kottke.org posts about benwheeler

Deborah Solomon goes straight

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 10, 2008

Is Deborah Solomon, the NY Times Magazine’s notoriously irritating Q&A interviewer, turning over a new leaf? After complaints about her columns surfaced last fall, the NY Times public editor agreed that Solomon had not complied with the Times’ policy of fairly representing the answers of her interviewees. Ben Wheeler noted that her most recent piece is an excellent straightforward interview with zero snarky asides or abusive questions.

If you point out when they suck, you gotta point out when they do well. On Sunday, Deborah Solomon’s weekly NY Times Magazine interview was an excellent talk with Enrique Penalosa, former mayor of Bogota known for his Susan Jacobs/Scandinavian vision of urban planning. Solomon’s old method, of inserting snide remarks and different questions after the fact, is gone; we can thank Ira Glass and Amy Dickinson (Ann Landers’s successor) for that, since they complained when she did it to them. But beyond that change, Solomon here just asks good, sensible questions of an interesting subject.