Last night the New York magazine world literati turned out for a memorial celebration for Clay Felker, the legendary editor of New York who passed away over the summer. A red-socked Sir David Frost hosted the event, which was held at the New York Ethical Society and featured such Felker disciples as Tom Wolfe, Gloria Steinem, Leslie Stahl, and Richard Reeves. All the featured guests spoke to Felker’s genius, excitement, and curiosity, and both Steinem and Stahl specifically mentioned what a novelty it was to encounter a male editor who would listen: “That had never happened before!” (We have video after the jump).
It’s a well known fact that Felker had a widespread and lasting influence on New York magazine publishing — as was evidenced when a list was read of all the people who had worked with him and gone on to become editors and design director — however it was hard not to note (especially from our seat in the balcony) that the audience was primarily a gray-haired one, causing us to wonder is there a modern-day Felker? Would we have to go online to find one? And if they did exist, and say, sent one of their writers to secretly infiltrate a Leonard Bernstein-hosted Black Panther party on the Upper East side (or its modern day equivalent), would Bill O’Reilly be calling for their arrest?
After the jump we have video of Tom Wolfe talking about the modern-day fate of the “Masters of the Universe” and what Felker would have said about the current financial crisis, Gloria Steinem discussing how she made sex dull, and Judy Collins closing out the evening with Amazing Grace.