OMG. This is a priceless article. Commercial fiction written by women, dissed by the male pedagogy. Who reads to make friends? Who needs to LIKE the characters they read? The reporter can't help but expose her own literary prejudice in her narrative (and details about Weiner's purse and closet full of outfits chosen by her personal shopper...aside: I want one of those, except she'd make me throw out my sweats...).
Weiner doesn't need any more cheerleaders, she's doing quite well on her own (though sad that her husband couldn't handle her success), but I see a lot of this suppressive type of prejudice in the indie publishing movement too. Books written "too fast" or "to please readers" or "to fit in a bestselling genre" etc. All can be true, but often are used to minimize bestselling books and authors (E.L. James and Stephanie Meyer come to mind -- and I've read neither series, but have seen the first Twilight movie and the last one, both on long flights across the country).
Full disclosure, I'm an English major who was working on my Master's in Creative Writing when my first romance novels were published. I can do literary (my short stories are more literary...ish), and even poetry when pushed hard (very hard, thank you Connie Hunting, it was a rewarding experience to grind out those six lines, eventually). But I prefer Shelley and Dickens and Shakespeare and Faulkner, and Bronte(s) and Austen. People who knew how to tell a good story about flawed people I liked and rooted for, and identified with. Humbert Humbert. Not so much.
Although...Gillian Flynn and GONE GIRL. Can't say "like", but totally related.
Anyway. Is there any hope of respect for commercial fiction in the foreseeable future? Or should we wear our stigmata proudly? Or (shudder) should we all write a literary novel and eschew money, readers, and (probably) fame?