It’s no secret that Monthly publisher Morry
Schwartz is nothing if not an adroit self-promoter – and some would say that’s
keeping it kind. But at least one disgruntled Monthly reader thinks Schwartz has finally let his ego get
the best of him after The Monthly’s December issue included a picture of Schwartz’s head super-impose onto suave Vanity Fair
editor, Graydon Carter’s body – in Carter’s very own office.
The April issue of Vanity Fair includes a letter from a
Tasmanian subscriber who’s a little peeved that Schwartz has put
himself in the same shoes – and by implication, the same league – as
Vanity Fair editor. We’ve reproduced the letter below, along with
Schwartz’s odd response, and the original photo that cause all the fuss.
AS A SUBSCRIBER to Vanity Fair since 1984, I am, by nature and
training, on the look-out for rip-offs of any sort. But surely this is
the most egregious yet – the theft of Graydon Carter’s Editor’s Letter
photo, including office, view from window, and ashtray (minus only the
head), and its reappearance in the derivative new Australian magazine The Monthly.
I suppose the joke is meant to be that the superimposed head is that of
Morry Schwartz, the publisher of the aforementioned glossy. Is this
vanity or what?
MORRY SCHWARTZ RESPONDS:What man wouldn’t want to stick his
head on Graydon Carter’s elegant body? The idea appealed to me so much
that I decided to start my own magazine and if not for the sleuth from
Tasmania I would have gotten away with it. When the call came in from
New York asking for an explanation, I though, This is it, they’ll sure
my pants off. What a relief that the great Vanity Fair has an Australian sense of humor. My wife, Anna, and I will be in New York in April. I hope to visit and give the V.F. people an opportunity to see my body.
Away from the suggestive hints about his body, or
the ever-so thinly veiled Scooby Do reference,
Schwartz’s reply offers
neither rhyme nor reason as to why he really photoshopped himself onto
Graydon Carter’s body and into Carter’s office in the first place.
Anyway, there’s some old idiom about any publicity being good publicity, right?
Then it’s probably no surprise that Crikey’s tip-off to Schwartz’s photoshop fun came when a package containing the latest Vanity Fair
– which included a helpful post-it note pointing us right to the letter’s
page – arrived on our doorstep. Where did the tip-off come from? The offices of The Monthly, of course.