Comments: Week of June 20, 2022


“Dianne ­Feinstein Is American Politics,” June 6–19

Photo: Philip Montgomery

For New York’s latest cover story, ­Rebecca Traister chronicled America’s oldest sitting senator’s five ­decades in public office. Stephen A. Rhodes called it “an outstanding piece of journalism. It both details Feinstein’s ­unpredictable rise to power — and helps to explain the current dysfunction of the ­Senate.” David Roberts of Volts newsletter wrote, “There’s so much compassion in @­rtraister’s elegiac piece on Feinstein that it dulled my rage at the senescent senator & the broken system that props her up. At least for a few minutes.” ­@­CollinsWatch wrote, “Lotta great stuff in this Feinstein profile but one thing sticks out to me: It feels honest in a way that’s rare in U.S. politics coverage … not tiptoeing round key ­sources, calibrating to appease powerful etc. Seems to just be telling truth as she sees it.” But on the podcast Chapo Trap House, Will Menaker said Traister was too charitable: “The author and the magazine, New York, they tell you everything that you need to know in terms of, like, what we all know: that she’s a senile bat who’s, like, a huge impediment to anything good happening ever. They … give you all the evidence that would imply that but avoid saying directly that. ” Though Jay Allen wrote, “idk why people are getting down on that feinstein piece for being too complimentary, this is just absolutely ­brutal to read,” while NYU associate professor Jacob Remes wrote, “Traister’s profile of Dianne Feinstein is exactly as damning as everyone on here promised: damning her by being hugely sympathetic to her and showing over and over how Feinstein’s brand of politics is not fit for this moment (if indeed it was for any).”

Photo: New York Magazine


“Pride & Prejudice and Fire ­Island,” June 6–19

In “Pride & Prejudice and Fire ­Island,” E. Alex Jung profiled comedian Joel Kim Booster upon the release of his Jane Austen–inspired rom-com Fire Island. ProPublica’s Byard Duncan said, “Every so often, you get the sense ­reading a profile that the writer was born to do this profile. This is beautifully rendered and worth every second.” Finn Vigeland wrote, “This profile … is so good (and ­loaded with such specific gay references). Relatable and illuminating. Can’t wait to watch.” Netflix’s Jarett Wieselman said of Jung’s opening line, “ ‘Joel Kim Booster is looking at his penis’ is the new ‘Frank Sinatra Has a Cold.’ ” Vanity Fair’s Katey Rich added, “I just think it should be a rule that if a celebrity invites you to interview them at [home] you MUST be allowed to disclose how much the house is worth. This is like the only profile that does that!”


“Fantasy Friends,” June 6–19

Zak Cheney-Rice wrote about the vital role fantasy sports play in helping men maintain adult friendships. Writer ­Caity Weaver said, “I love this. I finally understand what fantasy football/basketball is, and why and how it happens, and now I’m all set for the rest of my life.” Commenter lpshea14 added, “Having been there, my league ran from 1989 to 2013, I can say that friendships need real life contact to thrive. Day to day, week to week at least. They have to be lived. It’s why you can suddenly become good friends with someone you just met at work, or a neighbor perhaps. Your shared experience keeps it vital.” On Twitter, Cheney-Rice’s wife, the writer Josie Duffy Rice, joked, “Finally the years of my life spent listening to ­@zakcheneyrice tell me every minor detail about his matchup that week has paid off.”


“Steve Schmidt’s Lonely War,” June 6–19

Olivia Nuzzi interviewed John McCain’s presidential-campaign adviser Steve Schmidt about his severed ties to the GOP. Washington ­Examiner magazine’s Jay Caruso called it “a fascinating and well-written piece … Reading it, I come away thinking Schmidt ­reminds me a lot of the ‘Griffin’ (The Stranger) character from H. G. Wells’ ‘The Invisible Man’ … the character is a narcissistic self-seeking person who uses his invention to exploit people for ­personal gain and thinks he’s better than ­everyone else.” Conservative commentator Cheri ­Jacobus said Schmidt was “as big a paranoid narcissist and grifter as Trump. Comes off as an unbalanced, immature, thin-skinned kid who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar but plays victim. A toxic bully ­threatening critics bcs now he has $.” Schmidt himself tweeted that being profiled by Nuzzi “is like being photographed or painted by an artist. It’s a strange experience but here it is. I have no regrets and the truth matters.”

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Comments: Week of June 20, 2022