The New Yorker has the same giant bullseye on it that anything that has risen to the level of cultural significance will. It sits at the top of the news chain alongside the New York Times, but its volleys are more focused because it doesn’t publish every day, and instead of shotgunning hundreds of stories a week into the world, it offers four or five high caliber rifle shots. The day a new issue comes out, you’ll hear one or three of the major stories as a headline on NPR or CNN or the networks or even ESPN (the magazine has lately been taking aim at the violence football does to the bodies and minds of those who play.) Also, the numbers: It has the broadest circulation of the few remaining smart people magazines, and because it is the most prestigious magazine in the world and one of the best paying, it can have its pick of writers. It serves, therefore, not just as a mirror to American culture (albeit from a usually-lofty and Eastern vantage point), but also as an influential shaper of American culture. Among its readers are the some of the most powerful among us, and, like it or not, power gets to do the greater share of the shaping. The New Yorker has the ear of some of the shapers.
I stopped subscribing to the New Yorker for three reasons. First, it’s expensive. READ MORE >