(Photo: Alan Dye for New York magazine)
I’ve been watching City File with interest, both as an editorial entity and a commercial one. Its backers include Chris Batty, the advertising man at Gawker Media, and while (wisely!) not much money at all was raised, still its business plan is clear: Write about the rich and the money will follow. This is not at all stupid! And editorially, it began with judgment-free, clear-eyed rich people coverage. But already, just a few weeks old, it’s sliding very slightly into “snark” and, yes, there are undertones of class resentment in the writing. An item classified under “Excess” is headlined “An iPhone Isn’t Good Enough for Lacey Tisch.” And in an item headlined “Poor Equals Fat, As You’ve Always Suspected,” an anonymous writer says that “Darren Spedale, for example, is an investment banker whose bonus (please have a Kleenex at the ready) has been cut by 20 percent, so he can only pay for the basic membership at Equinox. The ignominy!” The bloggy habit of rich-person undermining runs deep, even where it’s not supposed to. And it runs deep everywhere.