Our trusty copy editor Mike Berlin has a special fascination and love for the secret-swindling former editrix of News InternationalRebekah Brooks -- and has more than once regaled us with the tale of how the frizzy-haired maven once made one of her reporters dress up as Harry Potter (on September 11th, no less), just one of the many indignities of working for a boss who relishes in cruel and unusual punishments for their own amusement.
Anna Wintour, too, likes to put her co-workers through especially sadistic forms of torture, seemingly just so she can laugh at them, and hopefully squeeze a few paragraphs out of her underlings traumatic experiences. Says Hamish Bowles, the European editor-at-large at Vogue:
I had to read the e-mail from the editor in chief several times to be quite sure. There, buried like a time bomb in a bouquet, was this chilling sentence: "I have signed you up to compete in The X Factor."
While Bowles is fearful of competing on the reality singing competition, his boss persists:
"You can sing," says Anna (editors note: he just referred to her by first name only!!), who has heard me warble some comedic Noel Coward songs at the Rug Company during Fashion's Night Out. "This will be easy for you." Her enthusiasm buoys me along, until a moment over dinner at the Metropolitan Opera--after Jonas Kaufmann's celestial voice during Act I of Die Walkure has brought tears to my eyes--when she insouciantly announces that she is, in fact, completely tone deaf.
The story goes on to talk about his voice lessons and eventual audition for the show. It's a fun, fluffy read, for sure, but is ultimately a testament to how even grown men will dress up and make fools of themselves for the sake of Anna.