Private: Newsflash: no clear politics behind women’s magazines

Last Monday I said Myrna Blyth, author of Spin Sisters: How the Women of the Media Sell Unhappiness and Liberalism to the Women of America, must have her head up her ass if she thinks there’s a liberal bias in any sector of U.S. publishing.

And in women’s magazines? C’mon. There’s little evidence of any political orientation amid the pages of skin creams and fashion spreads and romance quizzes and etiquette pointers that fill their issues.* (Mirabella was a notable exception.)

This week in New York, Betsy Carter, another former women’s magazine executive, confirms that politics are hardly discussed in the world she and Blyth have vacated:

[T]he book … attack[s] women editors for being a secret cabal of liberals from which she feels increasingly excluded. “Quite honestly,” she says, “it is kind of lonely when absolutely nobody ever agrees with you.”

If Blyth feels excluded from the sorority of “Media Princesses,” believe me, it was not because of her politics. I was the founding editor of New York Woman and My Generation, and I’ve worked at a half-dozen other magazines. I know many of the editors she writes about. Some are my closest friends. I couldn’t tell you which levers they pull once they’re inside a voting booth.

* I’m not grandstanding here. I buy Vogue and Elle in the airport, just like the rest of you. I used to buy The Atlantic, too, but everybody knows how that’s gone to seed.