New York Magazine August 16-29, 2021

In the Apr. 15–28 issue: Olivia Nuzzi on “wonder boy” Pete Buttigieg. Plus: Art & Design, by Wendy Goodman; the half-billion dollar “Leonardo”; Natasha Lyonne, Annette Bening, and more.

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3 Min

1 For New York’s latest cover story, E. Alex Jung profiled Anthony Veasna So upon the release of his posthumous story collection, Afterparties (“Infinite Self,” August 2–15). The New York Times’ Ashley Wong wrote, “How do you profile the life of someone who’s already passed? [Jung] untangles the tricky, shifting perspectives about the life of a complicated artist just getting started with such sensitivity.” Actor Michael Cyril Creighton called the story an “incredibly written profile that hit me in the gut and made me want to know more and more,” adding, “I can’t wait to read Afterparties.” Writer Alexander Chee complimented how the “brilliant constellation structure to [Jung]’s profile of So allows for so many stories about him and from him to coexist.” And author Anne Elizabeth Moore wrote, “There…

6 Min
the national interest : jonathan chait

IN THE MIDDLE OF AUGUST, as the Delta variant began driving coronavirus caseloads back to levels Americans believed they would never see again, Missouri senator Josh Hawley introduced an amendment to the Senate budget resolution addressing what he sensed to be one of his party’s most urgent priorities. Hawley called for restricting federal funding to K–12 schools that mandate COVID-19 vaccines for students, mandate students wear masks, or do not resume in-person instruction. As school districts around the country scramble to figure out how to reopen, Hawley’s plan for public education is to demand in-person schooling while banning any efforts to make it safe. (Hopefully, nobody will tell Hawley about ventilation lest he ban that too.) Hawley is merely following a partywide stampede into a new form of COVID denialism, and…

1 Min
the group portrait: gawker returns for unknown length of time

GAWKER’S BACK, riding a very bloggy moment in media—down with editors, up with newsletters, the world’s a mess, and no topic is too small. Founded in 2002, murdered by a well-funded lawsuit in 2016, the site returns under Bustle Digital Group and the furious and hilarious editor-in-chief Leah Finnegan. This new bratty pack has lots in common with those of us who wrote for Gawker previously. They want to have a laugh—and they don’t believe in a long future. “I consulted a few different people to ask if this was a terrible mistake. I ultimately came to the conclusion that it was too rare of an opportunity to pass up,” says staff writer Jenny G. Zhang. “I figured, worst case, at least I’ll have had an interesting experience.” “It’s very refreshing that after…

13 Min
90 minutes with … cindy adams

THE PENTHOUSE that gossip built looms above Park Avenue guarded by a one-and-a-half-year-old Yorkie, Jellybean, who was sososososososoexcited to have a guest, and a 91-year-old New York Post columnist, Cindy Adams, who was not. “What is it you’re looking for?” she asked me. “What do you want?!” The occasion for my visit was Gossip, the four-part Showtime documentary series, out August 22, in which director Jenny Carchman tells the story of the New York Post and the Murdochization of American media through the newspaper’s most enduring star, who has for almost 40 years devoted five hours a day, six days a week, to crafting her column. “I would never leave the Post,” Adams told me, “because I’m very loyal and because the New York Post is the flavor of New York. If you…

7 Min
higher education : william deresiewicz

AN INVESTIGATION by The Wall Street Journal in July sent a shiver through the millennial and zoomer class. The story, “‘Financially Hobbled for Life’: The Elite Master’s Degrees That Don’t Pay Off,” dug through Department of Education data to highlight master’s programs at prestigious private universities whose alumni were struggling under mountains of debt. Columbia turns out to be the worst offender, with 14 of 32 programs in which median student debt exceeded median income two years after graduation. One student reported taking a car ride with three friends from the film program, during which “they calculated they collectively owed $1.5 million in loans to the federal government.” Despite the scope of the Journal’s investigation, its focus on Columbia’s film program—a stupendous outlier with median debt some six times higher than…

29 Min
how andrew cuomo lost the governorship

IN 2001, AS HE SET OUT on his first, disastrous campaign for public office, Andrew Cuomo invited a columnist for this magazine to join him for a car ride through New York City. Bill Clinton had just departed office, leaving Washington in Republican hands after being impeached over his sexual relationship with an intern who worked for him, and Cuomo, the youngest member of his Cabinet, was impatiently angling to run for governor against George Pataki, the man who had defeated his father, the liberal giant Mario Cuomo. The story’s dynastic elements were irresistible, but the younger Cuomo sought to downplay them, portraying Clinton as his true model, emphasizing what he had learned from watching the master tactician. In the back seat of his car, Cuomo deconstructed Clinton’s use of physical…