In A.O. Scott's review of the movie "The French Dispatch", which appeared in yesterday's New York Times, there is a passing reference to
... Harold Ross and William Shawn, the men who together and sequentially established The New Yorker as a pinnacle of middlebrow sophistication in the decades before and after World War II.
I don't often see The New Yorker, and won't vouch for the loft of its brow. Yet I wonder what the height of The New York Times's brow is. High, upper-middle? And I wonder whether and how I would recognize a highbrow publication if I saw one. Perhaps the sign would be one that it left me muttering "It's very hard to be up to you intellectual lads", like Flann O'Brien's The Plain People of Ireland.