Two Periodicals Publish Eerily Similar Profiles of Anna Wintour

High unemployment? A $16 trillion debt? Rising fuel prices?

Perhaps the real issue of this campaign is that Vogue editor Anna Wintour wants to be appointed ambassador to France. At least that's the suggestion published in two eerily similar articles in The New Republic and The Daily Beast. The rumor (officially denied) is that dahling Anna is growing weary of New York and would like to make a big splash on the Paris fashion scene by showing up there as ambassador to France.  Both periodicals not only contain this same theme but even their titles are strangely similar. On top of that the quotes in both stories make one wonder if they are reciting the same information fed to both authors (Noreen Malone of The New Republic and Robin Givhan of The Daily Beast). To illustrate the amazing similarities of both articles, I shall place The New Republic quotes first followed by those of The Daily Beast in italics. First, let us look at the two similar titles:

The political philosophy of Anna Wintour

That brief title from The New Republic was matched by this much more lengthy Daily Beast title and subtitle:

What Does Vogue Editor Anna Wintour Want Next? ---From celeb-filled fundraisers in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village to state dinners at the White House, rumors of political aspirations for the Vogue editrix are flying around town

Okay, we get that dahling Anna has an interest in politics but now both articles get down to oddly echoing specifics. Remember, The New Republic quotes first followed by The Daily Beast in italics:

JOURNALISTS AND POLITICOS have tried to guess what Wintour could possibly hope to get from the campaign. The Guardian, her brother’s employer, cheekily suggested that she’s after an ambassadorship. But her minions dispute any conventional ideological motive. “Above and beyond any politics, she wants Vogue to be wherever the action is,” says a former staffer. In other words, she’s in search of something more than just a victory in November; she wants politics to take fashion seriously.

This year Wintour has emerged as an even more prodigious bundler, raising at least $500,000 for Obama and personally donating tens of thousands more. Her higher profile has the media asking, what does she want? Rumors of her interest in becoming an ambassador, which erupted during the last presidential-election cycle, have re-emerged. The gossip has been fueled by her growing collection of political thank-yous: multiple invitations to state dinners and a seat on the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. And there is the coincidence of timing. A posting in London or Paris—a position typically filled by a political intimate rather than a career diplomat—could be a fine next chapter for Wintour after 25 years at the top of the fashion world. After all, if a former media executive can navigate the world of Franco-American diplomacy, why not a former fashion titan?

Hmmm... The New Republic brings up the possibility of an ambassador Anna and The Daily Beast raises the stakes by suggesting a London or Paris posting...with emphasis on Paris. The latter makes sense for a "fashion titan."

It now gets much more eerie when Hillary Clinton and the ghost of Monica Lewinsky are discussed in both articles:

When Wintour ascended to the top of American Vogue, she took pride in introducing political coverage to the fashion magazine’s pages. She was a Hillary Clinton fangirl from the start, publicly offering the first lady pro bono fashion advice and reportedly goading designer Donna Karan into sending one of her famous cold-shoulder dresses to the White House. In the wake of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Vogue published a profile that was important in shaping the public image of Hillary as a dignified, elegant survivor; a similarly glowing story followed when she ran for Senate.

One of the most memorable political images was of Clinton in 1998, during the waning days of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Shot by Annie Leibovitz and dressed in a merlot-colored Oscar de la Renta gown, Clinton looked regal and confident. “Throughout the whole year I’ve admired how she’s behaved so much,” Wintour told me at the time. “If you look at the year she’s had, how many women could behave with such stature? And from a Vogue point of view, she looks better and better.”

Yes, in the wake/waning days of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Vogue published the "public image of Hillary as dignified, elegant" while "Clinton looked regal and confident."

Finally, I need to find out if Vogue published a "glowing profile" or a "gauzy profile" of Syria's First Lady:

This approach is not without its problems, however. Consider the matter of Vogue’s glowing profile of Syria’s Asma Al Assad, which described the dictator’s wife as “glamorous, young, and very chic—the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies,” and breezed by her husband’s brutal reign by explaining that he was elected president “with a startling 97 percent of the vote.” “They didn’t think the Arab Spring was going anywhere, and the piece was needed for the March ‘Power Issue,’” wrote reporter Joan Juliet Buck in her Newsweek apologia. Wintour has also issued an apology. But perhaps she ought to have inquired earlier: Are we for or against Syria?

Sometimes the blinding glow of glamour has led to a political misstep. In its March 2011 issue, the magazine published a gauzy profile of Asma al-Assad, the wife of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, just before citizen protests provoked state-led massacres. (Writer Joan Juliet Buck later gave her own account of the assignment in Newsweek.) The story left Vogue looking naive in front of the foreign-policy community, and Wintour eventually acknowledged the story was a mistake.

Anna Wintour through a spokeswoman brushed off her reported interest in an ambassadorship as a rumor but how did two periodicals come to have almost identical stories on this topic? And were they fed the same talking points that so eerily matched each other in print?

Meanwhile no story about dahling Anna is complete without the video of her oh so exclusive Obama party so enjoy. Just don't be late!

 

P.J. Gladnick
P.J. Gladnick
P.J. Gladnick is a freelance writer and creator of the DUmmie FUnnies blog.