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Graydon Carter's Quotes

Graydon Carter profile photo

Born: 1949-07-14
Profession: Journalist
Nation: American
Biography of Graydon Carter

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Magazine stories, the best ones anyway, are generally a combination of three elements: access, narrative, and disclosure.

Tags: Best, Stories, Three

Magazines at some point become hostage to their own success.

Tags: Become, Point, Success

Memory is often - perhaps usually - a distorting lens: what we think we remember isn't the way it was at all. It's what we'd like to remember.

Tags: Memory, Often, Remember

Moping is an unattractive attribute in a man.

Tags: Attribute

Most of us have learned the hard way that there are very few things you can absolutely count on in life.

Tags: Hard, Learned, Life

My hunch is that pop culture began to stagnate the moment Americans started to love the past more than they did the future.

Tags: Future, Love, Past

People think they have to be ambitious. But at a certain age, all you want is to be around nice, decent people.

Tags: Age, Decent, Nice

Stationery is addictive. I get mine made in Paris at Benetton, and writing on it gives me a strange thrill.

Tags: Mine, Strange, Writing

Television has the obvious benefits of regularity and intimacy.

Tags: Intimacy, Obvious, Television

The shelf life of a movie actor or actress is so short, it's like milk.

Tags: Actor, Life, Short

There's probably a half-dozen movie actors I really like. But a lot of them just aren't that interesting.

Tags: Movie

To a young kid growing up in Canada, America seemed to be crazy about the future; dazzled by it.

Tags: America, Crazy, Future

Water-boarding can result in damage to the lungs and the brain, as well as long-term psychological trauma.

Tags: Brain, Result, Trauma

We really care about photography at 'Vanity Fair.'

Tags: Care, Fair, Vanity

You have to give kids something to rebel against. You can't like their music - you have to call it noise. It's incumbent on a parent.

Tags: Give, Kids, Music

You lose manufacturing jobs, you rarely ever get them back again.

Tags: Again, Jobs, Lose

A workday lunch that lasts as long as a transcontinental flight is an impossibility for all but the most pliant and footloose of food tourists. To get in the game, you need a thick wallet, an adventurous palate, and a whole lot of time.

Tags: Food, Game, Time

Americans who grew up in the 1930s or 1940s still have some fleeting memory of what the country was like before it became the steroidal superpower it is today.

Tags: Country, Memory, Today

Arrogance, ignorance, and incompetence. Not a pretty cocktail of personality traits in the best of situations. No sirree. Not a pretty cocktail in an office-mate and not a pretty cocktail in a head of state. In fact, in a leader, it's a lethal cocktail.

Tags: Best, Ignorance, Pretty

As any editor will tell you, startling newsroom revelations are generally met with queries about where the information came from and how the reporter got it. Seriously startling revelations are followed by the vetting of libel lawyers.

Tags: Lawyers, Seriously, Tell

As any journalist will tell you, there are few professional situations as vexing as when a friend becomes involved in a major story that you feel you must cover.

Tags: Few, Friend, Tell

As someone who came to New York in the 1970s, I was, like so many of my friends, a certified member of what we now call the 99 percent - and I was a lot closer to the bottom than to the top of that 99 percent. At some point during the intervening years, I moved into the 1 percent.

Tags: Friends, Point, Someone

Cod is more responsible for the discovery of the New World than almost anything else. Drove the Vikings across the North Atlantic, and John Cabot discovered America by looking for cod.

Tags: America, Else, Looking

Fashion is a dangerous road to go down. Anybody who is going to have children later in life had best not be too fashionable because the photos will come back to haunt them.

Tags: Best, Children, Life

Former vice president Al Gore has devoted his post-administration years to a mission to tell the world about global warming. It's funny, but in his civilian life Gore has discovered the voice that voters had trouble hearing when he ran for president in 2000. The voice he has found is clear, impassioned, and moving.

Tags: Funny, Life, Moving

I did a bunch of blue-collar jobs, because I knew I'd wind up with a white-collar job at some point, and I wanted to, I don't know, I just wanted to taste life. I dug graves for a while, I worked as a stock boy in a big department store, I worked in a bank.

Tags: Big, Job, Life

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Much more quotes by Graydon Carter below the page.

I have always thought you could take the measure of a man by his sports manners - that is to say, the way in which he conducts himself on the playing field, or even over a game of chess or cards.

Tags: Game, Sports, Thought

I might wear a dinner jacket once a year to our Oscar party - that's a big thing - but I don't go to parties. I'm social but I'm not a socialite person.

Tags: Big, Once, Year

I think being Canadian helps you as a journalist in America, because you're sort of on the outside watching this big party going on, and you're sort of taking mental notes as it goes on. I think if you're in the party the whole time, you don't notice it as much. And I think Canadians are very good observers of American culture.

Tags: America, Good, Time

I think the movie business is in trouble. It's all movies that you've seen before. Everything's a remake; they want things that are familiar rather than things that surprise you.

Tags: Business, Movies, Rather

I'm losing my hair. I'm overweight. It's not like that's at the top of the list when women go looking for a man. It's like - complete collapse, every year.

Tags: Hair, Losing, Women

In 2004, I wrote 'What We've Lost,' a book about the Bush administration. It sold only reasonably well, in part, I think, because the book was a horrific downer, an unrelenting account of the administration's actions, bungles, deceptions, half-truths, untruths, and downright corruptions.

Tags: Actions, Book, Lost

In Britain, libel damages are small and people build them into the cost of doing business. In America, libel is very rare and much harder to prove, but the damages are enormous.

Tags: America, Business, Small

Issues such as transparency often boil down to which side of - pick a number - 40 you're on. Under 40, and transparency is generally considered a good thing for society. Over 40, and one generally chooses privacy over transparency. On every side of this issue, hypocrisy abounds.

Tags: Good, Often, Society

It could fairly be said that the U.S. is increasingly out of step with the rest of the world. As our neighbors to the south elect left-wing or even socialist governments, we are lurching further to the right. As Europe becomes less engaged to the Church, we are becoming more fundamentalist.

Tags: Less, Rest, Said

It could safely be said that Iraqis are dying at a faster clip since the American-led invasion and occupation than they did during the last decade of Saddam Hussein's rule.

Tags: Last, Said, Since

It's a rare moment when we take a break from the tribulations of the daily rat race to reflect on assumptions and values that we casually accept as gospel.

Tags: Accept, Daily, Moment

It's estimated that across Africa 100 elephants are killed for their tusks every day. It takes nothing more than simple math to get to what that adds up to in a year, and it's a distressing figure.

Tags: Simple, Takes, Year

It's no surprise that the Bush administration's bullying swagger and blithe ignorance have caused much of the Muslim world to hold the U.S. in rock-bottom regard.

Tags: Bullying, Ignorance, Surprise

Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi looks in the mirror and sees a playboy of the old school. And men such as Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Charlie Sheen no doubt look at Berlusconi and think, 'Role model!' Women, of course, know otherwise. They see him as an aging, pathetic buffoon.

Tags: Men, School, Women

Let's face it, who among us wouldn't take a pill or potion that would make us better at our job? Goodness knows, we abuse substances for just about everything in our personal lives; why not in our professional lives as well?

Tags: Job, Personal, Why

Many men think they're playboys, but they invariably land wide of the mark. Surrounding yourself with champagne, fast friends, and paid escorts is the very definition of the word 'loser.'

Tags: Friends, Men, Yourself

Many of the architects of the Vietnam War became near pariahs as they spent the remainder of their lives in the futile quest to explain away their decisions at the time.

Tags: Away, Time, War

My suggestion to newspapers everywhere is to give the public a reason to read them again. So here's an idea: get on a big story with widespread public appeal, devote your best resources to it, say a quiet prayer, and swing for the fences.

Tags: Best, Big, Give

New York has arguably become the quintessential 1 percent city, a city that has been so given over to the rich that you now have to be rich to live here. Or not live here: New York's also a preferred destination for foreign money spent on vast, lifeless apartments in the sky that are occupied a couple of weeks a year at most.

Tags: Become, Money, Rich

Only institutions that go about the old-fashioned business of taking in deposits from customer A and lending them out to customer B should be called banks. The rest should call themselves what they are. 'Parlors' would be appropriate, or 'dens' - words more suitable to venerable betting pursuits.

Tags: Business, Themselves, Words

Satire works best when it hews close to the line between the outlandish and the possible - and as that line continues to grow thinner, the satirist's task becomes ever more difficult.

Tags: Best, Between, Difficult

Somewhere along the way, New York became all about money. Or rather, it was always about money, but it wasn't all about money, if you know what I mean. New York's not Geneva or Zurich yet, but we're certainly heading in that direction. London is, too.

Tags: Mean, Money, Rather

Take a random selection of photographs of America in 2012 and 2002 and 1992 and, except for the skinny jeans and the porkpie hats, you'll be hard-pressed to tell the years in which the pictures were taken.

Tags: America, Pictures, Tell

Television offers a range and scope, and a degree of creativity and daring, that the bottom-line, global-audience-obsessed, brand-driven movie industry just can't compete with.

Tags: Creativity, Movie, Television

The danger of leaving overwhelming wealth and power in the grasp of a small minority is a lesson that leaders such as ousted Tunisian president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and deposed Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak have learned a little too late, as the demonstrations across the Arab world indicate.

Tags: Leaving, Power, Small

The fact is that movie stars are as insecure as the rest of us - if not more so. Many live in a luxurious bubble in which their best friends are their trainer, their hairdresser, their publicist, and their Kabbalah instructor.

Tags: Best, Friends, Insecure

The fact is, unlike a lot of writers, I credit the people who help me. A lot of writers out there have a ton of researchers and they don't get credited in the book.

Tags: Book, Fact, Help

The greatest thing that prepared me for editing 'Vanity Fair' was having four kids because you just learn to subjugate your ego with the greater interest in mind.

Tags: Ego, Greatest, Mind

'The Guardian,' with its deep journalistic traditions, is careful about context and explanation. It sees itself as a gatekeeper, and it worries about consequences.

Tags: Careful, Context, Deep

The last thing businessmen want to do is sit in a room filled with other businessmen. A room full of money is a pretty boring sight - unless it's yours, of course.

Tags: Boring, Money, Pretty

There are similarities between being an editor and a tailor. Tailors have a vast supply of fabrics, buttons and thread at their disposal and put it together to make a whole. That's what an editor does - looks at society at a given time and pulls together the interesting aspects into a single issue each month.

Tags: Single, Society, Time

There aren't any looks or customs I wish would come back. Today almost anything goes. Culture constantly devours the past so there's not much that's missing.

Tags: Past, Today, Wish

There is a certain ancient civility about tailors that is welcome - especially in modern London, which is now very much an international city, not an English city. They're still a little vessel of Englishness in what is otherwise a pretty rambunctious place.

Tags: English, Place, Pretty

Those who remember New York in the 1970s, as I do, look back on a city that had hit a very rough patch - decaying, bankrupt, and crime-ridden. But fun.

Tags: City, Fun, Remember

To discuss a Martin Amis book, you must first discuss the orchestrated release of a Martin Amis book. In London, which rightly prides itself on the vibrancy of its literary cottage industry, Amis is the Steve Jobs of book promoters, and his product rollouts are as carefully managed as anything Apple dreams up.

Tags: Book, Dreams, Jobs

War is a form of really bad manners, in a strange way. Invading a country I think is just the worst possible manners. 'You're not invited!' Gate crashing on a large scale!

Tags: Bad, Country, War

We admire elephants in part because they demonstrate what we consider the finest human traits: empathy, self-awareness, and social intelligence. But the way we treat them puts on display the very worst of human behavior.

Tags: Human, Social, Treat

What do you call an electorate that seems prone to acting out irrationally, is full of inchoate rage, and is constantly throwing fits and tantrums? You call it teenaged.

Tags: Acting, Call, Seems

Where past generations had film cameras, scrapbooks, notebooks, and that part of the brain which stores memories, we now have a smartphone app for every conceivable recording need.

Tags: Brain, Film, Past

You know, I used to warm the thermometer on the light bulb... I was really good at being sick. I could forge my mother's signature on a sick note so well I was hardly ever at school.

Tags: Good, Mother, School

After the collapse of Wall Street in the 1920s, the culture stopped being all about money, and the country survived and ultimately flourished.

Tags: After, Country, Money

As a father of five, I sometimes feel I've spent a lifetime watching Disney musicals.

Tags: Father, Five, Sometimes

As you get older and fatter, good clothes can hide a lot.

Tags: Clothes, Good, Older

Branding experts believe that just because they have rethought a company's image or name, the rest of us will automatically fall in line.

Tags: Company, Fall, Rest

Christopher Hitchens was a wit, a charmer, and a troublemaker, and to those who knew him well, he was a gift from - dare I say it - God.

Tags: Gift, God, Him

Conservatives define themselves more by their hatred of liberals than anything else, and, conversely, liberals by their distaste for conservatives.

Tags: Else, Hatred, Themselves

Every man in the back of their minds would like to own a bar or a racehorse.

Tags: Bar, Minds

Every minute you invest in kids you get back four times over.

Tags: Four, Kids, Times

Everything I love about America is fragile.

Tags: America, Fragile, Love

Financial institutions like to call what they do trading. Let's be honest. It's not trading; it's betting.

Tags: Call, Financial, Honest

'Green' does not have to mean the sort of hair-shirt, wood-burning-stove sensibility of the '70s. Green can and should be sleek and modern.

Tags: Green, Mean, Modern

Hatred for Obama... has more to do with race than anything else.

Tags: Else, Hatred, Race

History is nothing if not an epic tale of missed opportunities.

Tags: Epic, History, Missed

I actually don't know how magazines are produced, I'll be honest with you. I have no idea.

Tags: Actually, Honest, Idea

I always thought eating what you wanted was one of those aspects of adulthood to be looked forward to when you were a child.

Tags: Forward, Thought, Wanted

I don't do any research. It's all about gut. Editing - it's always about gut.

Tags: Editing, Gut, Research

I don't think you can be a credible, modern candidate for president without making the environment a major part of your platform.

Tags: Making, Modern, President

I really don't despise anyone. But there is a list of a half dozen people I would prefer never to hear from or see again.

Tags: Again, Anyone, Hear

I think Americans, more so than any other culture, love second and third acts.

Tags: Culture, Love, Second

I walk down the street and people don't go, 'My God, there he is.' I lead as normal a life as you can lead in New York City.

Tags: God, Life, Walk

In America, the top 1 percent led the country into war and economic devastation, leaving the less fortunate to fight for one and pay for both.

Tags: Country, Fight, War

In the Digital Age, recorders also tend to be oversharers, and with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest, they can do so on a grand scale.

Tags: Age, Facebook, Grand

In this age of 24-7 headlines, the term 'newsweekly' seems almost quaint.

Tags: Age, Almost, Seems

It could fairly be said that America, during the Bush years, has entered an Age of Denial - arguably the first stage of a nation's decline.

Tags: Age, America, Said

Life is all about seating and lighting.

Tags: Life, Lighting