New Yorker Staffer Goes Nuclear on Editor David Remnick

From a story on thedailybeast.com by Corbin Bolies headlined “New Yorker Staffer Goes Nuclear on David Remnick”:

An editor at The New Yorker on Tuesday claimed she was put under an internal review only after raising concern over gender parity. Perhaps more troublingly, she claimed, was that two issues raised about her work were actually factual errors inserted into her writing by top boss David Remnick—a suggestion The New Yorker called “absurd” in response.

Erin Overbey, the magazine’s archive editor who also oversees its Classics newsletter, said in a 40-tweet thread that New Yorker management launched a “performance review” after she told a manager she was unhappy with gender disparities at the historic publication.

That review, Overbey said, featured management citing issues with her “disrespectful” and “insubordinate” performance—a claim she said coincided with tweets from nearly a year prior calling out the lack of diversity in media.

Elsewhere, she tweeted, New Yorker brass allegedly raised concerns about factual inaccuracies in her work, two of which stood out the most: Referring to the magazine’s Fiction Issue as the “Summer Issue” and writing that longtime New Yorker writer Janet Malcolm died in 2022 instead of June 2021. The two errors occurred while Overbey was under review.

“While ‘Summer Issue’ can be debated, it’s true that Janet Malcolm did not pass away ‘earlier this year.’ She passed away last summer,” Overbey tweeted. “As the magazine’s archivist, one would expect me to be aware of that fact. And indeed I am—this is not a mistake I would ever make.”

Instead, Overbey claimed, the factual errors were inserted by New Yorker Editor-in-Chief David Remnick, “a male colleague who knew that I was under a performance review & could be penalized or reprimanded severely for them.” The archive editor said she has emails from Remnick to support her assertion.

“I don’t pretend to understand why he did this,” she wrote. “I do know that he has intimate knowledge of Malcolm’s work & when she died.”

Reached by phone, Remnick said he would call back only to later refer The Daily Beast to a New Yorker spokesperson, who wrote: “The New Yorker is deeply committed to accuracy, and to suggest that anyone here would ever knowingly introduce errors into a story, for any reason, is absurd and just plain wrong.”

Overbey did not respond to multiple requests for comment. And while she never directly accused Remnick of deliberately inserting mistakes into her work, she did refer to the mistakes as a possible attempt at entrapping her.

“Whenever you attempt to target and/or set a trap for an employee—especially an institutional critic—there’s always the risk of overreaching,” she wrote. “It’s best to understand that, in going to such lengths to accuse someone, there’s always a chance of finding oneself caught instead.”

Overbey further declared that she may file a formal complaint with her allegations, adding, “I would hope that [The New Yorker] would have the decency to offer me an apology for seeking to penalize a longtime female employee w/a successful record for errors made by the magazine’s EIC.”

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