sums up what I’ve been thinking for a while. The idea of money is being challenged. And the results are savage.” The issue included an anonymous millennial tech worker’s feelings of ambivalence about her sudden new wealth (“Confessions of an Overnight Millionaire”). Many readers responded to the story with anger. Kwame Opam tweeted, “This is gross. All the way through to the decision to run it. Because you don’t have to make that choice.” Kayleigh D. tweeted, “Read this if you want to feel poor(er) and haven’t had the urge to punch something/someone yet today.” The Washington Post’s Jenny Rogers responded, “I hope that in a few years she’s grown and thinks ‘my god I can’t believe I wrote any of this.’ ” Other readers thought the story said something interesting about this moment. Bo Ren commented, “This is the most honest and poignant story of first gen wealth.” Nils Gilman tweeted, “One of the weird things about working in tech — or merely working as a professional in San Francisco—is that every month someone you know hits the lottery. It’s easy to mock the complacencies expressed in this article but the ambivalences are nontrivial.”


“The Soul of Bravo,” April 12–25

Anna Peele took readers inside the Bravo network’s response to a year of upheaval around race and inequality. Conor Behan, the host of a Real Housewives–centered podcast, tweeted, “This is a must read. A brilliant primer on why Real Housewives is a pop culture mainstay, amazing quotes from key players on how the shows have adapted to the current climate plus some brilliant snaps from the RHOA reunion filming. Love this.” Chris Osborn said the story was “a deeply researched look at the reckoning over last summer at Bravo — I relish any look behind the curtain of reality TV productions and this did not disappoint!!” Real Housewives of Atlanta star Porsha Williams declined multiple interview requests, but after the story was published, she went on Instagram Live to address the reporting and claimed she had gone to producers and asked them not to air a scene of Kandi Burruss confronting her on-camera. She explained, “If we, as Black women, are sitting on Bravo arguing about Black Lives Matter, you’re absolutely making a mockery of us using our platform … As a cast of Black women on Bravo network, we needed to figure out how to come together.”


“Richard Carranza’s Last Stand,” April 12–25

Clare Malone wrote about the former New York City schools chancellor’s troubled tenure and abrupt resignation. Sylvia Morse responded, “This is an interesting (& sad) profile that, though not explicitly, challenges theories of change based on individual leadership.” NY1 education reporter Jillian Jorgensen called the story “an insightful look at Carranza’s final months here” and added, “There’s lots of good palace intrigue details on the disagreements he had with the mayor and the tensions that had bubbled to the surface. But I found his personal struggles striking. A lot of people have juggled endless, difficult work with personal suffering in the last year.” New York Times education reporter Eliza Shapiro pushed back on Carranza’s characterization of his role: “Really good story, but [the] idea that Carranza ‘was hired with the explicit agenda to make the schools more integrated’ isn’t true … The core problem of Carranza’s tenure was that he believed or insinuated that he was hired to tackle a problem that his boss — the person who actually runs the school system — didn’t think should be his priority.” Other readers felt little sympathy for Carranza. Ciaran, a New York City public-school teacher, wrote to the magazine, “The challenges faced by New York City’s public education system are deeply complex, and deserve thoughtful, objective analysis. While this article did a good job of highlighting some of those challenges, it entirely neglected to even mention the serious accusations of nepotism, cronyism, and corruption that characterized Carranza’s tenure.” Jen Lingeman wrote, “Strangely flattering portrait of Carranza, who was incapable of understanding the educational politics of New York, and was repeatedly insensitive, to put it mildly, to Asian families.” Tom Liam Lynch, director of education policy at the Center for New York City Affairs, said the story is “worth a read by every mayoral candidate’s education team on the complexity of mayoral control.”

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Comments: Week of April 26, 2021