The Reminiscences of Leslie Bennetts

The Transcript

And then, almost always, when you have something like a drug treatment facility or a lot of other kinds of institutions opening in a new neighborhood, you have some backlash from the neighbors, who say, “Well, this is a social good, but I don’t want this in my neighborhood.” And it became known as the NIMBY syndrome—Not In My Backyard.
— Leslie Bennetts

Biography: Leslie Bennetts was born and raised in New York City and has been a journalist for over 40 years. At the beginning of her career, she spent fifteen years as a newspaper reporter. She began covering so-called ‘women’s issues’ at The Philadelphia Bulletin in the early 1970s, and has continued to write about women, marriage, families and parenting ever since. (Her controversial book, The Feminine Mistake, was published in 2007). After five years at The Bulletin, Bennetts spent ten years as a reporter for The New York Times, where she started as a writer for the Style page and went on to cover national politics, metropolitan news, City Hall, and cultural news. She was the first woman ever to cover a presidential campaign for The Times. Bennetts has been a contributing editor at Vanity Fair since 1988, writing on subjects that have ranged from movie stars to priest pedophilia, industrial pollution and U.S. anti-terrorism policy. In October 1989, her profile piece called “Mitch’s Mission” ran in Vanity Fair. The story chronicled the aftermath of the failed Nancy Reagan Center in California. She has kept in touch with Mitch over the years. Bennett’s 2005 cover story on Jennifer Aniston was the best-selling issue in the magazine’s history to date. She is currently working on the authorized biography of Joan Rivers.

Keywords: Vanity Fair; journalism; Mitchell Rosenthal; Philadelphia Bulletin; New York City; New York Times; Nancy Reagan; substance abuse; Tina Brown; Phoenix House; feminism; fundraising