Ed Driscoll

Vanity Fair's Disappearing Demographic

One of the “2Blowhards” spots a serious case of Kennedy-worship at Vanity Fair (Jackie’s on the cover of the October issue) and writes:

[My wife] tells me the Jackie article has to do with the trials William Manchester endured trying to write and get published a book about John Kennedy requested by Jackie. I imagine there’s drama involved, but the matter is surely little more than a footnote to the Kennedy saga.

Despite such barrel-scraping, editor Graydon Carter continues to include articles about the clan year after year.

I suppose all those number-crunching folks at Condé Nast have reams of findings supporting the notion that Kennedys on the cover equal great news stand sales. Still, I have the oddball notion that the Kennedys are pretty passé from the newsmaking standpoint, especially since Teddy has gone on to whatever reward he merits.

Furthermore, Americans who have even a borderline adult personal memory of JFK’s Camelot administration are Carter’s age and older (he turned 60 this past summer). In the TV biz, audiences older than 50 tend to be disregarded; so what’s Carter up to? Reliving the passions of his adolescence? Obeying rock-solid market research findings?

Beats me. Moreover [assumes jaded expression, flicks dandruff speck off shoulder] I can’t quite bring myself to care.

Carter made his bones in the late 1980s and early 1990s as a co-founder of Spy magazine, which endlessly, viciously — and often quite humorously — mocked such naked power-worship amongst New York elites. But like David Letterman, as he aged, he slowly morphed the very thing that he savaged as a younger man.

On the other hand, after eight years of easy-pickin’s reflexively bashing Bush, both men have to find something to fill their otherwise blank media.

At Big Hollywood, Christian Toto spots another comedic institution in danger of an equally sclerotic future.