NPR 4 THE DEAF: We Hear It Even When U Can’t




When David Remnick took the job as editor of The New Yorker in 1998, he learned quickly to make firm decisions about contentious stories. Just a few months into the position, Remnick called Si Newhouse, the magazine’s owner, to tell him about a piece he was running that was accusing “all kinds of high-level chicanery.” “I knew that there was this thing at the Washington Post called ‘the no surprises rule,’ which was that [editor] Ben [Bradlee] knew that he should call [publisher] Katharine Graham when there was something really major so she wasn’t surprised when she picked up the paper the next morning,” Remnick tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross. So Remnick says he called Newhouse and told him the story had been a-newyorker“lawyered and checked” and that he felt confident about it. Newhouse replied, in almost a whisper: “That sounds very interesting, I look forward to reading it.” “The message there, to me, was clear: This is your job. You’re in charge of this, that’s why I made you the editor,” Remnick says. “Unspoken was: Don’t screw it up or then you won’t be the editor. I never called him again.” This week, The New Yorker magazine is celebrating its 90th anniversary with a special edition. The magazine is running nine covers by its most celebrated artists (which you can see in the slideshow above). Under his tenure, Remnick has guided the magazine — known for its long-form investigative pieces, reviews, cartoons, humor pieces and fiction — through national crises, including Sept. 11 and the war in Iraq. And, as major shifts in media have resulted in the demise of other publications, Remnick has moved The New Yorker into the digital sphere. Remnick started his career at the Washington Post, where he became Moscow correspondent. His book Lenin’s Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire won a Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction. He joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 1992. Since he became editor in 1998, The New Yorker has won 37 National Magazine Awards. MORE