David Remnick

“I do love the activity of writing, which is very different from editing. Editing is a social thing that you get right or you get wrong. It’s an imaginative one— and a deeply collaborative one. In writing, you are out there on the diving board all by your lonesome. I find that thrilling.

–David Remnick, episode 356 of Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso

David Remnick has been the editor of The New Yorker since 1998 and a staff writer since 1992. He joins us this week to discuss his latest dispatch from the Middle East (9:50), reporting on the aftermath of October 7th (18:09) in what has become the Israel-Hamas war. He also shares the personal story of Avichai Brodutch, how he imagines this conflict may resolve (25:10), and our ‘failure to communicate’ in this increasingly polarized moment (29:35).

Then, we turn to Remnick’s personal history: from the art that influenced him growing up in New Jersey (35:05) to his pathway to journalism at Princeton University (42:28) and his start at The Washington Post under the tutelage of legendary editor Ben Bradlee (48:00). On the back-half, we talk about Remnick’s early days running The New Yorker (56:45), the state of journalism today (1:00:30), why he cautions against despair as we head into 2024 (1:07:00), and a tribute to the creative longevity of musician Joni Mitchell (1:17:10).

For questions, comments, or to join our mailing list, drop me a line at sf@talkeasypod.com.