Bestselling novelist Jennifer Weiner started a Twitter fight with New York Times writer Andrew Goldman after she read his “Talk” feature in the Sunday magazine. Mr. Goldman asked actress Tippi Hedren, the star of The Birds and the subject of a new HBO movie about her relationship with Alfred Hitchcock, if she had ever been tempted to help her career along by having sex with directors. Ms. Weiner tweeted “Saturday am. Iced coffee. NYT mag. See which actress Andrew Goldman has accused of sleeping her way to the top. #traditionsicoulddowithout.”
Mr. Goldman tweeted in response “@jenniferweiner sensing pattern. Little Freud in me thinks you would have liked at least to have had opportunity to sleep way to top .” The fight escalated from there, with other writers weighing in.
Today, Margaret Sullivan, the Times’ new public editor, wrote about it.
But before Mr. Goldman got in a Twitter war with Ms. Weiner, before he interviewed Ms. Hedren, before he was taken to task by Ms. Sullivan, Mr. Goldman was asking all sorts of inappropriate questions in Elle. Mr. Goldman spent eight years interviewing male celebrities about their dating lives and attitudes towards women for his column “cherchez la femme.”
Some of our favorites:
Sean “P Diddy” Combs
ELLE: Before he married Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher once suggested to me that some mindblowingly debauched sexual stuff went on while he was hanging with you—it seemed to involve having sex with women while in the same room. What’s your rule of thumb about that?
ELLE: Do you think there’s a relationship between a woman’s looks and sexual skills?
ELLE: Imagine you had only 10 seconds to prepare a girlfriend to meet your late mother. What would you tell her?
ELLE: Did you have any odd misunderstandings about human sexuality as a kid?
ELLE: Please speculate on the lovemaking styles of fellow broadcasters Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity.
ELLE: In Sex and the City, you played a guy who was only able to perform sexually in public places, like cabs and coatrooms. Have you found that there are any odd places that make you amorous?
But of course, Mr. Goldman’s mistake was not really asking the question. (About that, reasonable minds can disagree.) It was his Twitter reply to Ms. Weiner.
“We expect New York Times journalists to act like New York Times journalists,” Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy said when we inquired the social media policy at the newspaper.
“It has been communicated to Andrew Goldman that his comments on Twitter were not appropriate and not in keeping with The Times’s long-standing principle that we expect our journalists to behave as thoughtfully on social media as they do in other aspects of their jobs,” Ms. Murphy added in an email.
“I’m so sorry but I really can’t talk about it,” Mr. Goldman said via email. He has, of course, deleted his Twitter profile.