by David Safier
First the New Yorker has 20 pages of ads and New York events. Then the first feature in every issue is "The Talk of the Town," a series of short (for the New Yorker) pieces about cultural and political issues. Here's how it began in the July 28 issue:
Last Tuesday, a crowd of angry people gathered on a road in Oracle, Arizona, a small town near Tucson. They’d heard that about fifty children from Central America—some of the unaccompanied thousands who have crossed the border in recent months—were being brought to a youth home nearby, and they wanted to turn them back. Then someone spotted a yellow bus down the highway. “Bus coming in,” Adam Kwasman, a Republican state legislator, tweeted. “This is not compassion. This is the abrogation of the rule of law.” With supporters and cameramen in tow, he charged toward the bus. It drove away, but not, Kwasman told a reporter, before he had got a look at the passengers. “I was able to actually see some of the children in the bus—and the fear on their faces,” he said. The reporter replied, “You know that was a bus with Y.M.C.A. kids?” Only slightly ruffled, Kwasman acknowledged that he had made “a mistake,” as did many amused headline writers (“ARIZONA POLITICIAN MISTAKES Y.M.C.A. CAMPERS FOR MIGRANT CHILDREN”).
Kwasman's "fear on their faces" was all over the news media, thanks to reporter Brahm Resnik's classic news piece. But the august and venerable New Yorker? You made the big time, Adam baby!