Ben McGrath Is More Than His Father's Son

Rebecca · 03/21/08 01:35PM

The New York media scene is a bitchy place. Most people are quick to dismiss early success as dumb luck and/or good connections. But the fact is, at the highest levels, practically everyone has leveraged some kind of connection. Is having your father get you an interview more odious than having a friend from college do the same? After the interview, it's still up to you to prove yourself. After the Sarah McGrath-Margaret Seltzer disaster, people were quick to blame Sarah's connection to father at larger, Charles McGrath, which the Times Public Editor (and Gawker) dismissed as absurd. The same criticism could be leveled against his son, Ben, who is one of youngest staff writers (if not the youngest) at the New Yorker, where Dad was once fiction editor. But nepotism couldn't get anyone to write something as entertaining and exuberant as Ben McGrath's profile on Lenny Dykstra in this week's New Yorker.

Can We Stop Blaming The McGraths For Fake Memoir Lady?

Rebecca · 03/04/08 01:11PM

Margaret Seltzer, the pretend gang member who wrote a fake memoir about her made-up life, is one more liar who is simultaneously ruining the memoir genre and making it more popular than ever. Sarah McGrath, daughter of New York Times writer-at-large Charles, is also taking the fall as Seltzer's bamboozled editor. While hating on nepotism is more fun than a Hot Chip dance party, easy attacks on the McGrath family are pointless. Like anyone else, Sarah McGrath's connections have no doubt helped her, but no one bases a publishing career on a name alone. This scandal could have happened to any editor responding to the memoir craze, not just one with dad Chip at the Times and brother Ben at the New Yorker. After all, the McGrath family slogan is "Salvation by Faith," not "Salvation by Networking."

Charles McGrath

cityfile · 01/30/08 01:27PM

Veteran newsman Chip McGrath is former editor of the New York Times Book Review and currently a writer-at-large at the paper. His son is New Yorker staff writer Ben McGrath; his daughter is Riverhead editor Sarah McGrath, who hit the headlines recently as fake memoirist Margaret B. Jones' editor.