To hell with all that magazine writing

Caitlin Flanagan is reportedly off the New Yorker staff. We'll try not to gloat too conspicuously.


Page Rockwell
November 23, 2006 5:19AM (UTC)

Here's a development for which we at Broadsheet will be giving thanks this holiday weekend: One of our favorite publications, the New Yorker, has parted ways with one of our least favorite writers, Caitlin Flanagan.

In this coming Monday's issue of the New York Observer, Michael Calderone reports that Flanagan is no longer on staff at the New Yorker; both she and the magazine say she's too busy writing her next book to write for the magazine regularly. The Observer's description of the split seems a little overly credulous -- Flanagan expressed extreme fealty to the magazine just last year, saying, "You'd never, never, never leave The New Yorker," but we can think of a few reasons why the New Yorker might want to leave Caitlin Flanagan. It's not just her philosophical inconsistency or the cheap shots she sometimes takes at working mothers. Calderone notes that Flanagan wrote a piece about Mary Poppins for the New Yorker last year, and a Poppins expert complained to the magazine that "Ms. Flanagan had drawn over-heavily on her work, without adequate credit." According to Calderone, Flanagan's byline hasn't appeared in the New Yorker since.

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We'd feel bad about treating this news as cause for celebration, except for the fact that being jobless puts Flanagan right where she says mothers belong: At home with her children. Not that she's really jobless, of course -- her agent told Calderone, "She's rewarded extremely handsomely for her book-writing, and no magazine can compete with that. Any work she's doing for a magazine, she's doing for charitable purposes." Forgive us if we hope Flanagan directs charitable impulses elsewhere this holiday season.

And with that, happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Broadsheet will be back on Monday, Nov. 27.


Page Rockwell

Page Rockwell is Salon's editorial project manager.

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