party lines

Magazine Editors (and Tina Brown!) Issue Shocking Miley Verdicts

Clockwise from top left: Jim Nelson, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, David Remnick, and Tina BrownPhoto: Patrick McMullan,

Could there be a more fitting crowd with which to discuss Miley Cyrus’s Vanity Fair picture than those who attended American Society of Magazine Editors’ awards ceremony last night? We hit up the biggest honchos in the room to get their opinions on the brouhaha, and guess what they had to say?

Former Vanity Fair editor Tina Brown: “I just thought, ‘There Annie [Liebovitz] goes again! Driving up sales!’” she said. “I saw her here tonight and I congratulated her. I said, ‘Great job. Now just put one of those out every quarter.’ It’s terrific for newsstand and it gets Si [Newhouse] off your back.”

Elle editor Robbie Myers: “She’s a million dollar industry. She sells out crowds all over the world. She’s a huge international star. She has blue jeans on and a sheet. Really? There was never a point when Vanity Fair wasn’t fine with those photos. We know they were fine with it because they published it.”

New Yorker editor David Remnick: “I think it’s sanctimonious nonsense,” he said. “And the idea that Disney might pull out their ads — that’s ridiculous. When I saw the Today show — how to talk to your children about this, about a performer who struts around the stage in a really hypersexualized way — I mean, the issue of hypersexualization is a very legitimate one. And the magazines who promote that should be apologetic. Like the Atlantic. The Atlantic is very pro-child pornography.” [Oh, Remnick, you cad!]

GQ editor Jim Nelson: “I think people just choose somebody or some moment to be moralistic about. I don’t see that picture as being all that provocative or crossing any line. We would have had a seductive shot of Billy Ray Cyrus. No pants, no underwear.”

Sports Illustrated Magazine Group editor Terry McDonnell: “It’s like blaming rich people for shopping. I didn’t say that. I can’t remember who did, but someone smarter than me said that about a similar thing.”

Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel: “I think her father goes too far. That father is most interested in his restoration as a country music star than in his daughter’s fate and fortune… I also think that in a time of war, recession, and skyrocketing food and gas prices, who cares?”

Men’s Health editor Dave Zinczenko: “I think it’s a tempest in a teapot. I don’t think it goes anywhere. It’s manufactured hoo-ha.”

And finally, the night’s big winner, with three National Magazine Awards, National Geographic editor Chris Johns: “I think the whole thing is highly orchestrated. Vanity Fair has nothing to apologize for.”
— Jada Yuan

Related: Calm Down, Everyone: Miley’s Just Following the Script
Our Night at the ASMEs: Sportier Than Anticipated [Daily Intelligencer]

Magazine Editors (and Tina Brown!) Issue Shocking Miley Verdicts