Is Toby Young the worst journalist in the world?

Thu Aug 5 00:56:29 PDT 1999

Sorry about this unstructured rant, but there's something about the words:

>By Toby Young

that just pushes my buttons. He used to write an insanely annoying column in the Standard about his life in New York working for Vanity Fair (since sacked), which basically consisteed of telling his adoring readers time and again how he had once more not been let into the fashionable party of the week because the "clipboard Nazi" (somewhat repugnant phrase) "didn't think I was famous enough." I was actually moved to write a letter to the editor pointing out that he indeed, wasn't famous enough. He also has previous form with the dreaded Burchill.

What a priceless collection of gems, I mean:

<<To those accustomed to working for Tina, the

long hours Talk's staff had to put in came

as no surprise. "I remember that for one

stretch of four months I was never home

before the end of the eleven o'clock news,">>

ahh f'kng diddums. After starting at ten in the morning no doubt.

<<"As recently as two weeks before closing

they hadn't decided what was going to be in

the magazine.">>

Congratulations Sherlock. We get some idea of how much this writer might understand about a news magazine from their understanding of the word "recently".

<< "Tina is her own art director and is

spectacularly abusive of people in the

visual department who work for her," he

says, "I mean really quite shocking. Yelling

at them, abusive language, you know, 'This

is fucking dull, this is fucking boring,

what's wrong with you? Go get me something.

I want it in four hours, I want it in two

hours, I want it in thirty minutes, I want

it now.' That kind of stuff.">>

ahh f'kng diddums. Is it just me who lives in some sort of Liar's Poker dystopia, or are these people being a leetle bit precious?

<<One long-standing minion of

Tina's recalls that on her first day at work

at Vanity Fair there was an impromptu

leaving party for someone who'd been at the

magazine for years. "When she found out they

were throwing a party for her she said,

'Does this mean I'll finally get to meet

Tina Brown?'">>

oh for bloody hell's sake.

<< In 1985 Tina asked him to commission a short

story for the Christmas issue and he managed

to persuade Isaac Bashevis Singer to write

one. He turned it in and a few days later it

came back to him with the words "Beef it up

Singer" scrawled on the bottom in big red


"I had to gently explain to Tina," laughs

Heilpern, "that 'Beef it up Singer' was a

recipient of the Nobel Prize for


Of course, no Nobel Prize winner has ever churned out hack-work for a magazine, ever.

It's not like I want to read this magazine or anything. But Toby Young really desperately needs to be conscripted into the army or something.





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