My name appears twice this week, along with a mention of this blog, in the current issue of “The New Yorker.” That hardly ever happens.
Jonathan Franzen, staff writer for the magazine and book author, mentions me in an article about bird conservation. I’m more or less the genesis of the piece. Franzen writes that while having a bad day in California (hot, dry), he came upon a quote from me in a story about — what else? — Viking stadium window glass. Apparently, I made Franzen’s bad day worse.
He also pokes at the National Audubon Society, which is why I received on Wednesday an email from Mark Jannot, Audubon’s vice president for content. We then had a nice telephone visit.
Jannot felt that Franzen mischaracterized a quote from me published last September in the Star-Trib. The story was about an Audubon birds and climate report. Jannot felt that Franzen did the same to Audubon’s position on the issue.
Franzen worries that broad concern for bird welfare will override specific concerns. Worry about climate change, he fears, will lessen concern about window glass, for instance.
Jannot and I don’t believe that concern about climate will trump specific threats to birds — glass, cats, etc. We agreed that Franzen, as he said, was having a bad day.
I was happy to see my name in print, particularly in one of my favorite magazines. I’m glad that Franzen mentioned me at the top of the story. I might otherwise have been missed. It is a very long article.