Graydon Carter, the longtime editor of Vanity Fair, on Thursday announced that he will leave the magazine after spending 25 years as its editor.
Carter told the New York Times that he wanted “to leave while the magazine is on top.”
“I want to leave while it’s in vibrant shape, both in the digital realm and the print realm,” he said. “And I wanted to have a third act — and I thought, time is precious.”
Carter has been a persistent thorn in President Donald Trump’s side, dating back decades before the presidency was a twinkle in Trump’s eye. In 1986 Carter co-founded Spy magazine, where he dubbed Trump a “short-fingered vulgarian” and took special pleasure in attacking the real estate developer.
In a prank titled “Who is America’s cheapest zillionaire?” the magazine mailed celebrities checks in quantities starting at $1.11 and ultimately decreasing to 13 cents; Trump was one of only two recipients who cashed the latter pittance.
Before moving to Vanity Fair, Carter also ran the New York Observer, which Trump’s son-in-law and now senior adviser Jared Kushner bought in 2006 (Carter departed more than a decade earlier).
In an October 2016 column, Carter dubbed Trump “the ugly American” and recounted his evening with Trump as his guest at the 1993 White House Correspondents’ Association dinner.
According to Carter, another guest came up to him, distraught, and accused Trump of being “the most vulgar man” she had ever met and of spending their entire conversation remarking on the “tits” and legs of other women.
Carter earned a spot on the New York Times’ list of the people, places and things Trump insulted on Twitter by weathering remarks about being “a total loser” with “no talent” who would soon “be out” at Vanity Fair.
Asked whether he expects Trump to dance on his grave, Carter told the New York Times that he has a plan if the President does take one last potshot.
“He’s tweeted about me 42 times, all in the negative,” Carter told the New York Times. “So I blew up all the tweets and I framed them all.”
Carter said the framed tweets are on display “on a wall — this is the only wall Trump’s built — outside my office.”
“There’s a space left for one more tweet to complete the bottom line. So if he does, I’m just going to call our framer, and say we need one more,” Carter said. “It should be a little bright spot in his administration.”