How To Start NY Media Salivating

Hi, reporter for important New York news outlet? Let’s say the wife of a founder of Google founded a genetic testing company, with financial and moral support from assorted media moguls whom she then gathered in one place in New York City during Fashion Week for a promotional event (billed a “Spit Party”) at which the aforementioned moguls will be hawking loogies into vials… does that sound like something you might cover?

Yeah, not exactly spitting in the wind, that story pitch.

And so 23andme’s party was both “The Talk of the Town” in this week’s New Yorker and front-page news in Sunday’s New York Times Styles section.

Who had the better saliva soiree coverage?

I’ll give it to the Times for this quote from 23andme’s founder, Amy Wojcicki:

I was sitting at a table at Allen & Company [annual conference in Sun Valley] with Wendi Murdoch, Barry Diller, Diane von Furstenberg, Anderson Cooper and Sergey [Brin, Google founder], and we were talking about tongue curling. Barry cannot roll his tongue, but Anderson Cooper can do a really complicated four-leaf clover.

Ability to tongue-curl (what can’t Coop do?) being one of the apparently inheritable traits for which 23andme can test your spit (DNA). Another has to do with a specific sense of smell — and, credit where credit is due to the New Yorker’s Michael Schulman for asking:

On the question of whether he could smell asparagus in his urine, Harvey Weinstein had no comment.

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.