Yesterday, we reported on Tina Fey’s burgeoning career as an essayist–complete with book tour and publication in The New Yorker. The essay got press for being honest about the judgments women disproportionately face. Curiously, Fey has often been the subject of such judgment from The New Yorker itself; she’s the rare first-time writer for the magazine who’s been treated dismissively in its pages. A consequence of success: those who once criticized you now publish you!
In 2003, Virginia Heffernan profiled the then-Saturday Night Live head writer. The profile crystallized a perception of Fey as super-smart and observant, and more than a little cutting. Heffernan notes Fey’s history of mocking others in high school, and wrote that “nearly everyone I had spoken to,” including Lorne Michaels, had asked what Fey thought of them. Fey, per Heffernan, also finds it difficult to balance feminist instinct with the demands of comedy: “since she became a head writer the words ‘whore’ and ‘bitch’ have flourished on the show.”