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JournalistI am David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker. Ask me your questions at 3 P.M. E.S.T.

Nov 21st 2016 by David_Remnick • 16 Questions • 74 Points

In addition to my editing duties, I regularly write for the magazine and our Web site, and recently sat down with President Obama to discuss the election, what it means for America, and his legacy: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/11/28/obama-reckons-with-a-trump-presidency?mbid=social_reddit

Proof: https://twitter.com/NewYorker/status/800741836134285313

I think it's time for me to go! It's been great fun and it's time to go pick some cartoons and to see if we actually have something to put on the cover this week. Have a great Thanksgiving, and thank you for your time. And thank you for reading The New Yorker. All best, David Remnick

Q:

As a member of the so called "liberal elite" media, how do you respond to polls that have shown that only 35% Americans think the media is trustworthy? Do you think accusations of one sided coverage are fair, or are they overblown?

A:

I think it's a fair charge to some degree and it helps puncture one's own bubble and disconnectedness from so much. But at the same time, I've travelled and reported in the world an awful lot and no one person can be everywhere, experience everything. But it is useful to absorb the criticism and take it on board and find ways to make things better. And I think if you read the work of George Saunders, Evan Osnos, Larissa MacFarquhar, and others in The New Yorker you will find very fair reporting.


Q:

Do you think the Democrats are going in the right direction with Sanders/Warren?

A:

Remember this: Sanders is 75 and Warren in her late 60's. And so the Democratic Party is going to need to do the hard work of developing and surfacing younger talent, too.


Q:

Why do you think Hillary lost?

A:

I think I get the impulse behind the question. No, she did not lose the popular vote. But we live in the system we live in---and the Electoral College persists. Alas. But it persists. And were there, to put it politely, "irregularities"? Well, starting with the DNC hack courtesy of Russian hackers and WikiLeaks.....that seems pretty damn irregular to me.


Q:

What was Bill Maher like before he was famous...always cranky?

A:

I knew Bill when we were kids playing basketball in his driveway. He didn't have much of a shot but his wisecracks never missed their mark!


Q:

Your article the day after the election scared the hell out of me (it was great, but depressing). Has Trump's somewhat milder behavior in the ensuing weeks changed your mind any or are we doomed?

also, some people are saying Trump is using Twitter in a genius fashion to direct people away from his real scandals? could he really be that smartly manipulative?

A:

Milder? Hmmm. The appointments of Mr. Bannon, Senator Sessions, and Gen. Flynn hardly seem "mild" to me. As for his use of Twitter, it doesn't evoke confidence in me. I'm not really sure the best use of a President-elect's time at 2 AM is to rant about SNL or a polite dissent on the stage of "Hamilton." But I admit it sure was an effective tool during the campaign.Effective and deeply worrying...


Q:

Do you think that Trump will repeal Obamacare? Would that be a good or a bad thing?

A:

I don't think he will---or not completely. Once people have a benefit, a boon to their lives, that they did not have before, they are loath to give it up. Twenty million people have health care who didn't have it before. So, start with that....Does Trump want to take that away? I bet not, and he has already said as much.


Q:

If you could interview any living person who would it be and why?

A:

Beyonce would be fun. She so rarely gives a truly open interview, and I would love to see if she would speak more openly and freely about the impact she's had lately, and her life. Oh, and the Bobster. Bob Dylan. He's always fascinated me and, try as I might....


Q:

What's your advice for a young American interested in working as a foreign correspondent?

A:

There are more than a couple of ways to do this. When I was in Moscow, for the Washington Post, my bureau chief there was Michael Dobbs, a truly great correspondent. And the way he started was to set himself up in Eastern Europe (Belgrade) as a stringer. He barely got by at first, but he was writing a ton for various places about the late communist era. That led him to The Washington Post, which shifted him to Warsaw, then Paris, then Moscow. What I mean is, there is a freelance route, too---not just waiting forever to work your way up the line.


Q:

We saw this asymmetric news coverage where the lion's share of investigative journalism (on both Clinton and Trump) was done by print media. Subsequently electronic media keep playing the most juicy sound bites and pocketed all the ad dollars.

What can print media do to make their fair share ?

A:

Honestly, I think that there are millions of people who want deep, honest, rigorous journalism. That doesn't mean that every publication that thrived in 1977 will continue thriving....but I think there is a future for the best and (yes) the luckiest.


Q:

How do you think history will remember Obama?

A:

Kindly. His Administration made the hard decisions to rescue a failing economy; got as close to universal health care as it is politically possible to get; embodied a level of tolerance never seen before in the White House; went eight years without scandal; etc etc


Q:

Favorite jazz songs/albums of all time?

A:

Wow. I love so much music, jazz included, that we could be here all day with this one.....but, I am a huge fan of Louis Armstrong's stuff in the Twenties and Thirties; Ellington; Basie; Billie Holiday; Miles Davis; Albert Ayler; Sinatra is a great musician......take a look at the list of top 100 jazz albums that I did with my colleague Richard Brody; easy to find on our site newyorker.com


Q:

What are your dreams for visions of universality?

A:

I always forget my dreams


Q:

Which fictional book has most influenced your worldview? Nonfiction?

As the others have said, thank you for your work.

A:

Fiction? Dead Souls. Is there a better book on the absurdity of life. And there is nothing wiser than Middlemarch. Nonfiction: The Collected Essays of George Orwell---those are everything to me.


Q:

Do you have any favorite (non-election related) New Yorker pieces that have been published recently?

A:

All kinds of things, yes: watch out for Rachel Aviv, Ben Taub, Vinson Cunningham.....OK, enough..... You know something? You're just gonna get me in trouble here!


Q:

Dear Mr. Remnick, I was first introduced to your work, and became a big fan of yours, when I read "King of the World: Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero." Do you still find time to watch boxing? If so, who are your favorite current boxers? If not, which sports do you watch most often?

A:

I leave the boxing beat to K Sanneh. He knows more about boxing than I ever will. http://www.newyorker.com/contributors/kelefa-sanneh?mbid=social_reddit


Q:

I love listening to the New Yorker Radio Hour and I have to say, you have a wonderful voice for the medium. What was your biggest takeaway, or "lesson", from this election? I have friends and coworkers saying that it proved our country is racist and other peers who say this was a revolt of the working class. Also, could you label any positive takeaways from this whole thing? If there was one positive side to this ugly election season I like to think it gave people, myself included, a better understanding of who we share this country with.

A:

Thank you. I think it would be a colossal mistake to conclude that every Trump voter is racist or sexist, etc. Obviously, some are; and, even more obviously, Trump played to the darkest reflexes in American life. But at the same time, there are many other factors in the Trump vote: a rebellion against globalization and de-industrialization; a distaste for the Clintons; the Comey letters and the WikiLeaks material....and more A positive side? Let me think. Um, let me think.....more.....