- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 16, 2019

Vanity Fair editor-in-chief Radhika Jones is defending the publication’s March profile on Beto O’Rourke’s presidential bid announcement after the former Democratic congressman said this week that he had some regrets over the way he came across.

“I’m really proud of it, I’m proud that we got it, and I’m proud that it’s still driving conversation,” Ms. Jones said in a new interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that will air Friday.

Mr. O’Rourke was widely criticized as privileged and entitled after he graced the cover of Vanity Fair following his Senate defeat in Texas to Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, telling the magazine that he was “born to be in” the 2020 presidential race.

Mr. O’Rourke said on ABC’s “The View” Tuesday that he regretted doing the Vanity Fair cover at all, and that the “born to be in it” headline didn’t provide the full context of his statements.

“I think it reinforces that perception of privilege,” he said. “And that headline that said I was born to be in this. In the article, I was attempting to say that I felt my calling was in public service. No one is born to be president of the United States of America, least of all me.”



Ms. Jones said she has no regrets over how the former congressman was portrayed.

“I mean, he did say it,” she said. “And I have felt actually it is clear what he meant, and I’d also say a lot of people have interpreted this cover differently. That’s always the case with covers I find.

“You know, I’ve presided over a lot of magazine covers in my day and the truth is you can never exactly game out how something’s going to go over,” she added. “But I do think that what they talked about and what we also thought about when we were working on the piece and thought about in all of our coverage on this campaign is that there are big themes rising up in 2020, and some of them do have to do with privilege and accessibility and precedent. And if we are driving part of that conversation, I think that’s exactly what our job is.”

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