February 21, 2002
9:57 AM   Subscribe

September 11th? "My main thought was: What a pain in the ass." The Globe and Mail's Jan Wong has lunch with Elizabeth Wurtzel, the author of Prozac Nation.
posted by tranquileye (20 comments total)
Why you should show up to interviews on time.
posted by smackfu at 10:04 AM on February 21, 2002

"To this day, she can't understand why everyone else was so upset. 'I just felt, like, everyone was overreacting. People were going on about it. That part really annoyed me.' Wurtzel became hysterical only when she realized she wouldn't be allowed back to fetch her cat."
posted by waxpancake at 10:18 AM on February 21, 2002

Huh. And I thought the world revolved around ME.
posted by culberjo at 10:23 AM on February 21, 2002

To me, her responses all seem to come across as calculated posturing - a way of presenting herself as 'different form the norm', therefore easier to sell. Maybe that's just the way she lives her life as well - not just for the press. Especially the not-so-coy "You can't tell people this. I'm talking to you because you're Canadian."
posted by kokogiak at 10:29 AM on February 21, 2002

Maybe we should be less-than-stunned when someone who had acted overwhelmingly self-absorbed in the past comes out today and acts overwhelmingly self-absorbed.

Wake me up when she realizes the rest of the world ain't set-dressing for the Ongoing Saga of Lizzie and her Cat.
posted by UncleFes at 10:33 AM on February 21, 2002

I find the coyly defamatory tone of the article much more irritating than the person the article is depicting. Makes me want to read her book, in fact.
posted by bingo at 10:34 AM on February 21, 2002

Jan Wong is very petty. She will interview some incredible public figure and spend more time talking about what they wore and how they ate than what they said. Looks like she really met her match with this one... Boy, would I hate to have been at that table. *violent shudder*
posted by D at 10:44 AM on February 21, 2002

Sounds like interviewer and interviewee deserve one another.
posted by briank at 10:45 AM on February 21, 2002

Jan Wong is famous for this passive-aggressive style of savaging her subjects. At last, she's found someone who richly deserves it.
posted by mw at 10:52 AM on February 21, 2002

Not to defend Wurtzel, who I know nothing about, but to echo "D", Jan Wong never seems to have lunch with anyone but people who are wastes of skin. It is a mystery to me why anyone goes near her, especially people who you would think have managers and P.R. people watching over them, unless they're operating on the old "The only bad publicity is your obit" theory....
posted by BGM at 11:04 AM on February 21, 2002

Wurtzel needs her own blog. Then she can engage in her own narcissism in anonymity without inflicting it on the rest of us.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:09 AM on February 21, 2002

It's already been hinted at in this thread, but: if you ever get asked to lunch with Jan Wong, do not go. Wurtzel's publicist must have felt pretty hard up (or been very stupid) to arrange this.
posted by sylloge at 11:24 AM on February 21, 2002

I love and fear Jan Wong. If you're invited to lunch with her, become a tobacco executive and go on 60 Minutes instead. Do read Jan Wong's China books though -- they're wonderful. And heck, keep reading these lunch columns too -- just thank god you're safe at home.
posted by Yogurt at 11:33 AM on February 21, 2002

Another deserving recipient of Red Cross charity?
posted by liam at 11:43 AM on February 21, 2002

I am fascinated by the celebrity hatchet job. Jan Wong is well known in Canada for her columns, but as Robert Fulford describes here, Lynn Barber of the Independent may be as deft. And once upon a time, the British music mag Q specialized in "Who the Hell Does --- Think S/he Is?", in which hapless musos and assorted celebrities were gleefully torn to shreds. Most of them walked into the interview with no idea of their fate, but I have heard that a couple volunteered for the ordeal in the belief that they would escape unscathed.

As Fulford points out, this vanity may keep Jan Wong munching happily as celeb after celeb marches into yet another restaurant, firm in their assurance that they "would become one of the tiny group of subjects she treats gently. ... By now it's probably the main reason that she still finds victims".
posted by maudlin at 12:21 PM on February 21, 2002

Heh. Just found this old Suck cartoon via Ted Barlow.

(The whole Suck article on writers is here).
posted by maudlin at 12:57 PM on February 21, 2002

A recent favourite, preserved at Frank Online.
posted by todd at 3:36 PM on February 21, 2002

I recently read a complilation of several of Jan Wong's Lunch With columns. What made the book extra interesting was the commentary she would put in either before or after each story. The thoughts that didn't get published in the paper really put how she wrote the articles in perspective for me .

As for whether she only interviews "wastes of skin," that's just a matter of opinion. But I personally think she interviews a pretty good cross section of the famous and not-so-famous (meaning famous in Canada only.)
posted by melissa at 7:27 PM on February 21, 2002

The whole goal of the journalist is to get the person to open up, to relax, to let their hair down and reveal themselves. You don’t want them to go back into their shell and up their defenses.

Are these people being interviewed complete morons? Do their PR people not forewarn them that they are being interviewed by a journalistic "black widow", with no intention but to eat them once the web is spun?

I can't believe that after blantantly stating on numerous occasions that she's manipulating her subjects that they would still open themselves up to this woman.

I blame the people being interviewed, and their staffs for allowing this journalistic "turd-dumpling" to get the best of them.
posted by Eric Lloyd NYC at 8:01 PM on February 21, 2002

The new article this now links to is pretty good too.
posted by phoenix enflamed at 9:55 AM on February 28, 2002

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